Over Easter weekend, we hit the road and headed to Mammoth Lakes, CA for some springtime skiing and snowboarding. The abundance of rain in California this winter also has meant some pretty epic snowfall in the mountain areas. The weather was perfect- still piles of snow and warm, sunny days.
The sunny days part is what got me into trouble though... On the first day out, I forgot to put on sunscreen- which is crazy, because I'm kind of the sunscreen queen. I'm so fair that I don't even bother trying to get a tan anymore. I just rock the lily white skin year round. When we got back to the hotel that first day, I realized there was a problem when the bottom half of my face was feeling rather tight. Turns out I had a wicked snow goggle sunburn.
It was not cute. And worse, it was hands down one of the most terrible sunburns I've ever had. To be honest, I was a little freaked out that I might end up with some permanent sun damage/pigmentation issues. I jumped into crisis mode, and started slathering my face with all sorts of good stuff.
Step one with a sunburn is to try to minimize damage. The best way to do this is with cold compresses or cold water if you can stand submerging yourself. Never, ever put straight ice on your burn though- you'll risk making matters worse with a frostbite. Cool milk is also soothing. Drink lots and lots of water, but skip heavy oils and creams the first day/night of a burn because you'll trap the heat under your skin.
Aloe will help you feel more comfortable, but contrary to popular belief, it actually doesn't help the burn heal any faster. Manuka honey is also a great soother AND healer. (See below- it makes an appearance in the mask.)
After about a day, I started in with my DIY mask, and let me tell you, it was a SKIN SAVER. After the very first session, dry, damaged areas of skin started to slough off. I did the mask daily for about 3-4 days and every time it would slough off more- cutting that hateful peeling phase down by a good week or so. Now- let me caution you though- don't aggressively try to rub or peel your skin- just like with the ice, you'll make matters worse. Just let your skin do it's thang, and trust that it's rejuvenating as fast as it can. This mask will just move the process along faster.
SO- the mask!
It's incredibly simple, but it works. Start with about 1/3 of a cup of yogurt- straight out of the fridge will feel extra nice on that burned skin. Then take about 1- 1 1/2 teaspoons of colloidal oatmeal (I used Aveeno soothing bath treatment because I had some on hand) and mix it with the same amount of water (or less) until it has a smooth consistency. I actually just used my fingers to make sure all the powdery bits where mixed in. Add the oatmeal mixture and a teaspoon of Manuka honey to the yogurt and stir together. (You can use regular honey if you'd like, but Manuka has amazing healing properties- there's actually been a study using manuka honey vs traditional dressing for burns, and the results were astounding. The Manuka honey dressings made the wounds sterile in less time, enhanced healing, and had a better outcome in terms of hypertrophic scars and post-burn contractures as compared to traditional dressings. Amazing, right??) You can keep the mixture in a resealable container for several days, so don't worry about having to use it all up in one go.
Now, take that mixture and spread it on your face. It actually has a fairly thin consistency as you can see in the photo above. Here is where the key part comes in though- once the mask has dried (or mostly dried) add another layer. Do this several times. 3-5 layers are best. THEN, rinse it off.
The yogurt will help soothe, and the lactic acid in it is what will help dissolve that damaged skin faster. The oatmeal soothes and helps lock in moisture, and we've already gone over the amazing healing benefits of honey.
Post mask treatment, make sure you slather up with extra moisture. And keep applying, applying applying. I used The Honest Company skin healing balm mixed with some vitamin e (also, an ingredient that will help your skin heal faster.) Any moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid in it is great too because it locks moisture into your skin. I actually started using a Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Serum a few days after my burn, and I'm still using it daily and my skin has never looked better!
Let me know if you try the mask- and you don't actually have to have a burn either! It'll make your skin glow regardless!