Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Burnt to Bronze in 7 days! + My Breakup with SPF | Lesson Learned


My whole life it has been absolutely pounded into my head to not leave the house without my sunscreen on- summer or winter, rain or shine. I always considered it to be a blessing that wearing sunscreen became something I never had to think about since I am of Irish descent- my father was from Ireland before he moved to Canada- and I burn very easy; I usually have at least one burn every summer. Wearing SPF seems like a no brainer, right? It protects you from harmful UV rays, prevents skin cancer, and prevents awful sunburns. Or not...

My friends and I decided we would have a nice lounge day by the pool so I got out my bikini, my cover up, and of course my SPF. I doused my entire body in waterproof SPF 60 sunscreen before going to my friends house and re-applied about an hour into our lounge. I didn't notice myself getting pink- or turning colour at all so I didn't really think that I needed to cover myself up anymore than I was. I was wearing a light cotton shirt undone over my bikini (so it really only covered my upper arms and shoulders), my sunglasses and a cute little hat for extra protection over my face (as I only had SPF 15 on under my makeup).

Day 1
 As you can see the SPF 60 didn't help me what-so-ever. The entire front side of my body was covered in a bright red, very painful sunburn. My sunburn care was very intensive as I wanted to avoid blistering and peeling. I will share this "sunburn routine" if you will, with all of you as I miraculously didn't peel at all! I went from a lobster to a sun-kissed darling in just 7 days!

 I immediately took a bath using the Aveeno bath treatment (I can't remember the exact name of it as I threw out the packages, but it was in a blue and cream box). After my bath I applied a generous amount of aloe vera, let it dry, then applied the Aveeno daily moisturizing lotion mixed with a bit of generic vitamin E cream.

Day 3
As you can see, by day 3 my skin was already looking significantly better. I continued to take a bath every night using the Aveeno bath treatment and followed up with my aloe, then moisturizer combo. On day 3 I decided I had to bite the bullet before I began to peel, and exfoliate- it was very painful. I used the Aveeno daily moisturizing body gel on a loofah and gently exfoliated my whole body. After the shower I applied aloe and my moisturizer mixture.

Day 3
These were the types of outfits I lived in for the first 3 days of my sunburn. Light cotton, nothing abrasive- definitely no jeans! It was kind of torturous as I'm a huge lover of denim, but it was worth it as the rubbing of the clothes on my skin was not comfortable at all. The only time I wasn't wearing outfits like this was when I went to work- yes, I even left my house looking like this.

Day 5
By the 5th day of my burn it no longer hurt at all, hadn't peeled, and was already turning brown! The only uncomfortable part at this stage was I was slightly itchy. I stopped my daily bath and aloe application by this point but continued to lightly exfoliate to avoid peeling and moisturized twice a day with the Aveeno lotion/vitamin E cream mixture.

Day 7
After just a week of my rigorous skin care plan I was no longer burnt, but completely brown! Okay, maybe I'm still a bit pink, but for only a week this is absolutely amazing! I had no peeling what so ever which is the best and most amazing part of it all!

If I'm being honest I felt really betrayed when I realized how burnt I had gotten. Betrayed by the sun, betrayed by my sunscreen, and betrayed by everyone in my life who convinced me that I needed to wear sunscreen to be safe. Clearly that wasn't the case as I continued to burn every summer without fail. I decided to do some research about sunscreen and found some really interesting reads on the subject.


It was really interesting for me to research this as I never actually had before, and even more interesting for me to read that sunscreen can be just as harmful as the sun itself. Based on my research I have now decided that I will never wear sunscreen again. I plan to protect my skin in other ways including a diet rich in healthy fats, and covering up my skin when I'm going to be out and about in the sun. I read another article that I can't seem to find for the life of me that said spending 20 minutes a day out in the sun with no protection is very beneficial for vitamin D absorption without putting your skin at risk.

I am positive that based on this experience and the others from summers past, I will no longer be suckered into the hype of sunscreen- I am breaking up with SPF. Let me know what you think about the whole SPF topic and if you use or don't use it!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn