By Montana Hall
In the same fashion that radio waves flow through the atmosphere until they manifest as sound, the sun’s intangible rays soar through the ozone layer and fall directly onto our skin.
The trouble begins when sound speeds up and jumbles into a haphazard form of “music” that we would then consider noise. When that noise is scattered with pauses and form, it becomes substantial, something we can appreciate–or not.
Likewise, the “noise” from the sun’s rays can be expressive and volatile, namely when they instigate immediate effects like sunburn.
Our earth’s golden ball of flames is known to promote health on all levels; however, like everything in life, moderation is key–too much sun and you have a problem.
Sunburn seems to simmer down to a few reasons: the time of day and year, skin type, and the number of hours spent in the sun–or just forgetting to re-apply sunscreen. The spectrum holds space for many variations but at its polar opposites: we’re either lacking in sun exposure and not getting enough rays to encourage the proper production of vitamin D, or we’re getting too much and, thus, damaging our skin at a long-term, cellular level.
Countries closer to the equator are naturally exposed to more intense sunlight. The period during which the sun is at its hottest lasts a lot longer each day than it does in countries nearer the poles. When it comes to skin types, those with darker, more pigmented skin are usually able to withstand it while absorbing its benefits. However, a fairer-skinned person in the same environment for the same amount of time would see devastating effects.
When asked at the 71st Annual Golden Globes what beauty tip Emma Watson would recommend for young girls, she responded by saying, “Sunblock, sunscreen.” If you’ve already passed the point of no return and are in need of remedies rather than reminders, here are five sunburn home concoctions that work like a charm:
Colloidal Oatmeal Soak
After a stressful day, climbing into a tranquil bath is considered a loving act of self-care. At no time is this more true than after a day of too much sun. Now is the time to hydrate your body in a tub drawn especially to ease the sting and itch of sunburn.
The Colloidal Oatmeal Soak home remedy is an anti-inflammatory solution that shields and encourages moist skin. If you don’t have the store-bought liquid form of Colloidal Oatmeal, take to the kitchen and combine a cup of instant pulverised oats and enough water in a blender to achieve a pasty smooth consistency. Add the contents into the bath and settle in as the oats soothe your skin.
Milk And Honey Magic
Not to be confused with the collected works of poetry by Rupi Kaur, that gentle, sweet enveloping combination of milk and honey is also used to treat the red-tinted smolder your skin has acquired after a day in the sun. The protein, fat content, and pH of milk, yoghurt, and kefir, have soothing effects on the skin. Lactic acid is a gentle component that aligns with honey to ease pain and swelling.
So, draw a bath and add warmed honey and milk into the water before sinking in for the evening. While you’re at it, play some soothing music, light a few candles and drown out your “Oh why did I get burnt?” blues.
Not So Subtle Cider
Another timeless choice for a sunburn-soothing option is Apple Cider Vinegar. With about 99 other uses, this liquid has hit the 100th mark and may as well be considered an all-around healing tonic. Its ability to decrease inflammation makes it the perfect addition to your UV-overdose routine. Tip some into a bath or apply directly with a soaked cloth or cotton wool to the inflamed areas.
Green tea is another remedy with a multitude of benefits seen beyond the topical realm. It is known to soothe swelling and decrease inflammation with its antioxidant properties. Making a compress from this traditional Japanese tea is a true home remedy.
Armed with a few teabags, add to boiling water and allow them to steep for about half-an-hour. Toss the teabags and place the liquid in the fridge or freezer. Once chilled, soak a cloth or piece of cotton wool, squeeze out excess moisture and apply to the reddened areas. Repeat throughout the day for maximum benefits. It’s worth noting that tea stains material so watch out for your clothes.
Spuds Not Suds
Who knew those starchy roots would save our skins? It may not be common knowledge but potatoes are considered a natural home-remedy for sunburn. In fact, their starchy composite is the very reason for their healing phenomena. Simply slice up a few raw potatoes and place or gently rub them over the stinging patches, or use grated potatoes as a poultice to achieve the same effect.
In the midst of humidity and unbearable heat, before the beach entices you from the surrounding coastlines, slather on your sunscreen, grab a fashionably floppy hat, oversized sunglasses and answer its call, prepared for a good time in the sun. As they say, prevention is the best cure and don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen every 2-4 hours.