When "hot fun in the summertime” turns into “burn, baby, burn” it’s time to break out the sunburn first aid kit. Don’t have a first aid kit strictly for sunburn? No worries! You can compile one with a few ready-made items and a couple of homemade ones. When you’ve put it all together, keep it stored in the fridge, or on ice in a cooler while boating. With a first aid kit on hand, you’ll be ready to treat sunburn when it happens. Following these simple steps will ease your pain and start the healing process right away.
CLEANSE: Prepare the sunburned skin (on the face and/or body) for treatment. Like any other burn, the affected area should be cleaned beforehand. You need to thoroughly rid your skin of any dirt, excess oil, sunscreen, etc., before you begin to address the burn. I recommend Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk for this. It does just what it claims to do; meaning it soothes skin while cleansing it. Inflamed sunburned skin requires cleaning, and it should be done with a gentle, non-irritating product. Incidentally, this is also my favorite cleanser to thoroughly remove makeup without scrubbing, which tends to irritate even healthy skin.
BALANCE: Whenever skin is cleansed, it is automatically taken out of pH balance. Using a toner directly after cleansing corrects this condition by returning the skin to its balanced state. My personal choice for this is Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Toner, which is specially formulated to soothe inflamed skin. It contains both anthyllis and calendula, which are natural wound healers used for centuries in the treatment of burns. An added bonus of using a toner after cleansing is that it preps the skin for this next step.
COOL: What better way to cool the skin than with organic lavender, except with an organic lavender compress! Prepare your compress in advance by soaking two cotton cloths in a mixture of warm water, and adding a few drops of organic lavender essential oil. Cotton diapers are perfect to use for this. Fold the cloth a few times to create several sides. Squeeze out the excess water and place the cloth in a plastic zip lock bag. Refrigerate the cloths, along with the cleanser and toner, or place them on ice in a cooler. When you’re ready to use the compress, remove it from the bag and gently place it on the burned area. As your skin heats one side of the cloth, unfold it to reveal another cool side, and, again, place the cloth on the sunburn. Repeat this until the entire cloth is no longer cool. If the burning sensation has not subsided at all, continue the process with the second cloth. Proceed to the next step when your skin begins to cool.
CALM: Aloe Vera, freshly picked from your garden, is the absolute best for this. Again, prepare this first aid item in advance. Cut a medium-sized leaf from the aloe plant, cut off the tip, and trim the sharp edges from both sides. Cut the leaf in half (lengthwise), separating it in two. Place the two pieces in another plastic zip lock bag and freeze them. Keep the aloe on ice until you are ready to use it. After you have cleansed, toned, and cooled the sunburn, gently apply the frozen aloe liberally to the burned area. The heat from your skin will quickly thaw the aloe and allow you to apply it. Leave the aloe on for fifteen minutes, and then rinse with cold water.
HYDRATE: Once you’ve calmed the skin, it is necessary to keep it supple, and prevent blistering. Wild Rose Beauty Balm by NYR (Neal’s Yard Remedies) can be applied to the sunburn as a salve, to soothe the pain and lock in moisture. It contains rosemary, vitamin E, and frankincense, which provides natural pain relief and promotes new skin cell growth.
FUN: Water sports and outdoor activities are all synonymous with summer. Here in the Florida Keys we enjoy this kind of fun year-round, but there’s something special about having longer days (this time of year) with more time to play. Whatever way you choose to play this summer have fun, be safe, and don’t burn!
Find sunburn first aid kits at Angelic Moon Holistic Day Spa & APOTHECARY on Cudjoe Key. (305)745-9979
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor is it intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
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