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Skin Deep:

Unveiling the Secrets of Skincare

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How to Treat Sunburn

We’re all aware of the damage the sun can do to our skin, however, there are still people who are out and about in the sun without any skin protection. The importance of protecting your skin from harmful UV-rays can not only prevent an unsightly sunburn but also protect you from permanent damage that can resurface years down the line.

Our team of Skin Experts at Pretty Please understand the importance of protecting your skin from harsh UV-rays, the importance of applying the appropriate skincare products with sunscreen, as well as limiting your time in the sun. We make it a standard to inform our clients of the importance of protecting their skin while receiving facial treatments.

What causes a Sunburn?

A sunburn is a small to large area of damaged skin caused by UV-rays from the sun. When your skin is exposed to UV rays, it releases a pigment called melanin to protect itself, as melanin acts as a natural sunscreen by absorbing the energy from UV rays and redistributing it. However, it can only provide so much protection - this is why it’s important to monitor how much time you’re spending in the sun, take breaks and of course wear sunscreen. When your skin has been triggered by sunburn, your body produces inflammatory mediators that increase blood flow in the affected area(s). This action causes sunburn’s characteristic of redness, swelling, and irritation.

Why Are Sunburns Bad?

What makes sunburns the ultimate skin no-no, aside from its immediate pain and discomfort, is the long-lasting damage to the skin. It can cause premature aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and sunspots. The excess exposure can also lead to the development of skin cancer.

Sunburn Severity

Sunburns can range in severity, from mild burns that fade quickly to more severe burns that can require treatment from a physician.


Mild sunburns typically last between three and five days. They are accompanied by redness, tenderness, and slight pain.


Moderate sunburns tend to be more painful and can take up to two weeks to heal completely. They are characterized by vibrant redness, swelling, heat, and small blisters.


Severe sunburns require a visit to a doctor. These burns are accompanied by red to purplish discoloration, large painful blisters, and symptoms such as chills, nausea, and dehydration.

Symptoms Of Sunburned Skin

If you believe you’re experiencing the effects of sunburned skin, here are a few symptoms for mild cases to look out for:

  • Redness, pain and/or tenderness, heat, itchiness/irritation, swelling, small blisters

However, if you experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is recommended that you visit a doctor:

  • Fever, Faintness, Rapid pulse, Nausea, Chills, Confusion, Large, painful blisters

Ways To Protect Your Skin

There are a few ways to protect your skin before, during, and after sun exposure.

1. Before Sun Exposure

Sunscreen is an absolute must! Chemical sunscreens are “absorbers” that convert UV rays into heat before releasing them from the skin. While physical sunscreens create a protective barrier that blocks and reflects UV rays before they make contact with the skin’s surface. No matter which you choose, our Pretty Please Founder would recommend reaching for a broad-spectrum formula that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

If you’re wondering about SPF, an SPF of 30 is ideal.

2. During Sun Exposure

To avoid sun damage, you must continue to protect your skin throughout the day. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Seek shade between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM, when UV rays are at their most intense, try to find a shady area to walk along or keep an umbrella handy if you’re sunbathing.

  • Cover up with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing.

  • One application of sunscreen does not last all day -- reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, or after 40 minutes if you’re swimming.

  • Retreat at the first sign of sunburn.

After Sun Exposure: What Helps Sunburn?

So let’s say you took all the necessary precautions, but notice symptoms of sunburn a day or two later. We’ve all been there, so there’s no judging from us-- here’s what to do to treat your sunburn, if and when this happens:

1. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

After experiencing a sunburn your body will require replenishing from the inside out. Drink a lot of water, as well as nourish your skin with topical hydration. We would recommend aloe vera or serums with hyaluronic acid to moisturize and soothe the irritated area.

2. Cool Your Skin Down

After a sunburn, it’s important to cool your skin down. You can take a cool bath or apply a cold compress to soothe redness and inflammation. However, we suggest skipping the use of soap, even a mild one.

3. Soothe & Repair

Sunburn can leave your skin red, dry, and irritated. To treat the dryness, reach for moisturizing oils that include soothing ingredients such as rosemary, rosehip, and tea tree. With that, you want to avoid thicker oils/jellies like petroleum jelly, which can smother the infected area and exacerbate your symptoms.

4. Don’t Pick

We know it can be tempting, but it’s best to allow the area to heal naturally on its own. As your skin heals, healthy skin cells rise to the surface and the sun-damaged cells naturally flake and peel off. These new cells are delicate and susceptible to irritation, so picking and prodding will only make your sunburn look and feel worse.

5. Apply A Vitamin C Serum

You can minimize the visible signs of sun exposure by applying a vitamin C serum to your skincare routine daily. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage, and it also promotes collagen production in the skin. By applying this serum you’re helping to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

6. Treat your Entire Body

Spoil your skin with a full body rub down with tea tree oil and aloe vera. If moisturizing your skin in aloe vera isn’t doing the trick, book a professional body treatment at your favorite spa. If you’re interested in booking a facial to treat sunburn symptoms, one of our amazing Skin Experts would be more than welcome to give you a consultation on the best course of action for your treatment.


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