Burnt Out: Prevent and Treat Sunburn

in category of Health & Fitness, Abby Lee Hood


It’s getting progressively warmer and sunnier as we head into summer. We’re already donning swimsuits, self-tanner, and generally exposing ourselves to lots of sun every day. And while it’s great to get your daily dose of vitamin D, it’s also really unhealthy (and painful!) to get sunburned.

A sunburn causes UV damage, wrinkles, and skin cancer. For every sunburn you get, the risk of developing bad health and skin conditions later in life rises! Learn to avoid sunburn with a few tips, and if you do get burnt, read on for some effective ways to treat it!

Avoiding sunburn goes far beyond wearing SPF, but we’ll start off here. The SPF amounts in your makeup (you do wear makeup with SPF, right?) probably aren’t enough to protect your entire face for the entire day, so whatever moisturizer you wear should include it as well. If you wear sunscreen every day, you’re a lot les s likely to develop wrinkles, and if you do, you could be as old as sixty before they start showing up! Aim for SPF 30 if you have normal skin, or SPF 50 if you have acne-scarred skin.

You can also eat lots of lycopene. Yep, that thing tomatoes are so famous for. Turns out that this vitamin can help prevent sunburn! Mark’s Daily Apple, a lifestyle site, featured an article on sunburn, and here’s what it had to say on this subject:

“Healthy women, aged 21-47, who ate 55 g of tomato paste containing 16 mg of lycopene every day for 12 weeks experienced significant protection against acute – and potentially long term – sun damage.” (Read more @ Mark’s Daily Apple)

So it’s recommended to consume lots of lycopene, which is found in higher qualities in cooked tomatoes and tomato products, like paste, than in raw ones.

                You can also prevent sunburns with good clothing choices. Anytime you’re going to be in the sun for a long time, you need to wear protective clothing! Hats, headscarves, and sunglasses are all fashionable (that scarf better be tied really cute if you’re going to wear it on your head, though. Here’s a tutorial, just in case) ways to protect yourself from the sun. Headscarves can used to protect your head, neck, and face, or just your scalp where you part your hair. And since you can’t put SPF lotion in your hair, it’s a really great way to do that! Hats also protect your neck, face, and shoulders, and sunglasses protect your face (if you have the Paris Hilton type) and eyes.

Treating sunburn can be done effectively in many ways: with lotions, creams, etc. I find that aloe is the absolute best way to soothe burned skin; you can pick up large bottles of it for only dollars at places like Walmart and Walgreens.

But beyond just purchasing creams, there are also do DIY ways to treat sunburn. Michelle Phan ran a really great article on it. Here’s an excerpt:

1. Wear loose clothing. Your skin is trying to breathe and heal when it's burned, and your layers of skin need to be able to peel and rejuvenate with ease. Wearing constrictive clothing is both uncomfortable and counter-productive to the healing process.

2. Drink tons of water. You need to hydrate extra well to compensate for the dryness in your skin.

3. Aloe, aloe, aloe. Aloe is your best friend when you're burned! It's a super soother that you can apply for both instant and long-term burn relief.

Other ways of treating sunburn are by staying indoors, taking cool showers only, and by taking pain relievers if the burn is particularly uncomfortable. If you have a large amount of blisters from the burns present, you need to get to a hospital, because you may have sun poisoning!

As we all know, it can be very painful to have sunburn. That, among many health-related reasons, means that you should prevent them whenever possible! If you do get burned, take care of your skin until it’s good as new, and be sure to be more careful in the future. As always, stay out of those tanning beds, and happy summer!


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