The 20 Best After-Sun Lotions, Gels and Creams for Summer
We’ll be the first to tell you the importance of wearing SPF daily, whether at the beach or just working from home by a window. But let’s face it: We’re all humans and we make mistakes from time to time. We may forget the SPF portion of our morning routine, or we simply might not remember to reapply after a dip in the ocean. And for cases like those, look to after-sun lotion to help speed up your skin’s recovery process and offer you a bit of sweet relief from the burning, itching and peeling that results. So when you need to do a bit of recon post-super sunny day, these 20 after-sun lotions are a great place to start.
1. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme De-Tox Hydrator
Best After-Sun Lotion Face Mask
This gel mask is as soothing as it looks. Made with botanical extracts like cucumber, papaya, chamomile and pineapple, it cools on contact and delivers a dose of hydration to sun-exposed skin. It can also be used to calm inflammation from skincare peels, waxing and extractions.
2. Maui Babe After Browning Tanning Lotion
Best-Smelling After-Sun Lotion
This tried-and-true formula has been around forever, but it recently started popping up all over TikTok. Why? Because it smells like a brown sugar dream, prevents tans from fading and moisturizes and heals sun-damaged skin.
3. COOLA ER+ Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion
Best Organic After-Sun Lotion
Coola describes this as a wheatgrass shot for your skin, meaning it’s packed with powerful antioxidants that revitalize and soothe skin to help it bounce back after a long day in the sun.
4. OUAI Body Crème
Best Whipped After-Sun Lotion
This lotion is great for so much more than sunburns, but that’s why we love it. The quick-absorbing formula feels weightless on skin, keeps it hydrated all day and even gives it a healthy glow.
5. Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe
Best Peel-Minimizing After-Sun Lotion
If you’re looking for something thick to truly lock in moisture, this after-sun balm is your go to. It deeply hydrates and repairs sunburned skin to prevent visible damage and reduce peeling.
6. Herbivore Botanicals After Sun Skin Soothing Aloe Mist
Best Natural After-Sun Lotion
The thing about sun burns is that they actually feel hot to the touch. But this aloe mist cools everything down with just a few spritzes. Keep it next to your computer and apply it to your face (or anywhere, really) whenever you start to feel uncomfortable after a weekend of sun.
7. MOROCCANOIL After-Sun Milk Soothing Body Lotion
Best Tan-Extending After-Sun Lotion
The argan oil in this lightweight lotion is what sets it apart from the rest. It sinks deeply into skin to nourish from the inside out, prolonging your tan and hydrating skin in the process.
8. Bioderma Photoderm Refreshing After Sun Milk
Best Hydrating After-Sun Lotion
Thanks to the emollient ingredients, this lotion not only hydrates like a super-rich moisturizer, but also soothes that overheating feeling you get when a sunburn strikes. Glycerine and shea butter add to the hydration factor and prevent dryness and peeling.
9. Burt's Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother
Best Quick-Absorbing After-Sun Lotion
We love Burt’s Bees lip balm and skincare, so it’s no surprise we feel the same way about this after-sun lotion. But what sets this one apart is its fast-absorbing, non-greasy formula that can be applied anywhere you slipped up with the SPF-application—even your face.
10. Institut Esthederm After Sun Micellar Shower Gel
Best In-Shower After-Sun Lotion
There’s nothing more refreshing than an after-beach shower to rinse away all the sunscreen, sand, sweat and salt. And this shower gel pulls double duty doing all of the above while soothing sunburn and rehydrating dried-out skin.
12. Amara Beauty Aloe Vera Gel from Organic Cold Pressed Aloe for Face, Body, and Hair
Best Gel-Based After-Sun Lotion
This lotion has over 4,500 positive reviews on Amazon touting it as a staple product for skin, hair and nails. It contains nothing but 99.75 percent pure, cold-pressed aloe vera and food-grade preservatives to keep it safe and fresh. Basically, it’s the most natural ointment you can get aside from rubbing a gooey aloe leaf all over.
13. Hawaiian Tropic Lime Coolada Body Lotion and Daily Moisturizer After Sun (3 Pack)
Best Multi-Pack After-Sun Lotion
It’s a good thing this lotion comes in a three pack, because you’ll probably want to use it daily. True to Hawaiian Tropic’s nature, it has a dreamy tropical scent plus cocoa butter, vitamins A and E and aloe vera to hydrate and nourish sun-damaged skin.
14. Solar Recover After Sun Moisturizing Spray
Best After-Sun Lotion Spray
For the times when you don’t even want to think about touching your skin, this after-sun moisturizing spray is a sure bet. Made with all-natural ingredients like vitamin E, soothing calendula and chamomile, it sinks into skin without having to rub it in to deliver a sigh of relief for sunburns and dryness.
15. BENTON Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel
Best Propolis-Infused After-Sun Lotion
Propolis is a compound produced by bees used to fight infections and heal wounds, which is why this gel is ideal for sunburns. It contains over 80 percent aloe vera to hydrate and soothe the skin, while propolis helps to calm and cool extreme burns and relieve resulting itchiness.
16. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless After Sun Gel Lotion
Best Value After-Sun Lotion
Another favorite from Hawaiian Tropic, this lightweight formula combines both lotion and gel for double the hydrating benefits. It has a coconut papaya scent that, if you close your eyes, will transport you to the Caribbean, even if you’re just in your backyard. Bonus: The hydration lasts 24 hours, so you won’t have to constantly reapply to reap the skin soothing benefits.
17. KORRES Greek Yoghurt Calming + Cooling Gel
Best Yogurt-Based After-Sun Lotion
If you’ve ever heard that yogurt is a great sunburn remedy, we’re here to tell you it’s true. And this yogurt-based gel from Korres is proof. It cools red, irritated skin from sunburns (but works equally as well on flushed skin post-workout) thanks to healthy probiotics that help nourish skin.
18. Babor After Sun Ampoule Serum Concentrate (7 count)
Best Ampoule After-Sun Lotion
These tiny, single-use ampoules pack a big skin-nourishing punch. Just apply the contents of one pod all over sun-damaged skin to restore it back to its healthiest state.
19. Avène After-Sun Repair Creamy Gel
Best Cooling After-Sun Lotion
An immediate cooling effect, fast-absorbing formula, ceramides that restore hydration and prevent moisture loss and Avène thermal spring water to soothe and soften skin—yeah, this after-sun lotion is as good as they get.
20. Cannuka After-Sun Care
Best CBD After-Sun Lotion
Formulated with calming CBD and redness-relieving manuka honey (which is also a powerful antiseptic, BTW), this product soothes sunburned skin to provide immediate relief. And the best part: It’s made without an ounce of alcohol, so it won’t further dehydrate skin.