Reader Review: After Sun Care

We know the pre-sun exposure commandment: Thou shalt lather thyself in broad spectrum SPF every four hours to protect thy skin from ageing and melanoma. But, what’s the rule on post-sun care? For Alice Springs-based Beauticater Allanah Jansons, living in the true sunburnt country means extra care is required to keep all shades of red on the gritty ground.  After going to some great lengths to soothe sun-exposed skin (once even bathing in apple cider vinegar… it didn’t work), she decided to take a closer look at specifically formulated post-sun products. But, you don’t need to be living in the red centre to make after sun care a priority.  Allanah tried, tested and listed the best after sun products to keep skin soft, hydrated and protected after a day in the rays.

 
Beauticate Loves this gorgeous shot by miguel riveriego

Beauticate Loves this gorgeous shot by miguel riveriego

Best for: Double duty care

Clarins After Sun Gel and After Sun Moisturiser

“The After Sun Gel and After Sun Moisturiser are both exceptional products, housed in the happiest shade of yellow you've ever seen. Neither product alone will break the bank, and each targets a slightly different need. The After Sun Gel is perfect for burns or skin that feels dry and tender after some fun in the sun. The gel instantly soothed my skin as if absorbing the heat. The next morning, I was still a little pink, but thanks to the gel it was just mild tenderness for a few hours (as opposed to the days of painful burn I had expected). I applied the After Sun Moisturiser the following week and my skin was supple – I hadn’t peeled and my tan remained intact. The moisturiser has a clean scent that I grew to really like; it’s now a sensory reminder of unseasonably hot days by the pool.”

 

“The downside to most after sun products is that they are designed for the body, not the more delicate face area. Perhaps this is why Sisley decided to produce such a fabulous product - despite all our SPF loaded makeup, our face is the place that’s at most risk of burning. After a few hours in the pool, by the sea, or even after sweating it out in the park, it's likely your SPF isn't doing its job. This light cream did a great job restoring moisture to my skin. My skin felt smoother, seemed more radiant and even when I got a bit pink-faced, it was calmed within a few hours. I didn’t replace my usual moisturiser, but instead took this with me to the pool and applied it once I was out and then again in the evening. Although not the most affordable product, it’s definitely worth the price tag if you are concerned about hydration and the age-inducing effects of the sun.”

 

Best for: All summer ails 

WELEDA Burns, Bites and Cooling Gel

“This is a product every person, particularly every family, should have in their arsenal. Not just for sunburn, this product works for burns, rashes and bites. Free from synthetic fragrances, preservatives, parabens and petrochemical derivatives it's packed with naturally healing herbs including Echinacea and aloe vera. It's a small tube, so not designed for all-over body care - it's best to keep it for more localised burns. In my case: nose and shoulders. It was as soothing as a cold, damp cloth and one of the best topical pain relievers I've found for sunburn. As I have the pleasure of being a mosquito target, I can attest that this is also a saviour for bites. I have become a cult follower of this one-gel wonder.” 

 

Best for: Targeted sun damage

Dermalogica After Sun Repair

“This treatment balm is designed for face and body. The formula allows for generous application, with plenty of product to target any bad burns. Not an overall moisturiser as such, this product was one of the best at replenishing my skin while soothing and cooling. It contains a range of herbs as well as seaweed and algae extracts plus hyaluronic acid for hydration. As a result of its ingredients, it has a sweet, green scent. If you’re a bit like me and at high risk for a good burn I would suggest you go find this product now. It can also be used as a post waxing treatment.”

 

Best for: Super soothing sun care

Clinique After Sun Rescue with Aloe

“If you grew up with a few aloe plants around the house, you’re probably familiar with snapping a branch, ripping it open and rubbing the gooey natural gel on abrasions, burns and dry spots. This product brings the same relief, minus the mess. This is the perfect product for your whole body. I felt like I was being immersed in a cool bath, with the comforting subtle scent of the aloe. My skin was supple, soothed and cool. Remaining true to the brand’s oil-free formulations, Clinique’s After Sun Rescue dried quickly, was not at all greasy and is also non-acnegenic for anyone who is prone to breakouts.” 

 

Best for: Prepping sun-kissed skin for a night out

Lancome Soleil Bronzer After Sun Milk

“Soleil Bronzer After Sun Milk feels wonderfully indulgent. The pearlescent milk glided over my skin effortlessly and dried quickly. Although not as soothing as others, this product was great for enhancing and prolonging my tan, helped along by the soft gold sheen and subtle sparkles it leaves behind. It’s the perfect body-base before stepping out for the night. The combination of argan, monoi and musk rose oil gives it a delicate, romantic scent. This product comes in a pump bottle, preventing waste.” 

 

Best for: Hair restoration 

Wella System Professional After Sun Conditioner & Shampoo

“This product is an absolute hair saviour. I feel really sorry for my hair sometimes, the torture it must go through during summer (which for me is approximately eight months of the year). Although I have virgin hair (I haven't dyed it for six years), use my GHD sparingly and use treatments often, I spend most days in the pool with temperatures regularly above 37 degrees. I notice how lacklustre my hair becomes, not to mention the discolouration at my ends because it's so dry. No shampoo or conditioner I've used over the years has been quite as effective as this hard-working duo:  the shampoo removes sunscreen, salt and chlorine residue while the conditioner leaves your hair silky, smooth and manageable. Here's to great hair in 2016.”

 

Best for: Doubling as a moisturiser

Mecca Cosmetica To Soothe Body After Sun Lotion

“I find that half the fun of beauty is the packaging and Mecca Cosmetica To Soothe Body After Sun Lotion is definitely on the Instagram-worthy list. But, the pretty pink/black/bronze case is not the most impressive trait of this product. It comes in a pump bottle for mess-free dispersion and is a clear gel with silvery shimmer. Although there are no obvious sparkles once it’s applied, it gave my skin a beautiful glow. It smells sweet (like a perfume my sister wore when I was younger) and leaves a delectable lingering scent on the skin. Perfect for the whole body, this is a great instant-drying moisturiser for summer that also soothes sun damaged skin.”