Quench and soothe sun-stressed skin and hair with these holiday heroes
While we’re all basking in those rays, our skin isn’t having as much fun – it’s no secret that sun exposure is one of the biggest causes of skin damage, with the American Academy of Dermatology placing it at the top of their list of extrinsic ageing culprits. Plus, sunburn is the one thing guaranteed to dampen our warm-weather cheer. So it’s worth stocking up on a decent after-sun to reduce redness, cool and soothe as well as prevent peeling and itching.
It goes without saying, that applying after-sun every evening doesn’t mean you can slather on the cooking oil and frolic in the sun with gay abandon in the daytime. You should always protect yourself in the first place, this means spending time in the shade, wearing a full-brimmed hat and applying that trusty SPF like it’s going out of fashion.
But even if you do all that and aren’t burnt to a crisp – after-sun is still a vital part of your summer skincare kit. Even moderate sun exposure can leave skin parched, sensitised and vulnerable to micro-damage from free radicals (caused by UV rays). So you should still be reaching for that after-sun come the evening, after you’ve showered off all your sun block. (Remember to drink plenty of water too, to replace loss of fluids in the parching heat.)
With that in mind, we’ve selected five hardworking after-suns that tick every box – with a few extra benefits thrown in too.
Herbivore After Sun
If spending time in the sun leaves you feeling particularly hot and bothered, this non-toxic, über-luxe cooling spray is just the tonic. Starring calming lavender, healing aloe and refreshing spearmint (adding a pleasant ‘zingy’ scent), keep this one in the fridge for an icy blast when you get indoors.
Skimono Beauty Face Mask
If you’re a fan of sheet masks, this is specially designed to calm and revive sun-bothered skin. Pop it on for 30 minutes and let the cooling, hydrating trio of aloe vera, cucumber and edelweiss work their magic. Think of it as the K-beauty inspired equivalent of a cold flannel.
£12.50, Look Fantastic
Soltan Soothe & Moisturise Aftersun with Insect Repellent Lotion
This one is a must for taking on holiday – it works as a brilliant two-in-one. Apply it before you go out in the evening, and it will not only quell any redness and quench dry skin, but it also helps ward off mosquitos and other winged nippers. It doesn’t have that weird ‘bug spray’ smell either.
Aveda After-Sun Hair Mask
It’s not just your skin that suffers in the heat, those UVs give your hair a battering too. This special mask helps prevent faded, sun-withered strands with strengthening proteins and repairing antioxidants, while organic shea butter, coconut and palm oils deliver a hefty hydration hit. Think of this as deep conditioner and then some.
£8.10, John Lewis
Susanne Kaufmann After Sun Gel
If you’re prone to blotchiness, this lightweight gel stars the anti-redness powerhouse that is aloe vera, together with other anti-inflammatory agents in an all-natural formula. An added bonus is that it helps prolong the effects of a tan and can be used on both the face and body – making it a suitcase must-have.
£32, Cult Beauty