Ah, that fun-filled, well-deserved vacation you spent on the beach! Remember it? The food! The scenery! The incredible sunburn that was so bad you thought you might have to go to the hospital and which ruined your entire trip on the very first day and now whenever you think of that trip that’s all you remember and…well, you get the idea! Nothing is more painful, or ruins a vacation - or even just a nice day out- than a bad sunburn, which is why we’re discussing sunburn relief for your skin. In addition to offering some natural remedies, we’ll discuss how you can prevent sunburn in the first place and go over some great vegan after-sun products we think you’ll like.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: The best way to deal with the sun is not to get a sunburn to begin with- but if you do, there are some easy ways, from natural cures to products on the shelves, to help that pain go away!
Good to Know: When it comes to curing the pain of a bad sunburn, aloe vera and vitamin E are your two best friends!
How to Prevent Sunburn
Of course, the easiest way to deal with a sunburn is not to get one in the first place! This is especially important for those of us that burn easily and severely. We have a staff member who jokes that she could get a burn from a hi-watt bulb, and while that may be an exaggeration, it is important to take steps to stop the sun from harming your skin (and ruining that vacation!).
Here are some easy ways to prevent a sunburn in the first place.
Given how well a good sunblock will help keep your skin looking young and healthy, it’s astounding how few people really bother to use one. That said, using a sunblock correctly is the key to making sure it’s effective. For starters, make sure you’re using a regular skin care routine that promotes healthy skin, as that will allow your sunblock to be more effective.
Once your skin is clean and dry, make sure you apply sunscreen liberally and evenly over your entire face (it’s really important not to miss any spots!). Make sure that once you’re out of doors, you reapply every few hours, especially if you’ve been perspiring as your sunscreen will likely come off with the sweat.
We know, you’ve spent all winter on the lookout for the world’s cutest bikini, but unless you want to end up with a sunburn, go back online and find a coverup to go with it. If you’re really worried about sun damage or just burn really easily, consider investing in a few pieces of UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing which will help prevent some sun from getting through to the skin.
Yes, we said use an umbrella in the sun, especially one that has a UPF. That said, any umbrella is better than no umbrella at all so if you can’t find one with sun protection, just pick up a regular umbrella or even a parasol. While you’re at it, treat yourself to a hat with a big rim for extra protection.
Watch What Time of Day You Go Outside
The sun is at its most intense right in the middle of the day so take extra care to either not go outside then or to at least give your skin a little extra dose of sunblock!
Natural Sunburn Relief for Your Skin
So, let’s say it’s a cloudy day out at the beach, so you don’t wear SPF or use an umbrella- because the sun isn’t hitting you directly, right? Unfortunately, you can still get a terrible sunburn, as up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can still reach you through clouds and fog. Here is are some natural remedies you can try to help ease the discomfort of your sunburn:
- Use aloe vera - If you’re a regular reader of our blogs or just someone who’s into natural healing methods, then you know what a soothing, healing ingredient aloe vera is. All you need to do is break open a leaf of an aloe vera plant and scoop out a little of the gel it secretes. Apply that gel–gently–to the affected area to help calm your skin. If you have your own aloe vera plant, put it in the fridge for extra cooling relief.
- Take a cool bath - Not only is a cool bath literally soothing to a bad sunburn, it’s psychologically soothing as well. Just make sure you don’t put in any potential irritants like bubble bath to make a bad situation worse.
- Apply vitamin E - Vitamin E is incredibly soothing to the skin and is easily available in natural food stores. Gently apply a thin layer of vitamin E to the skin after a sunburn and we think you’ll find relief.
Products to Relieve Sunburn
In case it’s easier to get to the drugstore than the plant nursery, there are some great products out there to help ease the pain of a bad sunburn. Keep in mind, none of these will prevent sunburn or even protect you in any way from getting one. They’ll just help offer some relief if you do!
Sun Bum: Cool Down
Twelve bucks is a small price to pay for relief from a sunburn which is why we love this product. With both aloe vera and vitamin E, this after-sun lotion not only helps soothe the skin after a bad burn, it purports to help preserve your tan. Not only that, it’s vegan as are all the choices here.
Kinfield: Sunday Spray
Sometimes after a bad burn you just need quick relief which is why we love Kinfield’s Sunday Spray. Don’t let the fact that it contains something called Californian prickly pear deter you–it’s actually a wonderfully soothing ingredient.
Stream2Sea: Sun & Sting Relief Gel
This wonderful, non-greasy gel will not only relieve your skin from sunburn, it will relieve it from a lot of other things like insect bites, windburn, and even jellyfish stings. If you love spending time outdoors, you should probably invest in a bottle!
Pacifica: Coconut Vanilla After Sun Body Spray
It’s a terrible idea to apply any kind of potentially irritating fragrance on a sunburn but it drives you crazy not to wear fragrance, this is your solution! Gently scented with coconut and vanilla, this after sun body spray claims to cool down your skin after a burn.
What Not to Do For a Sunburn
Just as there are some easy remedies for sunburn relief, there are also some real no-nos when it comes to taking care of sunburn aftermath. Here are a few things NOT to do!
- Do NOT put butter on a sunburn - This is an old wives’ tale our parents and grandparents believed in and not only does it not work, it can make the problem a lot worse as it will actually delay healing.
- Do not “pick” at your skin - Don’t add salt to the wound of a sunburn by picking or peeling your skin after a sunburn. It can cause scarring or worse–even infection!
- Do not go back in the sun - Having a hair of the dog that bit you doesn’t really work for hangovers and it sure as heck doesn’t work for sunburns. Once you have a bad one, stay out of the sun until it’s fully healed (and even then, be careful!).
We may not have convinced you to completely avoid the sun, but we hope we’ve at least shown you how to deal with it if you do become sunburnt!
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