Can You Use After-Sun As A Daily Moisturizer?

Does your skin feel dry and tight after a day out in the sun? You may be wondering about the best way to keep your skin healthy and glowing. We've researched the uses of after-sun to find out whether you can use this skin moisturizer daily.

After-sun can be used as a daily moisturizer. Designed to provide support to skin that has been exposed to the sun, after-sun provides needed hydration to your skin. When used at the end of each day, after-sun will soothe skin, add moisture, heal damage done by UV rays and help your summer tan last longer.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to use after-sun and moisturizers to keep your skin looking it’s very best. Read on to learn techniques for getting the most out of after-sun or what to use if you don’t have any on hand. 

A woman pouring after-sun lotion on her hand, Can You Use After-Sun As A Daily Moisturizer?

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What Makes After-sun Different From A Moisturizer?

After-sun is specifically designed to support your skin after sun exposure and replace moisture in your skin. It provides hydration and healing. This makes it versatile! It can do double duty for your skin by treating sunburns and keeping skin soft with daily moisture.

Moisturizers are typically just used to keep skin soft, but they can also benefit sun exposed skin if they are gentle and contain a lot of hydration. Some moisturizers may have additives for anti-aging properties that could be too harsh for skin that is already sensitive from sun exposure or sunburn.

The Main Ingredient

Aloe is a main ingredient in most after-sun products and is very soothing to sunburned skin. Aloe replenishes moisture and reduces inflammation caused by a sunburn. Application of aloe reduces the burning sensation caused by damage and inflammation from the sun. Aloe repairs and heals sun damage, while stimulating collagen production. Collagen keeps your skin looking plump and less wrinkled.

Moisturizers typically do not contain aloe. The primary benefit of applying moisturizer to sunburned skin is to give hydration back to dry skin, but moisturizers are not designed to heal like after-sun. Some moisturizers are also very “heavy” and these can actually trap heat from a sunburn, causing your skin to sting even more.

Applying After-sun

Preventing sunburn is the best option, so always make sure to protect your skin with sunscreen. But, if you’ve spent the day outside and your skin is sunburned, it's important to apply after-sun as soon as possible once you come inside. Getting as much hydration back into your skin as quickly as possible minimizes the effects of sunburn. Drinking lots of water also helps with adding hydration back into the skin.

Be very gentle with your skin by avoiding any products with harsh ingredients. If a product causes any stinging or burning when applied, gently rinse your skin with cool water to remove the product. After-sun should be applied liberally and frequently. Re-apply whenever your skin is beginning to feel tight, itchy, or dry.

For skin that is really irritated, chill the after-sun between applications by keeping it in the refrigerator. Applying chilled after-sun feels very soothing to irritated skin. Avoid exposing your skin further to the sun until it has healed. Use after-sun regularly, until the dryness and redness are improved, and then daily to maintain your glow.

You may have some additional questions about after-sun and moisturizers and how to best use these products. Let’s answer some specific questions about how to get the most out of your skin care by using after-sun and moisturizers.

Does The Sun Make Your Skin Dry?

When you spend time in the sun your skin is exposed to UV rays. These rays can damage skin cells causing the skin to feel dry. With repeated sun exposure, skin can become thickened and rough. UV ray damage causes your skin to age prematurely. Taking care to avoid sun damage is one of the best ways to keep your skin looking younger and healthier.

How Often Should You Put On After-sun?

After-sun can be applied as frequently as needed to keep the skin feeling moist. If you feel tightness or irritation, it's fine to reapply. You really can’t apply too much after-sun when skin is fresh from exposure to the sun. Use less if you are only using it as a daily moisturizer, and more if you are treating sun exposure.

The ideal time to start applying is as soon as you come in from outdoors. Once your skin is healed, back off to daily application. Aloe can sometimes cause skin exfoliation when used too frequently. This will increase flaking of your skin. When used as a daily moisturizer, apply after-sun in the evening before bed. This will heal and hydrate your skin while you sleep.

Does After-sun Stop Peeling?

Aloe Vera gel, the primary ingredient in most after-sun products, is great for minimizing peeling. Other moisturizing ingredients in after-sun soothe and heal the skin which will also stop peeling after a burn. By replenishing the moisture your skin loses when exposed to the sun, you’ll peel less, and skin will look radiant and healthy.

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Can You Use After-sun Every Day?

After-sun is very safe and can be used daily. Applying each evening will keep your skin moisturized and glowing. Your summer tan will last longer with regular moisturizing with after-sun. Choose a product that has a simple ingredient list to avoid any harsh chemicals that may sting your skin.

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Should You Put Lotion On A Sunburn?

It’s fine to use lotion on a sunburn, however make sure any oils in the lotion are plant-based. Things like vitamin A and E oils, avocado, coconut, and almond oils are fine. Avoid petroleum and mineral oils. These oils trap heat in your skin and will increase the burning sensation. Choose a lotion that does not have alcohol in its ingredient list. Alcohol stings when applied to already sensitive skin.

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Can You Use Moisturizer As After-sun?

Moisturizer can be used like after-sun to hydrate your skin. However, just like with after-sun and lotions, make sure the moisturizer is not petroleum or oil based. Remember that moisturizers are only adding hydration to your skin and usually don’t have the healing Aloe Vera that after-sun does. Some moisturizers contain exfoliating ingredients. These will be harsh on sensitive, sunburned skin and should be avoided as an after-sun substitute.

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What Can I Use Instead Of After-sun?

Either plain, Aloe Vera gel or aloe straight from a plant helps with sunburn and peeling. Break off a piece of an aloe plant and squeeze the gel right onto the irritated skin. Gently spread a thin layer of gel on your skin.

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Apple cider vinegar is another way to take the sting out of a sunburn. Use a soft cloth to gently bathe the skin with the apple cider vinegar.

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Cold cream is also soothing and adds moisture to the skin. Apply cold cream just like after-sun or a moisturizer. Makeup remover can also be gently applied with a soft cloth to soothe sensitive skin.

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Looking for more ways to brighten your skin? Check out our blog, "How To Use Vitamin C Serum [Including How, When, And How Often]."

Maintain Healthy Youthful Skin

Keeping your skin healthy and glowing is easy with the right care. Avoid too much sun and use sunscreen whenever possible to avoid sun damage. If you do get a little too much sun, use these tips to treat your skin gently and make sure it stays well hydrated. After-sun replaces moisture lost during sun exposure and hydrates the skin to heal it. It is gentle enough to be used daily as a moisturizer and provides relief from discomfort to skin that has been sunburned.

Stay tuned at for even more great skincare tips and tricks for vibrant skin!

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