It’s BEAUTY TIP THURSDAY!! Today’s tip? Sunburn…

Sunburn……..not a good look!!

Last weeks weather was fab and very unexpected which has left a lot of people with sun damage AKA sunburn.


Sunburn is when your skin is damaged due to over exposure to uv radiation, it is the invisible rays of sunlight that may be harmful to your body and too much uv can damage your skin cells and DNA inside them, and when the DNA is damaged abnormal cells grow and become cancer cells. Your risk of skin cancer is increased if you had many sunburns as a child….. Scary when you think back to how many times you might have got burnt over the years.

Everyone is different on how they react to the sun. Some people can stay out in the sun for longer than others and not burn straight away.

Some of the factors that can increase your risk of burning are:

  • Medication always consult your pharmacist
  • Prolonged exposure
  • Skin tone
  • Time of day
  • Unprotected skin

Exposure to uva and uvb sunlight’s accounts for 90% of premature aging such as wrinkles, hyper pigmentation and skin cancer.

If your moisture cream does not have a SPF in it than you really should be applying a SPF under your moisture cream I would recommend that you use the Clinique City Block in SPF 25 or 40. This is oil free and perfect under all moisture creams and for all skin types. Most foundations these days come with SPF in them, but that alone wouldn’t be enough as some people only put foundation where they need it and not all over the face, and especially not on there neck.

Be careful when purchasing your sun creams, always buy them from a pharmacy and don’t leave it till you go on your holidays. Sun creams need to be kept out of sunlight and in a cool area, so be careful you don’t buy creams that are out on a stand in the front of a shop esp. When abroad as they are in extreme heat, you may think that you are buying an SPF 50, but really it might be only a 30,  and you are not going to get that lovely sun kissed look that you were hoping for. Instead you will end up with blisters and peeling red skin. That is not a summer trend to follow!

Also sun creams that you have left over from last year that are opened really should be thrown away as the SPF in them will have been affected, and you won’t get the same protection so don’t risk it! Be wise when it comes to your skin and the sun. You wear your skin everyday so give it the best care that you can!!


Realistically most of us don’t apply our sun creams properly, do we? Sun cream has to be applied at least 20-30 mins before we go out in the sun to allow it to settle into the skin, so basically when you get up in the morning and are getting dressed put on your sun cream. Most Irish skins have a tolerance of 8-10 mins of sun, so how sun creams work is that if you use an SPF 15 then you get 15 x 10 mins = 150 mins in the sun.

In this time you should also reapply every hour! After that 150 mins, you need to come in out of the sun since your tolerance to the sun is up and you will burn, no matter how much cream you put on. Now if you put on SPF 50, you get 50 x 10 mins = 500 mins in the sun, giving you a longer time in the sun and hopefully not burning (reapply sun cream also every hour).  Sun creams should always be reapplied after swimming, excessive sweating or towelling as sun cream creams are not rub proof and in the pool the reflection of the sun can burn the skin.

A good tip is to reapply your suncream half an hour after you’ve been out in the sun, encase you missed any area the first time that you applied it and this will give you good coverage. Even on over-cast days make sure that you follow the sames rules as UV filters shine through the clouds.

To avoid sun burn, try to avoid the midday sun between 12-3, wear protective clothing and keep hydrated.

If you have followed all the rules and still get a little sunburn, because come on, we are human, then one of the best thing for sunburn is Aloe Vera, this is a thick jelly like substance that is soothing and rich in vitamin A C E and Amino Acids that will promote healing in the skin. It helps cool the skin and provide moisture. Aloe Vera is in most after suns or can be used on its own.

Another great product to use id the La Roche Posay After Sun called Posthelios. This is excellent for skin which has been over exposed to the sun and is easy to apply. It melts into the skin like a body cream and it helps repair any damage to the skin. It gives great hydration and takes any tight feeling away from the sunburn as it is enriched with lipid replenishing agents.

Another side effect that the sun is that you may get …..Cold sores!!!

If you do suffer from cold sores, then it is really important for you to keep a high SPF on it at all times.

  • Something like Sun Lipysl SPF 35 is great.
  • You should also take l-lysine tablets which helps to fight cold sore and mouth ulcers. These should be taken before you go on holidays and during your trip. l-lysine is the perfect supplement for anyone who suffers from cold sores anytime, just ask your pharmacist.

Some people will go to any lengths to have a tan these days but it wasn’t always like this. Years ago people who had tanned skin where seen to be lower class as they were working outdoors. In the 1920’s, Coco Channel was on a trip to the French Riviera and accidentally got sunburned resulting in tanned skin, and her followers liked it so much they began to expose their own skin. In the 1940’s tanning became very popular and people began to expose more areas of the skin, hence the bikini was born in 1946, and tan has just got bigger and bigger, although in recent years you can slightly see the trend going backwards as porcelain is making a come back!!

Stay tuned for next weeks Beauty Tip Thursday with the TOP Health & Beauty advice from our Sam McCauley Chemist Beauty Expert, Louise Amond.

Read Louise Amond’s Biography HERE & find her in Sam McCauley Chemist, Carlow Shopping Centre.

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