The summer sun is on its way. Protect your skin and soothe away any unwanted sunburn with our expert advice below.
As the weather warms up and weekends become filled with beach days, BBQs and lazy picnics, it's time to get back into the sunscreen routine. However, despite how committed you are to the mantra Slip Slop Slap, it's almost inevitable that you'll experience at least one case of sunburn throughout the summer months, so it's always a good idea to be prepared.
With extensive knowledge in the skin and beauty industries, I know firsthand the importance of protecting yourself against the harsh Aussie sun. But if you find you're looking more lobster than Brazilian model, I've put together a list of how you can beat the painful burn.
Like most other burns, when you get sunburnt, the first step is to remove the fire that is being held between the layers of the skin. This can be done by taking a cold shower or bath and although it’s uncomfortable, it will be worth it in the long run. Try to stay in the cool water for 2 minutes at a time. Alternatively, you can try an ice pack and calamine lotion to treat smaller areas.
Without water, your body’s immunity is significantly affected and after a long day in the sun, it’s more than likely that you are dehydrated. Compound the internal dehydration with sunburn and you’re probably going to be in a world of pain. Aim to drink 4-6 litres of water a day if you’ve been in the sun or are suffering from sunburn, as the H2O will help aid the healing process.
Hit the Fridge
While the skin is still pink, it’s important to apply cooling ingredients, as opposed to moisturisers, as the burn may still be settled in the skin (and we all know that fire and oils aren’t a good combination). Most people have a range of sunburn soothers in their fridge, like cucumber, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, oatmeal and potato. Simply chop some cucumber and potato up and rub on the skin or take a soak in a cool bath with oatmeal or vinegar.
Change Your Diet
Foods heavy in antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E support your repairing process from the inside out. So give your body some extra help when dealing with sunburn and up your intake of nuts, seeds, soy, tea, oranges and broccoli.
Once the redness starts to decline, usually within 12 hours of the burn, it’s time to try and support your body’s natural healing process by using cream-style moisturisers to reduce the skin tightness that comes with burn. These creams will also attempt to replenish the skin of some of the moisture that’s been lost and will help prevent peeling.
Obviously the best way to beat sunburn is to prevent it by investing in a quality sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and reapplying every two hours. Another tip is to get to know your body. Often if you’re starting to burn, you’ll get a range of physical warning signs such as skin redness, sweating, tingling, chills or itching. Once you’re in tune with these signs, you can identify when it’s time to get out of the sun and back inside to enjoy a drink in the comfort of the air conditioning.
This article was written by Julie Halkidis Head of Make-up & Hairdressing at The Australasian College Broadway.