If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I love the beach! During the Christmas/New Year Break, I was able to head to the beach 4 times, which made me very happy 🙂 If you are a beach bum like me, you will know that even with sunscreen protection and shade, your skin can be rather dehydrated and over heated after a day in the sun. That is where ‘after sun’ lotions come in. They usually contain light hydrators & emollients, anti-oxidants and cooling/soothing ingredients, to calm the skin. I’ve tried and tested two after sun lotions for you, plus I’ve picked a third that isn’t branded as an ‘after sun’ lotion per se, in order to show you what to look for in a ‘standard’ skin lotion, if you can’t find or don’t have time to go out and buy a special purpose product. I always wear a tonne of sunscreen at the beach, but it’s easy to either miss a spot, or forget to reapply in the recommended time frame. I always apply sunscreen all over before leaving home for the beach, so that everything is ‘working’ and protecting my skin by the time I get there. It also gives me some time to diligently apply it, without getting annoyed at the sand sticking to skin. I didn’t get bunt over the break per se, but my back was a little red in places where I had obviously not reapplied my sunscreen as diligently as I should have (erm, so maybe I’m in denial and I did get a little burnt lol!). Did the after sun lotions help bring the redness down and bring my skin back to life after being dehydrated? Let’s find out 🙂
Shiseido After Sun Intensive Recovery Emulsion
Beautiful skin requires more than guarding against UV rays at the skin’s surface – it demands inner strength. Shiseido suncare optimises skin’s condition, reinforcing in-born defences with exceptional treatment technology. Studies show that UV rays accelerate ageing and impair the body’s immune system. The Shiseido Dual Protection Sun System combines sun protection and stabilising skincare to ensure well-being. As it works, it fights immediate and long-term harm such as cell damage cause by UVA/UVB rays, while key ingredients fortify from within, hydrating an retexturising. Now high performance suncare boasts utra-light textures and aromachology-based fragrance. Whateve sun conditions your face, from beach-strong intensity to ordinary daily exposure you can be confident skin is empowered to be its best.
- Penetrates quickly to revitalise sun-stressed skin
- Provides excellent rehydrating benefits to fight dryness and peeling, and maintain skin’s optimal moisture and softness.
- Contains Thiotaurine to help combat environmental factors.
- Improves and prolongs the look of a tan.
- Leaves skin feeling comfortable and smooth with no trace of stickiness.
- Dermatologist tested, formulated to minimise the risk of allergies.
After falling in love with Shiseido’s Perfect UV Protector WetForce, I thought I would try their After Sun Emulsion. A light emulsion is perfect for dehydrated skin, as you don’t want to create just a barrier on top of the skin, you want to put moisture back in. You also probably don’t want to apply something sticky and heavy on a very hot day or evening. Thick balms and oils can trap heat in, so the lighter the texture of an after sun product is, the better. The After Sun Recovery Lotion is the perfect texture – it’s super light and feels ‘refreshing’ (more so than cooling). It sinks into the skin very quickly (even when applied to dry, parched skin) and you instantly see that the texture of your skin is improved – smooth, hydrated and elastic. An emulsion is usually lighter than a lotion, and has a watery/milky consistency. It has a similar fragrance to their sunscreens, slightly ‘sunscreen-y’ but fresh (I can’t describe scents for the life of me lol). I’m glad that the formula includes the antioxidant/amino acid thiotaurine to fight free radicals and sun damage, as well as glycerin, which is also an antioxidant and fabulous hydrator (humectant and emollient). Could it include more antioxidants? I think so, especially since thiotaurine appears quite low in the ingredient list (glycerin is at least ingredient number three). The emulsion is light enough to also use on your face, and didn’t break me out which is a bonus. At 150ml, it’s a little smaller than a standard body lotion. After using it about 4 times all over my body (I’m petite) I’ve used about half of the bottle. I’m always really generous with such products, because I want to give my skin as much relief as possible. I will probably use it up by the end of the summer, so I suppose that’s a good thing. It did lessen the redness on my back after one application – so I did feel that it was ‘healing’.
The After Sun Intense Recovery Emulsion comes in at $46 at Myer, which is on the pricier side of the spectrum for body care/after sun lotions. Would I repurchase it? I like it a lot, but I think there are more antioxidant and repairing lotions out there, in the $40-$50 mark (e.g. Ultraceuticals SunActive Face & Body Recovery Cream, which costs $49, but needs to be either ordered online from their website or bought at a beauty salon that stocks Ultraceuticals). If I didn’t have a lot of choice re products and wanted to grab something quickly, it is convenient that you can grab it at a Shiseido counter at a department store (including David Jones). It does feel luxe (the texture and the way your skin feels afterwards is fab) so if you like Japanese skincare and like the sound of the emulsion, go for it! 🙂
Sun Bum Cool Down
After a long lazy day in the sun, your skin needs revitalization and hydration. Sun Bum’s ‘Cool Down’ Lotion is enriched with soothing Aloe and Vitamin E, providing an intense hydration to gently restore the skin’s natural moisture balance. The light, non-greasy formula is quickly absorbed, leaving the skin smooth and soft.
I loooove the Sun Bum Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ (I find you apply more sunscreen when it’s a cream/lotion, rather than a spray) and was so pleased to see that they do an after sun lotion, which you can buy at Priceline (dugstore)! Most after sun lotions or gels at the pharmacy/drugstore are aloe vera based, offering very little other nourishing and hydrating ingredients (I’d rather get 100% pure aloe vera gel in that case) let alone other skin repairing antioxidants. But don’t get me wrong, aloe vera is great and Sun Bum Cool Down also includes aloe vera extract. Aloe vera contains numerous phytochemicals (phytochemicals are completely natural chemical compounds found in plants) like glycoproteins, polysaccharides, sterols, lipids, and vitamins – all of which have been studied for bioactivity). Glycoproteins for example, help speed the healing process by minimising pain and inflammation, while polysaccharides stimulate skin growth and repair. Vitamins C and E in aloe gel improve the strength of the skin tissues and pack a powerful, hydrating punch to dehydrated or ageing skin. Aloe Vera’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce redness and help skin heal more quickly, as shown in this study whereby aloe vera inhibited MMP production in the skin, making it effective for skin ailments like psoriasis. Apparently how aloe vera is harvested and processed is super important, because otherwise the active phytochemicals are inactive, but that’s a story for another day (read about here at Futurederm).
What other beneficial ingredients does Sun Bum contain? Vitamin E, cotton seed extract (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory), sorbitol (a humectant), jojoba seed oil and cocoa seed butter. I’m glad that cocoa seed butter is down in the bottom of the ingredient list, because as I mentioned above, you don’t want to trap heat in the skin, which can happen when you apply heavy butters or oils (these become occlusive when applied liberally). Jojoba is wonderful, because it’s actually a wax, which mimics your skin’s naturally occurring sebum. It also contains fats naturally found in the uppermost layer of your skin, allowing your skin to retain moisture and heal itself. The Cool Down lotion has a light texture, however it doesn’t sink in immediately like the Shiseido After Sun Emulsion does. On dry skin, it takes a minute or so to totally absorb. It absorbs more easily on damp skin (right after you hop out of the shower). I’m not sure that it feels cooling or refreshing, but it does give them skin a hydration hit, so it feels supple and comfortable. You could always keep it in the fridge, should you really need something very cooling for really overheated or burnt skin. It has a banana scent that I love, just like the sunscreen 🙂 It also lessens redness and seems to deal well with sunburnt skin. My skin does tan even when using sunscreen (with a high SPF factor at that) and all well hydrated skin will look better and keep a tan for longer. I haven’t used this guy on my face – though I’m pretty certain you could. Cool Down is hands down the best drugstore after sun lotion I have found! It retails for about $14 at Priceline and you get 177ml of product, bargain!
The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Fresh Body Sorbet
Give your skin fresh hydration with our crisp and refreshingly scented Fuji Green Tea™ Body Sorbet. Our cool sorbet texture instantly melts into skin for a frosty burst of fresh moisture.
Up to 24-hr hydration
Light and fast absorbing
With antioxidant green tea from Japan
For healthier feeling skin
I picked up this body sorbet, because I liked the idea of slathering myself with sorbet lol not only is the texture light (perfect for sun heated and dry skin) I figured the green tea contained within the formula would also provide some antioxidant care and repair sun damaged skin ideally. Oh and it was on sale! The texture is so odd, it does look and feel like sorbet (it’s not a regular ‘gel’ texture) but it has this dryness to it. I may have been expecting an emulsion texture instead. I can’t say it’s my favourite texture in the world but your skin does look and feel better after applying it. It doesn’t sink in very well on dry skin, so it’s best applied when your skin is damp. No matter how much I apply (a little or a lot) it does tend to ‘ball up’ and rub off. Not great when you are trying to hydrate your skin as much as possible (so forget about applying it twice in a short period of time). It contains glycerin which is great, as well as honey, sesame see oil, aloe vera juice powder and green tea extract (of course!). I am disappointed that the green tea extract is really low in the ingredient list though, because it is such a powerful antioxidant and would help defend the skin against free radical damage caused by UV rays. Plus, it is the star ingredient of this particular sorbet. Maybe Japanese green tea was too expensive for the Body Shop (re the packaging)? 😛 The fragrance is quite strong – it smells like green tea, but it’s quite a synthetic scent, which could be overbearing for some. I can maybe see why this product went on sale. On the one hand, it does the job by hydrating the skin without feeling heavy or sticky – perfect for summer right, but the texture doesn’t make me want to apply it again. The sorbet doesn’t feel ‘refreshing’ like I had hoped. You an still pick the sorbets up from the Body Shop for $14 instead of the regular retail price of $20 for 200ml. I wouldn’t recommend using a body lotion such as this on the face (it wasn’t designed for the face after all).
Above: On the left, Sun Bum Cool Down and on the right, the Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Fresh Body Sorbet
The moral of the story is that you don’t have to use a dedicated ‘after sun lotion’ after the beach or a day out in the sun, however they do make things easier for you and usually have the right texture plus skin nourishing, repairing and cooling/soothing ingredients. And most are light enough to also use on your face (bonus – especially if your face and body gets a little to much sun). If you don’t have one, use a light lotion that isn’t greasy (so you don’t trap heat in, if your skin is overheated), contains humectants (ingredients that draw moisture from the air into the skin, e.g. glycerin) and soothing or calming ingredients (e.g. aloe vera, chamomile, jojoba oil) or go for a 100% aloe vera gel, that has been cold pressed and is made from the whole-leaf. If you do a Google search, you will find lots of options – I found an aloe vera ‘jelly’ from an Australian company (Aloe Vera Australia) that looks really good! You can also use 100% aloe vera gel on the face, without worry!
Are you a fan of after sun products? I think they are great, even if you haven’t gotten burnt because after a day at the beach, the sun, wind and salt dries skin out a lot. The skin on our body needs some love, care and repair too 😉 They are a must in my beach/summer holidays arsenal. Most formulas have gotten quite advanced but you can still find great drugstore options!
Catch ya next time,