Friday, February 4, 2011

It's not Sunburn, It's Windburn!

We had a short beach trip last weekend in Calatagan, Batangas with our closest friends and my siblings and a Tagaytay stopover for a sumptuous lunch (which my siblings enjoyed immensely, as you know I don’t eat Sisig and Bulalo, LOL) before heading home.

I noticed the following day that my face has started to itch, leaving it slightly red. At first I thought it was sunburn (I swam on the beach at three in the afternoon and the sun was very hot that time). But my face wasn’t that red and as you know, a sunburn is tender to touch, and my face wasn’t. I slathered on vitamin E (pricked from the caplet) to have it moisturized, day and night. It lessened the itch and the redness. It looked a lot better the following day. It’s not itchy anymore but it left me a very dry skin and rough blotchy patches on the sides of my face (jaw line, chin, hairline, sides of my nose and brow line).

very dry skin and rough blotchy patches

It’s not sunburn; it’s windburn from our Tagaytay trip last Sunday! The weather in Tagaytay is almost Baguio-like (plus the strong winds that could literally blew a thin person off his/her feet)! I’m not exaggerating here. It’s really that cold and windy.         

What the hell is windburn anyway?      

Windburn results from a combination of cold wind and low humidity, which depletes the oil layer on your skin. It looks like a burn and certainly feels like a burn but it’s actually a skin irritation leaving your skin severely dry. A windburn can hurt just as much as a sunburn, but fortunately it is far less serious. It will usually fade away on its own in a couple of days.

my windburned skin on day 5
looking a lot better

Here are some tips that you can consider to speed the healing process of your windburned skin.

Keep your skin covered. Wear a scarf or neck warmer to keep your neck and chin protected and hat or a bonnet for your cheeks and forehead. Now, this was my big mistake. We were on those overlooking Bulalo houses and I’m having a hard time keeping my hair off my face because of the strong wind so I pulled my hair back in a bun making my face more exposed to the chilly weather. Yes, its entirely my fault. :(

When you’re going to be out for a long time, lather on a moisturizing sunblock/sunscreen (preferably with a higher SPF than 15). This will protect your skin from both sun and windburn. Don’t forget to lube up your lips too, again, with an SPF. Apply sunscreen every two hours to maximize its benefits.

Windburned skin craves moisture. Apply a thick moisturizer (preferably the ones without fragrances to avoid further irritation) three to four times a day. Aloe gel from the plant would be your best bet (as it contains zero chemicals) to soothe and alleviate the itchiness and swelling of the affected skin. If aloe gel’s not readily available, there are plenty of organic products with aloe which works just fine. I bought mine from Watsons. It has tea tree and peppermint oil and has worked wonders for my windburned skin.

Use a mild cleanser to clean the affected area. Choose the ones without added preservatives and fragrances. You want to keep as much natural oils on your skin as possible to avoid further drying. Avoid washing your skin too much as it may result to a drier skin making it more susceptible to irritation.

If your skin is sore, take an OTC anti-inflammatory meds such as aspirin or if you’re allergic to aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol will do the job as well. It’ll help in easing the pain and promote healing. Get checked by a doctor if your skin looks really swollen.

Prevention is always better than cure.
I should have brought my trusty bonnet with me! Oh well.


  1. Oh, so I have wind burns too. Lots of them. I thought they were simply dry patches. Glad I read this post of yours. :)

  2. Hi Pammy! Thanks for dropping by. Appreciate it! :)


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