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HealthAfter Sun: Skin care does not end with the application of sunscreen

We are all now aware, after so many informative campaigns, of the harmful effects of overexposure to the sun and proper sun protection. But does the proper care of our skin end there?

Excessive sun exposure affects our skin, from premature photoaging to sunburn. Sun exposure can cause redness, heat sensation on the skin, itching and even pain. Even when we use sunscreen, our skin is not in the best condition after sunbathing. The sun, the wind, the salt and the heat afflict and dehydrate the skin.

After-sun care products help regenerate and self-heal the skin, restoring the skin’s hydrolipidic balance, and are considered very important for a period of at least 12 hours after sun exposure. The right products can prevent peeling and prolong our tan. The knees, forehead, nose, chin, cheeks, shoulders and décolleté require special care.

After sun exposure: some skin care tips

Cool showers

Redness is basically an inflammation of the skin. One of the ways to treat inflammation is to cool the affected area. We help our skin with cool showers. We do not rub our skin, neither in the bath nor after. Dry by dabbing your skin with a towel.

Aloe Vera

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, products containing aloe vera can soothe redness [1]. The use of aloe vera in skin care is an old practice, as the ingredients of the plant are ideal for the treatment of sun-damaged skin. They moisturize, are anti-inflammatory and help heal wounds. Although aloe vera has not been conclusively proven in existing clinical studies to help all forms of burn, it appears to reduce the healing time of burnt skin by at least 8 days [2].

When choosing a sunscreen, make sure the ones you are considering are moisturizing. Regulating the moisture balance and regenerating the skin is our first goal. For after sun exposure, we need a different moisturizer than usual. The usual moisturizing products are based on oils that block moisture, which means that they trap heat in our skin if we apply them after sun redness, thus worsening the feeling of heat and inflammation. On the contrary, after-sun moisturizers are essentially lightweight moisturizers with a high-water content and minimal moisture-blocking ingredients. We need to look for a formula with a high-water content. This is necessary to help our skin recover from inflammation. The use of light lotions or gels allows heat to escape and helps the skin to cool down. For immediate relief, especially in cases of sunburn, we can keep our after-sun in the refrigerator.


Products that contain antioxidants provide you with extra benefits. Because sunscreens do not completely block UV rays – and the application is not always perfect – after sunbathing, we should treat our skin with skin care products rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and can reduce the damage caused by UV rays passing through our sunscreen. One such antioxidant is vitamin E.

Systemic Care

In addition to skin care products, there are other measures that support skin regeneration, such as proper diet. The more we expose our skin to the sun, the more fluids we should consume. Fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins and phytochemicals help regenerate the skin. Ideally we reduce caffeine consumption and avoid alcohol.

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