Nurturing Your Skin Naturally: The Power of After-Sun Care

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Whenever I go on a wee weekend trip somewhere in Ireland, I often get laughed at when I say I need to buy this and that as after-sun skin care. People tend to think it only rains in Ireland, but that sun is strong!
And yes… I’ve also been sunburnt whilst it’s been raining so, for me, before and after-sun care is essential!

So, whether you’re in sunny Spain or have spent the day basking under the sun’s warm rays here in Ireland, it’s essential to provide your skin with some extra care and nourishment.
While sun exposure has its benefits (hello vitamin D!), it can also leave your skin feeling dry, irritated and longing for relief and replenishment.

That’s where after-sun care comes into play. Rather than reaching for chemical-laden products, why not turn to the wonders of nature? In this blog post, we will explore the world of natural after-sun skincare and discover the soothing remedies that Mother Nature has to offer.

The Power of After-Sun Care - Optima  aloe vera gel

Slather on Aloe Vera

Ah, Aloe vera. Nature’s Cooling Miracle. When it comes to after-sun care, aloe vera is an unrivalled champion. Known for its exceptional healing properties, this succulent plant is a natural remedy for sunburned or irritated skin. Its gel-like substance is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that help soothe and moisturize the skin.
Apply a generous amount of pure aloe vera gel directly onto affected areas for instant relief and to promote the healing process.

We stock:

Hydrate

Drink up! Sun exposure tends to deplete the skin’s moisture levels, leading to dryness and tightness. And if you’ve actually been sunburnt, you’ve lost a lot more moisture than from regular ole sun exposure.
Replenishing lost hydration is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and so I implore you to increase your water intake. This will help to keep your body hydrated from within.

I actually just recently wrote a blog post all about staying hydrated here, if you’re interested:

Dublin Herbalists whipped shea butter

Moisturise

Additionally, on top of hydrating from within, don’t forget to hydrate from the outside. Opt for a nourishing, natural moisturiser that contains ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, or cocoa butter. These ingredients provide intense hydration, lock in moisture, and help restore your skin’s natural protective barrier.

We recommend:

Coconut Oil

To restore moisture and promote skin healing, reach for the nourishing power of coconut oil. This natural emollient penetrates deeply into the skin, providing essential fatty acids that aid in repairing and rejuvenating sun-damaged skin.
After cleansing, massage a small amount of organic coconut oil onto your body to lock in moisture and promote soft, supple skin.

While many people find coconut oil beneficial for their skin, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with acne-prone or sensitive skin. That’s because coconut oil is considered moderately comedogenic, which means it has the potential to clog pores for some individuals. Alternatively, try jojoba oil or argan oil, which offer similar moisturizing benefits without the potential for pore clogging.

The Power of After-Sun Care 
Pai jojoba and hyaluronic acid serum

Replenish with Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a natural compound found in our skin that helps maintain hydration. After sun exposure, our skin’s moisture barrier may become compromised. Applying a hyaluronic acid serum or moisturizer helps replenish and retain moisture, making it an ideal step in your after-sun care routine.

Hyaluronic acid can be used both in the morning and evening, and it is safe to apply before sun exposure. In fact, it can be beneficial to use hyaluronic acid before applying sunscreen as it helps to provide hydration and support the skin’s moisture barrier.

After cleansing your skin, apply a hyaluronic acid serum or moisturizer to your face and neck. Allow it to absorb into the skin and follow up with a sunscreen during the day. Hyaluronic acid helps to attract and retain moisture in the skin, keeping it hydrated and plump, which is beneficial after sun exposure.

Try:

The Power of After-Sun Care Triology Vitamin C Booster treatment

Try Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C serum is another beneficial product you may wish to consider adding to your after-sun skincare routine. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radicals generated by sun exposure. It also helps to brighten the complexion and promote collagen synthesis, which aids in skin repair and rejuvenation.
After sun exposure, cleanse your skin thoroughly and apply a few drops of vitamin C serum to your face and neck. Gently massage it into the skin, allowing it to absorb fully. Follow up with a moisturiser to lock in hydration.
Regular use of vitamin C serum helps to minimize the appearance of sun damage, promotes a more even skin tone, and supports overall skin health.

One thing to note with this product is that it’s important to avoid applying this serum immediately before prolonged sun exposure. Vitamin C is known to be somewhat photosensitive, which means it can degrade when exposed to UV light. Applying a vitamin C serum right before sun exposure may reduce its effectiveness and potentially make your skin more sensitive to the sun or increase the risk of sun damage. Yikes!

That’s why it’s typically recommended as part of an evening skincare routine. It can, however, be used in the morning, but just don’t forget your sunscreen before going into the sun.

Try:

Matcha tea, whisk and wooden spatula

Boost your Antioxidant Intake

Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals generated by sun exposure, reducing oxidative stress and protecting the skin from damage.

To support your skin’s recovery from sun damage, nourish your body from the inside out. Incorporate antioxidant-rich foods into your diet, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, such as berries, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and tomatoes. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that help combat free radicals, boost collagen production, and promote overall skin health.

If you’re looking for some that are particularly beneficial for post-sun recovery, you’re in the right place! Let me introduce you to some of my favourite antioxidant-rich goodies.

Chaga

Chaga is a type of mushroom known for its high antioxidant content. It contains a variety of beneficial compounds, including melanin, polyphenols, and beta-glucans. These antioxidants help to promote skin healing, reduce inflammation, and support overall skin health. Incorporate chaga into your after-sun care routine by consuming chaga tea, coffee or incorporating chaga extract into your smoothies, soups and curries.

Matcha

Matcha is a powdered green tea that contains a concentrated amount of antioxidants, including catechins. These antioxidants help to protect the skin from free radicals, reduce inflammation, and promote a youthful complexion. Consuming matcha tea regularly, you’ll help to provide a boost of antioxidants to aid in the recovery of sun-damaged skin.

Acai

Acai berries are packed with anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that gives them their deep purple colour. These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties and help to combat oxidative stress caused by sun exposure. Consuming acai berries or using skincare products containing acai extract can provide nourishment and support to your skin.

chamomile tea

Try a Chamomile Spray

Chamomile has long been cherished for its calming properties, making it an excellent ingredient for after-sun care. Brew a cup of chamomile tea and allow it to cool. Transfer the tea into a spray bottle and mist it onto your skin for a soothing effect. Chamomile tea contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce redness, ease discomfort, and promote skin healing. You can also use chamomile-infused lotions or creams for targeted relief, such as Pai The Anthemis Chamomile & Rosehip Soothing Moisturiser.

Alternatively, you can use the brew as a mild cleanser to help reduce redness and inflammation, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Conclusion…

When it comes to taking care of your skin after sun exposure, natural remedies truly provide gentle and effective solutions. By embracing the power of the above-mentioned skin-loving ingredients, you can heal and rejuvenate your skin, naturally.  

Remember to stay hydrated, moisturise regularly, and incorporate antioxidant-rich foods into your diet to support your skin’s natural healing process.

For more info about protecting your skin from the sun, peruse these blog posts:

Emily Nöth

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*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.

Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication