10 June 2013

6 Top Tips: Dealing with Sunburn

Fellow weegies will confirm that we've had some amazing weather in Glasgow recently, temperatures over 20 degrees were recorded! Here in Scotland we do try to make the most of good weather as it doesn't happen all that often throughout the year.

Sunny days in Glasgow are (un) affectionately known as "taps aff" days as it's generally regarded necessary for men to remove their tops. I know what you're thinking - handsome, burly Scotsmen walking around shirtless - I guarantee this is not the case. "Taps aff" is reserved for those that shouldn't really partake in the past time and should be covered up as most of them are as pale as me!

As a fair skinned lass with auburn hair I have a love/hate relationship with that great big ball-o-flame in the sky and spent my childhood holidays covered in giant white t shirts. Sometimes no amount of suncreen sunblock will stop my skin from sizzling.

So in honour of what is likely to be our week long summer and in celebration of the Taps Aff tradition, I'm writing my first ever "Top Tips" post and sharing some handy tips for dealing with the heat and dreaded sunburn.

1. Wear Sunscreen

Don't be a numpty and wear sunscreen in the first place. If you're fair like me, try some 30+. If that doesn't work, which it usually doesn't for me, try some good ole' sunblock (50+) - and don't forget to reapply!

Thanks to the Photoshop genius that is Peter I look less red in many of the nice pics of us in the sun


2. Instant Cool Down

Sunburn can be particularly stingy if you've caught it on your neck and shoulders, making you wish an ice bath was at hand. Here's a quick idea that has helped many times for me.
Fill your sink with cold water and add a few drops of lavender oil. Soak a face cloth in the water for a few minutes and then squeeze it gently, keeping some moisture in. Put the cloth in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes, (don't let it freeze solid just cold enough to cool you down) and then place on your skin. You may find yourself screaming profanities as it touches your skin, but if you brace yourself it's not so bad.

3. Aftersun is your Friend

You can get all types of aftersun that are ridiculously expensive, especially ones that claim to make your tan last longer. Milk bottles such as I have no requirement for this as there are only two colours I'll ever be - white or red and all the shades of pink in between.
Get yourself an aloe vera gel. They can be stickier than creams, but once you put that bottle of green slime on after being in the fridge for a while, it's magic! Cools you right down and takes away the prickly feeling. You can also pretend you've been attacked by Slimer.

4. Take a Shower

If you're really bad and just can't cool down a cold shower is the way to go. This happens often to me, it just sucks the fun out of any sunny day and leaves you feeling miserable and exhausted. Just remember to make sure the shower is set to a cooler temp before you jump in. Hot water on sunburnt skin... Ouch!
I was in Rome once when this happened and I was getting cranky and exhausted. Then we hit the Pantheon. It's made of marble so it's always cool in there, I threw etiquette and caution to the wind and just lay down in a quiet space.

5. Hydrate

It's an obvious one, but drink plenty of water to stay hydrated otherwise headaches, drowsiness and crankiness will take over. Oh and treat yourself to some ice cream!

6. Seek Shade!

There's a reason siestas exist - It's just too damn hot to do anything. 
After uni I spent a month in Italy on a strict diet of beach, swimming and eating amazing homemade Italian food. Each morning would just wipe me out and the 3-4 hour siesta was essential to keeping the holiday a happy one. Every day we were refuelled by Peter's Aunts insanely good cooking and an hour's nap. We also found filled the time with the odd Pixar movie and a whole season of Justice League on Peter's tiny mp4 player.
So take an hour or so out between 12 and 2 at least to recharge and if you're in Italy mangia big time!!


These are some of my tips on dealing with the heat and sunburn as a self confessed milk bottle. I have long said that as a Scot with probable Scandinavian ancestry, I'm built for the cold. And as lovely as it might seem, sitting inside on a cold day, living somewhere warm is something I'm not sure I could handle in the long term. Although a month long trip to Disney World wouldn't go amiss!

How do you deal with the heat? Or if you live in a hotter climate, how do you deal with the cold? Share in the comments.

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