So You Got a Sunburn…Now What?

“I have a sunburn. What now?”

It’s a good question, Calgary. In fact, it’s such a good question that, when I answered it the first time in my original blog, it landed me a spot on CTV live!

Because the emphasis is on “staycations” this summer due to COVID-19, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind. After all, how burned can you get in our own backyard, right? Wrong!

In light of needing to remain in our communities this summer, I’ve buckled down to update my original “So You Got a Sunburn… Now What?” guide to keep your skin glowing all summer long.

Sunburn Tip #1: Be Sun-Savvy

As mentioned in “Sun Protection: So Much More Than Sunscreen” published earlier this month, education is everything when it comes to sun protection. The days of thinking that you can slather on the after-sun and your skin won’t reap the detriments of a sunburn are, I hope, long gone: frequently applying high-quality mineral sunscreen, covering up when you can, and being mindful of the amount of time spent out in the sun are essential for sunburn prevention.

However, life happens, and I know that (regrettably!) sunburn prevention isn’t always achievable. All it takes is one missed application and boom, your skin is itchy, red, peeling, and damaged. While I stress that you bookmark this blog as a reminder to take your sun protection seriously, let’s move on to my top-recommended tips for how to best conduct damage control after a sunburn has occurred. 

Sunburn Tip #2: Stay Out of the Sun and Take a Cool Bath

If we burned our hand we wouldn’t stick it straight back into the fire, right? Think of sun exposure in the same way! Reapply your mineral sunscreen of choice consistently and take a cool bath to soothe your skin. 

A bonus pro tip? Add oatmeal to your bath for extra immediate sunburn relief. Adding colloidal oatmeal to your bath forms a protective barrier around your skin and retains moisture, effectively alleviating inflammation.

Sunburn Tip #3: Get Creative With Aloe Vera Gel Ice Cubes

Think ice cubes are a great idea for sunburn relief? Take it one step further by switching them out for aloe vera! 

Quick, easy, and effective, putting over-the-counter aloe vera gel in ice cube trays and, once frozen, slide them onto the affected area to both quicken healing time and provide short-term relief.

Sunburn Tip #4: Whip Out a Cool Compress and Take Some Over-the-Counter Ibuprofen

Sometimes, keeping it old-school with a cold compress and some Advil is the most effective route to minimizing discomfort post-sunburn: Advil acts as a pain reliever, while a cold compress applied to the affected area helps to alleviate redness and burning. 

My favourite back when I published the original this blog was Avene Thermal Spa Water, and that recommendation still stands! When sprayed on soft cotton compress, cooled, and then applied to sunburnt areas, this anti-inflammatory thermal water is my go-to for sunburn relief.

Sunburn Tip #5: Soothe Your Skin With an Emollient Cream and Stay Hydrated

Moisturizing parched, peeling, and itchy skin is crucial during the sunburn recovery process, so storing your emollient cream of choice in the fridge for that extra cooling sensation can’t be recommended enough. Simple? Perhaps, but it can’t be overstated! Staying moisturized topically and ensuring that you’re hydrating your body are key steps towards a quick healing process.

Sunburn Tip #6: Remember That the Best Vitamin D for You is Produced by Natural Sunlight

Vitamin D promotes healthy bones, a bolstered immune system, insulin level regulation, strong lung and cardiovascular health, and boosting one’s mood; your body absorbs Vitamin D best through sun exposure, not Vitamin D in foods, topicals, or supplements, so don’t avoid the sun just because you had a bad experience! Put today’s tips in your back pocket and go reap the benefits of Vitamin D this summer: you need only ten to fifteen minutes of exposure on a small area of your skin (even just the back of your hand!) to get all the Vitamin D you need for the day.

Prevent Sunburns by Being Sun Safe, Calgary!

Reach out to SkinScience Clinic today to set up a personal consultation or book an appointment to get summer-ready, and remember: enjoy summer responsibility! Your skin will thank you.

Sun Protection: So Much More Than Sunscreen

Calgary, it doesn’t matter if this summer is just going to be staycation-central due to COVID-19 because the sun still shines brightly over our big skies! 

That’s why, this July, we here at SkinScience are going to be detailing everything you could ever want to know about sun protection. Be sure to follow us on both Facebook and Instagram for science-backed sun protection factoids throughout the month, and keep reading to learn SkinScience Clinic’s sun protection tips, tricks, facts, and recommendations! 

SkinScience-Endorsed Sun Protection Tip of the Month: The Less Stuff You Put On Your Skin, the Better!

“Marie,” you may be thinking, “what in the world are you talking about?!” To which I’ll put it this way: one of the many well-documented topics in SkinScience’s blog section is the idea that, similarly to how you wouldn’t wear the same outfit through all four seasons, your at-home skin care routine needs to adapt accordingly to the weather. 

Meaning? That you shouldn’t be slathering your skin with heavy products; instead, keep it light and let your skin breathe by prioritizing your daytime skin care routine. Which ingredients? Well…

SkinScience-Endorsed Sun Protection Product Recommendations of the Month: Antioxidants and Mineral Sunscreens

Brace yourself for the truth bomb that is about to be dropped on you. Ready? Okay.

Some sunscreens trigger more wrinkles and fine lines than they prevent. Yes, really! We here at SkinScience Clinic know that it sounds unbelievable. The reasoning? Chemical SPF ingredients, namely Avobenzone and Octocrylene, may produce free radicals while they absorb UV rays. It’s crazy, we know! To dodge this skin care bullet, we highly recommend opting for a mineral sunscreen instead; your skin will thank you for picking one starring zinc oxide and titanium dioxide!

“What about antioxidants?” you may be wondering. Layering antioxidants in a serum beneath your sunscreen is a fantastic way to enhance your sunscreen’s protection while soothing inflammation, acne, or visible signs of aging. Depending on your skin’s needs, we here at SkinScience Clinic recommend that you choose one of the following to layer beneath your sunscreen of choice:

SkinScience-Endorsed Sun Protection Fact of the Month: The Difference Between Ultra Violet Rays (and Why it Matters!)

Not all sun protection is created equal: learning the difference between UVA, UVB, and UVC is crucial when contemplating your daily sun protection plan.

  • UVC: As strong cancer-causing UV rays, UVCs are (thankfully) absorbed by the ozone layer but can be found in man-made items such as sanitizing bulbs and mercury lamps.
  • UVB: the top cause of sunburns, brown spots and sun-related skin damage, UVBs can negatively impact unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes.
  • UVA: found both naturally and in tanning beds, UVAs penetrate both glass and clouds and are the chief perpetrator of visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and laxity.

The takeaway? Plan your sun protection regimen around what time of day you’re planning on heading out and how long you’ll be out for. With that being said, don’t skimp out on sunscreen just because you’ll be indoors: those aging rays can and will reach you, so slather on that sunscreen to save yourself grief in the long-run!

SkinScience-Endorsed Sun Protection Trick of the Month: Cover Up!

It’s so deceivingly simple, we know, but it’s one of Marie’s favourites! After all, think about it this way: the less stuff you put on your skin, the better. 

By covering up when you can (even if that means a cover-up when you’re not swimming or a wide-brimmed hat when you’re out in the garden), you dodge having to reapply your sunscreen as frequently as if you had no clothing protection at all.

In Short: Start Getting Serious About Your Sun Protection, Calgary!

Stay beautiful throughout your staycation this summer, Calgary, and be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs all about how to get the most out of your sun protection. Plus? Reach out today to talk to Marie Bertrand, SkinScience’s founder and skin care authority, or book one of our top-selling summer-ready dermaplaning treatments!