The Sunburn Series Pt. 1: The Face

Well, it happened: I got a sunburn. Nothing major, thank goodness. I burn like it’s my job, so I’m diligent about applying sunscreen when I’m outdoors in the summer. Alas, I got a little lax on the job yesterday and ended up with some pink on my left shoulder, neck, cheek, and brow.

I have a lot of tips and tricks for dealing with sunburns, and I’ll be delving into those more closely on Friday. For today’s beauty post though, I thought I would share some of my strategies specifically for the face, including changes to make-up application while the skin is in recovery.

All set? Let’s get started:

  1. Go back in time and use preventative measures to avoid a sunburn in the first place.
    Regular sunblock is safe to wear on cheeks, nose, neck, brow, and ears, but I do tend to opt for the specialized formulas specifically for my face out of respect for my sensitive skin. I have noticed that sunblock does clog my pores and increase my likelihood of having a breakout. A hat is also a great investment if you’re looking to avoid putting sunblock on your face entirely.
  2. Treat the burn fast.
    I think it’s clear from some of my posts that I will try pretty much any DIY beauty hack once, especially if it’s on Pinterest, and in doing so, I have amassed an arsenal of tried-and-true methods of treating sunburns. Aloe is my standard, but I do find that on my face, it can cause me to break out. Therefore, I use it sparingly. My favourite remedies for my face are an apple cider vinegar solution, which cools down the skin so nicely; a cool, damp towel draped over the face; and – stay with me – thinly sliced raw potatoes. I’m not kidding.Look, it sounds weird, smells a little funky, and I looked like something out of a horror movie, but raw potato felt great on my skin. It cooled the burn right down and put my skin on the fast track to recovery. I also had a great time snapping pictures of my horror-movie self to friends and family members. They loved seeing my horrifying face, I’m sure.
  3. Don’t exfoliate.
    This one seems rather obvious, but I felt it worth mentioning. Go easy on your face while it’s recovering from a sunburn. Cooler water for rinsing, soft strokes for lathering, avoid acne cleansers, and don’t use anything designed to take off layers of skin.
  4. Moisturize.
    It’s so important to have a solid toner, serum, and moisturizer for your face, and at no other time is this more evident than when you’re face is burned. A sunburn needs hydration, but there are plenty of formulas that can sting or exacerbate the burn when applied. Avoid heavily scented moisturizers. Go for lightweight, unscented products designed for sensitive skin.
  5. Don’t buff foundation.
    Let’s be real: if a burn is that bad, you shouldn’t wear foundation anyways. It’s only going to irritate your skin, and as you recover, your skin might start to peel, which is going to defeat the purpose of foundation anyways. However, for a mild sunburn, it’s okay to pop a little foundation over top. It might even be beneficial, since so many foundations contain SPF. Just don’t reach for a buffing brush. That will hurt and irritate your already irritated skin. A sunburn is the perfect excuse for a beauty blender sponge or, if you’ve got a formula that allows it, apply your foundation with your fingers.
  6. Drink a lot of water.
    Replenishing all those lost fluids will help your burn heal faster.
  7. Protect yourself from future burns.
    Since time travel isn’t really an option (yet), it’s best to learn from every burn and take care to make sure there isn’t a next one. Cover up while recovering. Try not to apply extra product over top of damaged skin. Stock up on sunscreen and make sure it not only comes with you on your next trip into the sunshine, but that it goes on your skin where it belongs.

Trust me: I’m speaking from experience.

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