• Editor

How to nourish sunburnt skin

While nobody hits the beach, or sits out in the sun at cricket or tennis with the goal of getting sunburned, it happens to the best of us.

Other than playing 'mum' to you because you forgot to put the sunscreen on with sufficient SPF factor, what other measures can you take to ease sunburn discomfort and help your skin bounce back to how it should be?

The moment you notice your skin getting a bit too pink

  • Seek shade immediately!

  • If you haven't already, apply a high SPF factor sunscreen (our experts recommend SPF30+) every hour to help minimise the burn.

  • Apply aloe vera to the affected area to relieve any discomfort.

  • Drink plenty of water to cool your body temperature.

  • Put on a hat, sunscreen and more clothing, if possible.

If you haven't got any of this with you, then go buy them! Right away. No excuses.

When you get home, take a lukewarm shower to release excess heat from your skin. Apply a gentle soothing agent followed by a rich hydrating cream. Take aspirin to relieve discomfort, if needed.

While your sunburn is healing, avoid direct sunlight and do not pick at your skin if it starts to peel. This helps protect the healthy skin and prevent discolouration. Eat water-rich foods high in antioxidants. Adjust your fitness routine to focus on exercises that minimise rubbing or discomfort. Steer clear of products with active ingredients, such as Retinol, AHA/BHAs, Vitamin C, Peptides, and Hydroquinone, until your skin recovers.

Less is best when dealing with a burn! Gently cleanse, tone and moisturise with a SPF during the day and generously apply a rich cream at night. Reapply your hydrating cream often if your skin is drinking it up.

If any peeling has occurred, use a higher SPF on those areas, as the new skin will be more delicate. Reintroduce the products you’ve put on hold, monitoring any unusual reactions. Set an appointment with your GP for a preventative skin cancer screening.

Before you head out for another day in the sun, ask yourself if it's really necessary. If the answer is 'yes', apply the appropriate amount of SPF (1 full shot glass for the body and 1 teaspoon for the face, neck and decollate) at least 30 minutes beforehand. Re-apply your SPF every 2 hours, and more frequently if you burn easily. Wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes and scalp.


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