If you spent your August Bank Holiday outdoors basking in the 33 degree heat (a UK first, by the way), you’ll no doubt be either admiring your beautiful tan or wanting to dunk your whole body in a bucket of ice water.
If the latter, we can relate. After a day spent in the sun, it’s not nice realising that what you thought was lovely brown skin is in fact red and very, very sore. But there is a wonderful thing called after sun which will save the day.
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After sun is designed to reduce redness, soothe soreness and help to stop peeling so you don’t end up with patchy and scaly-looking skin. It’s packed full of healing ingredients such as aloe vera to cool the area and replace the moisture lost from being in the sun.
Some after sun products are designed to prolong your tan, and others feature insect repellent formulas to keep you completely protected throughout the day.
Ideally you should apply your after sun daily, after a bath or shower, to ensure your skin is instantly hydrated and moisturised.
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And there are plenty of after sun products to choose from, whether you prefer a moisturising lotion to a cooling spritz or gel-like texture, there is something to suit all needs.
We’ve rounded up the top rated after sun products on the market which are available to buy now, so you don’t have to suffer in silence or worry about physical sun damage next time the sun makes a surprise visit.
Ultrasun Aftersun | £12.79 (WAS £15.99) | Shop now
Why choose: One John Lewis customer wrote: “I have finally found the perfect after sun. I have fairly sensitive skin and I find a lot of after sun lotions and creams are strongly perfumed or packed with lots of chemicals. This after sun has not left a single rash on me and I find a little goes a long way.”
Vichy Idéal Soleil Soothing After-Sun Milk | £11.63 (WAS £15.50) | Shop now
Why choose: One Vichy customer wrote: “Satin, smooth, silky formula that smells incredible! It literally applies like liquid silk I'm amazed at the intensive hydration this provides my dry, scaly skin! It is an exceptional apres sun emollient but in my opinion, it is far too effective to limit to after sun use! Everyday use, applied after showering, while my skin is still damp it absorbs fully. There is no greasy residue, no tackiness, no clamminess. My skin is supple & smooth & highly touchable! There is a lingering, subtle fragrance that I adore!”
Garnier Ambre Solaire After Sun Lotion | £5 | Shop now
Why choose: “Well today my silly husband spent all day doing the garden with no top on. The weather has been lovely reaching soaring temperatures. Well later on in the evening his back was red raw. Out came the after sun this wasn't sticky at all and was very cooling straight away and had a lovely smell. It eased his pain and gained top marks off him. Would definitely recommend this product and I'm sure my husband will be using it again,” one Boots customer said.
Banana Boat Moisturising Aloe After Sun Lotion | £7 | Shop now
Why choose: One happy Amazon customer wrote: “I was introduced to this moisturising lotion when I bought it in a little general store in Barbados! It was amazing! It was cool on my skin after a day in the sun and my skin felt amazing! Since returning home after much surfing on internet trying to find it, I found it on Amazon!! I bought several bottles to keep me going and my skin and I love it!”
Dr Organic Aloe Vera Gel | £5.99 | Shop now
Why choose: One Holland and Barrett customer said: “A lovely soothing gel which cools down your skin. Applied small amount to spots on my 12 year old daughter’s face and was astonished by the improvement to her skin. She still gets spots (of course!) but dabbing on this gel has helped.”
Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm | £17 (WAS £20) | Shop now
Why choose: “This product is one of the best after some products on the market. Instantly cools and soothes any burns and you're no longer uncomfortable. Moisturises your tan which prolongs your tan colour colour. Yes, this is a pricey product but worth every penny,” said one Amazon customer.
Soltan Smoothe and Moisturise Aftersun with Insect Repellent Lotion | £6 | Shop now
Nivea Sun After Sun Moisture Moisturising Soothing Lotion, £4.50 | Shop now
Why choose: One Superdrug customer said: “Soothes and cools just when your skin needs it most. I always take this on holiday to add moisture and re-invigorate after sun bathing. For best results I tend to keep it in the fridge. It has a nice scent and easy to apply.”
La Roche-Posay Posthelios Melt-in Gel Hydrating After Sun | £10.10 (WAS £13.50 | Shop now
Why choose: One Feel Unique customer wrote: “I bought this to use on my holidays but then I loved it so much I keep using it all year around. It works very well for my face too which is a first when it comes to all round products because skin on my face is so sensitive. So I would highly recommend.”
Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel | £3.95 | Shop now
Why choose: “Love the scent and consistency! Doesn't leave any sticky feeling to the skin after being applied, which is super. Also price is super affordable,” said one Holika Holika customer.
Malibu Soothing After Sun Lotion with Aloe Vera | £4.77 | Shop now
Why choose: “Been using this after sun for years. Tried others and this is by far the best. It's non greasy, sinks straight in, nice fresh smell and causes no marks or stains to your clothing. Recommended,” said one Amazon shopper.
Herbivore After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist | £18 | Shop now
Why choose: One Space NK customer wrote: “This is a real winner. It’s so quick and easy to apply because it’s a spray. The scent is minty and herbal which is soothing against suntanned skin but not an overpowering toothpaste smell. The small size is well priced and ideal for a short holiday.”
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