Sweet, sweet summer time —the time of year that makes you feel like a kid again. Long days, warm air, and cool water bring about childhood memories, and a blank canvas to make more memories. However, summer fun often leads to sunburn (the not so fun part of all those summertime memories).
Sunburn affects all skin tones and types, but there are tons of tips out there on how to treat it. As we become more educated on skin care and sun safety, I’ve noticed that there is more and more emerging advice on how to avoid getting sunburned. I want to address tips on how to avoid sunburn and, because we know for some, it is an inevitable part of summer, I will include tips that I have found helpful in soothing a sunburn.
- HelioCare: I stumbled upon this hidden gem recently, and I can’t believe that I didn’t know about it sooner. It is a vegetarian dietary supplement that dermatologists have been recommending for over twenty years. It is made of FernBlock PLE and Calaguala Leaf Extract. These are antioxidants that protect and repair your skin from the damaging free radicals in the environment. You can take one a day as a supplement to help your skin protect itself and maintain a youthful appearance, or if you are going to be in the sun you can take one capsule every four hours to give your skin that added protection. This chemical free protection is from the inside out and does not wash or rub away. While it does help your skin fend off the harmful UV rays from the sun, it is still important to use other preventative measures to protect your skin, especially until you know how your skin may react. Remember to always consult your doctor before taking a new medication.
- Know your sunscreen: If you are going to apply a sunscreen, make sure that is broad spectrum. The sun emits UVA rays, which cause premature aging in the skin and UVB rays which can cause the skin to burn. Broad or Full Spectrum sunscreens protect you from both, and that is what you want! Physical sunscreens seem to do better on me personally. They use active minerals like Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide to create a barrier on the skin that deflects the sun’s rays. Physical sunscreens are also usually a broad spectrum product, but the down side is that they are thicker and more difficult to apply.
- Be aware of your medications, supplements, and essential oils. Sometimes it is what is on the inside causing the sun sensitivity. Sun sensitivity does not necessarily mean you sunburn easily. Excessive sun exposure can show itself in the form of an itchy rash on the skin. Certain medications that we take or oils that we apply to our skin can cause sun sensitivity. Some common medicines include, but are not limited to: oral contraceptives, antihistamines, sedatives, antibiotics, vitamins, diuretics, and pain relievers. If you aren’t sure about a medicine you are taking, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it has the potential to cause sun sensitivity. Essential oils that can cause sun sensitivity can include Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, and Bitter Orange. Remember, these can be hiding in your refreshing summer snack or drink too!
SOOTHING RELIEF TIPS
- Ibuprofen: If the pain is severe, an over the counter pain medicine like Ibuprofen will not only help the pain, but also has anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Remember to always consult your doctor before taking a new medication.
- Primrose Oil: Primrose is full of fatty acids and Omega 6’s. This is beneficial to all layers of the skin and not only soothes immediately, but also helps the skin repair itself faster. As a supplement, it heals from inside out and is great for the health and beauty of the skin. This is one that I personally love. Once I had a mild sunburn and I broke open one of my capsules, applied the oil directly to the sunburn and the next day I noticed a dramatic reduction in the redness of my skin. Normally it would take three to four days for me to see those types of results. You can also mix in one or two drops of peppermint oil for an instant cooling benefit.
- Milk: Apply cool, not cold mild directly to the sunburned skin. The fat content and protein is an anti-inflammatory and calms the irritated skin. This particular remedy is great for immediate relief, but isn’t going to provide long term relief.
- Aloe Vera: There is a reason some remedies have been used for a long time; they work! Aloe Vera is an age-old remedy that works by soothing the skin and giving immediate cooling relief.
- HelioCare: I listed this supplement under prevention and soothing relief because it not only helps the skin fight off damage, but if you are sunburned, you can continue taking the supplement even when your time in the sun is over and it helps the skin repair itself faster which translates to quicker relief for you.
Enjoy your summer and try not to get sunburned! Check us out next week to see what’s happening in Beauty and Wellness.
Do you have a beauty and/or wellness question, trend, or topic you would like to see discussed? Email Kelly at email@example.com.
Kelly Monroe is the owner & operator of a local Cosmetic and Skin Care Studio and a regular contributor to The Richmond Observer.
Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and information in this article are solely those of the writer based on personal research and experience and are not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The writer is not responsible for your use of the information contained or linked from this article.