The Best Ways to Soothe Your Sunburn

For anyone that’s as pale as me, going to the beach can sometimes turn into a nightmare. What starts as a fun day hanging out with friends by the water can quickly turn into a week of looking like a lobster, which is something I always dread come summer. Besides the fact that a sunburn can look super embarrassing, it can also damage your skin. The best trick I could give you to avoid the redness is to not get burnt at all (carrying around a bottle of SPF 30 is always the way to go,) but we are all guilty of neglecting our skin until it’s too late. So, if you’re like me and are constantly in denial about how easily you burn and are now regretting it, here are some tricks I’ve picked up for soothing your sunburn as soon as possible:

Whip out the aloe vera

I know this is a basic tip that (hopefully) everyone knows by now, but that’s because it’s so effective. One of the worst parts of a sunburn is feeling like you are radiating heat and an aloe vera ointment (a cooling agent) combats that. It’s important to stay as cool as possible when you have a burn without drying your skin (which could irritate it further.) Aloe vera is the best of both worlds in this case, and I would recommend always having a bottle laying around your bathroom. Alternatively, holding a cold  compress against affected areas can also be very soothing.

Take a cold shower or bath

This tip is similar to the first one, since it’s all about keeping yourself cool. The water doesn’t have to be freezing, but should be slightly colder than you’re used to in order to take the extra body heat into account. Nothing can be worse on a sunburn than continued exposure to heat, whether it comes in the form of sunlight or shower water, so try your best to switch up your regular shower routine to soothe the pain.

Take an OTC pain reliever or anti-inflammatory if pain is extreme

Although this is only really necessary in situations where the pain is unbearable, an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen can be extremely helpful in easing the pain of a bad burn. In addition to relieving pain, an anti-inflammatory can also take down some of the swelling and push the healing process of a sunburn. Do not be fooled, though; medication can only do so much, and you have to give the skin time to heal at its own pace. A sunburn is a sunburn, and there isn’t a magic pill that can change that.

Stay out of the sun!

This is perhaps the most important point I can make. You don’t have to become a hermit or anything, but if you have a bad sunburn, you should keep it out of the sun for as long as possible. More exposure to the sun could only serve to irritate the affected spots and either worsen the existing burn, or burn you in a different place. If you must go outside, wear loose, long clothing that covers the burns. In this case, your go-to of leggings and skinny jeans are a definite no.

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Easy Tricks For Taking Better Instagram Photos

Despite how much we may deny it, we all know that we notice how many likes our pictures get on Instagram. Especially if a post we thought would do well, doesn’t. The standards for a good Instagram account at Emerson are high‒I mean, how are you supposed to compete with all the photography accounts, all white aesthetic pages, and modeling accounts? Well, I’m not saying that your page will get famous overnight, but I can assure you following a few simple guidelines will get you a few more likes here and there.

Always make sure your horizon line is straight.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone posts a photo of a landscape, and the line is crooked. It’s basically impossible to get a perfectly straight horizon line when you’re using your iPhone to shoot (like I do,) but there is an easy way to fix this before you post it. Go to your photos, click edit, and then the crop/straighten icon. Drag the image around until your horizon line matches one of the lines on the grid, and then you’re all set.

Don’t rely on pre-made filters.

Although it may be easier to upload a photo, click one of Instagram’s filters, and then post, it doesn’t always work out that well. You can almost always do a better job touching up the picture yourself (whether you’re using an editing app like VSCO or just the edit feature directly on Instagram.) There are a lot of options for what you can do to the photo, but I recommend sticking with fixing the brightness, contrast, the highlights, and the shadows. Play around with these for a few minutes and you can seriously upgrade the photo without making it look too obvious (like a filter would do.)

Be careful with vertical photos.

If you go out with your girls and you didn’t get a good photo, did you really even go out? Everyone’s natural instinct when taking a picture with a few friends is usually to take a vertical photo with the people filling the whole screen. Although this would look great printed out, or posted on Facebook, a vertical picture isn’t always the best choice for Instagram. Yes, Instagram made it possible to make the whole thing fit without cutting anyone’s head off, but it could still mess up your feed. On your feed, only a square version of the photo will appear, which means some heads or feet will still be cut off of your vertical picture. You can easily avoid this by either leaving some empty space on the top and bottom of the photo, or by taking a horizontal picture to begin with (which is my personal go-to). Trust me, your feed will thank you.

Take your selfies on the camera app, not Snapchat.

It’s so tempting to take all of your selfies on Snapchat, where the image doesn’t flip and you don’t have to wonder why your face always looks off when it does. But the cold, hard truth is that the quality of the camera app is just overall better than Snapchat. Downloading a picture from Snapchat (and then editing it) runs the risk of becoming grainy, while a camera photo usually stays sharp no matter what you do to it. My advice is to learn to love how you look in the selfies where the image flips because that’s how the rest of the world usually sees you, anyway. The only person that’s accustomed to seeing your face in mirror images is you, so while you may think you look better, everyone else may think you look just a little different. (And to piggy-back off my last tip, I also recommend trying horizontal selfies over vertical ones so nothing gets cropped).