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How to treat sunburn on dark skin and fade tan

                           

Have you ever been badly sun burnt in the past or maybe you've just experienced this recently? It is very frustrating to realise that this can reverse months of practising a good skin care regime. I had this experience in June 2015 and honestly, before this I never really had a proper skin care regime which I believe every woman should have in her early twenties. So my feet and face were badly affected after spending more than 8 hours in the sun at a festival.

There was a clear demarcation between the area of my feet protected by my shoes and the area that was exposed. I noticed that the burnt area was not only darker but it appeared to be wrinkled as well. I couldn't believe this. In all my years, I had never been burnt so severely in one day. Usually, I would get tanned after staying exposed for days, for instance at NYSC camp or just when I was a student in Ghana and walking a lot rather than driving. In these cases I would get tanned all over my body since I'm never really covered up.

So of course I wasn't pleased with my sun burn and started researching ways to get rid of them. Here are 3 products that I used to solve this problem.


Holland and Barrett Aloe Vera gel:
                                   

I didn't use this for a long time but I found that Aloe Vera is very soothing and calms the skin. I started with the Holland and Barrett Aloe Vera gel for the first two days or so. The 100ml tube was on sale for £1.99. At home in Nigeria, we actually have the Aloe Vera plant. If you have this you can either squeeze out the juice or cut it open and apply to the affected areas. This is natural and more concentrated than the store-bought gels. Also you don't feel like you have more than you need.
                                  


The Body Shop Microdermabrasion Vitamin C
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After a couple of days I started to slough off the dead skin. I only focused on my face because it was just so obvious. I used The Body Shop Microdermabrasion Vitamin C which was being heavily promoted in the shops at the time. I'm guessing such products are in higher demand in the summer. It's not recommended for sensitive skin. When I tested it at the back of my hand it felt tingly and the shop assistant recommended that I use it maybe one or twice a week. He also said I could massage my face for about a minute but to avoid experiencing any micro tears on my skin I would just wash it off when I felt I had gotten every area. However it actually never felt tingly when I started to use it so my guess is that the tester was more concentrated than the products for sale. In the short term I like the way the product makes my skin feel in the morning. It's not oily but smooth and bright. You should expect long term results rather than short term results from this product. I only used this product once a week at night. This product is available in Nigeria here for N5,500


Olay Regenerist Regenerating Moisturiser Night cream


This is the star in the formula! Not only did it help to fade my sun burn, my skin became smoother than it was before I got burnt. I actually didn't know what I was missing! This product is packed with Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) which is a cell-communicating ingredient that helps to revive the skin's healthy tone and texture. I used this religiously for two months before the difference became clear to me. At this point I decided that this product would always be a part of my skin care routine. I purchased mine at Boots and I am yet to find a retailer in Lagos. The serum is available in Nigeria here and there's also a fragrance-free version here for anyone with sensitive skin. I actually prefer the serum now that I am in Nigeria because it is so hot and humid which makes my face oily. The serum is lighter and just as effective. I've never used a face moisturiser before this and I would say it's quite pricey but a little really does go a long way. Using a little more than a pea size on my face and neck every night lasted me 3 months and I'm not kidding! But then again I can be prudent to a fault.

So that's how I dealt with the sunburn on my face. I didn't use any special products for my feet so it took longer to clear. I just made sure to exfoliate with shower gloves and moisturise as usual. Also I kept my feet covered but for climates like Nigeria, I would suggest to protect the skin with sunscreen to prevent further damage.

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