Sunburn on sensitive skin is a double-whammy, and you’ve got to be extra careful what products you put on top of your already irritated body. While aftersun is meant to be soothing and hydrating, many include ingredients that could lead to even drier skin when used on sensitive folks. Alcohol denat is a key example, found in a huge number of skin care products – including some in this round-up. While tolerable for most people, it is not advisable for anyone on the sensitive side, and is not included in this particular aftersun.
Sunburn is no joke and while summer is drawing to an unfortunate close here in the UK, many of us love a winter holiday so all the more reason for sun protection to still be taken seriously.
If that doesn’t convince you, here’s a scary stat: according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “having five or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma”, and those are odds we really don’t want to be betting on.
But, while no one sets out to get sunburnt, it can happen to the best of us – even the ones who slather on the factor 50, wear sunglasses, sun hats and stay out of the rays between 11am and 3pm, as we all should. When it does happen, it can either be a flush-pink warning, full lobster-red or even a blistering bad burn, and the latter is pretty horrific.
While there’s no quick fix or magic remedy to banish the burn, the NHS advises sponging sore skin with cool water, taking paracetamol to ease the pain and applying aftersun or aloe vera. Luckily for you, we’ve tested the best of the creams on the market, to find out which ones are worth their weight in gold.
Whether you’re looking to tone down that red, cool the burn or just extend your tan, keep reading to see what we’ve found.
How we tested
While our IndyBest testers are more than committed to putting each product through its paces to find out which ones really are the best, we draw the line at getting purposefully sunburnt. But we did jet off to sunny Ibiza for two weeks of extreme heat and sunshine – wearing SPF every day – and slathered aftersun on each evening to soothe any redness, calm skin from UV exposure and hydrate at the same time.
Price point, ease of use, and soothing effects were all high on our tester’s list, alongside ingredients and how easy the bottle was to carry in a suitcase – although with the weather warming up, there’s sure to be use for it at home soon too.
The best aftersuns for 2023 are:
- Best overall – Bioderma photoderm refreshing after-sun milk: £13, Escentual.com
- Best budget aftersun – Lacura moisturising after sun lotion: £2.69, Aldi.co.uk
- Best luxury aftersun – Arbonne funsun instantly soothing gelee with aloe vera leaf juice: £44, Arbonne.com
- Best for your hair – Oway after-sun hair mask: £27.50, Hairblessing.co.uk
- Best for your face – Katherine Daniels repairing nourishing mask: £35, Katherinedanielscosmetics.com