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Soothing Sunburn: Nature’s remedy

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03 July 2023

With the weather really hotting up, now’s the time to ensure your skin is fully protected – not just on holiday but also when you’re out and about on a daily basis  – the sun can catch you when you least expect it! As most of us are aware, sunburn can lead to redness, pain, swelling and, in severe cases, blisters.

As they say, prevention is always better than cure, but mistakes do happen. Luckily, nature offers us remedies to help ease the discomfort and speed up the healing process. One of which is our wonderful Epsom salts; here’s how it can help alleviate those pesky sunburn symptoms…

The healing factor

Epsom salt, scientifically known as magnesium sulphate, has been used for centuries to soothe various ailments. Its high magnesium and sulphate content work wonders in reducing inflammation, relaxing muscles and promoting healing. When dissolved in water, Epsom salt releases magnesium and sulphate ions, which can penetrate the skin and provide relief. For sunburn, these properties make Epsom salt a really effective remedy.

Natural relief

When you’re suffering from sunburn you’ll want to soothe the inflammation. Epsom salt’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce redness, swelling and pain associated with it. The salts also act as a natural remedy to calm and cool the affected area, helping provide instant relief. Naturally, skin needs to heal when affected and Epsom salt aids in the regeneration of damaged skin cells, accelerating the healing process and minimising the risk of peeling or scarring – a win-win. Finally, the magic crystals (as we like to call them), help replenish moisture, preventing excessive dryness and promoting healthier skin.

So, how to use Epsom salts with sunburn? A great way is to fill the bath with warm (not hot) water, add a couple of cups of Epsom salt and stir until dissolved. It’s then time to soak for 15-20 minutes, making sure your body is fully submerged. After a soak, gently pat the skin dry (avoiding rubbing), before applying a moisturising lotion or aloe vera gel to lock in the moisture. Repeat daily until your skin is not sensitive to touch. If you don’t have access to a bath, you can create a paste using Epsom salt crystals. Add a little water to create a paste and mix together before gently applying to affected areas, leaving for 20 minutes before rinsing off. Another great tip is to add Epsom salt to a spray bottle filled with water and spritz yourself as and when required.

Other tips and tricks

  • Apply a cool compress to the affected area for 10-15 minutes at a time.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid scratching the sunburn – and avoid the sun!
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on cloudy days.
  • Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunglasses, a hat, and (if you can) long sleeves.

Did you know…?

  • Sunburn can occur even on cloudy days: UV rays from the sun can penetrate through clouds, so you can still get sunburned even when it’s overcast.
  • You can also suffer from sunburn in snowy areas. Snow is highly reflective and can intensify the sun’s UV rays. This can lead to a condition known as ‘snow blindness’ or sunburned eyes. You can also get sunburn underwater; water also reflects UV rays, so, even when you’re swimming or diving, it’s important to protect your skin.
  • While people with fair skin are more prone to sunburn, individuals with darker skin can still burn, although it may be less noticeable due to the higher levels of melanin.
  • Sunburn can lead to premature ageing: Repeated sunburns can accelerate the ageing process of the skin, leading to wrinkles, fine lines and a leathery texture.
  • Certain medications can increase sun sensitivity: Some, including certain antibiotics, antidepressants and anti-inflammatory drugs, can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, increasing the risk of sunburn.
  • Sunburn can cause a temporary immune system suppression, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
  • The full extent of sunburn may not be immediately apparent and it may take several hours for symptoms to appear, so it’s essential to take precautions before spending time in the sun. And it starts right here…

Image: Sergi Dolcet Escrig, Unsplash

 

I was recently given these crystals as a gift and was instantly drawn to the wellbeing benefits and the stylish packaging. I have found the crystals to be great! I have been using them for a few weeks now, I have noticed that I feel more energised after a long day at work and it’s also helped restore tired muscles after my exercise sessions.