How long does a sunburn last?

Man pulling his gray shirt's sleeve up his sunburned left arm

You’re trying to find ways to heal sunburn fast because you enjoyed the sun a little too much and got the painful and uncomfortable feeling on your skin as a consequence. As the day went on, you notice your skin has become redder and the pain intensified.

But do not fear! Although sunburn takes time to heal, we have the information you need to help with soothing sunburn symptoms. Even better, your problem has led you straight to the remedies you didn’t know can give your skin relief, protection, and nourishment it needs. Let’s talk about sunburn and how to support its healing.

What is sunburn?

Sunburn is a result of a prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or tanning beds. UV rays can damage the skin’s top layer, the epidermis, which contains sweat glands and nerve endings. When this happens, you may feel that the skin is hot to touch, itchy, painful, and swollen. Redness develops on the affected area, and blisters may form if you have been exposed long enough. Then, peeling will occur after after a few days as the dead skin cells shed off of your body.

How long it takes for a sunburn to heal

Man with sunburned arms, uneven skin color, white skin under the sleeve, red skin on the uncovered arm area

The duration of the healing process depends on the severity of your sunburn, which can be mild, moderate or severe. The mild type involves redness of the skin and pain when touched, and takes about 2-5 days to heal. Moderate sunburn may manifest with the symptoms of mild sunburn, but with swelling and warmth of skin to touch. The moderate case heals in about 7 days and peels after. Severe sunburn, on the other hand, include the intensified symptoms mentioned previously, with blistering and a longer time to recover (about 14 days).

Risk factors to sunburn like having light-colored skin, living in a country near the equator, and using skin care products that make skin more sensitive to UV rays can make your symptoms more severe. Sunburns are typically caused by UV exposure of at least 11 minutes to 30 minutes at a time without protection from sunscreen or shade. Not only that, sunburns increase your risk of getting skin cancer. That’s why you should always wear a sunscreen when going outside.

Five days of healing for a mild case is a long period! Lucky for you, we have the solution to help heal sunburn fast using all-natural products!

See related: Man & steel: healing blacksmith injuries & skin problems

Ways to support healing sunburn

Peeling skin on a person's sunburned arm; heal sunburn fast

There are several things you can do to support the healing process of your sunburnt skin. Here are some of the most important:

1. Use a skin moisturizer.

Moisturize your skin to soothe the burn and for less evident peeling of the skin. And what’s a better way than to moisturize the skin with natural ingredients? CANhaveTODAY’s products Healing Legends and Soothing Juggernaut contain essential oils that help with sunburned skin. Both of these soothing salves contain aloe vera, but each has their unique combination of ingredients.

Healing Legends is mainly formulated with frankincense, myrrh, and bergamot essential oils while Soothing Juggernaut’s main ingredients are frankincense, arnica, and cypress essential oils. Here are the properties of these natural ingredients to help you with your sunburn.

Aloe vera

Cut aloe vera showing the inside of the leaf

Moisturizers and soothing products with aloe vera are very popular in treating sunburn, and for good reason! Aloe vera is a superhero when it comes to sunburns. When you soak up in the sun too much, your skin becomes inflamed and can feel like it’s on fire. But aloe vera swoops in to save the day with its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory powers, which are shown by this study. It’s like a cool, refreshing drink of water for your skin!

Aloe vera does not only soothes the pain and irritation of sunburns—it can also help prevent intense peeling, according to this study. Plus, aloe vera contains amino acids that your body needs to heal. It’s like a magic potion that helps your skin recover faster. So if you have a sunburn or any type of burn or skin damage, reach for some aloe vera and let it work its magic.

Frankincense and Myrrh

A candle and frankincense and myrrh essential oil bottles and resins on a wooden surface, green tree part background

Don’t fear sunburn because two ancient, aromatic all-stars are here to save your skin: frankincense and myrrh. These legendary resins have been around since biblical times, and they’re ready to work their magic on your sunburned skin!

Frankincense is known for its strong anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically, this study states that this royal resin helps soothe your skin by reducing redness, swelling, pain and the uncomfortable feeling like you’ve been cooked. Plus, frankincense boosts skin regeneration by reducing the chances of scar formation while accelerating healing of damaged skin, so it can help your sunburn heal faster. It also reduces hyperpigmentation so it can even out your skin tone!

Meanwhile, myrrh wields powerful antioxidant properties, as proven by this study. Myrrh helps protect the skin from free radicals, which are damaging atoms that you get from too much UV exposure, which can worsen sunburn damage. So, not only will myrrh nurture your skin back to health, but it’ll also help prevent any unwelcome, post-sunburn skin issues.

Combined, the essential oils from these resins have very strong moisturizing properties. It’s as if Mother Nature herself is blowing a gentle, healing kiss on your sunburn. So, if the sun got the best of you, these all-star legends—frankincense and myrrh—and let their ancient wisdom help soothe your fiery sunburn!

Bergamot

Bergamot fruits

The citrus hero you need to save the day is none other than bergamot. This zesty lifesaver hails from the sunny shores of Italy and is ready to work its magic on your sunburn.

Bergamot, with its citrusy scent and vibrant green color, is like a refreshing sorbet for your skin. Not only is it moisturizing, as this study states, it is also loaded with antioxidants (proven by this study) and anti-inflammatory properties (this study shows), which help soothe the angry redness and and heat of sunburn. This study also mentions the use of bergamot in treating sunburn.

There’s more! Bergamot oil also possesses the power of regeneration. This study shows that bergamot increases collagen content, helping your sunburn heal faster and reducing the risk of lingering damage. With bergamot by your side, you’ll be back to building sandcastles and riding the waves in no time—after applying sun protection, of course!

Cypress

Cypress essential oil in a small bottle with dropper on the side and scattered leaves

Nature’s got your back with a fantastic remedy known as cypress essential oil. This amazing compound from the majestic cypress tree is like a champion that will save your skin from the clutches of sunburn.

You might be wondering, how can this oil help? Well, cypress essential oil is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that will soothe and restore your skin, as this study shows! When your skin is feeling the burn, cypress essential oil will step in like cool air, reducing redness and inflammation. This study also shows that cypress has properties that tighten the blood vessels in the skin, easing the heat reflecting off your skin.

But wait, there’s more! This study gives evidence that cypress essential oil is also a natural antiseptic, so it can help prevent and fight infections in any blisters or broken skin caused by your sunburn!

Arnica

Arnica montana flowers

Another secret botanical ally is here to rescue your sunburned skin: arnica essential oil! This powerful plant extract, derived from the lively yellow mountain arnica flower, is about to become your new sunburn savior.

Arnica oil is like a cool, soothing breeze that calms your sunburned skin. This study proves that arnica is jam-packed with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which help reduce swelling, redness, pain, and that my-skin-is-like-a-hot-stove sensation.

And the benefits don’t stop there! Arnica oil also encourages wound healing, as stated in this study, helping your sunburn heal faster and minimizing the risk of lasting damage with its antioxidant properties. So, the next time you’re basking under the sun, remember to pack your secret sunburn weapon: arnica essential oil.

2. Drink lots of water.

When your skin is sunburned, it’s parched and begging for some hydration. Sunburn draws water from the body to the skin’s surface. Drink lots of water to replenish what’s displaced from the body and prevent dehydration. This will work like a charm, quenching your skin’s thirst from the inside.

3. Rest and sleep a lot.

It is important to rest and get enough sleep when you have sunburn! Giving your body enough time to relax and recover allows it to focus on healing the damaged skin. Additionally, sleep plays a critical role in the overall recovery process and helps reduce inflammation.

4. Stay away from the sun.

This is an essential step! If you have sunburn, stay away from the sun to protect your skin from further damage. The sun’s rays can make your sunburn worse and slow down the healing process. Make sure to stay indoors or find a shady spot when outside. Wear protective clothing like long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses.

5. Take cool baths

Taking cool baths or showers to relieve the pain and soothing the sunburned skin. The cool water helps reduce inflammation and can lessen the pain and discomfort associated with burns.

Help soothe sunburn with CANhaveTODAY products

Knowing that aloe vera, myrrh, frankincense, bergamot, cypress, and arnica essential oils are great for you and that CANhaveTODAY have them in two separate products with unique blends of the said essential oils, you now can solve your burning problem! Healing Legends and Soothing Juggernaut are great when used alone, but combining their powers make their effect even better. The only thing you need to do is apply them on the affected area. Remember to perform a patch test first!

A quick note: These products contain Sodium borate. The government of Canada does not recommend the use of products containing Sodium borate on open wounds, cuts, or abrasions.

Want to learn more about Soothing Juggernaut and Healing Legends? Take a look at the table below and see how they can help your skin!

 Soothing JuggernautHealing Legends (with Frankincense)
 Arnica (Arnica montana)Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) 
AntibacterialMild to Strong [1,2,3]Moderate [12]Moderate to Strong [26]Mild to Strong [39]Mild to Strong [51] 
– AcneMild to Strong [1,2,3]Moderate [13]Moderate [14]Moderate [39]Mild to Strong [51] 
– CellulitisModerate to Strong [14] 
– ItchMild to Strong [1,2,3]Moderate [12]Strong [40]Strong [52] 
– Skin infectionsMild to Strong [1,2,3]ModerateStrong [27]Strong [39]Mild to Strong [53] 
Anti-inflammatoryStrong [4]Strong [13]Strong [28]Strong [41]Strong [54] 
   – AcneStrong [13]Moderate to Strong [14]Moderate [39]Strong [55] 
   – SwellingStrong [4]Strong [13]Strong [28]Strong [41]Strong [54] 
AntifungalMild to Moderate [3]Moderate to Strong [14]Moderate [29]Moderate to Strong [42]Moderate to Strong [56] 
   – Athlete’s foot (Foot itch)Moderate to Strong [14]Strong [30,31]Moderate to Strong [43]Strong [57] 
   – ItchModerate to Strong [14]Moderate [30]Moderate [39] 
AntimicrobialMild to Moderate [1,5,6]Moderate to Strong [12, 14]Strong [32,33]Mild to Strong [39,42]Mild to Strong [51,56] 
Antioxidant (fights skin damage and aging)Strong [7]Mild to Strong [15]Strong [29]Mild to Strong [39]Mild to Strong [58] 
AntiparasiticMild to Strong [16,17]Strong [29]Mild to Strong [44]  
Antispasmodic (relieves muscle spasms)Moderate to Strong [5]Moderate to Strong [18,19]Strong – Muscle spasms – Menstrual cramps – Restless leg syndromeStrong [45] – Intestinal spasms  Strong [59] – Intestinal spasms 
Insecticidal (Kills insects)Mild to Moderate [8]Strong [20]Strong [29]Moderate to Strong [46] 
Moisturizing (for dry and/or cracked skin)Strong [21]Moderate to Strong [34]Strong (Very Strong with Frankincense) [47]Strong [60] 
Reduces bruisingModerate to Strong [9,10]Strong [22]StrongModerateModerate to Strong 
Very Strong 
Reduces cellulite– Moderate to Strong [14] 
Reduces hyperpigmentationStrong [11]Strong [23,13]Moderate [35]Moderate [11]Strong [61] 
Very Strong 
Reduces or relieves painStrong [4]Strong [24]Moderate to Strong [36]    – Joint pain    – Arthritic pain    – Muscle painModerate [48]Strong [62] 
Repels InsectsStrong [25]Strong [37]Strong [49] Mild to Moderate [63,64] 
Treats crampsStrong [5]Strong [38] – 
Heals damaged skinStrong [4]Strong [13]Strong [14]Strong [50]Moderate to Strong [65,66] 
Table 1. Different properties of the main ingredients of Soothing Juggernaut and Healing Legends.

FAQ

How to stop sunburn itch?

You can stop sunburn from itching by taking over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and antihistamines. You can also get relief from topical creams like CANhaveTODAY’s Healing Legends and Soothing Juggernaut.

How to prevent a sunburn from peeling?

Sunburn peels when the damaged skin sheds. We can reduce its effects like pain and improve its appearance by staying hydrated, keeping the skin moisturized, taking cool showers or baths, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.

How long does it take to get sunburn?

The time it takes to get a sunburn varies based on several factors, including a person’s complexion and time of day. The skin can get burned in a matter of minutes, and signs of sunburn typically appear within a few hours of exposure to the sun.

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