Tips for Preventing and Healing Sunburned Lips after Water Sports

If you’re an avid lover of water sports, you know how exhilarating it feels to soak up the sun and embrace the waves. However, with all that fun comes the risk of sunburned lips that can leave you feeling uncomfortable and seeking relief. In this article, we’re here to offer you some friendly tips on preventing and healing those sunburned lips, ensuring that your time in the water remains enjoyable and free from any painful aftereffects. So grab your sunscreen and get ready to dive into the best practices for protecting and nurturing your lips during your water sports adventures.

Tips for Preventing and Healing Sunburned Lips after Water Sports

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Prevention Tips

Use SPF Lip Balm

To protect your lips from the harmful effects of the sun, it’s important to use a lip balm that contains SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Look for a lip balm with at least SPF 30 for adequate protection. Apply it generously and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. SPF lip balm helps to create a barrier between your lips and the sun’s rays, preventing sunburn and keeping your lips moisturized.

Apply Sunscreen

In addition to using SPF lip balm, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the rest of your face and body. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and apply it generously, paying attention to all exposed areas of your skin. Make sure to reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating. Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays will not only prevent sunburn but also lower your risk of long-term damage such as premature aging and skin cancer.

Wear a Hat

A wide-brimmed hat can provide additional protection for your lips and face. Opt for a hat with at least a three-inch brim to shield your face, lips, and neck from the sun. Hats not only provide shade but also act as an extra barrier against harmful UV rays. So, don’t forget to pack your favorite hat before heading out for any water sports adventure.

Seek Shade

While it’s tempting to bask in the sun during water sports, it’s important to take breaks and seek shade occasionally. Find a spot under a tree, an umbrella, or any other shaded area to give your lips and skin a break from direct sunlight. Remember, even when in the shade, it’s crucial to continue using SPF lip balm and sunscreen as UV rays can still reach you indirectly.

Avoid Peak Sun Hours

The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, so it’s advisable to avoid prolonged exposure during these peak hours. If possible, plan your water sports activities either in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of sunburn on your lips and protect your skin from excessive damage.

Protection during Water Sports

Water-Resistant Lip Balm

When participating in water sports, it’s essential to use a water-resistant lip balm. Look for a lip balm specifically designed for water activities that provides both sun protection and water resistance. This type of lip balm will stay in place even when exposed to water, ensuring that your lips remain shielded from the sun’s harmful rays.

Reapply Regularly

Water sports involve a lot of movement, which may cause your lip balm to wear off more quickly. To maintain effective protection, make sure to reapply your water-resistant lip balm every hour or as recommended by the product instructions. Don’t forget to keep a spare lip balm in your bag to ensure you can easily reapply, even when on the go.

Consider a Lip Sunscreen Stick

In addition to using water-resistant lip balm, consider using a lip sunscreen stick for added protection. Lip sunscreen sticks are convenient and easy to apply, providing a thicker and more durable layer of sun protection on your lips. Look for a sunscreen stick with a high SPF to guarantee optimal shielding from the sun’s harmful UV rays during your water sports adventures.


Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is crucial when engaging in any water sports activity. Drinking plenty of water not only helps to keep your body hydrated but also benefits your lips by preventing dryness and chapping. Carry a water bottle and make it a habit to take regular sips throughout the day, especially when spending extended periods under the sun.

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Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

While it may be tempting to enjoy a refreshing drink after a session of water sports, it’s best to avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can dehydrate your body, including your lips. Both alcohol and caffeine act as diuretics, causing increased fluid loss from your body. Instead, opt for hydrating beverages such as water, coconut water, or electrolyte drinks to replenish lost fluids and keep your lips and body adequately hydrated.

Repairing Sunburned Lips

Keep Lips Hydrated

After experiencing sunburn on your lips, it’s important to keep them hydrated to promote healing. Apply a moisturizing lip balm or lip moisturizer multiple times a day to prevent your lips from becoming dry and cracked. Look for products that contain ingredients such as shea butter, beeswax, or natural oils to nourish and soothe sunburned lips.

Use Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is known for its soothing and healing properties, making it a great remedy for sunburned lips. Take a small amount of pure aloe vera gel and apply it directly to your lips. The cooling sensation will provide relief and help to reduce inflammation. The natural healing abilities of aloe vera will aid in repairing damaged skin and speeding up the recovery process.

Apply Cold Compress

If your lips are feeling sore or swollen from sunburn, applying a cold compress can help to alleviate discomfort. Take a clean cloth or towel, dampen it with cold water, and gently press it against your lips. The cold temperature will provide pain relief and reduce inflammation. Remember not to apply ice directly to your lips as it can cause further damage.

Avoid Irritants

During the healing process of sunburned lips, it’s important to avoid any irritants that may worsen the condition. Avoid using flavored or scented lip balms, as these may contain ingredients that can cause further irritation. Opt for unscented and hypoallergenic lip products to minimize the risk of aggravating your sunburned lips.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

If the pain and discomfort from your sunburned lips are persistent, you may consider using over-the-counter pain relief medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. However, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Tips for Preventing and Healing Sunburned Lips after Water Sports

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Home Remedies

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural remedy with moisturizing and healing properties. Apply a small amount of coconut oil to your lips, allowing it to absorb for a few minutes before gently wiping off any excess. This will help to nourish and hydrate your sunburned lips, promoting healing and preventing further damage.


Honey is known for its antibacterial and healing properties. Apply a thin layer of raw honey to your lips and let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing off. The natural sugars in honey will help to retain moisture and speed up the healing process of sunburned lips.

Cucumber Slices

Cucumber slices have soothing and cooling effects, making them a great home remedy for sunburned lips. Place thinly sliced cucumber pieces on your lips and leave them on for 10-15 minutes. The cucumber will help to reduce inflammation and provide a refreshing sensation, offering relief to your sunburned lips.

Green Tea Bags

Green tea contains antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, which can aid in healing sunburned lips. Brew a cup of green tea, let it cool, and then place the tea bags on your lips for 10-15 minutes. The antioxidants in the green tea will help to reduce inflammation and promote the healing process of your sunburned lips.

Milk Cream

Milk cream is rich in fats, proteins, and vitamins, making it an excellent moisturizer for sunburned lips. Mix a small amount of milk cream with a few drops of rose water, then apply the mixture to your lips and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. The milk cream will help to hydrate and nourish your lips, leaving them soft and supple.

Natural Remedies

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a popular natural remedy for various skin conditions, including sunburn. Apply pure aloe vera gel or the gel extracted directly from an aloe vera leaf to your lips. The soothing and cooling properties of aloe vera will provide relief from pain and inflammation, while accelerating the healing process of sunburned lips.


Calendula is a flower known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. You can find calendula-infused lip balms or creams to apply directly to your sunburned lips. Alternatively, you can brew dried calendula flowers in hot water, let it cool down, and apply the liquid to your lips with a cotton ball for soothing relief.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil has calming and healing properties, making it a great option for sunburned lips. Dilute a few drops of lavender essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil, and gently apply it to your lips. The lavender oil will help to reduce pain and inflammation, while promoting the healing process of your sunburned lips.

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Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can benefit sunburned lips. Brew a cup of chamomile tea, allow it to cool, and then use a cotton ball to apply it to your lips. The chamomile tea will help to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and aid in the healing process of your sunburned lips.


Oatmeal is known for its soothing and moisturizing properties, making it an effective remedy for sunburned lips. Blend rolled oats into a fine powder and mix it with a small amount of water to create a paste. Apply the oatmeal paste to your lips and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off. The oatmeal will provide relief from pain and inflammation while moisturizing and healing your sunburned lips.

Tips for Preventing and Healing Sunburned Lips after Water Sports

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Medical Treatment

Consult a Doctor

If your sunburned lips are severe, blistering, or show signs of infection, it’s essential to consult a doctor. A healthcare professional will be able to assess the severity of the sunburn and provide appropriate medical treatment if necessary. They may prescribe topical creams, ointments, or medications to help soothe and heal your sunburned lips.

Topical Steroids

In cases of severe sunburn on the lips, a doctor may prescribe topical steroids to help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. Topical steroid creams or ointments can provide relief from pain, swelling, and redness associated with severe sunburn.

Prescription Medication

In rare cases where sunburned lips lead to complications such as infection or allergic reactions, a doctor may prescribe oral medications. These medications may include antibiotics to treat infection or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and manage more severe symptoms.

Avoiding Further Damage

Protective Clothing

To prevent further damage to your lips, it’s important to wear protective clothing when engaging in water sports or spending time under the sun. Opt for lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses with UV protection. By covering up, you can minimize exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays and decrease the risk of sunburned lips.

Limit Sun Exposure

Reducing your overall sun exposure is crucial to protect your lips and prevent further damage. Seek shade whenever possible, especially during peak sun hours of 10 am to 4 pm. If you must be out in the sun, take frequent breaks in shaded areas and try to plan your activities during early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less intense.

Use Lip Balm with Sun Protection

To avoid sunburned lips in the future, make it a habit to use lip balm with sun protection on a daily basis. Whether you’re participating in water sports or simply going about your daily routine, wearing lip balm with SPF will provide continuous protection and keep your lips moisturized. Look for lip balms labeled as “broad-spectrum” to ensure they protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Tips for Preventing and Healing Sunburned Lips after Water Sports

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Preventing Infection

Avoid Touching Lips

To prevent infection, it’s important to avoid touching your sunburned lips with dirty hands. Touching your lips with unwashed hands can introduce bacteria, which may lead to infection and delay the healing process. If you need to apply any remedies or products to your lips, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.

Keep Lips Clean

To keep your sunburned lips clean and free from bacteria, gently cleanse them with a mild, unscented cleanser and lukewarm water. Gently pat them dry with a soft towel. Avoid using harsh cleansers or abrasive scrubs, as they can further irritate your sunburned lips and impede the healing process.

Avoid Sharing Personal Items

During the healing period of your sunburned lips, it’s important to avoid sharing any personal items like towels, lip balms, or utensils. Sharing these items can spread bacteria and increase the risk of infection. To prevent further damage and promote healing, use your own personal items and refrain from sharing them with others.

Importance of Sun Protection

Long-term Effects

Consistent sun protection is vital to prevent long-term damage caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays. Exposure to the sun without protection can lead to premature aging, including the development of wrinkles, age spots, and loss of skin elasticity. By protecting your lips and skin, you can maintain a youthful appearance and minimize the effects of sun damage.

Skin Cancer Risk

Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays without protection increases the risk of skin cancer, including cancer of the lips. Applying SPF lip balm and sunscreen, seeking shade, and wearing protective clothing can significantly reduce this risk. Regularly checking your lips and skin for any changes or suspicious moles and promptly consulting a healthcare professional can also play a crucial role in early detection and treatment of skin cancer.

Consistent SPF Usage

Consistency is key when it comes to sun protection. Making SPF lip balm and sunscreen a part of your daily routine, regardless of the weather, time of year, or outdoor activity, is essential to effectively prevent sunburned lips and protect your overall skin health. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so prioritize sun protection to keep your lips and skin looking and feeling their best.

In conclusion, preventing and treating sunburned lips from water sports requires a combination of proactive measures and proper care. By following the prevention tips, protecting yourself during water sports, staying hydrated, and knowing how to repair and treat sunburned lips, you can enjoy your time in the sun while keeping your lips healthy and protected. Don’t forget to consult with a healthcare professional if you experience severe sunburn or any complications. Prioritize sun protection, and you’ll be able to fully enjoy your water sports adventures without the discomfort and pain of sunburned lips.

Tips for Preventing and Healing Sunburned Lips after Water Sports

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About the Author: Outdoor Lifer

I'm Adam, the author behind Outdoor Life Reviews. As an outdoor enthusiast, I created this website to provide thorough and honest reviews of various outdoor recreation products. From hiking and camping gear to fishing equipment and biking accessories, I cover it all. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or just starting out, you'll find valuable insights and recommendations here. Additionally, I share tips and advice on how to enhance your outdoor lifestyle. So grab your backpack, tent, or kayak, and join me on this exciting journey as I explore the vast world of outdoor activities and gear.