bike leaning against handrail in front of concrete building at daytime

The French pharmacy find that saved my sensitive skin after a sunburn

Confession: I hate direct sunshine. I might be part vampire. Give me an overcast, rainy sky any day. My sensitive skin absolutely despises the sun, and kicks up all sorts of problems.

But I can’t hide inside from May to October. I need to venture outside now and again, however grudgingly. And despite my Herculean best efforts (long sleeved shirts in the heat of summer, hats, scarves, sunscreen slathered on), about once a year a sunburn sneaks up on me anyway. Which irritates me in principle. But that doesn’t fix my angry, red skin.

This summer, I discovered a sunburn all over my back after I’d put my little one to bed and my husband was out running errands. I rummaged through my drawers, hoping I had an old tube of aloe vera or after sun lotion. No luck. I could text my husband and ask him to pick up some after sun cream from the pharmacy while he was out— but what one? After going down the rabbit hole of listicles of creams to use for a sunburn, I was a bit paralyzed with choice. Which one should I ask him to get? And are some of them just going to make my sensitive skin even angrier?

Then I noticed a familiar looking tube amidst the roundups. La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP+M, from the classic French pharmacy skincare brand for sensitive skin. I definitely had a half-empty tube of that kicking around the back of a drawer. I’d bought it ages ago for sensitive skin and eczema flares. I figured at least it wouldn’t irritate my skin further. I spread it on, feeling hopeful. It immediately melted in, soothing my red and angry skin. The next morning, I expected peeling and itching when I twisted around to look in the mirror. But no— my back was still definitely sunburnt, but now just pink instead of red. I kept applying it daily after my evening shower, and my skin kept miraculously healing right up.

So if you have sensitive skin like me and find yourself with a sunburn, despite all your best, most valiant efforts, give La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP+M a try to heal your sunburn. The tubes are thankfully fairly giant, and it’s gentle enough for kids and babies, so you’ll still make use out of it if you live a more charmed like and manage to escape summer unscathed by sunburns entirely.

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