A sunny day spent outdoors does wonders for our spirit, but it can take a toll on our bodies. Even if we’re diligent about slathering ourselves in broad-spectrum sunscreen, there’s always room for error: we miss a spot, or the lotion wears off and the sun’s UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays damage our skin. At the end of a day in the sun, our bodies can all too often become dehydrated. Here are a few after-sun remedies that help repair and restore the entire body.
Treat a burn
When UVB rays reach exposed skin they cause sunburns that need calming treatments. Try easing the pain with witch hazel or cold water compresses. Avene’s Thermal Spring Water Spray is particularly soothing and provides healing nutrients for damaged skin, says Tammara Denninger, esthetician at our Greenwood Village, Colo. location.
Natural botanicals like calendula and aloe vera calm tender skin and reduce inflammation, too. Jurlique’s Calendula Lotion combines highly concentrated calendula flower extract with witch hazel to relieve sunburn symptoms and help prevent peeling. (Note: those with ragweed allergies should avoid calendula since it comes from the same plant family.)
Aloe is another good choice, Tammara tells us, as it has been used for centuries to treat skin irritations and burns. All Terrain’s Aloe Skin Repair blends aloe gel with skin-soothing chamomile, cucumber and lavender.
Revitalize skin and hair
Even if we aren’t sunburned, the sun’s UVA rays can damage cells below the skin’s surface by creating free radicals in our skin. Free radicals make our skin look older by damaging cell function, breaking down collagen and causing wrinkles. Sun exposure dehydrates our skin, too, as fluids are lost through sweat.
Look for relief in antioxidant-rich facial products that neutralize free radicals and moisturize with botanicals. One we like is Jurlique’s Rose Moisture Plus Revitalizing Gel-Lotion with Antioxidant Complex. This cool gel blends powerful antioxidants like rosehip fruit oil and grape seed extract with hydrating white mushroom extract. Treat your body to extra moisture, too, with a lush cream like Coconut Body Butter, rich in nourishing cocoa, shea and avocado butters and damage-repairing acai and goji berries.
Start repairing hair that’s been dried out from sun, wind and swimming, with a gentle clarifying shampoo that removes buildup, like MOP’s Mixed Greens Shampoo with detoxifying rosemary and peppermint, and chlorine-removing vinegar. Next, add a deep conditioning hair mask that can restore vitality to dry hair. Try 100% Pure Sea Algae Hair Mask with healing aloe, argan oil and shea butter, and super-hydrating red algae collagen.
Hydrate your body
When we’re outside in the sun for any length of time, we lose fluids and salts through sweat as our bodies try to keep us cool. To ward off dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of water—both during your time in the sun and after. And to help replace electrolytes lost through sweating, try Skratch Labs’ Daily Electrolyte Mix which makes a tasty raspberry drink that’s great for post-sun hydration.