After-Sun Skincare Essentials

woman relaxing reading a book at the beach prepare skincare self-care

How to care for your skin after a fun day in the sun?

Taking care of your skin in the sun is crucial to protect it from the harmful effects of UV radiation and to maintain its health and appearance.

Here's what's important for your skincare for your sun day:

Sunscreen: This is the most critical step. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it generously to all exposed skin areas about 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours or more frequently if you're sweating or swimming.

Cover Up: Wear protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses with UV protection. This helps shield your skin and eyes from direct sunlight.

woman at the beach reading prep for sun exposure tips to take care of your skin

Seek Shade: Stay in the shade, especially during peak sun hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's rays are the strongest.

Hydration: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Sun exposure can lead to dehydration, which can impact your skin's health.

Avoid Tanning: A sun-kissed tan might seem appealing, but tanning damages your skin. It's a sign that your skin has been harmed by the sun's UV rays, which can lead to premature aging and increase the risk of skin cancer.

After-Sun Care: After spending time in the sun, it's important to soothe and hydrate your skin. Use a gentle moisturizer to replenish lost moisture and provide relief if your skin feels dry or irritated. See our after-sun care tips below!

Avoid Harsh Products: Avoid using exfoliants, retinoids, and other harsh products before or after sun exposure, as they can increase sensitivity and potential for sunburn.

Lip Protection: Don't forget your lips! Use a lip balm with SPF to protect them from sunburn and chapping.

Sunburn Treatment: If you do get sunburned, take immediate action. Cool baths, aloe vera gel, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate discomfort. Read more about how to soothe your swelling, sunburnt feet here.

Consistency: Sun protection should be a daily habit, not just on sunny days. UV rays can penetrate clouds and windows, so even when it's overcast or you're indoors, applying sunscreen is a good practice.

Remember that sun exposure accumulates over time, so even if you don't immediately see the effects, protecting your skin from the sun's rays is an investment in your long-term skin health.

beach day skincare routine and ingredients to look for sunny beach chair

What are the best ingredients to look for in after-sun skincare?

After a day at the beach, your skin might need some extra care and hydration to recover from sun exposure. Here are some beneficial skin-care ingredients to consider using:

Hyaluronic Acid: This ingredient is excellent for hydration. It helps your skin retain moisture, which is essential after being exposed to the sun. Look for hyaluronic acid serums or moisturizers to boost your skin's hydration levels. Check out our deep dive into hyaluronic acid here.

Cucumber Extract: Cucumber has high water content and is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Products containing cucumber extract can help reduce redness and puffiness.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help repair and protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It can also help moisturize and soothe sunburned skin.

Green Tea Extract: Green tea is rich in antioxidants that can help protect the skin from UV damage and reduce inflammation. Look for products containing green tea extract or consider using green tea-infused products.

aloe skincare for your after sun day skincare

Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is known for its soothing and cooling properties. It can help calm redness and inflammation caused by sunburn. Look for products containing pure aloe vera gel or use a natural aloe vera plant to soothe your skin.

Ceramides: Ceramides are lipids that help maintain the skin's barrier function. After sun exposure, using products with ceramides can support your skin's natural recovery process.

We love this Harper’s Bazaar round-up of 17 skincare products to have ready for your after-sun skincare routine. 

After Sun Skincare Routine

Using Patchology skincare products after a day at the beach can help soothe and restore your skin, especially if you've been exposed to the sun, salt water, and wind. Here's a suggested skincare routine using Patchology products to rejuvenate your skin:

1. Cleansing: Start by gently cleansing your face to remove any sunscreen, sweat, sand, and impurities that have accumulated on your skin. You can use your preferred gentle cleanser. Skip any skincare cleanser that has exfoliation. Your skin will be more sensitive to exfoliation after a day in the sun.

apply a sheet. mask like Illuminate after a day in the sun

2. Sheet Mask: Apply a hydrating and soothing sheet mask from Patchology. We love Illuminate with nourishing ingredients like vitamin C, licorice extract, and grapefruit seed extract to brighten and restore you skin after a day in the sun. Look for masks that contain ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, chamomile, and cucumber. These ingredients can help replenish lost moisture and calm irritated skin. The Perfect Weekend is a 4-pack of masks including the best of both worlds - Illuminate and Hydrate.

3. Eye Gels: Use under-eye gels to reduce puffiness and refresh tired eyes following your beach day. The cooling effect of our Serve Chilled eye gels can provide instant relief. On Ice is packed with firming and nourishing ingredients like Bakuchiol, Cloudberry Oil, and 9 (!) Peptides. 

Pro-Tip: Place On Ice in the fridge before use for a chiiiilling boost!

serum application close up in hands to restore skin after a day in the sun

4. Serum: Apply a serum that focuses on hydration and skin barrier repair. Look for serums with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and antioxidants. These will help lock in moisture and provide nourishment to your skin.

5. Moisturizer: Follow up with a lightweight, hydrating moisturizer. Opt for a product that contains soothing ingredients to help calm any redness or irritation from sun exposure.

6. Lip Treatment: Don't forget your lips! Apply a hydrating lip mask or balm to combat dryness and chapping caused by sun and wind. Lip Service is our ultra-hydrating Lip Gloss-to-Balm is infused with a blend of nourishing ingredients. Peppermint extract, Vitamin B3, and niacinamide work together to deeply moisturize and restore your sensitive lips after a day spent in the sun.  

Hydrating Lip Gels provide deep hydration to soften, smooth, and restore your lips. Niacinamide, Peptides, and Green Tea Extract soothe and deliver skin-restoring benefits. Our advanced hydrogel patch technology sends the most powerful moisturizing ingredients to your lips faster. 

7. After-Sun Care: If you have any areas that are sunburned, you can apply aloe vera gel or a dedicated after-sun product to soothe and heal the skin. 

8. Hydration Throughout: Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated from the inside out. Proper hydration is key for maintaining healthy skin, especially before and after sun exposure.

Wrap up

Remember that it's important to be gentle with your skin after sun exposure. Avoid using harsh exfoliants, strong acids, or retinoids immediately after a day at the beach, as your skin might be more sensitive. Instead, focus on soothing and hydrating ingredients to help your skin recover. If you have severe sunburn or prolonged redness, it's advisable to consult a dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment.