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Jul 07.18

Sunburn 911: Tips for Prevention and Treatment

Posted In: LUSH Life >> Tips and Tricks

Soothing sunburn relief from LUSH

Like most people this summer, we’ve been outside a lot lately getting sunshine and fresh air.

There's nothing like spending a glorious day outside! But all too quickly, the sun’s kiss can turn into a bite. When it’s sunburned, our skin reddens and become sensitive to touch. Since top layers have literally been burned by overexposure to powerful rays, it’s deprived of nutrients and hydration - literally zapped dry. Skin can feel hot and sensitive when touched, and more severe burns can blister and be accompanied by headache and fever, or even contribute to sunstroke. In most cases of mild sunburn, within a few days new skin cells emerge in fresher layers, and the sunburned skin flakes off in a tell-tale mess.

Even worse news: Sunburns damage in the moment, as well as in the long run. Repeated damage to skin cells through sunburns wears them out over time. It weakens skin’s elasticity and our ability to fend off attacks from free radicals. So not only will skin age faster, but becomes more vulnerable to damage and especially skin cancer down the road.

We not judging, we’ve been burned too. So while we have a few suggestions for prevention, read on for solutions that will ease scorched skin. When that’s the case, a little TLC (Tender LUSH Care) spells relief right away.

Soak Up Some Prevention

Prevention is the name of the game, which is especially true with sunburns! If you're really sensitive to the sun, it’s best to stay indoors mid-day to avoid it, or seek shade where you can outside. Or, bring it along with you by toting a parasol!

When you know you’ll be outside take a few precautions:

Exposed skin will still need reinforcement. Right on top of your skin is the first opportunity for this with sunscreen, especially one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and with a higher SPF for longer protection. Available in a variety of formats ranging from spray-on to sprinkle-on, and tried and true slathering-on, sunscreen is skin’s first defense against the elements.

Covering up will bulk up that defense. Sure, sunglasses make you more comfortable and look good, but quality lenses also block out damaging rays from the eye area as well. The same goes for protecting the scalp and head under a wide-brimmed or full-coverage hat. Few things antagonize like a sunburned scalp - ouch! You can even wear sunscreen in your clothes and swimwear for maximum protection. A company called Coolibar has you covered, so to speak, with sun-protective clothing for your next sun-soaked excursion. 

Eat your fruits and veg. Interestingly, eating lots of fresh, brightly colored fruits and vegetables can help your skin rev up its defenses from the inside, as you’re ingesting the same nutrients the produce uses to protect itself from sun damage while it’s growing. Lycopene, the anti-oxidant that also lends red color to fruits and veggies like tomatoes, is thought to increase internal protection from the sun, but not make you invisible to it of course.

Nursing Your Sunburn

Even the most careful can suffer from time to time, especially in locations that are higher altitudes or closer to the equator, where the rays can be strongest. So what’s a sore body to do? Luckily, LUSH can really help here, and so can some ingredients from your kitchen cabinet.

Soaking in a room-temperature bath can get the healing process started, and relieve initial discomfort. Happy Blooming is our pick for the bath melt to use with its blend of conditioning cocoa butter and calming calamine. These ingredients are used to cool the skin and any stinging associated with it, as calamine powder is a great anti-inflammatory agent. The cheerful cherry and passionfruit scent of this bath melt will remind you of sweet reasons to get back in the sun again (better protected, hopefully).

Use Dreamwash for sunburn relief

Skin loses moisture and minerals when it’s sunburned, so add those things back in by masking skin with fresh seaweed-rich products like Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask, or Aqua Marina cleansing roll. While each is different, they do have in common a calamine base to reduce redness, and a lot of seaweed which to dose skin in minerals. Covering skin in these ingredients for a few minutes before washing off maximizes their cooling properties. Dreamwash shower smoothie can also be used all over the body, providing similar relief with calamine, coconut oil and aloe vera.

Mineral-rich Aqua Marina is calming and soothing for sunburns

If you can’t get your hands on LUSH skin care when you need it, grab a raw potato and slice it up or grate it. Applying a layer of taters to the affected area will cool inflammation and ease pain topically, thanks to the starch in them. If you’re plum out of potatoes, laying cool damp wash cloths over sunburned skin will help ease the discomfort and sting.

Peeling skin is the natural last stage of your sunburn and new emerging skin needs attention. Oats are time-tested ingredients that help restore skin after sunburn, having been used for hundreds of years for a lot more than just breakfast! Dream Cream’s beloved formula has been invoked for all sorts of skin relief thanks to each batch full of soothing, gentle oatmilk which nourishes skin in a light, protective film. Skin cells are nurtured back to a good state, while skin also benefits from the properties of essential oils like chamomile and lavender.

Cosmetic Lad: Soothing skincare for sunburn relief

For the face, our skin-saving moisturizer Cosmetic Lad is a restorative picnic of lavender honey, aloe vera, and fresh wheatgrass - a very effective combo for the face suffering a sunburn. The ingredients can be extremely soothing in the moment, calming inflammation and irritation, while working in deeper layers of the skin to promote its best functions so you can put your best face forward again soon enough.

The days are still long and the sunshine is calling us all to come play, and we of course want to answer! Bringing a bit of precaution to the party can keep skin happy, now and later on as you age. Avoiding sunburns now is like contributing to a savings account; your skin will look better for it, and that, along with sparing the pain and discomfort of a sunburn, is well worth the investment on your part. You’ll thank yourself later! 

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