I’m a July 4th burnout. Despite my best intentions, which included plenty of sunblock, a hat, and water, my reality included a lot of beer, fried clams, and a beach umbrella that blew into the ocean. Needless to say, I’m feeling a little crispy. The next few days will be spent recuperating indoors, coaxing my now lobster-hued complexion back to its pre-4th milky white. Step one is replacing my satisfying-for-the-soul (if not for the skin) holiday diet of booze and fried foods with plenty of H20 and a balanced diet with fresh fruits and veggies to help counteract the drying effect of a burn and provide the nutrients skin needs to regenerate.
Moisturizer is the obvious go-to product in this scenario. Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel soothes scorched skin, instantly relieving painful stinging and heat. Using the actual aloe vera plant itself is best, but there are several quality gels, like Ole Henriksen’s All Purpose Aloe Vera Gel, that will cool skin and help prevent painful peeling. For a little extra relief, try cooling your moisturizer in the fridge before applying.
When you’re burnt so badly that you don’t even want to leave the house, ease the pain with simple at-home remedies. Soak the pain away by putting one cup of white vinegar into a tub of cool water, or by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda into your bath, and let the solution dry on your skin instead of toweling off. You can only sit in a bath for so long, but you can treat the burn with a variety of calming compresses. Milk protein is very soothing. Mix one cup of skim milk with four cups water, then add a few ice cubes. Apply a compress of the mixture for 15-20 minutes every two to four hours. Anyone who has ever suffered through the chicken pox understands the healing properties of oatmeal. To treat a sunburn, put a couple of layers of old fashioned oatmeal in between clean towels and run cool water through it, collecting the water. Get rid of the actual oatmeal, and make compresses with the collected oatmeal water, which will help with the itch and draw the heat out of the burn.
Obviously the best thing to do is avoid a sunburn at all, but we all slip up once in a while, so treat the heat and forgive yourself for your momentary indiscretion in the sun.