I've been going to the beach a lot this summer, mostly with friends. I actually just got back from being down the shore for the week with my family this past weekend.
Now, to be clear, I don't burn easily. I burn the first two times I go out in the blazing sun and that's about it. After that, once I get a couple of layers of sun exposure, I'm set.
I may get a little pink in certain spots if I'm out for too long, which goes away within a day, but other than that, nothing. Believe me when I say that those first couple of days in the sun, I lather on the sunscreen.
This past week, however, I went to the beach every day and was under the hot sun for hours. I didn't turn into a lobster or anything, but I got a small sunburn on my back. Even the little amount of red that I got, however, reminded me just how much I hate sunburn and why.
A fresh sunburn can be pretty painful. Anything that touches your burnt skin, like clothing or the material of whatever you're sitting on, hurts; and there's really nothing you can do to fix it. You can use aloe to soothe it temporarily, but within a short period of time, you'll be back to the burn.
Also, depending on the placement of the sunburn, you can really be in for it. I went to the beach this past Saturday with some friends. The bathing suit that I wore exposed skin on my butt that is usually covered by the other suits I wear, and I forgot to put sunscreen there. I'm not saying my entire ass was out or anything, but I got a nice stripe of red on my ass.
So, now my butt is three colors: white, red, and tan.
2. Feeling itchy.
I feel like, at least for me, the itchiness of sunburn is like the middle stage of a sunburn. It's the giveaway for the ultimate question: am I going to peel or not? As soon as I start feeling itchy from sunburn, I know that my skin is going to peel, and it's the worst foreshadowing ever.
You're uncomfortable all the time! Sure, aloe or moisturizer can help, but it only gets you so far. If your body is going to peel, no amount of moisturizer is going to prevent that; it'll just prolong it. Meanwhile, enjoy constantly having to move to a more comfy spot and trying to avoid the temptation to scratch.
3. Skin peeling.
It's the best and worst part of any sunburn. I love peeling, just because it's so satisfying. At the same time, it's so gross. You're literally peeling off flakes of dead old skin. Disgusting!
Not only that but when you peel, if it's in a spot that is hard to reach, like your back unless someone helps you, you can't get a big chunk of it off yourself. It'll peel off in little pieces, which means you look like a ridiculous snake. Plus, when you peel, you lose your tan, and all your hard work laying out in the sun to get that summer glow goes to waste.
Regardless of whether or not you burn easily, sunblock is important. It protects your skin not only from sunburn, but it also reduces the risk of early skin aging and skin cancers associated with UV radiation.
So, the next time you think about skipping the sunscreen when you go to the beach, think twice. Sunburn isn't the only thing to be protected from.