Most people I come across are still struggling to understand which sunscreen to use according to their skin, when to apply it, what is the ideal SPF to buy, and when to apply it! The basic rules that one should adhere to when buying sunscreen is to purchase something that suits your skin type—I recommend a moisturising one with a higher SPF for dry skin and an oil-free one, if you have combination or oily skin.
Always apply sunscreen after you have bathed. Also, cover all the exposed areas of your body—not just your face—to protect it from the strong and damaging UV rays.
I have seen people suffer from sun damage due to unprotected skin and it is not just tanning that I am talking about.
The following article will help you realise how to take care of your skin naturally and how to treat sun-damaged skin.
The fight against prickly heat
The common cause for this is blocked sweat glands as well as friction in the creases of the skin due to sweat and moisture. It can be very painful and you may experience a burning sensation. People who wear synthetic fibre or clothes often suffer from prickly heat rashes. The first few things to remember in such cases is to air the area with rashes and splash cold water on it. Leave the skin uncovered for a while and dust the area with sandalwood powder and talcum. Smearing fresh aloe vera onto the skin will also soothe it. Always wear loose-fitting cotton clothing in summers that allow the skin to breathe.
Standing in the sun for even less than 15minutes can cause dark, sore-alike patches. The strong UV rays can cause aggravation of skin, which can turn reddish. Already dehydrated and dry skin should be handled with great caution and nothing should be done to aggravate it. Add 1tsp of baking soda in cool bathing water. Let your skin soak up the goodness of this. In fact, hydrating internally will also help so drink lots of water as well as lime water. Avoid using soap on the skin as this will dry it further. Grated cucumber applied to the skin will help soothe it as well. Aloe vera gel can be applied externally to sunburn as this will not only soothe the skin but also heal the damaged epidermis.
I have seen amazing results with applying honey on the skin— honey is a natural antibiotic that also softens hardened skin.
Taking care of skin peeling
Excessively damaged skin caused because of sunburn can lead to skin peeling, which can be extremely painful. Soak a cotton cloth in cold water and use this as a cold compress on the skin. Apply coconut oil to the area that is peeling; this will soothe the skin and help moisturise it. Do not rub or use ice on this area no matter how hot it may feel.
Yoghurt applied to peeling sunburnt skin will also help cool and soothe it. Treat your skin with utmost gentleness.
No more skin thickening
The sun’s strong UV rays can cause both thickening and dryness of the skin, which can later lead to wrinkling and ageing. If you do not use sunscreen, it is time to start doing so. Use a cactus-based cream on the skin. Cold fresh cream can also help the skin. Apply a thick layer onto the skin like a ‘lep’ [coating] and leave it on for the skin to feed on. You will notice it slowly disappearing into the skin. This super skin food will help instantly. Once it has soaked into the skin, wash with tepid water and pat dry.
Simple treatment for black spots
Overexposure to the sun can lead to black spots especially on the face and this could be a cause for concern. There are a few wonderful natural ingredients that will treat this and help lighten the skin. Wipe your skin with a cotton ball dipped into buttermilk. Leave this on for about 15minutes and wash off. You can also use 2tsp of oatmeal to which you have added full fat cream milk. Apply to the skin and wash off. Black spots need to be treated gently and regularly for results.
Now that you are familiar with the effects of sun damage and how to treat it, use these simple but effective recipes in your daily life and see the amazing results.
Have a burning beauty question? Suparna Trikha (Instagram @suparnatrikha) is a beauty and nature care expert who can give you the answers you need. Send in your queries at email@example.com