Why You Should Care For Your Skin Post-Sun (Even if you don't have a burn)
When it comes to spending the day in the sun, after-care is so important — even if you don’t have a burn.
Sunscreen won't be enough to protect and nourish your skin if you’re out all day, especially if it's extra sunny. You need to pencil in some time for post-sun skin care.
Not all symptoms of excessive sun exposure lead to sunburns, and many of the consequences don’t surface until after many years. However, it’s never too early to practice good sun care.
What happens under the surface
When you don't take care of your skin in the sun, it can show up immediately as a sunburn, but invisible signs such as dull and tired-looking skin along with hyperpigmentation and rough, uneven skin texture develop over time. This phenomenon is called photodamage or photoaging. In extreme cases of excess sun damage, the ultraviolet (UV) A and B rays penetrate your unprotected skin. This in turn destroys the collagen and elastin in the deepest layers of your skin and results in premature signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines. What’s more, sun damage weakens the skin’s hyaluronic acid content, which is responsible for water retention in your skin, faster healing and reduced scarring. This is why you should apply and reapply a mineral SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum sunscreen every 90 minutes.
5 dos and don’ts to soothe your skin after a day of sun
1. Cool your skin
Whether you’re spending a day on the beach or just walking about, make sure you rinse off any dirt and residual skin care products on your face—try our Marula Hydrating Pre Cleanser, an oil based makeup remover that dissolves grime and SPF away with ease, while keeping your skin’s delicate skin barrier intact. Take a cold shower to soothe skin all over your body, and for extra attention you can opt for a cool facial roller from the fridge or a cold compress for your face.
2. Avoid any harsh scrubs or washes
Swap out any exfoliating formulas for something gentle and soothing. If you notice any rough dry skin, gently buff dead skin off the body with our organic muslin cloth. This not only removes the day’s oil and dirt, but will help your skin absorb more moisture in the next step.
3. Rehydrate your skin
Replenish lost moisture throughout the day with a high-quality moisturiser. Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, aloe vera or plant-based squalene to help your skin retain water, and leave it supple and soft. Our Kigelia Corrective Moisturiser contains the botanical Kigelia africana, with potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help to relieve redness, as well as peptides to build collagen. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too!
4. Skip the chemical exfoliants
Take a break from your AHAs or BHAs such as salicylic, lactic or glycolic acids, and retinoids for a few days post-sun. After all the free radical activity in your skin after being in the sun, your skin might be feeling extra sensitive. Focus on counteracting some of the inflammation with soothing ingredients such as vitamin E, chamomile, cucumber, glycerine or algae extracts.
5. Load up with antioxidants
Even if you’re sure you have no visible sun damage, stay on the safe side and focus on repairing your skin with antioxidants—an esthetician’s sunny-day staple—to protect your skin from harmful free radicals which damage skin cells. Apply our Camu Brightening Serum, made with Amazonian camu camu, which has potent concentrations of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that combats post-sun damage.
Here are some other skincare resources to treat sun damaged skin:
Sun damaged skin: embracing the changes that come with age
How to repair sun damaged skin naturally
Essential oils for hyperpigmentation