Painful, itchy and damaging to the skin, sunburn is not only harmful but it can ruin precious holiday days and nights. Here we look at some of the best, low cost, ways for avoiding sunburn on holiday along with how to soothe sore, sunburned skin, without resorting to expensive shop bought remedies.
Saving money on sunscreen
The British Association of Dermatologists recommends that you wear a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, however buying enough sun cream to slather on a full family for up to two weeks can be expensive.
Stock up on sunscreen early
Planning ahead and snapping up deals in the supermarket or high street chemist is a great way to pay less for your sprays and lotions.
Some of the best bargains can be found at the end of the summer months, allowing you to stock up for the following year, although be sure to check the expiry dates.
Avoiding sunburn on holiday: apply sunscreen
Failing to apply sunscreen correctly, or liberally enough, reduces its effectiveness and puts you at greater risk of sunburn.
You should use around 35 ml (6 – 8 teaspoons) worth of sunscreen for one adult and apply at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, to give it plenty of time to sink in.
Don’t forget those easy to miss areas, such as nose, ears, scalp and neck and then re-apply every two to three hours and after swimming or sweating, even if you are using the waterproof variety.
Stay out of the mid day sun
One of the best ways to avoid sunburn and reduce the amount of sunscreen that you use is to keep out of the sun between the peak hours of 12 noon to 3 pm when its rays are at their strongest.
Avoiding sunburn on holiday with clever cover ups and accessories
Adding some clever accessories and cover-ups to your sunburn prevention kit will help you enjoy the sun more safely, and reduce your reliance on expensive lotions and sprays.
Always wear a hat
Protect your face and eyes by wearing a cap or hat with a wide-brim or flap at the back of the neck. The skin around these areas is much thinner than other areas of your body and is at more risk of sun damage and premature wrinkling.
Clothing with inbuilt sun protection
Wear lightweight light coloured, clothes to cover up exposed areas and consider specially designed clothing with inbuilt sun protection, to help with avoiding sunburn on holiday, which is especially useful for active children jumping in and out of the swimming pool all day.
What to do if you get sunburn
If you stayed out in the sun too long or forgot to reapply sun cream when you should have, then you may experience some of the nasty effects of sunburn, including pain and tingling, chills, and in extreme cases, blistering.
Treating your sunburn early can help ease the symptoms and reduce the amount of damage done to your skin.
As soon as you suspect that you may be burnt, move into the shade and bathe the area with cool water and then gently pat to dry. Drink lots of fluids, take painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol and seek medical advice if blistering occurs, or if you feel dizzy and unwell.
Low-cost sunburn remedies
A cooling lotion or gel helps relieve discomfort and depending on what you use, may speed up the healing process. Even better, there’s no need to dash to a local pharmacy when you probably have many of the ingredients to make a remedy yourself.
Aloe for treating sunburn
A well-known sunburn remedy, raw aloe vera gel is cooling and bursting with ingredients that accelerate healing.
This is an excellent medicinal plant, so if you have one to hand then simply cut off a leaf and then peel the skin off one side. Rub the jelly side directly on your sunburn and apply it five times a day until it fades.
Cool it with cucumber
Using chopped or blended cucumber, straight from the fridge, is another low cost and easy way to soothe scorched skin.
For quick relief chop up some ice -cold cucumber slices and lay them on any burnt areas, turning them over when they get warm.
If you would like a gel effect then put a full cucumber in a blender to create a paste, adding some aloe vera to thicken it if desired.
Treat your sunburn with a cold milk compress
Both cold and healing, soak a clean washcloth in milk, let the excess drain off and then drape over the burn and leave it in place to absorb the heat. The milk will also create a layer of protein on your skin, helping the burn to heal more quickly.