Though we’re sincerely grateful and excited to finally have a heatwave in the UK this summer, there’s one damaging side effect we could really do without – sunburn.
While there are plenty of ways to avoid getting sun burnt (sun cream is a must, people!), it sometimes happens to the best of us. So what exactly is the best way to treat it? Well, according to Facebook user, Cindi Allen-Stewart, the answer to that is shaving cream – yes, really.
Cindi’s post sharing a detailed description of how shaving cream heals sunburn went viral last year after it was picked up by NewBeauty and ultimately became a huge talking point on social media.
She explained that her sunburn vanished almost immediately after she used some of her husband’s shaving cream on the affected areas thanks to one key ingredient in it – menthol.
Breaking down the process, Cindi said: ‘First, buy you some menthol foam shaving cream. It has to be the foam and it has to have menthol in it. We found Gillette shaving cream on Amazon since we had problems finding menthol foam in stores. We ended up buying 6 cans of it, but it works out because we live in Texas and sunburns happen a lot. (Plus, we have given a couple cans to friends.)’
She added: ‘Next, apply the shaving cream on the burn. It may seem like it’s a strange shaving ritual, but trust me! Don’t rub it in, just let it sit on your skin. It will start bringing all that heat out (you’ll be able to feel it). You may feel like you are itchy too, but that’s a good thing! Itching means healing.
‘Then, after about 30 minutes, the shaving cream will seem like it has dissolved in spots,’ she continued. ‘It will seem like it’s not as moist and a little dried out. You will feel as if you’re becoming a little cold, at least on the sunburned part of your body. THAT IS A GOOD SIGN! Next, rinse it off in a lukewarm or cool shower or bath. It’s just to get the residue off.’
The tip has come back into circulation this year, and many people have debated whether this method was actually useful or not. So we decided to ask an expert to clear things up.
Clinical aesthetician and co-founder of Mortar & Milk Pamela Marshall says that while shaving foam could work, it is actually the menthol that is key to soothing your sunburn.
‘Menthol (a derivative of peppermint oil) is a topical pain reliever. When placed on the skin it will give a cooling effect,’ she explains. ‘Essentially it disrupts the calcium current along the nerves and tells the brain there is cooling in the area. It is in fact, within a cosmetic formula (never neat) great for calming a sunburn. However, it doesn’t have to be in a shave gel. That’s where the myth lies.’
She continued: ‘I have no doubt that it would work on some level, but many creams/gels with menthol in the formulation would do the same. It can be a body lotion or a shave gel. Either would work. Its effects are cooling, working as an analgesic. Given a few days, the sunburn will clear on its own, but if someone cannot use aloe due to an allergy, a lotion with menthol in it would work as well.’
So there you have it. We may just have to give it a go next time we find ourselves hit by the sun!