|Sunburn! Emergency Remedies|
|Written by Michelle Walker|
How to heal your sunburn when it’s too late for prevention.
It’s that time of year again! Warm breezes, beautiful beaches, plungeable pools and… sunburns? Of all the “s” words we want to say this season (like summer, sunshine and swimming), sunburn is definitely not one of them. Sunburns are nasty, red reminders that we should have paid more attention to the most important “s” word of the season: SPF. Unfortunately, if it’s already happened, you need to know what you can do to help your skin heal. Sure, there are those home treatments our mothers have kept in their arsenal of remedies, such as applying fresh aloe vera gel, a frozen cloth soaked in milk and even vinegar to soothe the irritation, but to help treat a sunburn we have to understand what it is and how it has affected the skin.
What Is Sunburn?
The honest answer is that sunburn begins as a tan – and is your skin’s worst enemy. A tan is the body responding to its exposure to UV rays, most commonly UVA and UVB rays (I call them “UV-Aging” or “UV-Burning” rays). These harmful rays penetrate the layers of the skin, prompting the skin to release pigment (or melanin) to protect itself. There comes a point in exposure when the amount of UV rays penetrating the skin are so abundant that the skin cannot release pigment fast enough to protect itself from the UV, resulting in a burn with signs of redness, inflammation, tenderness, peeling and even blistering. Sunburn is a severe injury to the skin that causes wrinkles and can significantly increase your risk of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.
The severity of the burn depends not only on how long you were exposed to the UV rays, but also how much pigment your body can create to protect itself. Darker skin types have the ability to create much more pigment than lighter skin types, which is why individuals with fair skin and light hair are at greater risk of burning faster and more aggressively than those with darker skin and hair.
Treating Your Sunburn
To effectively treat sunburn, we want to assist the skin in healing as much of the damage to its structures as we can by nourishing it with ingredients focused on repair, hydration and support. To soothe the redness and tenderness associated with a burn, we look to products that contain healing anti-inflammatories, such as the chamomile extract found in Kerstin Florian’s Capilar Essence and the lavender, chamomile and cucumber extracts in Dermalogica’s After Sun Repair, a soothing treatment balm that instantly comforts and helps to repair UV damage and restore lost moisture in the skin. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E provide a nutritive cocktail of essential components needed to support the skin in its healing process, such as the ones found in GlyMed’s Living Cell Clarifier. The renowned wound-healing benefits of arnica and horse chestnut help to speed up the skin’s recovery time and are found in products such as Eminence’s Organic Calm Skin Arnica Mask and GlyMed’s Arnica Cream. Remember, sunburned skin is fragile and more vulnerable to irritation than normal skin, so keep away from products containing harsh chemicals, perfumes and rough exfoliants, as well as repeated sun exposure!
After the Burn
Sunburn will eventually heal, but the damage to your skin it leaves is permanent. When all is said and done, the best remedy for sunburn is taking daily preventative measures to ensure that when you are exposed to the sun, your skin is protected by a liberal application of a broadspectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 20 or higher, and that you are re-applying it often.
Sunscreens that contain minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are some of the best full-spectrum sunscreens on the market, and are incorporated into makeup for even greater daily protection, such as the Jane Iredale Amazing Pressed and Loose Mineral Makeup Bases with SPF 20. Looking for a sun-kissed glow? Get your spray tan on instead with a sun-smart (and skin-safe!) St. Tropez Spray Tan at Casbah Day Spa. No matter the type, make sun prevention your must-have summer accessory… and stop that sunburn before it starts!
Our Skin Therapist Team at Casbah Day Spa is committed to providing an advanced, educated and customized approach to your skincare needs utilizing our VISIA Complexion Analysis Imaging. Book in for your FREE VISIA Complexion Analysis Consultation and enter to win our $200 Sun Smart Skincare Giveaway! Reserve today 604-542-4772.