Beach days call for sunscreen and lots of it. Ditto for lazy weekends by the pool, patio brunches, or basically any time you’re outside this summer. While it’s imperative to apply (and reapply) SPF, it’s also important to think about what products to apply after lounging in the sun all day to ensure skin stays balanced and nourished. That’s where after-sun products come into play.
In addition to causing bright red and painful sunburns, the sun’s rays can also seriously dry out your skin and cause irritation. Therefore, it’s wise to have nourishing products that counteract the sun’s damage. There are actually a bunch of after-sun products that do just that. Handily, they are sitting on the shelves next to the endless bottles of sunscreen. They often contain super soothing ingredients like cooling aloe vera and moisturizing shea butter to help calm your skin and keep it silky smooth.
But there’s no need to lug around after-sun products in your beach bag. You should just make sure they’re handy in your bathroom vanity. See below for the ones that will see you and your skin through the rest of the season.
Avène After Sun Repair Creamy Gel, $31.95 at The French Cosmetics Club
If you’re a fan of the brand’s refreshing and soothing Thermal Spring Water mist, you’re going to love this after-sun pick. It offers an immediate cooling effect and absorbs quickly without leaving any greasy residue behind. It also boasts ceramides, plant sterols, and fatty acids to restore your skin’s barrier and prevent moisture loss.
Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother, $7.69 at Walmart
These bargain buys still get the job done thanks to natural aloe vera extract and hydration helper coconut oil. Formulated to replenish and recondition skin after sun exposure, the fast-absorbing and nongreasy face and body lotion doesn’t contain any parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or SLS.
Korres Greek Yoghurt Calming + Cooling Gel, $28 at Korres
Nothing beats frozen yogurt on a hot day and this cooling gel is the froyo equivalent for bodies and faces. It’s made with real Greek yogurt, sweet almond oil and soybean oil to tackle irritated and sunburned skin. And it works as soon as it’s applied to skin.
Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm With Aloe, $33 at Macy’s
Don’t wait until the skin turns red and peels to take action. Start now. This aloe-rich treatment provides relief for faces and bodies. And unlike some sun care products, it won’t cause breakouts. The formula is oil-free and non-acnegenic.
Farmaesthetics Cool Aloe Mist, $30 at Farmaesthetics
Aloe is one of the best soothing skin care ingredients around. And this cooling mist is packed with aloe vera juice along with lecithin, lavender essential oil, and bergamot essential oil. Spritz the natural and organic product from head to toe to stop overheating. The nonirritating formula also reduces inflammation, disinfects, regulates oil production, and helps you relax. Ahh.
COOLA Radical Recovery Eco-Cert Organic After Sun Lotion, $32 at Ulta Beauty
In danger of overheating? Slather on this after-sun lotion. It is clinically proven to provide sunburn relief. What’s more, the cruelty-free product uses organic agave’s natural moisture-binding mechanisms to protect skin against environmental aggressors, making it suitable for year-round use.
Yon-Ka Paris Lait Apres-Soleil Repairing After-Sun Milk, $54 at Yon-Ka Paris
Those whose French is limited to “bonjour” and “merci” should know that “après-Soleil” means “after sun.” And this is one soothing after-sun product that shouldn’t be overlooked because of a language barrier. The nourishing milk is formulated with cooling cucumber and a blend of vitamins and botanicals to put back what the sun took away from the skin. Use it on faces and bodies.
Sun Bum After Sun Cool Down Lotion, $11.99 at Sun Bum
Beach bunnies can bring their skin back to its former glory with this lightweight gel. It’s rich in vitamin E, cocoa butter, and aloe so it calms as it moisturizes. The formula is also 100 percent vegan and gluten-free.
Phyto Phytoplage Sublime After Sun Oil, $44.23 at Walmart
The sun can mess with hair as much as it can skin. Thankfully, this nourishing oil can be applied from head to toe to counteract any damage. It makes use of under-the-radar oils, including annatto, perilla, buriti, and camellia to produce an effective formula that’s 98 percent natural. Apply the oil to the skin after bathing. It can also be applied to tresses pre-shampoo or after styling.
Mantra Mask CBD After Sun Mask, $15 at Mantra Mask
There really is a sheet mask for everything, including sun exposure. These masks include CBD plus powerful antioxidants, like chamomile, calendula, and aloe vera. They soothe sun damage, reduce inflammation and fight free radicals.