10 Natural After-Sun Skin Soothers
You’ve got to get a little, get a little every day,
You get sunburn, right away.
Your body’s brown as a berry but you can’t lie down…
Better let yourself cool down
(Sunburn by Graham Giulman)
Admit it, the sting of the summer sun is burnt into your memory just as this song from 1979 is in mine. And yet, we still manage to get a little too much sun and our poor skin is literally a hot mess.
It doesn’t take too long
When you find out you’ve done it wrong
You’ve gone a bit further than you wanted to
Here’s what you gotta do…
Aloe vera - This one is a popular after-sun go to, but do you understand why? Here is a little science behind one of nature’s best medicinal plants:
- Reduces inflammation: Aloe has several ingredients that reduce the pain, redness, and swelling associated with inflammation from sunburn. First, aloe vera inhibits the cyclooxygenase pathway, which creates an anti-inflammatory effect. The plant also contains bradykinase, which reduces inflammation when applied topically.
Stimulates collagen production: Aloe can improve the feel and appearance of sunburn through stimulating the production of collagen, which improves skin firmness, dryness, and elasticity.
Moisturises skin: Aloe contains substances called mucopolysaccharides, which are sugars that help retain moisture in your skin. It also contains a number of amino acids, which soften hardened skin cells.
Contains salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is both an anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic, which means it can ease pain while also preventing infection.
Contains vitamins: Aloe has numerous vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E, which are antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals to decrease sun damage.
Lavender oil - Essential oils like lavender can also help to speed up recovery after sunburn. Dilute and mix in a bottle of water and spritz on the skin as needed
Oatmeal - Finely ground oatmeal (sold as colloidal oatmeal) works as an anti-inflammatory when mixed with bath water. Make your own by pulverizing a cup of instant or slow-cooking oatmeal in a blender or food processor until it has a smooth, fine consistency. Pour into tepid bath water and soak.
Witch Hazel - Wet a washcloth or cotton gauze with this anti-inflammatory astringent and apply to the skin three or four times a day for 20 minutes to minimize pain and itching.
Milk - Place a washcloth or cotton gauze soaked in cool milk on the reddened area to create a protein film that eases discomfort and reduces heat.
Baking Soda or Cornstarch - Soaking in bathwater mixed with baking soda or cornstarch can relieve inflammation and itching.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Acetic acid in vinegar alleviates pain, itching, and inflammation. Pour one cup of white cider vinegar into tepid bath water and soak.
Ice-cold water is also an option - Pour water and ice into a bowl, soak a cloth in the liquid, and place it over the burn. Repeat this process every few minutes as the cloth warms. Apply the compress several times a day for 10 to 15 minutes
Tame it with tea- The tannic acid in green and black tea may help pull heat from a sunburn, while catechins (an antioxidant compound) repair skin damage, research shows. This can be particularly helpful if you’re burned around your sensitive eye area. Simply soak two tea bags in cool water and place them on top of closed eyes to decrease swelling and help relieve pain.
Load up on water - You need to drink plenty of water to help counteract the drying effects of a sunburn. But if you can’t guzzle fast enough, snack on hydrating fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, cucumber, strawberries, tomatoes and rockmelon - all of which are more than 90% water
FAQ: Can I use Aussie Bronze Tan with my sunscreen?
Yes! Apply your sunscreen first and then your Aussie Bronze for an instant golden glow!
Sunburn by Graham Giulman