Dealing with sunburns can be a painful experience, and a tad embarrassing if we’re being honest. No-one wants to walk around with peeling skin, or a two-toned complexion. and trying to save your skin from falling off your face isn’t as dramatic as you think it is.
Sunburns are common and our skin has a natural way of healing itself. But there are a few things we can do to help speed up the process and even prevent that grudging peeling process.
Here are 5 top tips to help alleviate sunburn and help your skin recover from sun damage.
1. Soothe your Skin
This is always my go-to step when my skin is experiencing some form of irritation. It is also what the skin needs to feel that immediate sense of relief.
There are two products that I use daily to help soothe irritated and inflamed skin and those are the Centella Asiatica extract from the One Thing, a new-ish K-Beaty brand on the market and the Avene Thermal Water mist, the OG water spritz that has become a staple to many of us who crave that extra layer of hydration and the ultimate refresher spray.
The One Thing Centella Asiatica Extract Review
Centella Asiática a.k.a tiger balm or cica in more mainstream skincare, is a calming ingredient which is perfect for those of us with sensitive skin or who are battling with redness and inflammation.
This ‘toner’ which is how I like to use it in my skincare routine, helps soothe irritation and actually fights any redness that my skin is experiencing. Whether you’re reacting to a skincare product or you’re dealing with sunburn, this ingredient does the most in calming down inflammation and having your skin look and feel soothed and less irritated.
Avene Thermal Spring Water Review
This is a lot more than just a ‘princess product.’
Mists have come to be an extra step rather than an important component in your skincare regimen. And I’m all about adopting a minimal skincare routine, but the Avene Thermal Spring Water mist has actually helped my skin barrier function recover from irritation and over exfoliation.
The calming and soothing abilities of the product not only hydrates the skin, but aids in water retention, keeping your skin plump and healthy. Especially during the summer months, the light mist is a perfect addition to all of us looking for light weight products that still do the job.
2. Regenerate your Skin with Retinoids and Antioxidants
Skin regeneration is key as we age, and being in the sun speeds up the ageing process. From fine lines to hyperpigmentation, the sun’s damage can often make us appear older than we are.
Having antioxidants in our skincare products help our skin fight free radicals in our environment and using a retinoid helps with cell turnover, so that our skin produces more collagen and beats the signs of ageing.
Kose 6-in-1 Clear Turn Sheet Mask Review
The number one selling sheet mask in Japan for, I don’t know how many years now, has become a hero product in my skincare routine.
It boasts a wide rage of antioxidants which help brighten the skin, and also contains retinyl palmitate, which is a retinoid esther, which will convert into our skin as retinoic acid.
Because this is a weaker form of the number of retinoids on the market, it’s more gentle on the skin but still aids in cell turnover when used over a period of time.
3. Exfoliate, Gently
We really want to break up that pigment that has formed from a damaging sunburning experience, but be careful not to do harsh exfoliants during this time that your skin is more sensitive.
Acid toners or chemical exfoliants can really help with hyperpigmentation but now’s not the time to go ham on acids. Be patient with your skin’s ability to heal itself.
Exfoliate once or twice a week and you’ll see your skin repair over time. Don’t over exfoliate to remove all traces of sunburn and further disrupt your skin barrier as this would cause an even bigger issue, specifically with sensitisation. Be gentle on your skin.
(I’m still experimenting with different forms of exfoliants so at the moment I have no product recommendations.)
4. Lock in Moisture with Occlusives
It’s no doubt that sunburn disrupts our skin barrier. Our skin texture becomes rough or patchy, there’s a warming sensation over the burnt areas which is often sore and could lead to mild headaches and we start to see the inevitable and undesirable pattern of hyperpigmentation forming maps on our skin.
It’s important that these areas are well nourished, soothed and hydrated at all times. Occlusive moisturises can really go along way in how these sunburnt areas look and also, how they feel.
Avene Cicalfate Repair Cream Review
The newest addition to my skincare routine and a surprisingly versatile skincare product, the Avene Cicalfate repair cream really does just that! It helps heal and repair any damage on the skin’s surface whether it be sunburn, dry patches or eczema.
It really is a wonder product especially for those of you who have dry skin or who are using retinoids and need that reparative element post-retinol use.
Apply a small amount of the cicalfate cream to the sunburnt areas on your face after you’ve moisturised to prevent water loss and keep those sensitive areas from drying out. Just another centella asiatica product to calm inflamed skin!
5. Re-apply Sunscreen throughout the Day
Arguably the most important step is to re-apply your spf throughout the day.
Most of us don’t wear enough sunscreen to begin with, and on top of that, we forget to re-apply it later on. But the only way to prevent sun damage is by wearing a high factor spf every single day and to make sure we are protected when our skin is exposed to the harmful UV rays.
We have to be even more diligent with our sunscreen application when we are experiencing sunburn so that we the hyperpigmentation doesn’t become any darker and that we don’t burn any further.
Make sure your sunscreen has a minimum of spf 30 for everyday use if you live in a climate with harsh UV rays like South Africa and Australia.
CosRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream spf50 Review
This is the second tube of the CosRx aloe soothing spf that I’m using and I bought it mainly because it’s cheaper than a lot of other spfs out there.
It has a slightly thicker consistency but it leaves a beautiful moisturising finish on the skin. I also feel like it preps the skin for make-up as it has a more smoothing effect after about 10 minutes.
It’s not my favourite K-Beauty sunscreen but for the price point, it’s a good budget buy. Would not recommend for people with oily skin.
Now I hope you have an amazing summer, or what’s left of it 🙂