It’s pretty easy to tell when you’re getting a sunburn if you’re lying out by the pool. The tricky part is being able to decipher when you’ll turn a shade of tomato red while relaxing in the water. Submerging yourself, even slightly, can lower your body temperature and make you forget all about the sun’s UV rays, which might mean sunscreen is the last thing on your mind. However, it’s crucial to uphold routine sunscreen rituals, because not only can you get a burn if you’re in the salt system pool, but it may be worse, as water reflects the sun.

Don’t get burnt
Here’s a list of suggestions from Mama’s Health so you can avoid a nasty burn:

  • Put on sunscreen about 20 to 30 minutes before a swim.
  • Wear a hat or some other barrier to protect your scalp.
  • Invest in waterproof sunscreen.
  • Plan your swim around the sun’s strength – early mornings or late evenings are best to avoid burns.
  • Rub sunscreen over your entire body.

Follow these steps and above all be cognizant. Everyone’s skin is different, which means you may burn more severely than your friends or children. Depending on the person, someone can get a sunburn within 15 minutes of being outside – even with an appropriate SPF cream. Others may stay out all day and not get red.

In addition to individual differences, the temperature and weather varies, which means that there’s no magic timer that you can count on to avoid a burn. Just because you achieved a perfect tan in under an hour, doesn’t mean that the next day you’ll end up with the same result. Even cloudy days can yield a nasty burn.

Use after care
If you notice that your skin is turning pinkish, you may be too late, as it’s an early sign of sunburn. Typically, if you’re already red before you go in the house, you can expect it to get worse as the day goes on because sometimes it takes a few hours for a tan or burn to appear. Take good care of your skin before, during and after a day in the sun.

Avoid sunburns at every cost, and if you do get one, be sure to do some damage control. Pick up an ointment to soothe itchy and irritated skin, and take an over-the-counter pain relief medication if you’re in moderate to severe pain. See a doctor if symptoms persist because it may be a more serious wound that requires medical attention.