With a heatwave approaching and temperatures of 34°C expected across the UK over the next few days, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got everything you need to see you through the hot weather.
We’ve got you covered with big sun hats for women, cool linen shirts for men, the best sustainable swimwear for everyone and some super stylish sunglasses. But you also need to be thinking about protection.
When it comes to suncream, we’ve honestly reviewed seven different SPF 30 creams. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, the biggest takeaway from a weekend of heat is sunburn.
Rather than endure the pain of inflamed skin that’s sensitive to the touch, you can soothe and relieve the sting with some after sun – and no, we’re not talking Sunday night reality telly, here.
Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist and author of The Skincare Bible, tells HuffPost UK what to look out for in an effective after sun formula. “The go-to ingredients are the somewhat obvious – aloe vera and cucumber – but I also recommend rose water, calamine and lanolin balm,” she says.
“Aloe vera not only has a cooling effect on the skin but also acts as an anti-inflammatory.” And to avoid further irritating skin, be wary of creams containing petroleum, benzocaine or lidocaine, says Dr Mahto.
We’ve rounded up our favourite aftersun lotions, gels and creams to make managing the heatwave that little bit easier.
Not only does this after-sun milk soothe and hydrate over-exposed skin, it also promises to prolong your tan once the burn fades. The lightweight lotion means there’s no sticky feeling or time spent painstakingly rubbing it into limbs either. And it’s suitable for children, too.
This face and body friendly gel is enriched with watermelon as well as cooling aloe vera for a refreshing fix to sunburnt skin and the packaging is made from recycled materials to help you cut down your single plastic use. Winner, winner.
Ultrasun After Sun, Superdrug, £12.79
Immediately cooling, this gel gives an instant hit of moisture to parched skin and the texture is non-greasy so it won’t rub off onto bed sheets or pyjamas anytime soon. There is a slight perfume but it’s not overly fragranced and it’s packaged with an airless pump to prevent any contamination.
Keep a big tub of this by your shower at all times this summer. Effective both as an aftersun treatment and heavy-duty moisturiser, it will provide comfort and relief while keeping your skin soft and supple, not to mention it smells amazing. Apply after you come in from the sun and liberally throughout the day.
This soothing gel is a sensitive skin saviour that can be applied to both your face and body and will deliver and maintain moisture levels in dehydrated, sunburnt skin without further irritating it.
If you’re particularly prone to sunburn, pack this in your beach bag for immediate relief when you’re feeling overexposed to the heat. It promises to absorb instantly so you don’t have to put any extra pressure on sensitive skin.
This cream-gel hybrid works wonders, especially if you have typically dry skin to begin with. It contains UV protection to prevent future over-exposure and calms redness, so you look less like a lobster by the time you wake up the next day. It’s water-resistant, too, so you won’t have to reapply after a sunset pool dip.
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