Before a day in the sun or a beach trip, I spend a solid 15+ minutes attempting to cover every square inch of exposed skin with SPF. I'm that terrified of sunburn. Despite my paranoia, every once in a while I'll miss a spot and will be left dealing with a red, spotchy, painful patch of skin.
My (and everyone else's) sunburn go-to is aloe, but it's not the only ingredient that works. "Think of a sunburn similar to the way you would think about any other burn to the skin," New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner says. "When the skin is burned, the barrier also becomes disrupted with loss of hydration and inflammation. The goal of treating a sunburn is to lower levels of skin inflammation, while hydrating and repairing the skin barrier."
Enter after-sun products, an entire genre of skincare made to be applied after a day in the sun. On top of those made with aloe, an ingredient that has strong soothing and hydrating properties, Dr. Zeichner says to look for after-sun products with moisturizing ingredients like stearic acid and ceramides. These are beneficial for skin even if you don't have a burn, and can take the place of your daily body lotion.
Keep scrolling for six products I swear by for soothing, cooling, and hydrating my skin after a day in the sun, accidental sunburn or not.
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