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Reviewed and rejected: Afterburn Sunburn Rescue Gel

Is a Solution for:
Sun Protection for Body
June 28, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 10 Comments
68% of respondents to the question, "What is the best way to spot a Brit abroad?" answered "sunburn". Calf length socks with shorts are also a dead giveaway in my experience. Anyhow, the survey was commissioned by Afterburn Sunburn Rescue Gel, which claims to not only soothe sunburn but also to prevent future damage and premature aging. It does all this by utilizing something called OSMO4.

It turns out that OSMO4 isn't an ingredient so much as a way of delivering ingredients. It is made by a Swiss company with a near-incomprehensible web site. OSMO4 uses hydrogels, which are polymers that are able to absorb very high concentrations of water. Afterburn Sunburn Rescue Gel says it works by drawing water from the body's own skin to the damaged area.

The hydrogel also stores other ingredients such as glycerin and delivers them to the skin. Unfortunately, Afterburn Sunburn Rescue Gel's hydrogels are also delivering sodium hydroxide (commonly known as caustic soda and used for cleaning drains). Sodium hydroxide turns up in a lot of cosmetics and can cause irritation at very low levels. There is also PEG 8. PEGs are polyethelene glycol compounds, which invariably contain impurities that can be toxic. One in particular, ethylene oxide, is related to cancer.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Committee (the body that represents the cosmetic industry) says that PEG compounds should not be used on damaged skin. And what is sunburn exactly?
  • July 5, 2018

    by Amanda

    I bought mine from Barbados back in 2011 and my skin was in such a bad way. When I used the gel it was a miracle how my skin repaired rapidly in a matter of a day! It's made in England although do not know where to purchase it from. Does anyone know?

  • June 12, 2017

    by Corinne

    I would dearly love to find somewhere that sells this product as it's the best on the market

  • July 15, 2016

    by Eamonn

    this is a fantastic product that really works.
    unfortunately no one has stocked it for a year now and it is imposible to find
    What a shame that the only really good rescue gel is not in circulation anymore
    A real shame.

  • June 10, 2015

    by Diana

    This is the only product that stops sunburn in its tracks, you don't end up peeling either and the redness soon dies down.
    It is not cheap or that easy to find in the shops, but is an excellent product.
    After sun is useless for sunburn.

  • March 3, 2015

    by Ginny

    I thoroughly rate this product and question the validity of the critical comment.
    I have used it for minor burns from working in the kitchen aa well as for sunburn and have every faith in its ability to heal without damaging. Until I have more scientific evidence, well substantiated, I shall continue to use it.

  • November 10, 2014

    by Pauline

    I have been trying to buy AfterBurn sunburn gel everywhere. Boots online, Boots shops in the local high streets, and chemists shops but no-one seems to stock it. I realise that this is late in the year, but if you could help me source a supply I would be very grateful.

  • May 28, 2014

    by Rachel

    This article makes it seem as though Afterburn contains damaging chemicals, but if that were the case surely it wouldn't help damaged skin? I can personally say that as someone with sensitive, pale skin who is prone to burning, this product is excellent and really does soothe and repair sunburn. So how can it be harmful? It seems unlikely that damaged skin would respond well to a damaging product...
    It's definitely worth the price, any redness goes within a couple of days and it makes sunburn a lot less painful than usual aftersun creams.

  • July 11, 2008

    by John Chamberlin

    <p>My name is John Chamberlin, I am the product manager for AfterBURN Sunburn Rescue Gel. I wanted to contact you to address some of the inaccurate points raised in the “reviewed and rejected” product feature.</p>

    <p>•AfterBURN’s mode of action is purely physical; it works by osmosis, drawing water from within the skin to the burned area and doesn’t ‘deliver’ any ingredients into the skin. </p>

    <p>•Sodium hydroxide is, indeed, used in the manufacturing process, where it is added as a buffer to regulate the pH of the mixture –this immediately neutralises it to harmless compounds. There is no sodium hydroxide in the finished product.</p>

    <p>•The PEG 8 used in AfterBURN is cosmetic grade, and, as such, contains no free ethylene oxide, as suggested in the feature. There are no restrictions on the use of polyethylene glycol compounds of this nature in the EU, and there have been no concerns raised about them by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products - the relevant EU based authority.</p>

    <p>•AfterBURN Sunburn Rescue Gel is a Class IIa Medical Device, which means that it is supported by a full Medical Device dossier validating the product’s safety, quality and claims of efficacy. This dossier is audited by a fully independent, EU regulated, notified body before the product can be brought to market, and every 12 months thereafter. </p>

    <p>We value consumer feedback and welcome any questions you have about the product. Contact details and further information on the product can be found at <br />

  • July 2, 2008

    by marta

    <p>I would try mailing it back and asking for a refund. If you haven't used the product that should work.</p>

  • July 2, 2008

    by Valerie

    <p>I just bought this product and paid a good 10 quid for it. Is there anyway of getting my money back? (It's already opened)</p>

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