Summer arrives and most people tend to overexpose to the sun to get a tan until some of them burn and this is where after sun’s role comes.
What is an after sun?
After sun, as its name suggests, is a cosmetic product that is used after having been exposed to the sun.
After sun tends to contain substances with properties that soothe and relieve the condition of the skin that has been exposed to the sun.
Many after sun contain anti inflammatory ingredients to help reduce inflammation caused by sunburn.
In general, after sun tends to be quite moisturizing and light, since they are normally used after having been on the beach or in the pool, and salt or chlorine water can dehydrate the skin even more.
How to choose a good after sun
When choosing a good after sun we should avoid those that contain alcohol denat or ethanol since they are two types of alcohols that dry and irritate the skin even more.
It is better to avoid after suns with a refreshing feeling, since most of them achieve the cooling effect by incorporating menthol or alcohol which could irritate and dry the skin more.
We should look for an after sun that includes some of the following ingredients:
Panthenol (Vitamin B5)
Panthenol is a type of moisturizer capable of increase skin hydration.
It can also repair damaged skin together with its wounds, reduce itching and act as an anti-inflammatory component.
It will depend on ingredients list, as it could come as a liquid or as a powder.
The liquid byitself is largely composed of water and will not benefit the skin compared to the powder form that is more concentrated and has higher properties and concentration of compounds.
Although aloe vera is a fantastic ingredient to incorporate, by itself is not enough to treat sunburn and it is necessary to be mixed with other ingredients.
Bisabolol or chamomile extract
Bisabolol relieves and soothes skin irritations, it is also able to reduce redness caused by sunburn.
Glycerin and other humectants
Glycerin and other humectants have the ability to attract water to them so when applied to the skin, if the product is well formulated, they will increase skin hydration considerably.
Sun damage repair with after sun
When it comes to sun damage on the skin, it must be said that it is better to prevent it than to cure it by always using a good sunscreen.
Well, once the sun damages our DNA it is impossible to repair it, at least today, that’s why people say that skin has memory.
That you expose yourself to the sun today and receive a burn that takes time to disappear a few days later does not mean that in the future you won’t photoage or have skin cancer, since it is enough to burn only once in your life to increase the risk of a future skin cancer.
Many after sun claim that they are able to repair and to reduce the damage that the sun have done on the skin, but is that true?
As I’ve said before once the DNA is damaged it cannot be repaired, so with repair they may refer to the repair of inflammation and the wounds caused by a sunburn at that moment.
Difference between after sun and moisturizer
You may be wondering if you can use a moisturizer as an after sun, the answer is that it depends.
Many moisturizers are formulated with ingredients that help to repair and to regenerate the skin but unfortunately, many of them usually include fragrance, extracts that photo sensitize the skin and drying alcohols.
So it is better to invest money in a quality after sun, since they usually come with more product than a moisturizer and with a lower price.
In general, the texture of the after sun is worse than the facial moisturizers’ one since they are usually designed for the body although you can find them in light texture formats and made specifically for facial skin application.