Wish you’d reapplied the sunblock more than once this weekend? We feel your pain. Ella Walker tries out the high-street’s favourite post-burn soothers.
My mother is an advocate for painkillers, aloe vera and a wet tea-towel when it comes to dealing with lobster bright limbs. Sadly mild heat stroke and an ibuprofen drowsy head paired with tea towel clad shoulders dripping ice water and cactus juice isn’t exactly a great look for work.
Aftersun is definitely a better option. So, grab those sunnies, calm down your crimson tan lines and head for a sun-kissed, not sun-cooked, look with these aftersuns.
Simple Sun Sensitive Extra Rich Aftersun Balm, Boots, £7.16
Thick, luxurious and scent free, Simple’s answer to aftersun is at the sophisticated end of the sun care spectrum.
Unlike the mildly greasy Soltan offering, I wasn’t afraid to use it to cool down my face, or dab it liberally on the scorched bridge of my nose. It soaks in leaving you heavily hydrated and sheen free. Am convinced I’ll be using it as a daily moisturiser long after the heat wave runs out of warmth.
Piz Buin Tan After Sun Intensifier Lotion, Boots, £10.20
Although this aftersun took a while longer to soak in than the others and is less generous when it comes to how much skin it can tend to, it is light and in terms of whether it meets its “intensifying” promise, I was pleasantly surprised.
Cycling to work with my arms out hadn’t gained me much of a tan but after a couple of days slapping on Piz Buin, the hint of bronzing I had managed to achieve suddenly seemed to double in goldenness.
Am not overly impressed by the clunky bottle (beach bag, not handbag friendly) but it’s the sort of product that makes you feel pampered.
Soltan Aftersun Tan Prolonger, Boots, £2.74
Cheap and cheerful sun care lotions are hard to find, but thank god for 2-4-1 deals, hence why Soltan is my reasonably priced go-to brand of choice.
Skimping on price is fine; skimping on the number of times you apply? Not so much. One application of this seems to be enough though. Smelling sweetly of sherbet* it is soothingly cooling and I managed to avoid any peeling. The main problem is it’s a bit runny and a bit sticky, leaving your skin tacky and slightly shiny. That aside, it turned a rather red arm into a much calmer bronze; just don’t expect instantly silky skin.
Malibu Soothing Aftersun, Superdrug, £4.29
For some reason I always find myself hunting out Malibu aftersun. It was the only thing that saved a week in the south of France from being an agonising nightmare after I foolishly spent a day reading, unmoving and without sunblock. My entire left side was hysterical pink while the right side failed to get a ray.
However, thanks to it being among other things; insect repelling, easy to soak up and has the ability to cool on impact, it’s hard to find. Buy every bottle you see – or I will!
*Tip: if you want your daily perfume to still make an impression, spritz after your aftersun has soaked in