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Even with the best efforts to protect your skin from sun exposure, we’ve all had a time (or two) when the summer heat got the best of us, and we end up with red, inflamed, sunburnt skin in what felt like a matter of minutes. While sunscreen is the number one way to protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays, every once in a while, burns can still happen. Luckily, recovering from an unexpected sunburn doesn't have to be complete and total torture because there is an array of after-sun products out there designed to soothe the pain.
Formulated to remedy common symptoms of sunburns—think blisters and sunspots—after-sun products help to relieve the pain and speed up the healing process. With the help of skin-soothing ingredients like aloe, lidocaine, rosemary, and lavender, diligent application of these burn-soothing products will get you on your way to healed un-burned skin in no time. From trusted brands like Clinique, Sun Bum, Coola, and Burt's Bees, we've rounded up an algorithm-approved edit of the 10 best after-sun skincare products on the market.
Our Method For Finding The Best After-Sun Skincare Products
Whether you prefer a cooling gel, fine mist, or heavy lotion, we've got an after-sun skincare product for every burn level and application preference. With the help of our data-driven algorithm, we reviewed hundreds of products to narrow your options down to just 10 top-rated products. The picks ahead are all backed by user reviews, editorial mentions, social media buzz, and more so that you can shop our picks with complete and total confidence. Keep scrolling to find your life-changing after-sun products.
Up next, check out the 10 Best Body Sunscreens. Opening image: coola.com
July 13, 2021
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Pura D'Or Organic Aloe Vera Gel
WHAT IT DOES: Formulated to go far beyond sun relief, this soothing gel can also help treat bug bites, cuts, scrapes, and dry skin. It's made with moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera that penetrate the skin to provide cooling relief and shield the skin from environmental factors.
FUN FACT: This aloe vera gel can also be applied to the scalp to promote moisture and increase silkiness and shine.
SunBurnt Ultra Hydrating Aloe Vera Gel
WHAT IT DOES: Hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid lock in hydration to relieve dry sunburned skin. This moisturizer increases your skin's hydration by up to 20% with a blend of nourishing ingredients like calendula and echinacea.
THINGS TO KNOW: This after-sun gel is free of questionable ingredients like parabens, glycols, PEGs, phthalates, dyes, and fragrances.
Coola Radical Recovery Eco-Cert Organic After Sun Lotion
WHY YOU NEED IT: Gentle enough for daily use, this rich and creamy formula contains skin-soothing, antioxidant-rich ingredients like rosemary extract, lavender, sunflower, and cedarwood oils that defend against environmental aggressors and calm sunburns.
FROM THE EXPERTS: In a clinical study, 100% of participants found this after-sun lotion to be nourishing, soothing, moisturizing, and hydrating.
Korres Greek Yoghurt Calming And Cooling Gel
WHAT IT DOES: Thanks to the Greek yogurt in this formula, this after-sun gel leaves the skin feeling moisturized and soothed after extended sun exposure or overheating. With a blend of prebiotics, probiotics, protein, vitamins, and nutrients, over time, this formula promotes healthier-looking calm skin.
FROM THE EXPERTS: In a clinical test, 100% of users experienced improved elasticity, healthier-looking skin, and a softer texture immediately after use.
Herbivore Botanicals After Sun Body Mist
WHY YOU NEED IT: A natural solution to reduce inflammation and refresh irritated skin, this after sun mist features a blend of peppermint and lavender essential oils that leave the skin feeling cool and hydrated and helps reduce redness and irritation, too.
THINGS TO KNOW: This product works best if stored in the refrigerator to provide a cooling effect.
Burt's Bees Aloe And Coconut Oil After-Sun Soother
WHAT IT DOES: Formulated to minimize the effects of sunburn, including redness, peeling, and flaking, this quick-absorbing moisturizer boasts a combination of soothing aloe vera and moisture-rich coconut oil that helps to replenish the skin after sun exposure.
USER REVIEW: "Burt’s Bees Aloe and Coconut after sun soother is a staple in my house. I can feel good about the nutrients I am putting on my family’s skin, and it really speeds the healing from sun damage. Ideally, protect yourself from the sun. But any exposure can have damaging effects on your skin, so this is great for daily use in the summer."
Sun Bum Cool Down Hydrating After Sun Gel
VITAMIN E GEL
WHAT IT DOES: Designed to ease the pain of a sunburn, this vegan after-sun gel is enriched with vitamin E to provide fast relief from sunburn pain and restore and protect sun-damaged skin.
THINGS TO KNOW: The cooling aloe and healing tea tree oil in this formula help prevent your sunburn from peeling and rehydrate sun-baked skin.
Sun Bum Cool Down Hydrating After Sun Lotion
WHY YOU NEED IT: A powerful blend of aloe and vitamin E delivers restorative, protective effects to sun-damaged skin. Thanks to soothing cocoa butter and cooling aloe, this lotion prevents peeling to deliver a longer-lasting tan.
USER REVIEW: "This stuff is actually black magic. I get sunburned a lot because I'm paler than pale and I do not tan. As a life-long aloe user (in gel, lotion, and pure from-the-plant forms), I swear this works better than anything else. It can't be proven, but I slathered this stuff on after a bad paddleboarding sunburn and I think it might have turned my sunburn kind of tan? Instead of staying lobster red for days, I looked like a normal person who had seen sun. But like I said, it can't be proven. Anyway, this stuff is magical and worth ordering because it's hard to find unless you live near a beach (I don't). And it smells fantastic!"
Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel
PURE ALOE FORMULA
WHY YOU NEED IT: Made with aloe grown in Southern Texas in USDA certified fields, this after sun gel is enriched with seaweed extract and boasts soothing benefits that can treat cuts, clear up rashes, take the sting out of buts, heal itchiness, dandruff, and of course, your sunburn too.
THINGS TO KNOW: This aloe formula is safe for use on the face, skin, and hair.
Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm With Aloe
WHAT IT DOES: Formulated to provide all-over sun relief on the face and body, Clinique's after-sun rescue balm prevents visible damage and minimizes peeling with oil-free, non-acnegenic ingredients.
USER REVIEW: “I know, I know, I should stay out of the sun, but that's why I moved to Florida. I'm still a beach/sun worshiper! I've used this product for many, many years (30+??), and it is healing, soothing, and moisturizing. I don't know what I'd do if Clinique discontinued it!!”
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