What the heck is a “margarita sunburn” and how we we avoid one?

We’ve know all about the dangers of too much sun, which why we  spend the months of May to September slathered in sunscreen anytime we go outdoors. But even with a tube of SPF 50 near us at all times, we’ve never heard about the “margarita sunburn” before. Margarita — like the drink? What the heck is that?

The “margarita sunburn,” or “phytophotodermatitis,” NewBeauty explains, is when citrus fruits and certain oils or plant danders get on your body and burn your skin in the sun. Wait, that can happen?! Yes. Limes are one of the common citruses that can hurt your skin this way, but you won’t know until as many as two days later when you’ve got a nasty sunburn and blisters that may even morph into hyperpigmentation.


The culprit is furanocoumarin, a chemical that will make your skin more sensitive when it comes in contact with UV rays, Men’s Health explains. Unsuspecting boozers can find themselves with a margarita sunburn after mixing up cocktails in the outdoors under the sun.

So how do we prevent phytophotodermatitis? A dermatologist told NewBeauty that limes, grapefruits and Valencia oranges are the fruits to avoid handling in the sun. So if you absolutely must mix up some citrusy drinks — and believe us, we understand that sometimes, you absolutely must — do it indoors. Men’s Health also advises that you wash your hands with soap and water immediately, as well.

Don’t worry — the threat of a margarita sunburn won’t change your ability to drink an icy cool beverage all summer long. Just do it extra safely!


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