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7 ways on how to treat sun-damaged skin

treat sun-damaged skin

People enjoy the sun and outdoor activities during the warm season, often getting sunburned — and if not treated properly, sunburn can lead to severe skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. In fact, more than 1 out of every 3 adults reports getting sunburned each year.

And as temperatures climb, Google searches for «how to make a sunburn stop hurting» have jumped by +3650% in the past month, while searches for «how to soothe a sunburn» have gone up by +200%. 

Amid the news of the search spike, Angela Rosoff, a beauty expert at the face yoga app Luvly, shares her 7 main remedies to treat sun-damaged sunburned skin.

Sunburn SOS: 7 tips to soothe your sunburned skin
1. Soak the pain away
“Should you spend a little too long in the sun, head inside and take a cold shower to wash away any skin irritants such as chlorine or salt water. Then fill your bath with eight to ten black tea bags—or a cup of oats—and wait for the water to turn dark amber. With the water full of natural compounds known for reducing inflammation, a quick soak will make your skin feel better in no time. If that doesn’t work? Try green tea, matcha powder, or rice water,” — said Angela. 

2. Moisturize constantly
Angela added: “While your skin is still damp, apply a moisturizer containing aloe vera directly to the burn, allow it to soak in, then seal it in with a layer of fast-absorbing jojoba oil. Packed full of water and anti-inflammatory compounds, aloe vera is a powerful remedy against the aches and pains of sunburn. Keep a healthy stock in the fridge during the summer months, and reach for it whenever your skin gets hot, red, or dry. For the intimate areas that can’t be slathered in cream, such as your eyes or lips, don’t underestimate the soothing abilities of the humble cucumber slice.”

3. Ease the pain
According to Angela, at the first sign of sunburn, you should take an anti-inflammatory pain medication such as Ibuprofen. Not only will it provide immediate relief, but it will help to reduce the swelling to aid your skin’s recovery. 

4. Stay hydrated
“Sunburn often coincides with symptoms such as a dry mouth, fatigue, or lightheadedness. These are sure signs of dehydration, caused by moisture being drawn out of your body to treat the burns on your skin’s surface. A supply of ice-cold water and the occasional sports drink will help to rehydrate your body and replenish your electrolytes, easing your symptoms and speeding up your recovery.” — Angela stated.

5. Keep cool
Angela also mentioned that even sweating can make sunburn unbearable, so throw open the windows and doors and let cool air flood your room. Wear loose, breathable clothing made from cotton, linen, or silk—or nothing at all if you can—to let your skin breathe. If you have access to air conditioning, switch it to its coldest setting and point it directly at the burned area for extra relief. If it’s too hot inside, you might be tempted to sit out in the open air. Don’t. Even if you’re in the shade, the slightest bit of sun exposure will set your recovery back.

6. Avoid peeling and popping
“Your skin is bound to blister and peel. It’s your body’s way to keep the healthy skin underneath hydrated while it rids itself of the damaged cells. It’s essentially your own natural healing system—so, as uncomfortable as it is, you need to let your body get on with the job. Popping the blisters will only make the recovery more painful and expose your body to all sorts of harmful bacteria.” — said Angela

7. Protect yourself
Angela noted: “Too much exposure can leave you with far worse things to worry about than burns and blisters. Repeat sun damage can have irreversible ill effects on our skin, causing it to separate from the body’s tissue and sag, and our health, causing skin cancer. Treat your current suffering as a lesson learned. It’s important to protect your skin every time you go outside from here on out, incorporating a high-SPF sunscreen moisturizer into your daily skincare routine and wearing clothing that guards against UV rays.”

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