You may be one who constantly applies (and reapplies!) all the sunscreen in the world, but life still happens! Sometimes you fall asleep under the sun or rush out the door without your daily dose of SPF. And when these moments happen, you need a back-up plan. So, when you’re stuck with a sunburn, here are some steps you can take to alleviate the discomfort and heal your skin.
1. Hydrate the skin
When it comes to a sunburn, you need to hydrate the skin and lay off harsher skincare products (no retinoid, sugar scrubs, alcohol-based toners, or products containing salt). The hydrating process can start from the inside out! By drinking a ton of water, you can easily replenish the fluids your body drew to the skin’s surface to heal. This can lessen the dehydration and also help start the recovery process.
Additionally, using nutrient-rich oils will be soothing and hydrating. You should continue to drink a ton of water AND moisturize the skin well throughout the recovery process — not just in the beginning. As new skin starts to form, it’s crucial to add and retain moisture in the skin.
For the body, we recommend using the Organic Skin Butter. Not only do body moisturizers help add hydration back to the skin, but they also quickly turn into an oil with the body’s natural heat, which makes it really easy to absorb. The coconut oil base is also loaded with skin-nourishment, thanks to the fatty acids, that help relieve the burn sensation. Another lighter option is our Organic Golden Elixir, which can be used all over (face, body, and hair) and absorbs quickly for if you’re in a hurry.
For the face, we recommend the Organic Facial Repair Serum. The rosehip oil in this product particularly helps renew and heal the skin, as well as effectively add hydration back. For an even deeper spot treatment, you can also turn to the MYMATCHA All-Over Moisture Stick. For a lighter option that is still hydrating, try our antioxidant-rich Organic Chia Facial Oil.
2. Find a steam room!
If you’ve ever experienced major itchiness and discomfort, you know how miserable of a feeling this is! It’s way worse than a typical sunburn. This occurs because the nerves in the top layer of your skin have been over-exposed to UV rays, resulting in the itchiness sensation and major irritation.
Our trick for relieving this itchiness is to shower, then apply a ton of moisturizer or body oil (i.e. the Matcha Body, Skin Butter, or Golden Elixir as mentioned above), and THEN head to the steam room. Sitting in the steam room with oils on your body helps the moisturizers really sink and be absorbed into your skin. We’d recommend steaming for 10-15 minutes, and then rinsing off with cooler water. Avoid harsh soaps during this time that can strip your body of moisture.
3. Relieve any discomfort
For comforting and cooling mists, we recommend our Rosewater Toner or Raspberry Vinegar Toner. A more gentle option, our rosewater is known to hydrate and soothe irritated skin. Use our rosewater toner as much as you want on your face and body. As an alternative, try our raspberry vinegar. While this is a more astringent toner, it contains acetic acids, an ingredient in pain medication such as aspirin. Acetic acid can aid in the reduction of itchy, inflamed, or painful sensation.
4. Leave the skin alone!
It is so important to remember that as with any other skin trauma (which is what a sunburn truly is), it is essential to allow your skin the time to heal. This requires not only time, but an active adjustment in your daily skincare routine. If you currently use a retinoid, regular exfoliation, or acne treatments, these may need to be placed on hold. Once the burn is healed, you can slowly reintroduce these products back into your regimen, but for the moment push these heavy-hitters to the back of your drawer.
5. Prevent future burns
The best kind of protection is a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Here at cocokind, we recommend a physical sunscreen, rather than a chemical one. Unlike its chemical counterpart, a physical sunscreen contains active minerals, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. They work on top of the skin to scatter and deflect UV rays away from the skin. While physical sunscreens may need to be reapplied more often, they’re ideal for sensitive skin and usually contain cleaner formulas. Our favorite recommendations are Goddess Garden, All Good, or Coola sunscreens.