You might not have been hitting the beaches in Italy or sitting by the pool in the South of France this summer but, thanks to the recent spate of warm weather in the UK, chances are you haven’t managed to escape sunburn either. In fact, given our often cavalier attitude to the British sunshine, you might even be suffering more than usual.
And while we would always recommend prevention (via one of the best SPF moisturisers) as the greatest cure, if it’s a bit late for that then you’re going to need a really good after sun. Here are some of the best to buy now…
To soothe severe sunburn
We’ve all been there. There’s nothing to be ashamed of – but right now you’re bright red, in pain and desperate for something to cool the burn. Start by slathering a thick layer of Shiseido’s After Sun Intensive Recovery Emulsion on the worst affected areas and let it get to work doing its nourishing, restorative thing. Next apply Clarins’ SOS Sunburn After Sun Mask to your face. Containing aloe vera extract and shea oil, this intensive hydrator can be massaged in gently and is fully absorbed to continue moisturising for 48 hours. Finally, apply a few drops of Aurelia’s Cell Repair Night Oil before going to bed. This lightly fragranced treatment contains antioxidant hibiscus as well as Kalahari and mongongo oils to strengthen and regenerate damaged skin – you’ll be back to normal before you know it.
Shiseido After Sun Intensive Recovery Emulsion
Clarins SOS Sunburn After Sun Mask
Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil
The tan prolongers
You’ve spent all day working on that golden glow so don’t let your hard work go to waste with overzealous exfoliators. If you’ve managed to avoid redness altogether then, instead of an after sun treatment, turn to a cream designed to moisturise and extend your new tan.
For all-over hydration, Institut Esthederm’s Tan Prolonging body lotion can be used from head to toe to refresh skin and prevent dryness and irritation. Sisley’s After-Sun Care Tan Extender similarly, can be used all over (although at this price point you may want to be a little more sparing) and contains sage and marjoram essential oils and stevia leaf extract to repair and cool skin. For the more sensitive facial skin, the Golden Tan Maximizer After Sun from Lancaster offers a serum-style formula that promotes melanin production while combating the ageing effects of the sun’s rays.
Institut Esthederm Tan Prolonging Body Lotion
Sisley-Paris After-Sun Care Tan Extender
Lancaster Golden Tan Maximizer After Sun Serum
The cooling mists
On really hot days sometimes even applying an after sun cream can feel like too much effort – and, thanks to a new generation of cooling after sun mists and sprays, you don’t have to. Containing healing aloe vera and refreshing peppermint, Herbivore’s Soothing Aloe Mist is a must for every beach bag and can be applied throughout the day as well as post-sun. Likewise Soleil Toujours’ Organic Aloe Antioxidant Calming Mist is a great all-rounder that can also be used to soothe windburn and chafing – but works particularly well on sun burn thanks to its antioxidant EcoSunComplex. Uriage’s refreshing mist, like all the brand’s highly regarded products, contains thermal water, alongside vitamins C and E, to provide instant relief to overheated skin.
Herbivore after Sun Soothing Aloe Mist
Soleil Toujours Organis Aloe Antioxidant Calming Mist
Uriage Bariesun Refreshing Mist
For hair hydration
UV rays don’t just have a damaging effect on your skin. Combined with the drying properties of salt water and chlorine, a day in the sun can leave hair feeling straw-like and parched. Start the repairing process by washing with Kerastase’s Soleil Bain Apres Soleil Shampoo, which gently cleanses away residues and hydrates hair, leaving it smelling lightly of coconut water and jasmine. Still feeling a little dry? Apply Aveda’s After Sun Hair Treatment Masque and leave for five minutes to let the green tea, sunflower oil and vitamin E do their replenishing thing. Still not enough? Sachajuan’s specially formulated Hair After the Sun cream contains ocean silk technology (it’s a thing) to deliver supercharged conditioning to all hair types.
Kerastase Soleil Bain Apres Soleil Shampoo
Aveda Sun Care After Sun Hair Treatment Masque
Sachajuan Hair After The Sun