Perhaps the most important step in your post-sun routine is to rehydrate your skin with a high quality moisturizer. Which material should you look for? Nichols recommends finding a body lotion that contains both humicant and emollient. In simple words: you need ingredients that will draw water to the skin And Fill in the cracks, this way your skin will stay soft and supple.
Hyaluronic acid is a common moisturizer found in body and facial moisturizers, but don’t forget about the bright star of post-sun care: aloe vera. “Aloe is the gold standard for a natural product,” said Christina Chung, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. “It works well for post-sun care due to its anti-inflammatory properties.” You can read all about those skin-loving features here.
In the case of emollients, Nichols prefers plant-based oils such as squalene to help retain skin moisture for long-term hydration. Squaline is also doubled as an exclusive, meaning it locks in moisture. Bonus: Squalene contains antioxidants that work to fight free radicals, manage oxidative stress and protect skin from environmental stresses such as UV rays and pollution.
You may want to avoid any products that contain chemical exfoliants after spending time in the sun. Stay away from body and mouth products that contain AHAs or BHAs (think salicylic, lactic or glycolic acid). Retinal body serums and lotions are another no-no for post-sunrise care. You can use these products a few days before sun exposure (just be aware that they make your skin more light sensitive, so go ahead with more diligent sun protection), but try using something more hydrating the day before and the day after.