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The Best After Sun Lotions and Gels to Stock This Summer

Bestsellers for After Sun Care

As summer approaches, ensuring your skin remains hydrated and soothed after sun exposure is crucial. With the myriad of options available, understanding the difference between after-sun lotions and gels can significantly impact your skin's recovery process. Ingredients play a pivotal role in providing relief and promoting healing, making it essential to know what to look for when selecting an after-sun care product. In this article, we'll guide you through choosing the best after-sun lotions and gels that will keep your skin feeling refreshed all summer long. Whether you're dealing with slight redness or trying to maintain a healthy glow post-vacation, our top recommended products are curated with your skincare needs in mind.

Why You Need to Stock After Sun Lotion This Summer

a tube of aloe vera soothing gel with a spoon sticking out of itBuy Earth Therapeutics Aloe Vera Soothing Gel

Summer sun can be harsh on your skin, leading to dryness, peeling, and discomfort. After sun lotions and gels are designed to address these issues by providing essential hydration and soothing relief. These products contain ingredients like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid that help to replenish moisture lost during sun exposure. They can also extend the life of your tan. This hydration is crucial for maintaining skin's elasticity and preventing premature aging.

Choosing the right after sun product can make a significant difference in how your skin recovers after being in the sun. With options available at Ulta Beauty that cater to various skincare needs, finding a product that works for you is easier than ever. Remember, taking care of your skin post-sun exposure is just as important as protecting it beforehand.

After Sun Lotions vs. Gels

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Understanding the difference between after-sun lotions and gels is key to choosing the right product for your skin's needs. Here's what you need to know about both:

After sun lotions

After sun lotions often contain emollients and moisturizing ingredients that help to restore the skin's moisture barrier, preventing peeling and keeping your tan looking even and lasting longer. The creamy texture of lotions also means they can be more nourishing for dry skin, offering a layer of hydration that helps to combat dryness caused by sun exposure.

After sun gels

Gels usually feature ingredients known for their cooling and soothing properties. This makes gels an excellent choice for providing quick relief from the discomfort associated with sunburn. Their lightweight formula absorbs rapidly without leaving a greasy residue, which can be particularly appealing for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

Some after-sun gels also contain antioxidants that aid in the repair of skin damage by neutralizing free radicals generated by UV exposure. This repair mechanism is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and reducing signs of aging over time.

In summary, both after-sun lotions and gels play vital roles in summer skincare routines by addressing different needs: lotions for deep hydration and nourishment, and gels for cooling relief and lightweight moisture. Choosing between them depends on your specific skin condition and personal preference following sun exposure.

Which After Sun Care Ingredients to Look For

maui babe after browning lotion is a tan enhancer and healerTry Maui Babe After Browning Lotion

When looking for after-sun care products, it's important to focus on ingredients that will soothe, hydrate, and repair your skin. After spending time in the sun, your skin needs ingredients that can address sun damage and provide relief. Here are key ingredients to look for in after-sun lotions and gels:

  • Aloe Vera: Known for its soothing properties, aloe vera provides immediate relief to sunburned skin by cooling and calming irritation.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: This powerful hydrator helps to replenish moisture levels in the skin, preventing dryness and peeling after sun exposure.

  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant that helps repair skin damage caused by UV rays. Vitamin E also supports the skin barrier, reducing moisture loss.

  • Cucumber Extract: Offers cooling effects that soothe sunburn while hydrating the skin.

  • Glycerin: A humectant that draws moisture into the skin, keeping it hydrated and soft.

  • Panthenol: Also known as Pro-Vitamin B5, panthenol helps to soothe irritated skin and promotes healing of sunburned areas.

  • Menthol or Peppermint Oil: Provides a cooling sensation on the skin, offering immediate relief from the heat and discomfort of sunburn.

  • Green Tea Extract: Contains antioxidants that help protect the skin from further damage while supporting repair mechanisms.

Look for products with these ingredients to ensure your after-sun care routine effectively soothes, hydrates, and repairs your skin. Whether you prefer lotions or gels will depend on your personal preference and specific skin needs post-sun exposure.

Top Recommended After Sun Care Products

a bottle of ulta beauty after sun aloe vera gelShop ULTA Beauty Collection

After understanding the importance of after-sun care, it's helpful to know which products can offer the best relief and repair for your skin. With a focus on ingredients that soothe, hydrate, and rejuvenate, we've curated a list of top recommended after-sun care products. These selections are designed to cater to various skin types and concerns, ensuring your skin receives the attention it deserves after sun exposure.

  • For deep hydration, look for lotions like Clear Start Cooling Aqua Jelly enriched with hyaluronic acid. This ingredient helps to restore moisture levels in your skin, preventing dryness and facilitating a smoother, more supple texture. Products containing glycerin are also beneficial as they draw moisture into the skin, keeping it hydrated longer.

  • If soothing irritation is your main concern, opt for gels or lotions with a high content of aloe vera like Earth Therapeutics 95% Aloe Vera Soothing Gel. Aloe vera not only cools and calms the skin but also promotes healing of sunburned areas. Cucumber extract is another excellent choice for its cooling effects and ability to reduce discomfort from sunburn.

  • For those aiming to repair sun damage, products like Sun Bum's Cool Down are formulated with healing antioxidants like vitamin E or green tea extract. Vitamin E supports the skin barrier and reduces moisture loss, while green tea extract offers protection against further environmental damage.

  • Antioxidants and Panthenol or Pro-Vitamin B5 are ideal for sensitive skin types as it helps to soothe irritated skin and enhance the healing process of sunburned areas. Lotions or gels featuring panthenol provide an extra layer of protection against peeling. Try Maui Babe After Browning Lotion for extra sensitive skin.

  • Lastly, if immediate cooling relief is needed, consider after-sun products like The Lifeguard Cooling Aloe Gel includes menthol or peppermint oil. These ingredients offer a refreshing sensation upon application, instantly alleviating the heat and discomfort associated with prolonged sun exposure.

By choosing products that align with your specific after-sun needs—whether it's hydration, soothing irritation, repairing damage, or immediate cooling—you can ensure your skin remains healthy and radiant throughout the summer months.

Ulta Beauty Buying Guide

After sun care products are an essential part of any skincare routine, especially during the summer months when sun exposure is at its peak. These products are specifically formulated to soothe and nourish the skin after sun exposure, helping to reduce redness, inflammation, and promote healing. Look for products that contain aloe vera, as it is known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. Additionally, consider products that contain vitamins and antioxidants to repair and protect the skin from sun damage. Choose lightweight, non-greasy formulas that are easily absorbed and provide instant relief. Cooling agents such as menthol or cucumber extract can also provide a refreshing sensation and help calm irritated skin. By incorporating after sun care products into your routine, you can ensure that your skin stays hydrated, healthy, and glowing all summer long. Here are some products we recommend.

  • The Lifeguard #1
  • The Lifeguard #2
  • The Lifeguard #3
  • The Lifeguard #4
  • The Lifeguard #5
  • The Lifeguard #6
  • The Lifeguard #7
  • The Lifeguard #8

The Lifeguard

$ 22 .95
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  • The Lifeguard by Dune Suncare is a miracle aloe rescue gel that provides clinically proven skincare benefits for post-sun skin.

The Lifeguard by Dune Suncare is an excellent choice for those looking for post-sun skin care. It contains clinically proven skincare benefits to help soothe and nourish skin exposed to sun, wind, and sea. This product uses natural aloe vera as the main ingredient, which has been known to provide hydration while also calming skin irritation and redness. Additionally, it is easy to apply without leaving a greasy residue behind on the skin. Finally, The Lifeguard by Dune Suncare comes in an attractive packaging that makes it perfect for gifting or bringing with you on your next beach vacation!

Why People Love This
  • High Quality Sound: Numerous customers praised the product for its excellent sound quality.
  • Long Battery Life: Many reviews mentioned the product's impressive battery life that allows for extended use.
  • Portability: Users love the compact and lightweight design, making it easy to carry around.
  • Waterproof Feature: Customers appreciate its waterproof feature, making it ideal for use by the pool or beach.
  • Easy to Use Controls: The product's user-friendly controls were commended in several reviews.
  • Sturdy Build Quality: Many users noted the product's durable construction, highlighting its ability to withstand regular use.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Customers love the seamless Bluetooth connectivity, enabling them to easily connect their devices.
  • Cool Down Hydrating After Sun Gel #1
  • Cool Down Hydrating After Sun Gel #2
  • Cool Down Hydrating After Sun Gel #3

Cool Down Hydrating After Sun Gel

$ 11 .49
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This Cool Down Hydrating After Sun Gel from Sun Bum is great for calming and soothing skin that has been exposed to too much sun. It helps to ease the pain while providing deep hydration, leaving your skin feeling refreshed. The light, non-greasy formula absorbs quickly so you can start feeling relief in no time. It's also vegan and cruelty free, making it a great choice for those looking for an ethical product.

Why People Love This
  • Provides instant relief from sunburn and skin irritation
  • Contains aloe vera and vitamin E for deep hydration
  • Leaves skin feeling cool and refreshed
  • Lightweight gel texture is easy to apply and absorbs quickly
  • Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin
  • Has a mild, pleasant scent
  • Does not leave a sticky residue after application, providing a non-greasy feel
  • After Browning Lotion Tan Enhancer and Healer #1

After Browning Lotion Tan Enhancer and Healer

$ 15 .99
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After Sun Moisturizer by Maui Babe.

This After Sun Moisturizer by Maui Babe is an amazing lotion tan enhancer and healer! It contains nourishing tropical oils used by old Hawaiians and Polynesians, as well as soothing Aloe Vera and Vitamins to help keep your skin hydrated. It also helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, while providing a deep, rich tanning effect. Its natural formula is gentle on all skin types, so you can enjoy healthy looking tanned skin without any harsh chemicals or toxins!

Why People Love This
  • Prolongs tan: Many users appreciate that the lotion effectively extends the lifespan of their tan.
  • Healing properties: Customers love its healing properties, which help soothe sunburn and reduce peeling.
  • Moisturizing: The product is praised for its intense moisturizing capabilities, leaving skin soft and hydrated.
  • Non-greasy formula: Users appreciate the non-greasy formula, which absorbs quickly into the skin.
  • Pleasant scent: The lotion has a pleasant, light scent that users find appealing.
  • Natural ingredients: Customers value the use of natural ingredients in the lotion, indicating it's safe for sensitive skin.
  • Easy to apply: The product is easy to apply and spread evenly on the skin, according to user reviews.


a close up of a swatch of a blue liquid on a white background

Can I use after suncare products even if I don't have a sunburn?

Yes, you can use after-suncare products even if you don't have a sunburn. These products are designed to hydrate and soothe the skin after exposure to the sun, which can be beneficial even without visible signs of sunburn. You can also use them any time your skin needs extra hydration, whether you have been in the sun or not.

How soon after sun exposure should I apply after sun lotion or gel?

Apply after sun lotion or gel immediately after sun exposure or as soon as you notice skin dryness or discomfort. Prompt application can help soothe the skin faster and prevent peeling.

Is it necessary to apply after suncare products every day during summer?

It is beneficial to apply after sun care products daily during summer if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Daily application helps maintain skin hydration and support the skin's natural barrier against environmental stressors.

Can after suncare products be used on the face?

Yes, after suncare products can be used on the face. Ensure the product is labeled as safe for facial use, especially if your skin is sensitive or prone to breakouts.

How long should I keep after sun lotion or gel on my skin?

After sun lotion or gel should be absorbed into the skin and does not need to be washed off. Apply it to clean skin and leave it on to provide continuous hydration and soothing benefits.

Can after suncare products help prevent peeling?

Yes, after sun care products can help prevent peeling by hydrating the skin and supporting its natural repair process. Adequate hydration is key to reducing the likelihood of peeling after sun exposure.

Are there any after sun products that also provide sun protection?

Some after sun products contain ingredients that can help protect against further UV damage. However, these products are not substitutes for sunscreen. It is essential to use a separate sunscreen product for sun protection.

Is it possible to be allergic to after suncare products?

Yes, it is possible to be allergic to ingredients in after suncare products. Always patch-test a new product on a small area of your skin before applying it widely, especially if you have known allergies or sensitive skin.

Can I apply makeup over after suncare products?

Yes, you can apply makeup over after suncare products once they have been fully absorbed into the skin. Wait a few minutes after application to ensure the product does not interfere with makeup application.

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