If you’re vacation, or even just getting excited about the relatively mild winter we’ve had – in some places – then you’re probably equally amped to get some much needed sun. But you must proceed with caution.
Easing your skin back into average sun exposure takes time and dedication. If you’re not careful, you could be putting yourself at risk for a painful sunburn. Here’s what you can do to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays:
Always wear sunscreen
Of course, you already know you shouldn’t go outside without your sunscreen, and it’s true! This is your first layer of protection. Fortunately, this process doesn’t have to be so tedious as you can buy moisturizers and concealers that add an extra shield against the sun. Note, however, that these products shouldn’t be used as your only sun block, you still need your regular SPF 30, warned USA Today. Be sure to wait 15 minutes before going out in the sun once you’ve applied, and reapply every two hours. Set a reminder for yourself with your Baby-G watch with an alarm so you don’t risk a burn!
Consider your attire
The American Academy of Dermatology explained to properly protect your skin from sun damage you should also consider your clothing. You can still be in style while protecting your skin though, don’t worry. If you’ve always wanted a reason to wear a kimono, big sunglasses and wide-brimmed sun hat anyway, now’s your chance!
Get some shade
When in doubt, make sure you’re headed to the shade if you’re starting to feel the sun beating down on you a little too hard. UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. reported USA Today, so be particularly wary during this time. Also don’t let cloud cover fool you. The source explained that 80 percent of rays can still get through clouds, so don’t skip sunscreen just because you can’t see the sun.
USA Today also explained that the longer you’re in the sun, the more fluids rush to the skin to help keep it hydrated. This pulls them away from the rest of the body, which might be why you experience headaches if you’ve been in the heat too long. Keep a bottle of water by your side and stay well nourished to avoid that.
OK – you went a little too long without sun block, now what?
Don’t worry, this happens to the best of everyone. Depending on how much exposure you got you’ll likely be in some discomfort for anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. Once you have the burn, you can’t necessarily get rid of it, but you can certainly make it feel better, explained MedicineNet. But you can make it easier on yourself if you give one of these remedies a try:
- Cool compresses
Your skin is hot! Soothe it with a cool shower or bath, said MedicineNet. When you’re in the bath you can mix in one cup of cider vinegar, which helps even out the acid of sunburned skin, said the source. You can try dabbing a cold compress on your skin to make this a more more mobile option.
- Aloe lotions
Aloe is arguably the most well-known trick in the book. It’ll really help restore the moisture in your skin and reduce some of the pain, recommended Women’s Health.
- Avoid using scrubs
Women’s Health also explained that you’ll want to stick with heavy moisturizers and avoid using rough materials like loofahs or skin scrubs. Your skin needs all the moisture it can get, so using these with soap will only dry your skin out more and make matters worse.
- Cucumber mask
Nothing a good cucumber mask can’t fix! Try mashing chilled cucumbers to make a paste that your can rub onto the burned areas of your skin. And while you’re at it, throw some into a glass of water for overall refreshing hydration, said MedicineNet.
- Vitamin E supplements
Finally, don’t forget to take your vitamin E pills. You’ve already overdosed on the vitamin D, so this supplement will help get rid of the inflammation, reported the source.
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