Basking in the warmth of the sun is one of the highlights of a South African summer, but sometimes, even with the best intentions and the reapplication of sunblock, your skin will end up bearing the brunt of the sun’s powerful rays.
Sunburn, when left untreated, can lead to discomfort and eventually, your skin will start peeling. Don’t fret, though. There are several effective methods to treat tanned or sunburned skin that promote healing:
Keep it cool
Aloe vera is a time-honoured remedy for sunburns due to its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying pure aloe vera gel directly to the affected areas helps cool the skin, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Consider keeping an aloe vera plant at home for a fresh and natural source of this miraculous gel.
Water your skin
Sunburns can dehydrate the skin, making it essential to replenish lost moisture. Drink plenty of water to hydrate from the inside out. Additionally, use a gentle, fragrance-free moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated externally. Look for products containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which attracts and retains moisture.
Lather on the oatmeal
Soaking in an oatmeal bath can provide relief for peeling sunburned skin. Oats have anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe irritation Grind a cup of plain oats into a fine powder and add it to a lukewarm bath. Soak for 15-20 minutes to alleviate discomfort and promote healing.
A cold compress can provide immediate relief for hot, sunburned skin. Place a clean cloth soaked in cold water on the affected areas for 15-20 minutes. Avoid using ice directly on the skin to prevent further damage. Repeat this process several times a day to reduce inflammation.
Very gentle exfoliation
Once the peeling phase begins, gentle exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells and promote new cell growth. Use a mild exfoliant or a soft brush to gently slough off peeling skin. Avoid aggressive scrubbing, as this may worsen irritation.
Prevention is better than cure
After a sunburn, it’s crucial to protect your skin from further damage. Avoid direct sun exposure, especially during peak hours, and use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF. Wearing loose, protective clothing can also shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Be patient with your skins recovery and the peeling will subside.
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