We’ve all done it – forgotten to apply sunscreen or reapply after a workout session, stayed out in the sun just that little bit too long, and ended up looking like a cherry-red tomato.
Unprotected sun exposure, especially when it results in the skin burning, is so traumatic to our skin cells it results in both short-term and long-term damage.
Short-term is the red, sore, inflamed, traumatised skin, followed by skin peeling. Long-term damage can be anything from pigmentation, increased skin sensitivity, premature ageing, impaired immune system and of course, skin cancer.
If you’ve overdone it, here is what to do:
- Take cool baths or showers and avoid bath salts or bubble bath, using a gentle, soap-free body wash instead.
- Treat skin dehydration with spritz toners and serums containing hyaluronic acid – a great ingredient that can hold 1,000 times its own weight in moisture.
- Adding colloidal oatmeal into bath water will also help to reduce the redness and take down the heat and inflammation.
- Blot (don’t rub) your skin dry.
- Keep cold towels or compresses in the fridge and apply them to the ‘hot spots’ of your sunburn.
- Avoid applying greasy, heavy creams or oils as they can prevent the skin from cooling down and can make the situation worse. Use a soothing after-sun repair gel instead and apply it generously to the burnt, red areas.
- You can also spritz on an ultra-calming toner throughout the day to keep the skin cool and calm. Look for ingredients in your after-sun product such as clove, liquorice, lavender, cucumber and yucca to reduce irritation, pain and redness.
- I highly recommend products that contain an incredible ingredient called Japanese alder which accelerates the repair of UV-induced DNA damage. Couple this with ingredients such as algae and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate the skin and you should be well on your way to calmer skin.
So think twice next time you decide ‘just another ten minutes’ as your skin won’t thank you for it!