I was invited by friends to their summer beach house rental and I am still recovering. Not from too much food and booze – well, I admit there is that too. But from too much sun. My friends, a family of four freckly redheads, turned out to be fearless sun worshipers who thought nothing of heading for a morning at the shadeless beach sans sun umbrella, then spending the afternoon in the pool. By the second day, I begged for the patio awning and by the third I was finding excuses to stay indoors. Back at home, I find myself with skin that is not merely pink, dry and more freckly, but lobster red and sandpaperish. The best (worst) feature is what the French call a truck driver’s tan (in desperation, I wore my tee-shirt in the sea). Not a good look.
Raiding the entire Truth In Aging inventory, I have been slathering, rubbing and dabbing with as many soothing and repairing potions and lotions as I can lay my hands on. Here’s a selection of my post sun and vacation saviors.
Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel ($60) is great for sensitive skin, irritation, acne, bumps, breakouts and post waxing as well as sunburn. A cluster of herbs such as nettle, chamomile, wild fennel and rosemary in a base of aloe and witch hazel create an initial tingle that quickly subsides to leave soothed, soft skin. Read Erin’s review of Dr Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel.
Skinfinite “the balm” ($45) is billed as an after shave/after sun cream-gel moisturizer formulated with ingredients to soothe, heal and also to address anti-aging. Much more of a cream than a gel, it is light and silky. With perfluorodecalin to deliver oxygen, wound healing antioxidants, tamanu oil and amino acids, “the balm” even heals bug bites. Read Mark’s review of Skinfinite “the balm”.
CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion ($36) boasts that it will sooth irritation from post-laser hair removal and radiation burns. Sunburn is a doddle. The mostly botanical ingredients include some that are organic and, of course, CV Skinlabs’s signature complex of reishi mushroom, turmeric and alpha bisabolol. And there’s really nothing nasty lurking.
Arcona Pumpkin Lotion 10% ($35). The 10% refers to glycolic and Arcona’s exfoliating body lotion will help fade those sun damaged areas over time. Arcona Pumpkin Lotion 10% tingles on application, but only lasts a few moments and my skin is not irritated by it at all. It is great for clarifying dry skin, smoothing wrinkles, fading freckles and sun spots. Read Ann’s review of how Arcona Pumpkin Lotion 10% helped her post summer sun damage.
La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the shop). This mask has 5% glycolic is gentle enough for most sensitive skin types whilst still being effective. The glycolic's brightening and smoothing effects are given a helping hand by exfoliating bamboo grains, licorice and bearberry extract, which is loaded with alpha arbutin a natural (safer) hydroquinone. Read Kelley’s review of La Vie Celeste Exfoliating Gel Mask and my review
100% Pure Coffee Cherry Sun Damage Corrective Cream ($35). Hydrates with hyaluronic acid and addresses aging and sun damage with an antioxidant cocktail of vitamins, coffee cherry, green coffee, and green tea. Read Sylvia’s review of 100% Pure Coffee Cherry Sun Damage Corrective Cream
Sweetsation Lumi*Essence Body Organic Advanced Brightening Repair Treatment ($48 in the shop). A body lotion, with a lovely scent, that corrects sun spots and other damage and helps even skin tone with kojic acid, alpha-arbutin, papaya and pineapple extract. Freckles noticeably fade and skin becomes more supple with continued use. Read Sandy’s review of Sweetsation’s Lumi*Essence Body
Dry and peeling
Suki Butter Cream Salve ($27.95). This is a multi-tasking cream that comes into its own in contact with super dry skin that’s been sand and wind blasted by a day at the beach. The shea and coconut butters make it rich enough to use on roughened elbows and heals. Apricot, evening primrose and chamomile do the soothing part. Grapeseed is the antioxidant.
Snowberry Soothing Facial Massage Oil ($32). This delicate oil has the most delicious subtle smell, and a gorgeous very light blue hue, which comes from the blend of azulene – the chamomile oil. super-nurturing plant oils. The chamomile is a very calming and soothing oil, great for sensitive skin, like mine. Nurturing plant oils include inca inchi, passion flower, and rose hip oils, which have anti-inflammatory properties and omega fatty acids. There is antioxidant pomegranate oil extract. This oil is great for dry and unhappy skin, and you could relieve all that facial tension brought on by holiday traffic by giving yourself a massage. Read Kim’s review of Snowberry Soothing Facial Massage oil
Hyalogic Episilk Pure Hyaluronic Serum ($59.95). Hydration couldn’t be simpler with this serum that is pure hyaluronic acid (and water). Hyaluronic Acid also exhibits water-binding and water-attracting attributes fill up the spaces between the connective fibers collagen and elastin in the dermis. This allows skin to say supple and prevents wrinkles from forming in dry skin. This serum is viscous, but not sticky. Read Imelda’s review of Hyalogic Episilk Pure Hyaluronic Serum.
Rashes and itching
CV Skinlabs Rescue + Relief Spray ($34). Rescue and relief says it all. It is immediately cooling and refreshing and calms even the angriest rashes. It even works for eczema. Like all CV Skinlabs products it has the line’s signature blend, Tri-Rescue Complex: turmeric, alpha-bisabolol, and reishi mushroom. Read Terri’s review of CV Skinlabs Rescue + Relief and see her impressive before and after pictures
Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser and Masque ($42 in the shop). Doing double duty as a cleanser and a mask, Red Flower’s creamy cleanser calming and moisturizing, just the thing after a hard day in the sun. It has great ingredients including juniper, an astringent and antibacterial properties, which make this cleanser helpful for those prone to breakouts. Sunflower oil is a wound healer. Grifola frondosa (called maitake in Japan or hen of the woods here) is rich in minerals. Read my review of Red Flower Sea Cleanser and Masque
Ultra Clear Facial Cleansing System by Truth in Aging ($86). Even after too much sun and wind, the Ultra Clear’s brushes are gentle enough to whisk away dead cells, flakey skin and dirt without scrubbing or over-exfoliating. Read Pam’s review of the Ultra Clear power cleansing brush
Me & the Girls Lavandula Revive Foot Softening Créme ($25). Skin immediately feels super silky and soothed. Cracks disappear, flakes are gone and scratchy cuticles become smoother if not entirely soft. It doesn’t sink in immediately, but it’s worth the extra time and can also be used on elbows, knees, and hands.