We all know the importance of covering up to protect our skin from the sun’s harsh rays. Sunburn can contribute to premature ageing of the skin as well as putting you at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
However, even the most vigilant amongst us can end up red and raw from sunburn when we get caught without adequate protection.
Don’t you just feel like your body is kicking you for being so silly when can barely sit down because the backs of your legs feel like they’re on fire?
‘One day last summer I went out for a walk and forgot to take my hat. I hadn’t applied sunscreen to my forehead and after only twenty minutes, I felt like my forehead was burning up. I decided to head straight home, but the damage was already done. Later that night I felt that terrible throbbing of bad sunburn and the next day the skin on my forehead had started to blister.
Apart from worrying about the long-term damage I’d done to my face, I felt very self-conscious about the fact that I looked like a raw lobster for about a week.’
We know that it can be hard to find the right skincare products to use when you’re suffering from sunburn. AMPERNA® has a range of products that can be helpful when you’re dealing with sunburnt skin.
Which AMPERNA® Products can be Used by People Suffering from Sunburnt Skin?
All of the products in our range contain soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients that can be beneficial to sunburnt skin.
Here are some specific products in our range that could help to reduce the effects of sunburn:
AMPERNA® Ultra Gentle Soothing Cleanser contains an infusion of sage and cucumber extracts to help cool, soothe and nourish skin.
You can layer the AMPERNA® Lightweight Soothing+ Emulsion moisturiser on as many times during the day to hydrate your sunburnt skin. This moisturiser contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid and emollients to nourish the skin and help protect it from free radical damage. AMPERNA® Lightweight Soothing+ Emulsion is a cationic moisturiser which is non-irritating, won’t clog pores and is packed full of antioxidants.
Our fifth product, AMPERNA® Probiotic+ DS Soothing Serum, is a deeply restorative formula that cools and soothes irritated skin and reduces the appearance of redness. The copper and zinc gluconates help to limit bacterial proliferation and replenish the skin barrier. AMPERNA® Probiotic+ DS Soothing Serum contains a unique probiotic complex that helps stimulate the skin's renewal processes.
As everyone's skin is different we recommend you undertake a spot test in a small, discreet area to test for adverse reactions before using any new product.
What Causes Sunburn?
Ok, you already know this – the sun. But to be specific, it’s caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.
What you may not know is that UV rays can still burn your skin on cloudy or cool days, so don’t rely on looking out the window to decide on whether to protect your skin on a particular day.
Check the UV index each day – if it’s three or above, you need to protect your skin. Head to the Bureau of Meteorology website to check out the UV level before you leave the house.
How can I Protect my Skin from Sunburn?
“The better protection we can wear everyday, the better our lifelong skin health and appearance will be.” (Dr Kerryn Greive PhD for Sunsense)
Here are three of the simplest ways to protect your skin from sunburn.
Know today’s UV levels and make sure you have adequate protection when levels are 3 and above. You can keep on top of the day’s UV levels wherever you are by downloading the Sunsmart app to your phone.
Clothing and accessories
The easiest way to protect your skin is to cover up, but did you know that some types of clothing protect better than others?
- Clothes made from fabrics such as nylon, Lycra and acrylic offer the best protection.
- Dark coloured clothes offer better protection than light coloured apparel.
- You can actually buy clothing that has built-in sun protection, which is great for people who know they will be outside for extended periods of time. Look for tags that have a UV protection factor rating on them (check out the wide range of high protection clothing available on the Sun Protection Australia website).
- Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses – your head and eyes need protection too!
Most of us are aware of the importance of slopping on sunscreen, but do you know which ones to choose and how often to apply?
- Sunscreens feature different ‘SPF’ numbers. SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and the SPF number measures how well that sunscreen will protect your skin from UVB rays compared to not wearing it. The higher the sun protection factor, the better protected you will be. The Cancer Council Australia recommends applying an SPF 30+ or higher sunscreen.
- Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before heading out into the sun as it takes that amount of time to sink into the skin.
- No matter what the SPF of your sunscreen is, you should reapply it every two hours. You will also need to reapply after a swim or exercise as sweating or clothes rubbing against the skin can remove the sunscreen.
For more recommendations on sun protection, head to the Cancer Council website.
Is There a Safe Way to Tan?
There is no such thing as a safe tan – end of story. Any suntan is a sign of skin damage caused by UV radiation. If you really want a darker tone for your skin, stick to spray tans or bronzers and make sure that you also apply a sunscreen when you head out.
AMPERNA® founder Kiri is a massive advocate for protecting your skin. She always wears wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen and appropriate clothing when she’s out and about.
What are the Best Treatments for Sunburn?
Unfortunately there is no ‘cure’ for sunburn, but there are things you can do to help ease the pain and support the body to recover.
- Take a cool bath or shower, it may help to ease the pain and burning sensation.
- Rehydrate your skin with a moisturiser or lotion as sunburn dehydrates your skin. Moisturisers can help to soothe the skin and make flaking or peeling less noticeable.
- Drink plenty of water for at least two days after the sunburn. Being sunburnt brings fluid to the surface of your skin and away from other organs.
- Consult with your doctor about the benefits of taking an anti-inflammatory. There is evidence that using anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can reduce the severity and duration of the sunburn (source: skincancer.asn.au)
- Don’t scratch or peel your skin or pop any blisters. The blisters are there to protect the damaged skin underneath and popping them can lead to skin infections.
Have you Tried the ‘teabag’ Method?
If you’re desperate for some immediate relief and willing to try anything, you might like to try the teabag method.
Some people say that steeping yourself in a tepid bath of tea bags or dabbing luke-warm tea bags onto the burnt skin can really help to relieve the burn.
We haven’t tried this ourselves and don’t know how effective it is, but you can read up on how to do it on the ‘Instructables’ article ‘the single most effective way to get rid of sunburn’.
If you try it and do get some relief, be sure to write to us and let us know!
For expert advice on treating sunburn, including specialist recommendations on how to treat children, visit the skincancer.asn.au website.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. If symptoms persist, we recommend that you see your GP or dermatologist.