Skin Care

By Meredith Clinton Bell

With just a few more weeks for summer fun, be careful not to burn, but if you do, here’s what to do.

Everything is fun in the sun…that is, until the sun leaves its mark and you wake up red and in pain. Cold shower anyone? Besides lathering on the sunscreen on your next outdoor adventure, there are a few things you can do to ease the regret of having forgotten it (let’s hope not on purpose) in the first place.

Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Deborah Longwill, of Miami Center for Dermatology, recommends popping an aspirin or two at the first sign of redness to help control discoloration. If it’s really bad, take a load off in a lukewarm bath doused with baking soda and fill a whole milk compress to prevent blistering. Skin is super-sensitive (as you know if you’ve ever had a sunburn), so avoid any harsh perfumes, hairsprays, or cleaning products.

For what else not to do: she warns against popping blisters (however tempting). Use antibiotic creams to help ward off infection and…duh…avoid the sun until you’re back to normal.

Needless to say, a sunburn is never a fun experience. But instead of just reaching for the aloe, try one of these gels, creams, oils, or sprays to soothe your skin and relax your whole body at the same time. Now, I didn’t go out and get a burn just to try these out, but luckily they’re great for your skin regardless, and they all get my full seal of approval.

The After Sun Moisturizer from Hampton Sun is a must-have even when you’re not ailed by a bad burn. Lather on this light-weight lotion after a day at the beach to help prolong a tan.

Available: Henri Bendel, 5th Ave, NYC and http://www.sephora.com

Your sunburn will be lights out after this one, two, three punch from Clarins. The After Sun Moisturizer Ultra-Hydrating and After Sun Gel Ultra-Soothing are loaded with vitamins and all natural plant extracts to calm your skin and your senses. For particularly bad spots, the SOS Sunburn Soother is a concentrated “band aid” of sorts, and it works on face and body.

Available: Bloomingdales and http://www.clarins.com

Generally the term “oily” isn’t a welcome adjective when talking about skincare, but Biologique Recherche Huile Bénéfique is an oil for face, body, and hair that fights dehydration caused by the merciless sun in the summertime. You’ll feel like you’ve just left the spa after a luxurious massage…just don’t overdo it or you’ll be a human slip-and-slide.

Available: Institute de Beaute in NYC or http://www.biologique-recherche.com

Rub either of these two refreshing lotions on your aching skin, and you’ll notice an immediate difference. Anti-oxidants in Posthelios boost your skin’s defenses against nature’s warriors, but it’s available for a limited time only, so hurry, and I can tell you now – you’ll want to stock up. Sothys Paris Soothing After-Sun Body Care smells delicious and allows you to pamper and protect in one easy step.

Posthelios Available: CVS and http://www.laroche-posay.us
Sothys Available: L’Institut Sothys, W. 57th Street, NYC and http://www.skin-one.com

And the main attraction: the masks. A home healing regime isn’t complete without an oh-so-magnificent mask. i need to heal aloe vera masks from myfaceworks are virtually mess free. Actual white masks come in individual packets. Simply place across your face and enjoy some “you” time. The Azulene Gel Mask from Renée Rouleau is ideal for sensitive skin (which is you if you have a burn). Refrigerate before use for an extra-special cooling sensation.

myfaceworks Available: http://www.myfaceworks.com
Renée Rouleau Available: http://www.reneerouleau.com

The Shankara skincare line is the real deal. These products are so all natural and organic, you’ll feel like you grow from the ground after one day’s use. Mist on the Ayurveda-Energen Activated Body Spray after a shower for hydration and then scoop on the Anti-Inflammatory Facial Mask for an hour for some true healing action. It can be used on anything from rashes to razor burn to sun and windburns.

Available: http://www.shankara.com

My sympathies if you’re dealing with over-baked skin, but these refreshing finds should revive your skin back to normal. Even when the burn fades, keep up the moisturizing routine to avoid losing any tan too quickly.

Miami Center for Dermatology
http://www.miamicenterfordermatology.com or
call 305.279.SKIN (7546)

Originally published September 2010
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