Skincare After Sun Exposure

Posted by Azadeh Shirazi MD on

Why is after-sun care so important? 

The sun can leave the skin dehydrated, tight, and irritated. Whether your skin had too much fun in the sun and became sunburnt, or your sunscreen game was on point-  applying a nourishing moisturizer after a long day in the sun is essential for re-hydrating and soothing the skin.  

What should I look for in an after sun product? 

Dr. Azi preaches avoiding any and all fragrance and dyes. Ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, or Glycerin, combined with Shea butter helps lock in water and replenish the skin barrier.  If you have a sunburn, then you want to opt for lighter, water based products with Aloe Vera gel to reduce inflammation and hydrate the skin. It’s important to allow the heat to dissipate from the skin and reduce inflammation as it can interfere with skin healing. A summer tip is to keep the product in the fridge and apply it chilled. A medicated product, like SootheHC with hydrocortisone and Aloe Vera, on red sun burn areas will help heal the burn faster.  As the redness, heat, and inflammation heals, the skin often peels so you want to switch to a heavier ointment based product, a petrolatum based healing balm.

Dr. Azi’s After Sun Skincare Recommendations: 

SootheHC - High-grade Aloe Vera gel with hydrocortisone to calm and heal sunburned skin. Squalane and Glycerin boost hydration and fight against trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).  Apply it to sunburn areas 3x a day to heal the burn faster.

Sun Bum Cool Down - Soothing Aloe with Antioxidants like Vitamin E and hydrating ingredients like Aloe Vera gel. 

Vaseline Aloe Vera Lotion Body - Moisturizer with cucumber, aloe, and panthenol with a fresh gel texture.

Cerave Healing Balm - Petroleum based healing balm to prevent transepidermal water loss for dry peeling skin. 

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Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, MD is a Board-Certified Dermatologist.

Specializing in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Shirazi received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University Of Kentucky College of Medicine. After doing a Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, she completed her residency training in Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in addition to completing her training in dermatology and cosmetic surgery at the University of California San Diego.

She has received multiple research scholarships from iconic institutions including Harvard University and the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and has several peer-reviewed publications to her name.