We’ve all been there...you come home after a fun day at the beach, look in the mirror, and realize that you're pink with a sunburn. Not fun, and the most annoying part - it’s completely preventable. Sunburns accelerate skin aging and is the leading cause of most deadly skin cancers (your risk of developing melanoma doubles with a history of 5 or more sunburns). Here are some things you should know about sunburns:
- You can still burn when it’s cloudy outside
Even if the sun isn’t shining, up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate clouds. Which means you can absolutely still burn when there are clouds in the sky!
- Light sunburns are still bad
Even mild sunburns can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.
- Keep an eye on the UV index
Depending on the season, time of day, and location, the intensity of the sun can vary. A high UV index leads to faster and more severe sunburns, so avoid the sun when it’s at its highest. Tip: you can easily check the UV index in your area on the weather app on your phone!
- All sun exposure raises your risk
Even if you’re not prone to sunburns, the risk is still there. No matter how tan you are, repeated sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and premature aging.
So you have a sunburn, here’s how to properly treat it:
1. Cool shower
Take a cool bath or shower to cool down your skin! You can also use a cold compress to alleviate your discomfort and pain.
2. Soy and Aloe Vera moisturizer
Sunburns dry out your skin, so use a soy or aloe vera based moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated while it heals.
3. Drink extra water
Burns draw water to the skin’s surface and away from the skin, so it’s important to rehydrate by drinking lots of water and sports drinks filled with electrolytes.
4. Take Tylenol or Advil
Sunburns hurt - you can take a small dose of Tylenol and Advil to alleviate some of the pain.
5. Don't pop blisters
Whatever you do, don’t pop blisters. More severe sunburns can cause blisters, but don’t pop them - this can lead to infections and scarring.
6. Avoid sun exposure while healing
Stay completely out of the sun while you’re healing - wear UPF50+ clothing, wide brim hats, sunglasses, and seek shade whenever possible.
Sunburns are never fun, and they’re so easy to avoid! Here are some ways to cover up and keep your skin healthy:
1. Cover up with UPF50+ swimsuits and clothing.
2. Apply and reapply sunscreen to your face, neck, hands, feet, and hairline.
3. Wear a high SPF lip balm.
4. Protect your face with a wide brim hat.
5. Seek shade as much as possible.