April 22, 2009

Take aspirin and spread on an aloe vera gel to stop pain and reduce redness," says Ariel Ostad, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. Then, to reduce long-term damage (which can appear years later as blotchiness, wrinkles, or even skin cancer), up your intake of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals caused by UV rays. "I tell my patients to take 1,000 milligrams for three days, as opposed to the recommended daily allowance of 75 milligrams, and also apply the vitamin topically," says Mary Lupo, M.D., a dermatologist in New Orleans. She likes Philosophy Turbo Booster Vitamin C Powder ($35; sephora.com). Once your skin is no longer red, start using a retinol product. It accelerates exfoliation, helping shed damaged skin. "I also recommend GentleWaves, a low-intensity light-therapy treatment, within 24 hours of the burn," says Lupo. It stimulates new collagen and slows the production of collagenase, an enzyme (triggered by the burn) that breaks down collagen, says Lupo. One session is about $80 and should be all you need.

-Carly Cardellino