Skin Nerd: Three easy steps to soothe sunburned skin

How to ease the pain of sunburn and what to do to prevent it from happening again
Skin Nerd: Three easy steps to soothe sunburned skin

Wearing a UV-protected SPF suncream is essential to prevent sunburn.

Feeling the burn? It’s not the heat of disapproval — honest! We all make mistakes but it is time to put your nerdie head on and do some damage limitation.

Overexposure to UV rays can cause permanent damage to skin cells. While some damage is repaired by the skin, a proportion remains and can lead to skin cancer later in life.

Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure but if the worst has happened you can minimise the impact by following these easy steps.

Cool down

Take the temperature of your skin down with a tepid shower or bath, and apply a cold compress to the skin. It may seem obvious but avoid a hot soak at this time as this may further irritate your skin.

Afterwards, gently pat skin dry rather than rubbing with a towel — gently does it is the way forward.

Opt for after-sun

Sunburn affects your skin in a similar way to a thermal burn from a heated object like a hot cooking pan. This means that hydrating your skin, and repairing its barrier is key.

Regular body lotions are unlikely to ease your symptoms, especially if they contain emollients or oil-based ingredients, which can trap heat.

Cool down sore skin with after-sun lotion that’s rich in soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, which has anti-inflammatory properties that help to calm and reduce redness.

Let your skin heal

Flaking and peeling are natural side-effects of burned skin and are an important part of its recovery process. When your skin flakes, do not pick at it, and avoid touching blisters. Strip back your skincare routine and resist the urge to wax, shave, or apply fake tan until your sunburn has completely healed as this may irritate the skin further.

Avoid scented products while your skin is sore and inflamed. Once skin has recovered, a vitamin A body oil can help to rehydrate and repair.

Cover up

While your skin is healing, do not exacerbate the damage with further sun exposure. Stay in the shade and cover the skin with loose, light
fabrics. Cotton clothing is ideal for letting the skin breathe.

Boost from the inside

Support your skin from within with a skin-boosting supplement such as Solgar’s Omega-3 Triple Strength supplement. Research suggests that essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 can accelerate wound healing by enhancing the inflammatory response in the skin. Omega-3 is also said to help with photoaging and skin ageing caused by UV exposure from sunlight, as fatty acids might be associated with skin’s photo-protection, according to a research study published in the American National Library of Medicine.

Solgar’s Omega-3 Triple Strength supplement, €40.25
Solgar’s Omega-3 Triple Strength supplement, €40.25

Don’t get burned twice

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland and nine out of 10 cases are caused by UV rays from the sun or sunbeds. Reduce your risk by applying and reapplying a high factor, broad-spectrum SPF daily, avoiding sunbathing in the middle of the day and covering yourself up with hats, sunglasses and protective clothing.

Check your skin regularly, and keep an eye out for any changes to moles or skin texture. If you are concerned, speak to your GP as soon as possible.

Nerdie pick

Kinvara Rosehip Active Day Cream

Kivara active rosehip day cream
Kivara active rosehip day cream

Pregnant hoomans must take extra care of what they use on their skin, but there are no such concerns with Kinvara Active Rosehip day cream. During pregnancy, your body temperature rises, meaning that you should avoid heavy-duty emollient products — instead opt for lightweight hydrators. This ultra-light cream is described as powered by plants and is packed with skin goodness in the form of omegas, hyaluronic acid, fatty acids, and minerals. It is pH-balanced, and ideal for anyone looking for nourishment without a greasy residue. It works well as a night cream but can be used in the daytime too — just remember to layer SPF on top! 

Kinvara Active Rosehip Day Cream, €25.95,

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