HAPPY END-OF-SUMMER! Yeah, I’m kidding. Is it just me who thinks there was just a whole year of summer in Manila? I am aware of all the floods and hurricanes and even hail storm from around the country, but Manila, really? Guess we have to take a pause and think of one little way to at least lessen the “heat”, huh?
Going out for a summer trip is one thing. Taking care of your sun-burnt skin is another. These days, I don’t really care that much about how I look. I don’t focus on getting back to the fairness of my skin color either. The after-summer days (even months) are my days of gaining back my healthy (oh, really) skin because, man, it hurts A LOT.
I don’t want to just leave you reading about how happy I am traveling or enjoying the outdoors, I want to share my struggles, too. Because if you want to inspire people, you gotta tell them the downsides as well and help them get through it in any simple way that you can. In this post, I’m going to share how I take care of my sun-burnt skin, and how I strive hard to look better than I feel (lol, because #work!)
You know, I didn’t mean to get sun-burnt. I just wanted to enjoy the beach, and make the most out of our boat ride. And yes, I applied (and re-applied) lots of sunblock and sun protective lotions and moisturizers, but hey, I still ended up being called “Neggy”. Haha. Yeah, I gave myself the name.
It can take several hours for the full damage to show itself – that’s what I learned from traveling a lot. You won’t feel it instantly, but after a few hours or even days, you’ll start feeling very uncomfortable, irritated, and hurt.
Sunburns can happen to anybody, and kind of normal already every summer. But it’s very important to take it seriously and at least lessen the risk of getting infected or who knows what worse could happen?
7 ways to treat sunburn
First thing’s first: do not worry about your dark skin, worry about the burn. Many people usually find it awkward or embarrassing or uncomfortable or ugly whenever they turn tones darker. Guess what, same number of people are actually jealous of you taking that vacation and pulling off a (perfect or not) tan.
I’ve been there. Being the “negneg” was no fun, until I realized I had that tan simply because I enjoyed summer. (Boom, how ’bout ‘ya?) Now I worry more of the itchiness and the burning feeling of having such. At least I got more confident, right? I just need to take care of the burns and stay healthy.
Got these^ from my BIGG adventure on November 2018. Yep, November. It was a bit rainy in Bacolod, but our island hopping days were super hot. These pics were taken couple of weeks after that trip and it was really painful. So lesson learned: I HAVE to take more care of my skin while enjoying the beach. How?
1. Cool it down right away.
Salt water is salt water. And once they took their revenge (or avenge), it’s hard to just surrender or run away. Sunblocks are a great help, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t 200% work. They basically just protect you by moisturizing your skin while you’re under the sun, they’re not creating a magic invisible coat around your skin. That’s why most of them seem like “not working”, but really, they work just not the way you expect them to.
I understand some beaches doesn’t have room for taking a shower or there’s just a little jam along the line of other hoomans. But we also are aware we need to wash that salty water off our skin to avoid irritation and dryness. Here’s the trick to avoid painful sunburns – after swimming or sun bathing or just being exposed harshly to the sun, wash yourself up with cold water. Or, in some case where you are just stuck in the middle of a line or no chance of taking a bath, use an after-sun moisturizer (recommended brands are down below!)
2. Relax, take a cold shower, and moisturize.
Since I’ve just undergone CS with Mnemo, I use lukewarm water for shower. See, wounds and stitches hurts when they’re cold (which I hate bec, man, it’s too hot in here but I have no choice!) Apparently, I just discovered, you can actually take a cold bath once the stitch was healed (at least outside). Sanayan lang, kumbaga. You just need to get used to the cold bath again.
Body – I normally use kojic or papaya bar soaps for my body, then another cleanse with a more mild liquid body soap. After taking a bath, I dry my skin with cotton or microfiber towel then apply moisturizing lotion. Through the day, I have this small bottle of aloe water gel I usually spray to skin at random times, just to make sure my skin is hydrated.
Face – For the face I use mild and organic oil cleanser to better remove my make up, and then wash it off with same brand of facial scrub (normally alternate with exfoliating facial wash, but not for now). During the days, I use sun protection for the face and facial mist. Through the night I use an avocado cream mask.
3. Try cold compress or ice it down
This one I don’t usually do unless I have more than two hours of idle time (which I don’t remember when was the last time), but I see this often in articles sharing the same tips. You have to be careful, though, because since you’re doing a super cold compress, your pores may close and you don’t exactly want your skin to get thirsty! I suggest you do this after applying all the moisturizers, before sleep, just to be safe.
4. Increase your water intake!
I used to not care about that “8 glasses of water a day”, but the sun apparently has some sama ng loob with us hoomans. Here in the Philippines, there are increasing cases of heat stroke, and in other countries I hear news on forest fires which are super creepy. So I realized we really need to stay hydrated even if we’re just inside our house chilling while watching a movie in Netflix.
5. Sorry, but you need to change your skincare routine. For now.
Sun damage and sun burns makes your skin more (super) sensitive, and what triggers the pain more are those active chemical ingredients we usually use to “treat” blisters and rashes.
Since I got pregnant, I learned to relax my skincare routine and slowly switch to more organic products, so now it’s not difficult for me adjust with them anymore. Keep your products as gentle as can be.Avoid medications, harsh toners, exfoliants, harsh scrubs, also to avoid flaring up, and worsening your burns.
6. Maybe visit your doctor when…
You should definitely seek medical advise if you have severe blistering even after moisturizing, if you have open wounds due to the burns, or if you have a large portion of your skin affected by the burn. Don’t scratch them or put creams you’re not sure of, or else it will lead to serious infections.
7. Don’t freak out!
I know the previous item was scary, but you get me. As long as you’re still breathing, you’re going to be fine. Relax and chill! Plus, build up your confidence again because sun burns are not an excuse for just staying at home – we gotta grind and work hard so we can play hard (again)!
How I “pull it off” and gain back my confidence
I usually say I didn’t care about how I look. I care more about how I feel, physically. Some people would think “easy for you to say, you still look okay or even pretty even with uneven tan lines”. It’s not that I don’t really care, I sometimes feel conscious and insecure as well. I mean how these ladies on Instagram could were bikinis and still have pearl-white legs?!! Well, apparently, some people are just gifted, and some are just there taking pictures and then run for shade.
Believe me, I don’t think I could pull it off. I don’t think I look like a perfectly tanned model or whatever. But during my most recent vacay, I earned a lot of those and I had no choice but to believe them. Why? Because I need confidence more than I need those insecurities.
Instead of just boasting about the “confidence” I am talking about, I’ll share how I convince myself that I look okay.
1. I believe tanned people are sexy.
Embrace your tan. I know you don’t like it. I know you feel ugly about it. But hey, tan end people are sexy. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a racist. It’s just some people who are not normally tanned or brown don’t really like it when they’re brown. Some (and most) like it when they change colors. (What do I do, people are just too not contented.)
I think tanned people (even the darker skin-toned people who become even more darker, heck how to say this without sounding like a racist) are sexy because they got those tan lines on their exposed bodies and I think wearing those swim wears confidently is sexy. I don’t even know if you get what I mean.
2. I wear more comfy clothes.
Here’s a trick I learned from one of the articles I read just recently: expose your tanned skin. Why? Because 1) the more you hide them with long sleeves and stuff, the more darker you will look, 2) again, tan lines are sexy, 3) people are usually jealous not with your tans but with how confident you are to pull it off.
3. I don’t wear too much make up.
I’m not a wearer of heavy make-ups, though. I like the “no-make-up-look” people are talking about on Youtube. But during my tan days, I wear even less make up – facial moisturizer and sun screen as base, ivory foundation on the parts of the face we usually want to highlight, I take advantage of my brown skin to bronze up my face, super light brown eyebrow liner, I put on nude pink lipstick and pink one on the inner part of both lips, then I apply some glitters just because I want to, finally, I spray some facial mist to lock everything up with moisture.
I am not saying my no make up look makes me pretty (for you), but at least I am more confident I am somehow cute and doesn’t look haggard. Yes, it’s true what other girls say: make up build up your confidence.
My skin care routine
Now, I know it’s a lot easier to just watch a video of how I do this, but I am not that comfy yet with the camera, so bear with me for now, please? I promise to update this as soon as I got the courage to film myself talking to a non-living thing.
I’m posting here pictures of the products linked from the internet, but you can also view my highlighted stories in IG for actual photos and other details and tips. I also divided this sub-topic by three parts: face, body, and hair. Now, I know hair isn’t part of “skin care” routine, but I just learned some tips from an FB group which seems to be working for me.
- I use Human Heart Nature’s Cleansing Oil. I use only one to two pumps for my face since I am very watchful of oils for my already oily face. I massage it onto my face and neck to gently wash off my make up and some dirt. Then slowly wipe it off with wet wipes. Why wet wipes? They’re soft, wet (better if they’re aloe-based), and I have lots of them because I am a mom. Lol.
- I wash my whole face and neck (always include the neck!) with Human Heart Nature’s Balancing Facial Wash. Again, because I have oily skin, I need help to control my natural oil in the face. It also is a mild facial scrub that washes off the remaining dirt from your skin.
- I don’t use a toner because my skin is highly sensitive when sunburnt.
- Day – I use Celeteque Facial Moisturizer and Sun Protect. Plus Human Heart Nature’s Facial Mist to freshen the mood more.
- Night – Miniso’s Avocado Sleeping Mask. I slept better when I started to use this. It’s cheap, it’s fragrant, and it works well.
- I didn’t stop using papaya soap though it’s effect is a little dryness to my skin because it exfoliates effectively. I use Skin White Kojic. Definitely not because I want to be fairer, but it just works really well cleansing the dead skin and cells off. Then I rinse.
- Second wash is with Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Milk Bath. Yep, I wash twice. To make it even and feed my skin some moisturizer at least. I usually don’t wash it off for 10-15 minutes or until I feel all moisturized. Lol.
- This is what I am not yet sure which brand to use: moisturizing lotion. The last bottle I had was Nivea with sun protect. It was okay except I didn’t feel like the “sun protect” was working. As of writing, I use this unfamiliar one from ___. It works fine, doesn’t have sunscreen though, and it’s too creamy/milky like I just put on some wet baby powder on my skin and it will last for about 5 minutes. Good thing is it doesn’t feel sticky.
- Lastly but definitely not the least, I bought this little spray bottle from Landmark and pour some aloe gel in it and fill it all up with water. It’s like a DIY mist for my burns for when I feel the itch or the sting. And it helps a lot.
Soooo, I just learned this Curly GIrls group on Facebook (thanks to my friend Chachi for sharing!), and before i decided not to have my hair rebonded, I tried their methods and, man, my hair still looks horrible but I feel more comfy and it feels more light and soft, and I think it just needs more time to look like what I am feeling.
- I shampoo/wash my hair with Tesco shampoo. It has sulfate, but at least milder than what I was using before. But I have plans to switch to Human Heart Nature as well. I only shampoo my hair every two days.
- I condition my hair with a VO5 conditioner (kiwi, because there was no other scent the last time I went to the groceries) for 10-15 minutes.
- For styling I use a cheap mousse, but a Grips gel I think would be cheaper and would work better.
- When already dry, I spray some water on it to keep my hair hydrated.
- I also use Vitress Hair Freshener to spray away the dirt and odor I usually get from walking the streets or sweat.
As a new mom, it’s just now that I am starting to realize how important it is to take care not only of my child but take care of myself as well. But I gotta admit, some days I just want to lie down and sleep during my idle time, instead of doing all of these “skin care routine”. Being a mom makes me less conscious and insecure, that I just want comfy lifestyle instead of getting on the trend. I slashed that dream of becoming a “hot and pretty” mom since Mnemo. Sometimes you’ll hear me say “ang pangit ko” or “ang itim ko, nakakainis” but at the end of the day, I am ugly and dark simply because I had time to enjoy more of life. And thank God for that. ❤
Anyhoo, I hope you already have learned a thing or two from this post, and I wish the same things works for you as well. I know you already know this, but I still have to mention that one process or routine would work for one just because it was proven effective for the other. I have more than 3000 words written in here, but I can only hope at least one word could help you, guys.
Unless you also have something to share? How about you? How do you take care of your skin and keep it away from the irritating pain of having sun burn? Do you also have some recommendations on what products to use? Let’s connect! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!