After what seems like a very, very long, dark period of time known as Winter—we can’t help but get excited to soak up some rays. Most of the time we foolishly soak up those rays, because the sun ain’t gonna burn us that badly.
HA HA HA!
If you’ve neglected your sunscreen—or weren’t mindful of re-application-- and burnt yourself to a crisp, you’ve probably done anything to get rid of that stinging pain. You might be making things worst.
Dr. Sheel Desai Solomon, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Preston Dermatology, has this list of things to avoid after a bad sunburn.
Some cologne may contain ingredients that make you more prone to burning. "Oil of bergamot is especially notorious for this," explains Dr. Solomon "and can cause a severe, blistering reaction when it's on your skin and exposed to the sun. Other perfume ingredients and essential oils, like rosemary and lavender oils, can make your skin more sensitive to the rays, too, Dr. Solomon adds. To play it safe, avoid spraying any scents onto your skin before you go outside.
Taking an anti-inflammatory medication, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help soothe your skin once you're sunburned. However, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen, can also leave you more vulnerable to getting burned in the first place. However, NSAIDs aren't the only ones that can raise your risk of getting fried. Topical acne medications like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, antihistamines, antibiotics-- even OTC supplements like St. John's Wort can make you burn more easily. Avoiding direct sunlight after applying or taking these medications is your best bet, but if you need to head outside, protect your skin with SPF 30 sunscreen and covering up with long sleeves, hats.
Taking Hot Showers
When your skin gets a little too toasted, you may notice that it tends to feel dry as it heals. Even if you're not in physical pain, taking hot showers can strip your skin of essential oils, which can dry it out even further and make it more sensitive. While cold showers typically feel uncomfortable, sticking to lukewarm or cool showers when you're burned will ease discomfort. The temperature should be no warmer than what you would expect from a heated pool, which is around 84 degrees.
Wearing Tight Clothing
Wearing tight clothing over sunburnt skin is not advised, because inflammation is setting in. This results in redness, warmth, and inflammation to the area. Wearing tight clothes could amplify the response, which could lead to more intense swelling and blisters. Alternatively, you can avoid sunburns altogether and use the best sunscreen for your skin type.
Don't Use Scented Aloe
Aloe has anti-inflammatory properties and is suitable for your skin after you get a sunburn. However, using a scented aloe can irritate the skin even more. Use a fragrance-free aloe or using aloe directly from an aloe plant.
Don't Cover that Burn With Makeup
Even though your sunburn might look bad, avoid covering it up with makeup. "The only way the burn will heal is if you let your skin breathe," says Dr. Solomon.
Don't Pop Your Blisters
Similar to not peeling your skin, you should never pop blisters. "That extra bubble of skin serves a fundamental purpose in protecting the wound," says Dr. Solomon.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Sunburns dehydrate you from the inside out, so you really should be drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to rejuvenate the skin.
While scrubbing dead skin off your body helps to you then the skin, it's one of the worst things you can do on a sunburn. When your skin is burnt from the sun, exfoliating only exposes the damaged layer of skin, even more, causing pain and further irritation. Instead, use a gentle moisturizer or mask to treat damaged skin.
Don't Use Coconut Oil or Butter
You may have heard before that lathering butter or coconut oil will soothe your burn, but it's a myth. The skin is hot and needs to cool down, applying a fat-based product onto your skin will not only clog the pores and stop the healing process, but it might also aggravate inflammation.
Crack Wise-dom: And if you’re planning on soaking up the sun in the buff, sunscreen all your parts. You don’t want blisters and peeling and stinging from that…
Haus of V is a creative collective that shares a similar mindset -- with a twist.