Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you still won’t be soaking up sunshine on your next vacation whether it is in Austin, Hana or any other warm-climate spot. It’s always important to protect your skin, but definitely pay special attention when you will be lying on the beach or adventuring out in the sun. Here are six suggestions for keeping it cool during your next tropical trip.
1. Treat immediately
It’s not always immediately obvious that you may be burning to a crisp. Signs of sunburn typically start to show up about four hours after overexposure to the sun. As soon as you start to feel the familiar signs of sunburn, start treating it. Apply a towel dipped in ice water and witch hazel to relieve inflamed skin and follow with a cool shower.
2. Hydrate and moisturize
After your shower, pat dry (you don’t want to irritate the skin even more by rubbing down with a towel) and apply moisturizer. Keep a bottle of lavender lotion or aloe vera in the fridge to increase the cooling sensation on your hot skin. All types of burns draw fluids to the surface of the skin, so it is important to drink lots of water to replenish and hydrate.
3. Kill the pain and inflammation
Nothing is worse than wasting your vacation sitting under a beach umbrella because of a bad sunburn. In addition to topical treatments, taking some ibuprofen will help alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Other painkillers like acetaminophen will relieve the sting, but won’t reduce inflammation so make sure to read the label carefully.
4. Speed the healing process
It might seem obvious, but it takes a certain level of self-control: don’t pick or peel your sunburned skin! It could cause blistering or even scarring that will make your sunburn look and feel a lot worse. Resist the temptation to pick and peel by wearing lightweight, long sleeve shirts or pants and apply a topical hydrocortisone cream to stop the itch.
5. Choose your sunscreen wisely
“Don’t forget your sunscreen,” is a phrase we’ve heard al our lives. Wearing sunscreen is your best bet for health and happiness while basking in the sunshine. Look for lotions with SPF 30 that also contain ingredients like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or avobenzone to protect against both harmful UVA and UVB rays.
6. Cover up
Keeping the sun off your skin in the first place is the best way to prevent sunburn. Wear a hat and long sleeve shirt if you plan on being in the sun and wear a swim shirt or rash guard when water activities are involved.