We've all had sunburn. We know it well and we know how to limit the risks. What we may not realise is that even if we protect our skin, prolonged exposure to the sun can still wreak havoc. This is largely due to long UVA rays, which are weaker than short UVB and UVA, but penetrate the skin more deeply. The damage caused is sunburn that we don't necesssarily feel and which leads to premature and accelerated skin ageing. Plus there's the sea and wind factor, which can harm the skin's protective barrier. So, after a day in the sun, it's vital we moisturise, repair and soothe our skin. Doing so also makes our suntan look fab!
"Alongside a sunscreen, an after-sun is a summer must. Packed with water, after-suns repair and hydrate the skin. They're usually light emulsions that blend water and oil alongside moisturising agents such as hyaluronic acid or glycerine, which prevent the skin from drying out. We also need to apply soothing active ingredients to combat any irritation caused by the sun and strong winds: aloe vera, bisabolol, calendula and chamomile
Some skincare products contain panthenol (vitamin B5) which boosts cell regeneration, and calms irritation and burns while keeping the skin soft and supple. And we musn't forget antioxidants, such as vitamins A, E and C. Some after-suns have a delicious cool feel, thanks to the addition of menthol. Perfect for calming red-hot skin."
Hop in the shower and wash with a gentle oil - great for getting rid of sunscreen, salt and sand. Gently pat your skin dry rather than rubbing down, as your skin will be more sensitive than usual after being in the sun. Then, working from top to toe, take your time to gently massage in your after-sun. If you have dry skin opt for a rich, thick after-sun that contains oils and butters. For normal skin, after-sun sprays and lighter lotions will do the trick. Their light, refreshing textures will immediately soothe your sun-kissed skin.