As we are dealing with sunburn in this article, let's face it. We all know the sun burns our skin, and yet, time after time, we find ourselves out in its harmful rays without any protection on our skin. We have been told so many times to protect our skin, and yet we continue to get burnt and then complain. I'm guilty too! Just the other day, I went swimming and decided I would put off the lotion for just a few minutes. Well, those few minutes turned into a couple hours and before I knew it, I was cooked! Immediately, I went into a flurry of trying to save my burnt self from what was sure to be a disaster of ugly, scaly skin. Here is what I have learned about dealing with sunburn!
1. An Ounce of Prevention...
Ever had your mom tell you that quote? "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It's true! Use an ounce of sunscreen to keep from the pound or more of lotion and aloe you would use if you burned! Your best bet when dealing with sunburn is just to prevent sunburn from happening. Never go without your sunscreen, even if you feel like it's too cloudy to burn you or you won't be out in it long enough to harm. If you will be out in the sun for longer than ten minutes, put your sunscreen on!
2. Aloe Vera
For those of you who, like me, have to learn the hard way, I have one word: aloe. Aloe was God-given to aid in treating burns. That stuff is absolutely amazing! Put the bottle of aloe in the fridge and it will be nice and cool to help you while you're hurting. There is also a medicated aloe gel that has lidocaine and menthol in it. These are topical pain relievers and may I just say, you will fall in love! Aloe is nice, especially when paired with lidocaine!
Lavender has a calming aroma that aids in rest and sleep. It is put in baby wash to help the little ones sleep well. But did you know it has moisturizing, healing powers as well? It does! Find the purest form of lavender you can, whether in a milk bath, body wash, lotion or lavender tincture spray, and let your skin drink it up! Not only will you smell great, it will bring some much needed moisture to your dry, parched skin.
Oatmeal baths are another way to help with sunburnt skin. While oatmeal helps more with the itchiness associated with the latter part of sunburn, it is good to bathe in right from the start of your sunburn. Grab some Aveeno oatmeal bath, and get to soaking!
5. The Sooner, the Better
Don't wait until you're red and on fire to get to these steps. Immediately upon realizing you've made a mistake with the sun, start the treatment. Soak, slather and supply your skin with the list of ingredients above. Don't spare in anything! And don't wait!
6. Be Consistent
I read one commenter online that said, when referring to sunburn recovery, "Moisturize like it's your job." That's what you have to do! You can't apply lotion for one or two days and then be done. You have to aloe and moisturize non-stop for at the very least, a week, if not longer. The sun bakes out the moisture, and if you don't put it back in, you're asking for bad peeling. So, lotion, wash dishes and lotion again! Lotion, fill out some paperwork and lotion again! Keep it up!
7. Expect Peeling
Okay, I know, this sounds contradictory to my entire article, but when you sunburn, you essentially kill off a layer of skin. This layer of skin is going to have to peel away. This is how our body works. However, I have burnt and not followed these steps, and my peeling was much, much worse. This past time, I religiously followed these steps, and I had only a slight amount of peeling and have still been able to retain my color! I will say, too, that it is not recommended by dermatologists to peel your skin away. They say it is working as a bandage while the layer of skin beneath is healing completely. I found that the best way to deal with the peeling while it was happening was just to keep the lotion coming, so as to hide the ugly peels, until they came off in the shower. Sucks, I know. You just can't help but want to peel it all off!
Burning is not the way to go, but if you do end up dealing with sunburn, I guarantee these steps will make things as easy on your as can be! I have certainly learned my lesson about sunscreen, though! So what about you? What has been your experience with sunburn? I want to hear from you!