You’re not careful for one short moment and hey presto, the oh so great sun wreaks havoc with your skin. In no time, shoulders and backs have turned red. Your skin tightens and begins to itch. Yes, whoever sits out, unprotected, for too long in the rays of the sun, has to deal with these unpleasant consequences. If you didn’t listen to mum’s wise words or stick to the shade, or just didn’t use sunscreen with a high enough SPF factor – using the words ‘I never get sunburnt’ – you’re quickly taught a lesson. It happens to everyone at some point, although circumstances vary. So that you don’t have to suffer too much, I’ve got a few tips for sunburn. Everyone makes mistakes in the end. ;)
Tips for sunburn
If you notice that sunburn is slowly but surely creeping across your skin, it’s best to leave the sun straight away. Protect the affected skin parts by putting something over them and find a shady spot or, even better, a sheltered room. Anything is better than continuing to lie in the sun and letting yourself burn even more. Once the damage to the skin has been done, the body can’t use its own repair mechanism to heal the affected areas.
But, even if the skin has already been burned, it’s not yet the end of the world. It all depends on the right aftercare. Generally first-degree sunburn, that is reddened skin, the skin feeling tight, and itching, doesn’t require a visit to the doctors for adults. The situation is different in the case of small children, as well as burns of the second or third degree, when the skin blisters and looks like it’s going to burst open. You probably already know the most popular tips for looking after first-degree sunburn. You have to cool the skin and keep it moisturised so make sure you drink a lot! But, it’s easier said than done.
Cool it down
It is extremely important that you cool the skin. Not only is the pain alleviated by the cooling effect, but it also keeps inflammation to a minimum. But be careful – cooling doesn’t mean freezing it! Lying tea towels soaked in water across your skin is particularly good, for example. However, you should avoid cool packs, ice cubes, and any other items that have been in the freezer for a long time. Absurd as this may seem, they can cause frostbite. If you get frostbite, the body’s own defence system is reduced and the healing process slows down. There is a difference of opinion over the effectiveness of yogurt compresses. Obviously, they have a pleasant cooling effect, which alleviates the pain, but they don’t have an anti-inflammatory effect. On the contrary, if there is a higher degree of burn, there is a danger that the bacteria in the milk products can cause bodily infections. So, keep away from Mum’s old home-made remedy and learn the following tips for sun burn off by heart.
The word we all hate…
The second golden rule to follow is keep the body full of moisture. When it’s burnt, the skin loses a lot of liquid, which the body needs to take back in as quickly as possible. Drinking water not only stimulates circulation, but also compensates for the loss of fluid. This means that the skin’s regeneration process gets started again more quickly. You even do some good for your skin by covering your burnt skin with thermal spring water spray. It relieves tight skin and, as some of you may already know, thermal water contains minerals, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Alternatively, if you don’t have thermal water to hand, you can mix 3-4 drops of lavender oil with cold mineral water, and spray it all over your skin. Lavender has antibacterial properties.
After Sun Care
You should use After Sun rather than your normal body lotions and creams, because the normal products can cause heat to build up. However, After Sun products cool and care for the skin with added moisture. I especially recommend gels and lotions, which are enriched with Aloe Vera. The gel, which is extracted from the leaves of the desert plant, is 90% water. The plant also contains 270 other minerals, vitamins and amino acids, which have a positive impact on skin regeneration. It calms the skin and replaces moisture. Aloe Vera even stimulates cell growth. I have another tip to add to the list! If you keep your After Sun in the fridge, you can look forward to an even stronger cooling effect.
Alternatively, if you can’t find any other cooling compresses, you can use cider vinegar. This contains organic acids, which support the regeneration of the skin’s hydrolipid film. If only small areas of your skin are burnt, you can carefully dab the affected parts with pieces of cotton wool. The best way to do this is using the ratio 1-2 tbsp. to 1 litre water.
The Power of Green
The same is true of green tea as well as products that contain green tea extracts. If you decide to use a tea-soaked compress, put it on for around 15-20 minutes. However, it is easier to use an After Sun, which is based on this type of tea. What effect does green tea have? The tea leaves are rich in tanning agents and polyphenols, which calm your skin. The tea rapidly alleviates redness and reduces cell damage.
Just promise me one thing – just because you now know about all these great tips, doesn’t mean that you can go and sit in the sun without any sunscreen. Sunburn always has the risk of doing enormous damage to the skin. So, always put lotion on, my lovelies!