Ouch. Sunburn Solutions For Minimizing Pain + Potential Skin Flakies
Scorched skin happens to the best of us — residents, snowbirds and spring breakers alike. Despite slathering on sunscreen before heading out the door, wearing cute SPF clothing, and re-applying your protective potions after swimming, Florida’s strong UV rays make everyone a potential sunburn victim.
We don’t get judge-y on FBP. Instead, we’re here to help - especially when things go awry.
Just The Facts,
As a frame of reference, any UV index number over 6 is considered high. A typical winter day in the southern parts of our state often merits a 9, and goes up from there.
Take it from weather goddess Janice Huff, WNBC’s Chief Meteorologist and FSU grad:
“The intensity of UV radiation reaching the surface of the earth depends on the angle of the sun in the sky. Each day, the sun achieves its highest angle (highest intensity, shortest shadows) at solar noon, which corresponds to 12 pm or 1 pm during daylight saving time. This is because of the differences between solar time and local time in any given time zone. UV risk is high when the sun is directly enough overhead that people's shadows are shorter than their height.
Likewise, UV intensity can be higher or lower for surfaces at different angles to the horizontal. For example, if people are walking or standing outdoors, UV exposure to the eyes and vertical surfaces of skin, such as the face, can actually be more severe when the sun is lower (though UVB:UVA ratio can also differ).
This is partly a consequence of the fact that the measurement equipment upon which the index is based is a flat horizontal surface. UV intensity can nearly double with reflection-bright surfaces like water, sand or concrete.”
Translation: You don’t need to be sacked-out on the beach to burn, baby. At Disney World at this time of year, for example, the average UV index 8.
So if your plans include tennis, boating, beachside R+R or schlep through Magic Kingdom, tots in tow, it’s good to be prepared just in case you suffer a little too much sun.
With the menu for this one-week “you got burned” plan, feel free to go á la carte or prix fixe:
Prep in advance. No one intentionally decides to get burned, but why not do everything you can to prep for the worst? Before you head off for your sun-based activities, stash a bottle of aloe vera gel in the fridge.
Brace yourself for a cool shower. Actually, if you’re feeling fried, an icy rinse might be just what the doctor ordered. Just be sure to use a nourishing wash - my pick is Klorane’s Cupuauçu Flower Shower Cream. Post-shower, use caution when toweling off so you don’t further aggravate your skin. Blot, don’t rub.
Nurture Mother Nature’s damage. Saturate a soft washcloth with skim milk and gently apply as a cooling compress. Why skim milk over whole? Not sure, but the last burn I suffered resulted in a visit to the dermatologist, and that was his advice. If you’re staying at a hotel, put that $8 glass of room service milk to work! Let dry.
Get dabbing. Grab that aloe gel from the fridge and apply it to the afflicted areas. It dries quickly when applied evenly. I still have two bottles from my Half Moon spa trip, but there are a slew of other good options out there.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. After first trying this 15 years ago as an energizer for loooong NYC work days, I swear by Clarins Lait Jambes Lourdes (aka Energizing Emulsion for Soothing Tired Legs.) An online exclusive, this lightweight blue lotion tingles (in a good way) with a blend of herbs (camomile, basil, sage and cypress). Though neither is listed on the ingredients, it smells faintly minty and mimics eucalyptus’s cooling prowess.
Take two: Pop a few baby aspirin or two ibuprofen to bring your body temperature down.
So those are your Dos. And here’s a Don’t: Noxema. While you might be tempted by this cult-y sunburn “cure,” know that its ingredients include pork-derived gelatin (ewww) — a big no-no for vegans or vegetarians. But more important, per the company’s website, it’s never been tested as a burn fix.
Last, don’t be fooled by cloudy skies, which often pass rather quickly and don’t offer protection. Here’s a tip: visit WeatherUnderground and type the zip code where you’re heading for UV predictions. It’s broken down by the hour so you can plan and prep accordingly.
(BEAUTEOUS) GIRL PHOTO: GARRETT MIZUNAKA