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How to care for skin after sun exposure

We’ve been having some really hot weather in Sydney recently, so it’s almost impossible to avoid the sun for every second of the day (in fact, a small amount of sun exposure is good for you to get your daily Vitamin D dose – 8 mins per day is a good amount of sun exposure in the Australian summer).

Everyone has different skin, and reacts to the sun in different ways. I have typically fair English skin, with the added bonus of freckles, moles and pigmentation, so I have to be really careful about sun exposure because I can easily get burnt. I’ve had my fair share of ‘pink lobster’ moments, but as I’ve got older I’ve got better at covering up with sunscreen and clothes that cover particularly sensitive areas, and staying in the shade when the sun is at it’s peak.

So firstly I would recommend prevention. Use a good natural sunscreen like this Wotnot Sunscreen which is gentle enough to use on babies, and uses Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient. Cover up and stay in the shade.

However, we all get caught out at times, so if you or your child are a bit pink and sore then here are some tips to help you deal with it:

  1. Have a cool shower to release the inflammatory proteins in your skin, making your skin more susceptible to after sun products.
  2. Pat yourself dry, do not rub, it’ll hurt!
  3. Use an after sun product with Aloe Vera as the main ingredient, this Lil’ Bit Australian Bush Mint After Sun Spray contains organic aloe gel that will cool and hydrate your skin.
  4. You could use use some Aloe Vera straight from the plant itself. They’re quite easy to grow in the garden or in a pot and require minimal maintenance. Break off a small amount and squeeze out the juice, store it in the fridge for maximum coolness. Just to warn you, it doesn’t have a very pleasant smell, so don’t apply it just before a hot date!
  5. HYDRATE! – drink lots of water and keep hydrating your skin with a natural moisturiser (nothing with any harsh chemicals in it).
  6. Wear minimal clothing or clothing that is 100% cotton and breathable, and stay out of the sun.
  7. See a doctor if you have severe blisters, do not pop or pick at the blisters or you may get an infection.

Stay safe out there and look after your skin because once the long term damage has been done there’s no going back…

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