How does after sun work & do you really need it?

If you love spending time basking in the sun, sunbathing or enjoying outdoor activities in hot and sunny weather, it’s crucial to make sure that you’re looking after your skin both while it’s exposed to the sun, and when you get back inside. Of course, we all know the benefits of using sun cream and oils to protect our skin from UVA & UVB rays, but applying after sun should also be an important part of your summer skin and body care routine. That’s why we’ve broken down everything you need to know about after sun and its benefits.

What is after sun?

After sun is a skincare product that is specifically formulated to soothe and moisturise the skin after sun exposure or sunburn. Usually, you’ll find it in the form of a lotion, cream or gel which is applied to the skin following prolonged exposure to UVA & UVB rays- even on overcast days. If you’ve gone too light on the sun cream application and are now feeling the effects of too much sun, there’s probably nothing more appealing than covering yourself in a cooling, hydrating after sun, which will make your delicate, sunburnt skin feel less overheated and raw.

How does after sun lotion work?

After sun products contain ingredients which are chosen specifically for their ability to soothe and calm skin that’s been exposed to sun damage. Aloe Vera gel is a particularly common ingredient found in most after sun products thanks to its cooling properties. The compound ‘aloin’, found in Aloe Vera, has an anti-inflammatory, soothing effect which provides much-welcome relief from the unpleasant sensation of sunburnt skin. Ingredients such as peppermint and cucumber are also found in many after sun products thanks to their cooling and refreshing properties.

The other effect of after sun is to restore moisture to the skin. Over-exposure and sun can damage can kill the top layers of skin cells and cause dryness, even resulting in highly sensitive skin, peeling or blisters. Making sure that your skin gets a rejuvenating boost of hydration as soon as possible is important for keeping it healthy and offsetting the worst effects of sunburn.

Is after sun really necessary?

While after sun doesn’t technically cure or prevent sunburn; by the time you’re reaching for relief, it’s probably too late for that, the sun has already done its damage. It can provide much-needed respite from the very uncomfortable symptoms of sunburn, and crucially restore moisture to your skin, reducing the chances that it will later start to peel.

It may not be medicinal, but using after sun when you experience sunburn has some key benefits, and can certainly reduce the negative effects of sun damage. That’s why it’s always advisable to pack some in your suitcase if you’re lucky enough to be heading off for a holiday in the sun.

We recommend using an after sun product even when you havn’t necessarily got sunburnt skin to help maximise skins moisture levels (after being naturally dried out in the sun) and to help maintain your tan.

Is after sun good for your skin?

In short, yes, after sun is great for your skin. When you’ve been exposed to the sun forlong periods of time, your skin will be crying out for the moisture a good-quality after sun lotion will provide. You can maximise the efficacy of your after sun by jumping into a lukewarm or cool shower or bath before you apply it. Then, when you’ve dried off, you can slather on a thick layer of after sun and this will trap extra moisture in your skin, reducing the ongoing dryness which can result from being in the sun and reducing the chances of peeling and rawness.

It’s never a bad thing to keep your skin well-moisturised. In fact, it should be the cornerstone of your skincare routine in all seasons, not just when the sun is out. They’ll give you benefits above and beynd a classic body lotion even if you use them when you aren’t experiencing sunburn. Any time you use a good-quality after sun product, your skin will thank you!