How To Treat Sunburn
Everything you should know about sunburn, what exactly is happening to the skin, how to treat it, and how to prevent it.
We all know the importance of sun protection. The immediate symptoms of a sunburn are only temporary, but the damage usually is permanent, long-term, and can emerge years later.
A sunburn is a form of ultraviolet (UV) radiation burn on the skin, it’s usually from the sun or artificial sources. The sun emits three kinds of UV radiation – UVA, B, and C. UVC is mostly absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere, but UVA and B rays reach the ground and can penetrate unprotected skin. UVB penetrates the epidermis, the top layer of the skin, while UVA goes deeper into the skin.
Not only you will feel immediate pain and discomfort on your skin, but also sunburn causes long-lasting damage to your skin. Sunburns contribute to premature aging in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and sunspots. They also play a major role in the development of skin cancer.
How To Protect Your Skin
There are several ways that you can protect your skin before, during, and after sun exposure.
Before Sun Exposure
Always apply a mineral (physical) sunscreen SPF of 30+. SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”. We advise to apply at least one teaspoon of sunscreen for each area of your body to keep it sufficiently protected – and don’t forget ears, the back of the neck and the hands.
During Sun Exposure
Suncare doesn’t stop once you’ve applied sunscreen. To avoid sun damage, it’s crucial that you continue to protect your skin throughout the day. Seek shade between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM, when UV rays are at their most intense. The UV rays can reflect from water, snow, and sand, which will increase the risk of sunburn. Cover up with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protective Factor) 40 or more. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, or after 40 minutes if you’re swimming or sweating. Head indoors at the first sign of sunburn.
What Helps Sunburn after sun exposure?
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water and eat lots of hydrating fruits and vegetables like cucumber, watermelon and cantaloupe. Apply a deeply hydrating serum like Eminence Organics Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum to replenish dehydrated skin.
Cool Your Skin Down: Take a cool bath or shower to soothe redness and dryness – but skip the soap, which can irritate scorched skin. Apply a cold compress to the burn. Pour water and ice into a bowl, soak a cloth in the liquid and hold it over the burn, it will minimize swelling.
Soothe & Repair Red, Dry Skin: Apply moisturizing oils and lotions that include soothing ingredients such as rosemary, arnica, rosehip and stone crop. Do not use any products containing petroleum, an ingredient that can lock in heat and will make your symptoms worse.
We highly recommend Eminence Organics Skin Care Rosehip & Lemongrass Soothing Hydrator and Rosehip & Lemongrass Repair Balm to relieve red, dry skin. Apply the lightweight hydrator from head to toe, then layer the balm to zero in on areas needing extra attention, like the nose and cheeks. Both products include a Natural Repair Complex derived from rosehip and rosemary which is formulated to repair and protect dry skin that has been exposed to the elements.
Don’t Pick: It’s already shedding on its own. As your skin heals, healthy skin cells rise to the surface and the damaged skin cells are become flaky and peel off. These new cells are delicate and very sensitive to irritation. Scratching and picking will only make the sunburn worse.
Apply A Vitamin C Serum: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage. It also promotes collagen production in the skin, helping to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
UV radiation damages cellular macromolecules indirectly, through the production of oxidative free radicals. Unstable and highly reactive molecules that cause damage to structural proteins like collagen and elastin. Without a stable structure, the skin loses the volume, density, and bounce associated with a youthful complexion. You can minimize the visible signs of sun exposure by adding a Vitamin C serum to your skincare routine. We recommend you Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum which enhances the benefits of Vitamin C with antioxidant-rich leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli sprouts.
If you have any questions about sun protection, sunburn, or skincare in general, please contact us directly. At Magic Laser and Aesthetics, in Toronto, ON, we are specialized in skin care and laser treatments and ensure to take the time to educate our clients on safe and effective skin health.