Thought I better follow up from my previous blog post how I managed to burn myself so badly on a recent holiday and what I did next so as I didn’t end up with a permanent striped tan line down my forehead.
Sunburn is an inflammatory response in the skin triggered by direct DNA damage from UV radiation. I know we understand what sunburn is but if we just stop for a second and let that go down. UV RADIATION. We are allowing radiation into our bodies and cause havoc it’s not going to end well.
When the skin cells’ DNA is overly damaged by UV radiation, cell-death is triggered and the skin is replaced hence the peeling that comes after a sunburn.
Basically what we have done is cooked the cell so badly that is shriveling up and dies. When you burn the DNA part of the cell, you create damage that can be irreversible. That cell will never fully function correctly again and sets up a chance of cell mutiny – cancer.
When you get sunburnt you basically burn the skin from inside out. So the trick to healing the burn is to minimise to respond as quickly as possible.
Cold washes clothes are going to be your best friend. You need to get the heat out. Use a cold compress as much as you can and a gentle cold shower. NO HEAT! I placed a wet face washer over my forehead for most of the night – and kept replacing the washer with new cold ones. I was actually surprised how quickly the washer would heat up from the skin!
Aloe Vera is the absolute best you can get to treat sunburn it needs to be pure no chemist brought gel – because I can also guarantee you that there is not even 5% aloe vera in there.
My absolute go-to for any skin of sunburn or irrational on the skin is Medi Soothe.
I use it for all my kids and its amazing cooling ingredients of aloe vera and calendula.
I was silly enough not to have it in my travel bag and had improvised while on a boat with no access to pure Aloe Vera.
I went and got green tea and allowed it to cool and put my washer in the water. The antioxidants from the green tea started to feed the skin and begin the repair process.
Your skin is too fragile to handle any strong kind of active ingredients and can make the healing process longer than it needs to be. Avoid strong actives like Vitamin C and A and no type of acids – lactic, salicylic and glycolic. You can reintroduce these actives and acids a week or so after your skin is healed.
I had to completely strip back my routine and use just my cleanser, (I would of used Medi Soothe if I had any) B3 which is amazing for healing and rebuilding and mineral pro, my sunblock. I avoid all products that are too active. Your routine needs to be stripped bare and the using on calming soothing rebuilding ingredients. Vitamin B3, EFA’s (essential fatty acids) rosehip oil, Calendula and of course Aloe Vera.
It took me a good week before I could handle anything else on my skin.
If and when you start peeling rosehip oil or an essential fatty acid rich cream ONLY should be used, I would still avoid all exfoliation until the peeling has completely stopped. If you use an enzyme or granule exfoliant in this stage – your very new skin could scratch or sensitize the area. It’s just not worth.
Once the peeling stage has subsided and the rawness of the skin is going away, then actives can be reintroduced. BUT if you have been to our spa and been given actives you know that takes time to let your skin build back up to the level of use you may have once been at. So its really like starting again. Once a week, then twice a week, then 3 times as a gradual introduction is a much better approach.
Overall a really bad sunburn can take up to 2 months of love and care for your skin to be back to where you started! Now imagine if you burnt yourself more than once over summer!
How do you heal sunburn? What is your go-to trick?