If you spent the bank holiday outside enjoying the sunshine, there’s a big chance you may have got a little more than you bargained for. As we all know, sunny bank holidays are rare, so we’re not always fully prepared for them when they arrive.
Sun burn, isn’t just a little embarrassing, it’s also deeply damaging for the skin, and alters DNA expression so we’re then more susceptible to skin cancer later in life. While there’s a big conversation at the moment as to whether we need to be lathering up our limbs with such a lot of cream (as this can prevent absorption of vitamin D, block pores, and cause other illnesses due to the chemical ingredients in sun creams), it’s still important to stay protected.
If you didn’t apply sunscreen (check #36alive 148), then we’re here to help with 5 ways to cool and care for your sore, red skin, so you can head back out there with full confidence!
- Step 1: Take a cool shower. We’ve already spoken about the benefits of taking a COLD shower in #36alive 102 but splashing on some cool water can do wonders for calming the damage caused by soaking up too much sun. The cold water helps to lower levels of inflammation, decrease redness, and soothes that stinging feeling. Keep the burned parts underneath the running water for a few minutes, or if you don’t have time to shower, hold a cold flannel on the skin.
- Step 2: Apply Apple Cider Vinegar – A folk remedy many people swear by, Apple Cider Vinegar can quickly reduce stinging and redness from sunburn. Be sure to dilute the vinegar with water at a 1:3 (water to vinegar) ratio.
- Step 3: Try Tea – The tannic acid and theobromine in black tea helps remove he heat from sunburn, and catechins help repair skin damage. Brew a couple of tea bags and leave to cool. Once the water has cooled, dab the sunburnt skin with the tea bags. Don’t wash off the tea – leave it on the skin (preferably over night).
- Step 4: Add Aloe Vera – Used in traditional eastern medicine for treating constipation, skin disorders, infections, and as a natural remedy for colic, aloe vera gel is obtained from the cells within the leaf. It’s a very way to naturally calm and cool the skin, whilst promoting faster healing both on the skin’s surface, and just below. Apply this liberally a few times per day, especially after showering.
- Step 5: Drink Up. (And no, we’re not talking about alcohol!) – It’s likely you were enjoying a few beers in the sun when you got burned, but even if you consumed no alcohol at all over the weekend, it’s vital to increase your water intake. Spending a lot of time in the sun can dehydrate the body, leading to stiff, sore muscles and joints, delayed healing, brain fog, irritability, a build up of toxins in the bloodstream, compromised digestion, and yes, sunburn!
- Step 6: Natural Anti-Inflammatories – Consuming natural anti inflammatory foods can help reduce redness, swelling, heat and pain caused by sunburn, but can also aid in natural healing. Stay away from anti inflammatory medication as this can actually delay and prevent healing. Load up on blueberries, omega 3s like oily fish, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils like hemp and olive, eat lots of leafy greens, sprinkle food with cinnamon, ginger and turmeric with black pepper, and add oregano, basil and garlic to meals. Green tea also includes lots of polyphenols that limit free radical production.
- Step 7: Repeat! – Sunburn is likely to heal fully within a week, but in order to support the healing process, repeat the previous steps daily, and the redness will turn into healthy, tanned skin in no time!