Could Your After-Sun Care Doing More Harm Than Good?

While everyone knows how important using sunscreen is prior to going out in the sun, more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of using an after-sun skincare product.

The sun causes UV damage and dries out the skin making it more prone to wrinkles and pigmentation issues. Using an after-sun care product will bring back moisture and prolong that glorious tan you just achieved.

However, some after-sun products have rich, thick consistencies and contain oils, which create an emollient barrier on top of the skin. This traps the heat in the upper layers of the epidermis exacerbating the inflammation and ‘burn’ feeling on your skin. Plus, many over the counter after-sun products contain chemicals and/or fragrance which will irritate already damaged skin.

Aloe Vera has been highly regarded for a long time for its cooling, restoring and moisturising properties, and is the natural product people turn to for after-sun care. This doesn’t mean that all Aloe Vera products are created equal. It is important to check the label of your Aloe Vera and ensure it doesn’t contain ingredients that can irritate already damaged skin. Alcohol is often used in after-sun care sure to the cooling effect it has on the skin, however, it often dries out the skin even more. Fragrance, colouring (any Aloe Vera that isn’t clear has been coloured) and other ingredients can be found in many after-sun skincare products so it is really important to check the label so you know what you are getting.

Other things to do when you are looking after your skin after sun exposure is

  • Take a cool bath or shower to try and get the extra heat out of your skin
  • Thickly apply an Aloe Vera Gel that is 99% pure to your skin to moisturise and cool the damaged skin
  • Give your skin time to recover. Don’t go applying harsh or irritating cleansers or treatments for the next few days
  • Protect your skin from further sun exposure in the days following