How To Choose The Best After-Sun Lotion

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When dealing with sensitive features like skin, you want to be extremely mindful of the type of formula and ingredients you use in order to avoid any accidental breakouts or rashes. By following this guide, you’ll be able to get your hands on a product that’s both specific to your needs and meets all your individual skincare demands.

Why is it Important to Use an After-Sun Lotion?

In case of an accidentally prolonged day at the beach, you should consider investing in a quality after-sun lotion to soothe any sun-ravaged spots and irritated skin patches, as a consequence of too much sun exposure. A high-grade lotion not only moisturizes parched skin but also prevents it from peeling and flaking due to potential sunburns. Besides reducing UV exposure, an after-sun lotion can also drastically minimize pain and inflammation by providing a cooling effect to calm the skin. Some non-greasy formulations also contain menthol which works to instantly freshen your skin and provide immediate relief.

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What to Look for in an After-Sun Product?

Antioxidant-rich Solution

Searching for a product that’s loaded with healthy antioxidants like niacinamide and algae as well as vitamins such as E and C are crucial to promote wholesome healing and repair cell damage caused by UV rays and radiation exposure, simultaneously.

A Smooth Consistency

This factor requires emphasis as some products despite being extremely soothing on the skin, can feel unbearably sticky. To steer clear of this issue, try opting for an after-sun cream with a high aloe vera percentage which will give the lotion a more comfortable and less sticky feel. You’ll come across various consistencies of after-suns including gel products. Most gel formulations available in the market will provide an instant cooling effect due to their higher aloe contents, which may suit you if you prefer to use a thicker formula rather than a milky one. Other than this, you can also go for an after-sun lotion spray for a more convenient application whilst acquiring a non-sticky formula at the same time.

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Limited Oil Content

Oils often contain polyunsaturated fatty acids also known as PUFA’s which get oxidized when exposed to UV rays. This process can produce radicals that should be kept far away from the sensitive skin cells to ward off any unfavorable complications.

Nourishing Elements

When it comes to the constituents of an after-sun lotion, a complete formula will offer both moisture retention and hydration. Fortifying ingredients like honey, glycerin, aloe vera, and hydrochloric acid all work to repair and restore the damaged skin cells, creating healthier, smoother and shinier skin. While other contents like Centella and Arnica work to accelerate wound healing and aid in the skin-binding process.

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Tips for Using an After-Sun Lotion

Before applying the product to your skin, make sure to properly wash off any sand or saltwater that remains, to achieve a clean surface for the lotion to be absorbed. Simply work the product into your skin using your fingers just like you would with a normal body lotion. Experts recommend using the after-sun cream at least twice a day, to obtain maximum results as fast as possible. You can store your lotion in the fridge for future use, this will also make the product colder and more relaxing on the burns.

After-Sun Lotion Price Ranges

How much are you required to spend on an after-sun lotion? Although the costs may vary from product to product depending on the quality of ingredients used in formulating the product, as well as the size of bottle used, the material of packaging, and so on. However, there are certain start and endpoints of acceptable price tags. You can expect to spend anywhere between 9 and 35 dollars for a decent quality purchase, anything beyond that is considered a luxury, and investing in it is entirely up to you and your budget.

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Irritants and Allergies

If you have sensitive and acne-prone skin, then it would be wise to avoid any harsh chemicals and fragrances that may potentially irritate your skin and trigger breakouts. Ingredients like alcohol and silicones can seriously aggravate the skin and spark up inflammation. Also, search for a product with the minimum dye content to prevent pore blockage (a major cause for acne). Similarly, avoid ingredients that you know you’re allergic to and don’t suit your skin, by simply skimming the product label before your purchase.

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After-Sun Lotion FAQ

Q: How often do you need to reapply after-sun lotion?

A: Generally speaking, one to two applications per day is a safe place to start. You should ideally use the after-sun lotion on damp skin (preferably after a shower or bath) for the best results. Make sure to not utilize a product with hydrocortisone more than three times a day without a dermatologist’s prescription, as it may aggravate the skin, causing swelling and itching when used unmonitored, for extended periods of time

Q: Is after-sun lotion only used to treat sunburns?

A: While the soy and aloe vera contents in the lotions are perfect for treating burns and inflammation, after-sun lotion usage is not only restricted to nursing sunburns. In fact, after-sun should be a major part of your regular sun protection regime.

Q: What makes an after-sun lotion different from a normal moisturizer?

A: Unlike regular moisturizers, an after-sun lotion is designed primarily to rejuvenate and freshen the skin after it has been stripped of all moisture, courtesy of the sun. Contrary to your everyday body lotions, after-suns contain a drastically higher amount of glycerin to lock in the moisture, as well as elevated percentages of substances like aloe and cucumber to eliminate any redness and itching.

Q: How long do after-sun moisturizers last?

A: The expiry date of each product will vary depending on the ingredients used in the manufacturing process. Usually, these dates are mentioned at the back of each product tube or container for reference. Still, the average shelf-life of most after-sun lotions remains to be around 3 years, give or take.




Hira is a freelance writer and health advocate from Pakistan, aiming to inspire action through her words.

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Hira Cheema

Hira Cheema

Hira is a freelance writer and health advocate from Pakistan, aiming to inspire action through her words.

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