The Complete Guide to After-Sun CareHow to take care of your skin after being in the sun

The summer season is upon us, and with it, extensive sun exposure. You already know that SPF 50+ and barrier protection are essentials on your packing list, but what are you doing to care for your skin in the aftermath of all these warm weather days? We gleefully prepare for a beach or poolside weekend, but when we step into the shower and wash away the chlorine or sand, how are we prepping to rehydrate and repair our sun-exposed skin? Here’s your complete guide to after-sun care:

1. Start clean

After a few hours in the sun, there's nothing that feels better than a refreshing shower. Rinsing the day off and cleansing the skin of any remaining sweat and SPF is the first step in after-sun care. Waterproof sunscreens may be tricky to remove, so try the double-cleansing method, using an oil-based formula first. Next, follow with a gentle facial cleanser and an after-sun shower gel for a squeaky clean.

2. Take time to cool down

Warm, sun-exposed skin craves a cool touch, so after a revitalizing shower, reach for a cooling mask or tool. This could be an ice roller you keep in the freezer or a hydrating sheet mask straight out of your beauty fridge. Treat yourself to a couple of minutes of cool down, and you'll be feeling refreshed in no time.

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Rehydrating the skin and replenishing lost moisture will help restore the skin's balance. Before using a ceramide-filled moisturizer to strengthen the barrier, apply any antioxidant serums like vitamin C or vitamin E to fight the free radicals you've been exposed to. Finish by drinking a big glass of water and continue hydrating the skin from the inside out throughout the day.

4. Treat and soothe

Soothing any sunburned skin is easily the most familiar step after a day spent outdoors, but used in conjunction with these other steps ensures you're setting your skin up for reparative success. Aloe vera gel is the after-sun OG, beloved for its calming and cooling effects on irritated skin. You can apply it directly from a cut plant or use a bottled after-sun lotion with complementary anti-inflammatory ingredients.

5. Don't forget the lips!

Hopefully, you remembered to apply SPF to your lips earlier in the day, but for after-sun care, a hydrating lip mask or overnight treatment will be your BFF. You want maximum moisture, so don't wait until bedtime — act fast!

A little after-sun TLC goes a long way

Whether you get sunburned or not, you should be treating your skin to some well-deserved moisture after prolonged sun exposure. After all, no one wants to bring the heat of the day home with them. Quench your parched skin with a routine of cooling and hydrating products, and don't forget to drink up! It's the more moisture, the better when you're dealing with dry, dehydrated skin.

aging | summer | skincare tips