Combat Sun Damage with Three Must-Do Remedies
This past weekend, my boyfriend and I enjoyed an adventurous getaway to Austria for one last winter weekend before spring officially sets in. We went skiing in Solden, Austria and had a blast in the mountains of one of my favorite European countries.
Skiing is new to me, but Kyle has been doing it since he was a kid. We had a fabulous time on our first day on the slopes, however when I woke up the next morning, I felt.... bad. My skin was bright red and my entire face was swollen. To put it lightly, I resembled a chipmunk. We didn't wear sunscreen the entire day Saturday and we skied from ten in the morning until four in the afternoon. That's six hours in the sun with zero protection. Ugh. I never knew it was possible to swell so badly from one sunburn, but there I was Sunday morning, living proof of it.
I spent Sunday being pretty disappointed in myself. I go the extra mile to take good care of myself constantly, yet I made such a silly mistake of not wearing sunscreen while spring skiing. If you are spending ANY time outdoors, make sure to lather up. It's so worth it.
There is no need to dwell on past mistakes, we can only move forward and learn. Now comes the process of healing and trying to reverse any major damage done. After doing a ton of research I've narrowed it down to three remedies that I've been implementing in my routine and that I thought you all could benefit from having on hand.
This is something you will see on almost every website relating to sunburns. Drink water, drink coconut water, don't drink alcohol.
After we finally got back to level land after our day of skiing on Saturday, I was SO thirsty. We went to the grocery store and before even checking out, I drank an entire bottle of fruit juice. My body was extremely dehydrated and just begging for hydration and vitamins. Since getting back into the weekday grind, I have been drinking water or coconut water constantly, even if I'm not feeling particularly thirsty. This helps to nourish the skin and replenish the cells that were damaged by the sun. Sunburn also completely dries the body out, so staying hydrated keeps your entire body full of water which is a must in any type of healing, but especially healing of the skin.
Eat healing, anti-inflammatory foods
My body has been craving cooling, water-dense foods (watermelon, cucumber, etc). I've also been incorporating fatty, vitamin-E rich foods, as well as foods high in probiotics. Foods high in water, fat, vitamin-E, and probiotics come together to make the perfect combination of skin healing warriors.
For my breakfasts, I've been eating coconut yogurt mixed with berries and my homemade granola. I've also been incorporating foods with a high water content such as leafy greens and cucumbers; foods with a high water content help the body stay hydrated, even while eating. I've also been eating foods high in healthy fats like salmon, avocado, and organic olive oil. These are foods I eat on a normal basis, but omega 3s are incredible for nourishing and healing the skin, and therefore very essential through this time.
I have also been sipping on turmeric lattes, did you catch my Instagram story giving instructions on how to make one? If not, here are some simple instructions:
Bring a cup of non-dairy milk (I used almond, but coconut milk is my favorite), two-three tablespoons of organic ground turmeric, half a teaspoon of ground black pepper, a teaspoon of ceylon cinnamon, a tablespoon of coconut oil, and a tablespoon of raw organic honey to a slow and light boil. Whisk together or blend. Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, pour into a mug and enjoy. Turmeric is excellent for fighting inflammation (aka my huge, puffy cheeks). This body healing latte is easy to make, soothing, nourishing, and perfect for a relaxing nightcap even if you aren't suffering from inflammation.
Apple cider vinegar + organic coconut oil
First thing to note: It's important to dilute your vinegar with water, as placing plain vinegar directly on an affected area has the potential to make the burn worse.
I combined room temperature water with a good amount of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and stirred together. I soaked a wash cloth in the mixture and gently dabbed my face. It gave me immediate relief. Once the ACV + water mixture dried, I applied the coconut oil with clean hands. This combination took the sting out of my skin and let me have a few moments of absolute relief. Some people claim that this combination healed them over night, however in my experience I noticed less redness and less swelling the next morning, but I was definitely not fully healed. I also recommend pure aloe vera for dealing with burns - I just couldn't find it anywhere!
So there you have it, my three must-do tips for dealing with a bad, unexpected sunburn. I just endured the longest winter of my life, and as soon as the sun comes out to play, my lily white skin fries. Lesson learned: WEAR SUNSCREEN. Even if you are skiing on snowy slopes. Next time you find yourself having been cruelly treated by our golden friend in the sky, try some of these remedies and let me know how they work for you. Stay healthy, friends. Xo