Your skin is tough but not invincible. The summer sun is warm but it does emit some harmful rays that can damage your skin and lead to unhealthy results. Here are some tips to keep you feeling warm but not toasted.
Preventing Sunburn This Summer
The sun provides light and heat for the earth and for our bodies. The sun is also an integral part of the workings of our body. The skin makes vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. That vitamin D in return helps to synthesize calcium.
But there is such thing as too much of a good thing. The sun emits ultraviolet rays UVA and UVB to be exact. These rays can penetrate the outer layer of the skin. UVB rays go through to the deepest layers of the dermis, causing damage to the cells there. This damage can lead to more serious conditions like the development of skin cancers.
If you love the sun, you don’t have to give that up just because of its effects. Protect yourself from the beginning so that sunburns are not an issue.
It is important to note that even when the sun is not shining, the rays are still being emitted through the clouds and also through windows of cars and buildings. So, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it can’t still be burning you. It may take a few hours for you to feel that you have been exposed.
- Wear sunscreen: Sunscreen allows certain rays of the sun to pass through almost like a screen. It protects the skin against the more harmful rays. So, if you are someone who likes to tan, you can still achieve this. Reapply sunscreen every two hours when you are in the sun for a prolonged period of time. If you plan on getting into the water, use waterproof sunscreen made especially for frequent swimming.
- Use sunblock: On the more delicate skin of young children, sunblock protects them from the harmful rays. Apply all over (except the face) before going out even if they are just playing in the sand. Sun protection is important even if you are not spending the day at the beach but weeding the garden or exercising.
- Avoid the hottest times of the day: The sun is hottest between 10 am and 4 pm. This is when the sun is at the highest points in the sky. When exercising, stick to the cooler temperatures of early morning or late afternoon.
- Dress in light-colored cotton clothing: Cotton breathes to prevent excess perspiration and the light color wont absorb sunlight so you stay cool. Covering exposed skin is a great way for preventing sunburn.
The sun is nice for you but not always nice to you if you aren’t prepared for it.
Home Skin Care for Sunburns
Hopefully, you will not get a bad sunburn this summer. But if you do, there are some things you can do at home to relieve the discomfort and help prevent peeling. Here are some tips.
- Time for Tea: Both black and green tea can help soothe skin. As soon as possible after you discover your sunburn, brew 4 to 6 cups of strong tea. Add this strong tea to a lukewarm bath and soak. You may want to do this tea treatment once a day for a few days. You can also apply cooled tea bags to the burn, or use cooled tea as a wash or lotion.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda has an interesting property – when mixed with water, a chemical reaction occurs that makes the mixture icy-cold, even if you use warm water. This cooling property can help relieve sunburn. You can mix a cupful or two of baking soda to a lukewarm bath for a soothing soak.
- Cooling Poultice: If your sunburn is over a fairly small area, you could apply a cooling mask or poultice. Plain yogurt and cucumber are said to be healing and cooling to sunburned skin. Blend peeled cucumber and plain yogurt in a blender until smooth. Add milk if you need to make it thinner. Apply this to burned skin and leave on for ten minutes or so, then rinse with lukewarm or cool water. You can repeat this several times a day if you need to, or leave the poultice on for longer if you like. As a variation, you can add sweet almond oil or coconut oil to the above mixture to add moisturizing properties to the poultice.
- Aloe Vera: The gel from aloe vera leaves is not only soothing for “regular” burns – it also can soothe burns caused by the sun. If you have an aloe plant, you can split the leaves lengthwise and spread the gel on burned skin. You can also purchase pure aloe vera gel, or moisturizers that contain it. Some experts suggest, though, that the “real thing” straight from the plant is best.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Do you have a bottle of this in your home? It is said to be very good for promoting the healing of sunburn. Pour a cup or so into a lukewarm bath and soak as often and as long as needed. Rinse gently with lukewarm water before you dry off. If the smell bothers you, try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your bath along with the vinegar. Lavender essential oil is said to be a good choice for soothing skin.