Ice cream, baseball, long hot days that turn into warm nights: just a few of the wonderful things that define summer. However, as much as I understand the importance of sunscreen, sunburns inevitably also make a harsh entrance into my summer time staples.
If you’re a fair-skinned but sun-loving gal like me, just happened to forget to use Tamara’s skin protecting tips, or end up spontaneously brunching in the sun, you could easily find yourself looking at a lobster in the mirror. Accidentally catch too many rays after this holiday weekend? Use these tips for treating your sunburn:
Soak in cool water
If you spent a day at the pool or beach, hop into the shower and use cool water to rinse away anything that could increase irritation, such as sand, chlorine or salt water. Not only does cold water feel refreshing, but since a sunburn is a first degree burn you want to make sure that you remove any irritants and avoid heat as it could worsen the burn and create blisters. Have time for a bath? Add whole oats to the water – the oats will act as a soothing agent to relieve itch, irritation and lock-in moisture, which will speed the healing process.
After you take your cool shower or bath, load up on moisturizer. When I have a really bad burn, I stick my moisturizer in the fridge so then it has extra soothing power. A moisturizer specifically for sun damage, such as one with aloe or glycerin, is your best bet for noticeable relief. I am a loyal fan of all of Sun Bum’s beach products, and their Cool Down lotion is one of the most effective aloe/lotion combinations I have found. This is going to sound a little hippy-dippy, but using aloe straight from the aloe plant it also a great option for when you just miss a small area. My mom bought an aloe plant a while back and it is so useful to just break-off a piece of the leaf and use the aloe for a small stretch around a bathing suit line, or on your shoulders. Added benefit: you feel very organic and eco-friendly.
It is no surprise that being in the sun takes the moisture out of your skin, but it also dehydrates the rest of your body. Drinking lots of water will help sooth your burn by re-hydrating, and also give you more energy to make that oat bath. If you find it hard to just keep drinking plain water, eat water-filled foods like watermelon and grapes, or make try a delicious recipe for fruit-infused water.
I know, I know. It sounds strange. And smelly. But I tried the trick of soaking a rag in vinegar after a recent trip to Florida and it actually really worked. Basically, you can either dab on the vinegar or let the cloth rest on your skin to remove some of the sting and heat from the burn. Necessary tip – use apple cider vinegar to avoid smelling like Easter eggs.
Get as comfortable as possible
Embrace your loose, comfy PJs and avoid situations where you’ll be likely to be hot again, as it’ll aggravate the burn. Though not as natural as some other remedies, try taking an anti-inflammatory pill like ibuprofen or Tylenol to lessen inflammation and ease the pain.
If all else fails, have a glass of wine and tell yourself, “I am never going to do this again,” then bookmark this article for when you accidentally get burned again. Happy Summer!