The Importance of After Sun Care
Protecting your skin with a high-factor sun protection cream is a must, with a SPF of 30 is being the preferred choice. However, the importance of using after-sun skincare products cannot be over-stressed.
The most common mistake made by many, is that after-sun lotion is a treatment for sunburn. It is not. And, if you have spent too long in the sun with your skin displaying the signs of burning: redness, pain, swelling and blistering; you will need far more than an after sun cream to undo the damage and heal the skin.
What Will After-Sun Products Do?
A good after-sun product will be highly-nourishing, enriched with minerals and vitamins to boost the dehydrated skin, plus it will aid the long-term health and welfare of your skin. When using a high-factor sun protection cream, you will find that small amounts of UVA and UVB are still likely to penetrate the skin, as sunscreen cannot deliver 100% protection from UV rays.
Research has shown that an SPF15 can filter out around 90% of UV rays, while an SPF25 or above, can screen 98%. This is not including the fact that many external factors can affect the protection given by the SPF; this includes the method of re-applying it after swimming or when perspiring.
Using after-sun really is an essential part of effective sun care routine and acts as a safety net if your application is less than perfect. Which is all fairness, time is sometimes an issue and when applying quickly, areas can be missed. Firstly it strengthens skin as it delivers much-needed anti-oxidants which will fight the free radicals who will appear after UV exposure. Secondly, a good after-sun will replace lost moisture from the skin’s surface, hydrating and feeding it, and can also aid cell regeneration. This will then encourage epidermal cell turnover to speed up and return to normal. Finally, after-sun will nourish the skin with all the nutrients lost when being exposed to the sun’s rays, plus it will help it to recover much quicker from the effects of UV rays.
Help! Sunburn Care?
Sometimes we are not always as careful as we should be, following a good sun care routine like the one listed above, as well as using a suitable SPF product, you should not suffer the effects of sunburn. If however, you do get burnt, then the following tips and advice will help:
I have noticeable reddening of my skin
Soothing and repairing professional and home care therapies are recommended. Do not apply ice-cold packs directly to the skin, talcum powder, or over-the-counter menthol and alcohol-based products. These options may provide initial relief but can cause more discomfort afterwards, and also dehydrate the skin with the consequence of delaying natural healing. Make sure to move indoors as UV rays can be reflected into shaded areas and can penetrate clothing. Apply a generous layer of soothing after-sun to the affected area. Make sure to avoid further exposure to the sun without a sun block.
I have a painful hot burning sensation and I’m not in the sun
Try soaking a clean, soft-textured cloth in cool water and apply to the area, renewing it regularly. If however the burning sensation and reddening are severe, try taking an aspirin or paracetamol. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic beverages, too much coffee and smoking. Professionally, it is advised to calm or soothe the skin with ingredients that include, Green Tea, Chamomile, Sorbitol, regenerating amino acids, and Water Lily extract for their cooling and anti-elastase (safeguarding against the decrease
in skin’s elasticity), anti-cyclooxygenase (to control prostaglandins involved in the inflammatory process), and anti-hyaluronidase (to combat the dehydration of the matrix moisture) effects.
My skin has blistered
Once skin has got to this stage, it is a serious case of sunburn and should be treated by a doctor. Cold compresses should be gently applied to the area until medical attention can be sought. Again, drink water to fight dehydration, and avoid further sun exposure.
Any skin which has been sunburned should not be exposed to the sun for at least 2 months and definitely not without sunscreen protection. Enjoying the sun is a pleasure, but make sure you give your skin some thought, as pleasure can easily turn into pain.
Think ahead, think beautiful skin.