How to get rid of sunburns?
Okay, so here is a story of my stupidity. I went out to the beach last weekend, and like a good girl I was using sunscreen SPF70, and I've reapplied it a couple of times. Apparently, I reapplied it unevenly, so I got several severe sunburns on my face and body. Now, when the redness is slowly going away, where my skin used to be pale it is now 4-6 shades darker. Of course, those patches are in all the wrong places too (my shoulder, upper chest, etc.). So my question is, are there any products or treatments that can help gradually lighten my skin to its' normal color?
Another "idea" I've got is to start using tanning beds, but honestly I am not very excited about that.
The same thing had happened to me before, and without any special attention it took about two years for those lines to disappear, so waiting until it rubs off is hardly an option.
Any advice on how to get my skin to be a single color would be greatly appreciated.
I feel your pain, literally and figuratively. So here's what I've done in the past that helped me get through bad sunburns:
1. Aloe is your best friend, slather it on to help your skin heal. Letting your skin get too dry can cause you to peel even worse.
2. Use a gentle exfoliator in the shower to help slough off your damaged epidermis.
3. Use a gradual body tanning lotion on your more visible skin to help blend with the sunburned parts. You won't get a perfect match but you can make the contrast less striking without exposing yourself to further damage.
As a life long Floridian I have underestimated how much sun I was getting go overestimated how good my sunscreen was way too many times
I agree with LC, definitely use some Aloe and an exfoliant! Sugar scrubs work really well, and I think I heard somewhere that scrubbing with lemon can be really beneficial too.
Make sure that if you use a tanning lotion, scrub beforehand to prepare your skin so it doesn't end up tanning unevenly and patchy.
Answered[ Edited ]
In regards to evening out your skin tone while combating the sunburns, you want to take things slowly and gently. I know "slowly" might not be the answer you want, but since your skin is already inflamed, peeling, and sensitized, you don't want to overwork it in such a delicate state.
The suggestion of using aloe is very beneficial. Aloe is soothing and cooling to skin that is red, irritated, and burnt. Try to look for an aloe gel that doesn't have synthetic fragrances or colors, they're just extras that aren't needed and won't do anything beneficial for your skin. If you know someone who has an aloe plant, ask and see if they can cut a few slivers off and rub the fresh aloe juice onto the sunburnt areas.
In the mean while, continue to use SPF on your body, you don't want those areas getting worse. Once the sunburnt areas have healed up and your skin's texture is back to being even, try a soothing and nourishing body cream like Kate Somerville's Goat's Milk Body Lotion.
The gentle use of lactic acid (milk proteins and enzymes) help to even skin tone and promote healthier cellular regeneration. The lotion also contains aloe, as well as coconut, sweet almond, and grape seed extract to condition and keep skin hydrated.
Once skin's texture is back to being even (no super crazy peeling/flaking spots) and it's moisture levels are balanced, look into a gentle body scrub with jojoba beads for starters. These will be more gentle than salt or sugar scrubs, but still just as effective at sloughing off dead skin so you can help with evening your color.
Kate Somerville also has a body exfoliator with jojoba beads, as well as papaya and pumpkin enzymes to break down dead skin, plus fruit acids (glycolic acid) and lactic acid to brighten skin tone.
Peter Thomas Roth's Anti-Aging Buffing Beads also contain jojoba beads along with glycolic acid to brighten and even skin tone while removing dead skin. The beads are delicate and rounded as to not scratch or irritate skin.
Follow up again with a good lotion, like the KS one after exfoliating to ensure newly exposed skin cells don't dry out.
In regards to what can be done about getting smooth even color but not from the sun, try spray tans or other tanning options like swipes, self tanners, creams, and mists. They're much more gentle on your skin and your overall health than going to a tanning bed.
Using a spray tan is also a great way to "match" up your color from the uneven areas and has immediate payoff. Check out local salons or spas that offer the service and get a consultation so they can see about evening out your color.
Other than that, St. Tropez, Tan Towels, Kate Somerville, Jergens, and Loreal make great at-home, self tanning products that work like a charm!
I agree aloe is amazing for sun burns. It feels cooling on irritated skin and helps heal dryness.
One word: ALOE!
Aloe is a miracle product and will be your best friend in trying to relieve your sunburn. I always always always have aloe on hand, whether it be in bottle form or the actual plant itself, and I use it for everything from a sunburn to a stubborn pimple to any cuts or scrapes I get. It's an ultimate healer, and I really believe it will help you tremendously!
Also, as others have suggested, definitely use a gentle exfoliator to help scrub away dead/peeling skin then follow up with a hefty dose of aloe. You can even combine some aloe with your regular body lotion to make it easier to apply. Just keep it up and you'll notice improvements in your skin really quickly!
I swear, I should be a spokeswoman for aloe!
Hope this helps and best of luck!