Sunburn - we’ve all been there! Hot, red, uncomfortable skin and serious regret about skipping SPF. Read on for how to care for sun damaged skin and, more importantly, how to protect your skin to avoid it happening again.
How Sun Exposure Affects Skin
A tan might look good but it’s not a sign of skin health.
It’s much safer to get your sun-kissed glow from a bottle than spending hours in the sun. The damage UV rays do to your skin include:
Fine lines and wrinkles
Did you know research estimates up to 80% of premature ageing is caused by UV light?
UVA rays reach deep into the layers of skin where they damage collagen and elastin. This weakens the structure of the skin and leads to the premature appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Fine lines and wrinkles come to all of us eventually, but if you want to hold them off as long as possible (yes please!) daily 30+ SPF protection is a must.
Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes their colour. One of the main things to trigger your body to produce more melanin is sun exposure.
Dryness and irritation
The sun isn’t kind to your skin barrier. It depletes the moisture and essential fats in the outer layer of your skin (the barrier) leaving it looking dry and parched.
Flakiness, itchiness and a tight uncomfortable feeling are common when the skin gets this dry.
Skin cancer - including melanoma
Too much sun exposure doesn’t only mess with your best skin goals, it can have much more serious health effects.
The sun’s UV rays can damage the DNA in skin cells changing how the cells grow and divide. These changes can cause cells to become cancerous and potentially trigger dangerous melanoma.
Protecting Your Skin During Sun Exposure
Prevention really is better than cure. Protect your skin with these tips when enjoying a day outdoors!
Are you diligent with your daily application of SPF or a beach-only blocker?
Using sunscreen daily and remembering to reapply is your #1 defence against sun damage.
Always choose broad-spectrum SPF 30+ to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays and check the expiration date on sunscreen you’ve had for a while. Expired sunscreen won’t give you optimal protection and may cause irritation.
esmi’s Skin Shield Natural Face Sunscreen (SPF 30) is your skin’s antioxidant-infused, daily defence against the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays.
Cover up with a wide brim hat
Go the extra mile to protect your face, back of the neck, ears, and eyelids with a wide brim hat.
Your best choice is sunglasses with UVB and UVA protection. A good pair blocks 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays from reaching the skin and eyes.
Stay out of the sun during the hottest times of the day
Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. is when the sun is at its most intense heat. Try to stay in the shade and undercover during this time.
Drink plenty of water
Keeping your body hydrated is part of smart sun skin care too. If you’re headed to the beach, exercising or another outdoor adventure make sure you take plenty of water to sip throughout the day.
After Sun Skin Care Routine
Post-sun skin care is all about replenishing skin and helping it recover from the stress of UV light. After sun skin care products should focus on adding hydration, topping up antioxidants and, overall, being gentle with your skin.
Avoid any harsh or irritating cleansers or strong treatments to avoid stressing skin further.
Step 1: Cleanse
Use a gentle cleanser such as The Uncomplicated Cleanser to gently cleanse skin without stripping it of moisture and protective oils.
Step 2: Apply a hydrating mask
A super saturating and comforting mask treatment will help to replenish moisture lost during the day.
Give the Hyaluronic Booster Mask a try! It instantly boosts hydration with skin soaking hyaluronic acid while minerals, vitamins, and oils restore, protect and balance.
Step 3: Use a hydrating serum
Continue boosting moisture levels with a hydrating serum. We recommend Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum in your after sun care routine.
The key active ingredient in this skin soaker is hyaluronic acid which is critical for maintaining skin hydration and replenishing lost moisture.
Step 4: Moisturise
The final step in your after sun skin care routine is to moisturise with your choice of lotion, cream or facial oil.
Caring for Sunburned Skin
Sunburned skin needs extra TLC. Here’s how to care for sunburn immediately after sun exposure and over the following days.
Stay out of the sun and replenish lost hydration
Has your skin got that uh oh red glow? Time to get out of the sun immediately!
Reapply sunscreen and stick to shady spots or indoors for the coming days. Keep a bottle of water handy to sip frequency to replenish lost hydration.
Take a cool shower and avoid putting ice on your skin
How to reduce redness of sunburn? Rubbing ice on hot, uncomfortable skin for instant redness relief sure sounds tempting - but don’t do it.
Putting ice directly on the skin can cause even more damage. Instead, draw heat out of your body by having a cool shower. Applying a cool face cloth or compact to skin can also reduce redness.
In the days following, be gentle with your skin and let it heal.
Skip exfoliation treatments, like facial scrubs, chemical exfoliants, and enzymes and avoid waxing or shaving until your skin has recovered. These things will only further irritate tender, damaged skin.
A treatment we do recommend post sun exposure is the Anti-inflammation Mint Gel Booster Mask. It’s incredibly soothing and healing for sunburnt skin, instantly cooling the discomfort of red, irritated skin. The Tasmannia lanceolata extract provides powerful, skin rejuvenating antioxidant properties while aloe vera soothes.
Serious sunburn? See a medical professional ASAP
Serious sunburn can cause more than a red face and hot, uncomfortable skin. Severe sunburn can be accompanied by headache, fainting, vomiting, and a fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, please get yourself to a doctor or medical professional ASAP.
An easy-to-apply, non-greasy formula with additional anti-ageing benefits of carrot root oil, hyaluronic acid, and green tea for hydrated, smoother skin.
You might also like to read: