Have You Ever Had a Bad Sunburn?

Published in: Just For Fun

Have you ever had a bad sunburn?

When I was 12 years old, my parents sent me down to spend part of the summer in Southern California with my friend Karrie and her family. They’d been our neighbors before they moved, and Karrie and I were best friends.


We didn’t look anything alike; she was blonde with blue eyes, and I was this little brown girl who didn’t know a thing about sunscreen. Her family did a lot of outdoorsy things, too, like camping and going to lakes. Karrie always knew to put on sunscreen, and her mom would always offer some to me, but I never took it because I’d never been burned…until that trip to Lake Perris.

It was a blistering hot day, and we’d spent all of it out in the sun. Of course, I didn’t put on a lick of sunscreen…

I remember riding home in the car and feeling my face get really, really hot. The peeling started the very next day — all over my nose, my shoulders — it was terrible. 🙁

Now I always put on sunscreen, so lesson learned!

Have you ever had a bad sunburn?

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Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Supergoop Sunscreen SwipesP.S. Some folks are making it really easy for lazy peeps to put on sunscreen, LOL! These soft Supergoop Swipes are moistened with water-resistant broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen and come 40 to a pack for $34 (OUCH!). Available at Sephora.

Not surprisingly, they have a mild sunscreen scent. The wetness from them dries fairly quickly on my skin but leaves behind a slightly sticky film, especially around my neck. Still, I like the convenience, and Tabs gives them two paws up for not being tested on animals.


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  1. Lyn says:

    I can totally relate Karen, haha. I grew up in the Midwest thinking Asians never burned, but learned my lesson badly on a trip to Hawaii. I spent an afternoon boogie-boarding with my rear end in the air, and ended up with a swimsuit-masked burn on my bum. It was so painful to sit down for two weeks!

  2. Beth says:

    I got the worst sunburn I ever had in the least likely geograpghical location – Norway!

    My uncle lives out there and they live right on the water, so we went out on the Oslo fjords on a boat. I had sunscreen on, but ended up burning my scalp. It was the most painful sunburn ever! Even the wind blowing my hair made it hurt! Worst of all, while it was healing I had about a week of it peeling giving me a very sexy permanent dandruff look.

    Next time I’ll wear a hat!

    .-= Beth’s last blog post… Blot- Blot- Blot – The Body Shop Tea Tree Blotting Tissues =-.

  3. Denise says:

    I’ve only had sunburn once in my life, and that was because I hadn’t put enough sunscreen on my face (also, it was in the middle of summer in an outdoor concert, so most of it had sweated off). I had a bit of sunburn on my nose and cheeks, but it wasn’t too bad.
    .-= Denise’s last blog post… Rusted Hearth Makeup Tutorial =-.

  4. Sherrie says:

    YES!!! I am african-american, and was sunburned last year. My best friend and I was playing tennis. She told me to use sunscreen, and I had replied that black people do not get sundburned ( I am the exact same shade as Kerry Washington). We both laughed and continue playing. Well to make a long story short, I started peeling thinking is was dry skin, but it hurt. Went to the Dr. and he informed me that I was sunburned. Now everyday I use Clinique sunblock on my face(the only one that will not cause me to breakout) and Neutrogena on the body. Now I know that black people DO get sunburned.

  5. Taffy says:

    I got the first sunburn of my life while visiting my family in Barbados 3 weeks ago. Me and my cousin spent all day at the beach and despite my constant reapplication of sunblock I got burned on my scalp, face, shoulders and back. The pain didn’t bother me that much (I’ve felt worse pain in my life) but I had to head back to Toronto the next day and trying to carry my luggage and my backpack was very, very painful! Sunblock with a SPF of 45 and being Black is not going to enough to keep you from burning in certain conditions.

  6. Michelle says:

    I grew up in Florida. My friends and I all loved being tan. Sometimes we would seriously lay out in the sun for 4 hours with no sunscreen. I got more than a few blistering sunburns. I always wear sunscreen now — I don’t want wrinkles or sun cancer!!

  7. my worst happened just over a year ago. the dance group i was in was doing a photoshoot at the beach and for some reason (i blame lack of sleep), i didn’t put sunscreen on. instead, i decided to moisturize my skin using BABY OIL. yes, yes, i know… i was out there for about 10 hours! and i was wearing a tshirt! so, over a year later, i’ve still got a farmer’s tan on my arms. haven’t been able to fade it out with exfoliation or match the colour with fake tan. i thought it would fade eventually but it’s been a year, and… it has faded some, so hopefully it will continue to fade out more.
    .-= dani@callitbeauty’s last blog post… Have Luggage- Will Travel =-.

  8. Jessica says:

    I am VERY fair, so I’ve had my share of sunburns. I usually get one or two bad ones a year, no matter how much I protect myself.

    When I was 18 though, I went to a beach (In Canada!) with some of my friends for about an hour, and ended up having to go to the hospital for second degree burns!

    My whole body (including my face) swelled up to like twice its size. It took me weeks to recover!

    Here’s a picture of the day I got burned. Still in good spirits because you know it really doesn’t hurt that bad until the second day…


      • Shannon says:

        Oh man, I know how that feels. I know how bad being pink like that hurts. I live in Michigan and for most of the year I’m so pale I’m practically see-through. I didn’t put sunscreen on at the beach in Florida one time and my upper thighs burned so bad I got blisters. I had trouble sleeping and I probably should have gone to the hospital. I’ve gotten smarter with sunscreen, but I still burn occasionally.

        • Kim says:

          Shannon, that is too funny – I describe myself as see-through too (and have had many sunburns regardless of the protection). I literally wear SPF70 now. 🙂

          On a side note, a friend of mine who never burns had a horrible experience when we were in college. She was going on a first date with a boy she thought was quite cute (from pics) and he had never seen her. She had burned horribly 2 days before and her face was peeling so badly that she looked like a horror movie. Even we were scared… and she’s a beautiful girl. Sadly, there was no 2nd date!

  9. Michele DiCola says:

    I fell asleep in sun and that was the last time for me. i use sunscreen all the time. I had to go to the ER it was so bad. They told me to take advil and benadryl. And gave me a white burn cream !

  10. Ithfifi says:

    I’ve only ever had it once in my life since I am usually quite sun aware when on holiday; I have really thick frizzy untamable hair (usually straightened) and figured putting them in pigtails would be a good way to keep it under control… Bad idea without a hat, The center parting of my scalp got really burnt and I was little delirious (thats how it felt!) Plus for weeks to come it looked like a really bad case of dandruff! :c
    .-= Ithfifi’s last blog post… Uhh- Taking a short break =-.

  11. Toni says:

    I got the worst sunburn of my life in the Bahamas. I didn’t apply a high enough SPF and was out all day on the water. Boy, was I sore! I could barely move. My friends kept teasing me and calling me an old lady. Lots of peeling all over my body! The last bad sunburn was this past spring in FL on my legs due to the yucky sunscreen I used.

    Like the idea of the wipes, but $34 is a bit too pricey for me!

  12. Deirdre says:

    I got my worst last summer I think, Ialways forget how fair my skin is and how even though the weather is never that hot here I will burn! So one sunny day, I went mountain climbing with my friend, it wasn’t that sunny when I left the house so I didn’t bother with the sunscreen, I ended up getting really badly burnt on my chest and on my upper arms. It hurt so much and the worst bit was that I had to go to a party for my aunt the next day and I had a gorgeous dress but I was all red!
    It all turned to tan sao now Ihave a really tanned chest as well! The rest of me is pale though!lol
    Lesson learned!

  13. Liz says:

    Haha – definitely have had a terrible burn before. I have been pale-skinned all my life, so even an hour without protection gives me a burn. The worst, though, was when I went to a water park with my friend around age 13 or so, and didn’t put on sunscreen the WHOLE DAY. I went home with a burn all over my body… literally… my face, arms, stomach, chest, back and legs and even feet. What in the world was I thinking? I couldn’t lay down without being in pain for weeks. At least I can blame it on teenage stupidity.
    .-= Liz’s last blog post… Ariel Pinks Haunted Graffiti Launches Tour =-.

  14. Nina says:

    Yep I have … I was laying on a floater in a pool face down and fell asleep. My back was burnt and it took literally a year before the skin tone would go back to its usual shade. I had a bathing suit strap tan for a long, long time.

    I did use sunscreen but I guess sleeping for two hours or so under the heat of the sun does that to you!

    Supergoop btw is an awesome product, love love it! 🙂

  15. Eva says:

    I had an amazingly painful sun burn when I was about nine or ten.
    We (my brother and I)went swimming with our father and fell asleep after playing around for several hours. OUr dad didn´t realize that we weren´t in the shadow and that the sunscreen had washed off during our last swim so we awoke about two hours later with red shoulders and backs. We were moving around like Quasimodo for the following week..
    The only expereince topping that was when I got sun burn on my scalp when I was 17.
    I was sick for two days with a splitting headache and when that burn started peeling it was looking like a seriously icky case of dandruff….
    Since then I haven´t been in the sun much. I am pale as a sheet of paper….better safe than sorry, right?

  16. Aparnaa says:

    I was 17, South Asian, and convinced my heritage meant that I wouldn’t get sunburn. Ohhhh how I learned the hard way. Now I put on SPF 100+ (the spray) so that I’ll get okay coverage and hopefully make up for the years of playing outdoors without a lick of sunscreen in the summer heat…

  17. Jeanie says:

    The first and worst sunburn I had was the summer my parents put in a new pool at their house when I was 14 and I never wore sunscreen then. The bottom of my feet were fried! I was crawling around the house for days until they stopped hurting.

  18. Joy says:

    Surprisingly, I’ve never had a bad sunburn. I say surprisingly because I’m actually pretty light skinned. I have yellow undertones but I use the lightest shade in most concealer/foundations during the winter. I do use facial lotion that has 15spf but other than that I don’t use sunscreen. (I know, I know…) Twice in my life I’ve gotten the closest to burning. Once when I fell asleep for 8 hours on a beach (in the Midwest) and then when I spent 3 days touring 18 hotels (aka: outside for most of it) in Jamaica. Those times I actually got reddish but by the next morning, it was just a tan. Sometimes my face will get a bit red but within an hour or two of being inside, it’s gone. I’ve never had the peeling, flaking, lobster skin. I just tan really well. Which means I have a few different sets of concealers for throughout the year. I do make sure to avoid the scalp problem by not parting my hair or wearing a bandanna.

  19. kirsty says:

    Yes! 3 years ago I went camping on the beach with some friends. I was applying sunscreen, but not diligently. I didn’t feel it until we got in the car to drive home, but I was suddenly in a lot of pain – I couldn’t put my shoulders against the seat so I had to sit hunched up, I suddenly came over very tired/dizzy/nauseous too. We stopped off for a KFC on the way home but I just sat in the car suffering whilst everyone else went inside as I couldn’t move and wasn’t hungry.

    The next few days were awfulas I obviously had full on heatstroke going on too. My back soon resembled cornflakes which was… disgusting.

    Anyway… 3 years on and I still have the faintest tan lines. They’ll probably be there forever :/

  20. Mary Eleazar says:

    Nevah!! As a child of an Irish redhead, I learned to always protect my skin–and if I can’t, then don’t go out!! I have actually FADED this summer (it’s just too effin hot here in southern Louisiana), because I don’t go out unless I need to! Clarins UV 40 EVERY DAY of my life, and whatever SPF 80+++ I can find when out for more than an hour–REAPPLIED, people, every hour (it’s just easier to remember to do it on the hour instead of counting 80 minutes). It helps that I’ve also sold cosmetics since I was 19, so I’m super aware of the need to protect–and I have access to the best and newest products! I just turned 43 and several people this week mistook me for 20-something! That’s the best reason to stay pale and love it!!!

  21. sarah says:

    I am very fair. Not so fair that I am gostly or sickly, but my two best friends are red heads with freckles and theyre darker than me! I hate getting burned, but its the only way I tan. Ahhh, guess I chose porclean skin over skin cancer 🙁

  22. Jeni says:

    I’ve never had a really bad sunburn (just minor sunburns) but I didn’t really wear any sunscreen until age 20, and I grew up in Hawaii:( I used to be so dark and I cringe when I think about how much sun damage I’ve accumulated! For some reason my parents never made me wear sunscreen! Now I’m pale as a ghost and don’t leave the house without sunscreen.
    .-= Jeni’s last blog post… La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen =-.

  23. Christy says:

    Thankfully, no! My Lola (ie Grandma) and baby-sitter used to yell at me for playing outside in the sun. Old Asian style is to be as light as possible. I don’t wear sunscreen for that purpose, although I do wear sunscreen everyday on my face and everywhere that is exposed when I’m out a lot. I’ve only peeled from a burn once when I was 12. I was at camp when I was in the pool for most of the day. By the next day my shoulder was peeling a bit.
    .-= Christy’s last blog post… MAC In The Groove Togetherness- Love to Love -amp In The Groove Mineralize Eye Shadow Review -amp Swatches =-.

  24. Christine says:

    i’ve never had a sunburn. My mum has always been very diligent in teaching us suncare and I always associate summer with, “KIDS!!! DON’T YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT STEPPING OUTSIDE UNTIL YOU’VE SLAPPED ON SOME SUNSCREEN!!!!”

    I’m a strange ducky. I’m not fond of being out in sunshine. Friends call me the ‘vampire’ of the group.

  25. Vesna says:

    Yes, I had a bad sunburn on 2 occasions – the 1st time it happened when I lived in Sweden and I was 10 yrs old and was on a swimming pool with my cousin and I burned all the way, lol 😀 I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t do anything… but lucky for me – my skin recovers VERY fast though I am NW15/NW20 🙂

    The 2nd time it was when I was in high school and when I started to work for the first time over the summer – it was my 1st day at work, and the whole day I stayed in the sun so, obviously, I got sunburn! And it was really bad! I got those water blathers on skin, really weird and yuck looking but I was okay after few days. It just peeled off and it looked like nothing ever happened! 🙂

    Today, I avoid sun as much as I can. 🙂
    .-= Vesna’s last blog post… Beauty review- mama mio OMega Body Oil =-.

  26. Iris says:

    I know this is too late but I recently reading your blog yo!!
    I remember when I was a lil child, my family alway do outdoorsy things too, but; for some reason my mom didn’t know anything about sunscreen; because actually she put on us ( my sister and I) a bronzer Lmao of course we always had a bad sunburn!! OMG you feel your body and face very hot and next day that peeling God I remember that my friends laughed of me 🙁 (sorry for my English but I’m not native from USA)

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