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The Gloss Report: Aftersuns

June 24th 2013

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In case the sun does make an appearance this summer, the Glossy team test out aftersuns to see if they're as cool as they say

Liz Earle Aftersun Gel

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Price: £13.50

Buy online: uk.lizearle.com

Feedback: “This is a must-have after sun, especially if you are heading somewhere hot for the summer. It is a cooling, clear, gel-like formula with added aloe vera, which is brilliant for soothing and calming sun exposed skin – it smells fresh and lovely too. This was my lifesaver when I last had a sunburn incident and I love that it soaks in really quickly so there’s no sticky residue and you don’t have to wait around for ages to put clothing on. It has ingredients such as cucumber, lavender, vitamin E and aloe vera which all work quickly at soothing and hydrating the skin with the added relief of a cooling effect. No summer holiday suitcase is complete without it and I put it in the fridge for an even colder application.”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 10/10

Ultrasun Aftersun Repair Formula

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Price: £16

Buy online: www.feelunique.com

Feedback: “I am a big fan of Ultrasun’s SPF range and though it may not look flashy, this aftersun is just as impressive. A viscous clear gel in a large pump bottle, it delivers its promise on that much-needed cooling factor that sun exposed skin craves while also hydrating it back to life. The thickness of the gel means it takes a little time to sink in but it’s also incredibly moisturising and left skin feeling softer and well looked after. With a barely-there fragrance which didn’t irritate my sensitive skin and an oil-free formula so it doesn’t leave me feeling greasy, this one’s a definite keeper.”

Score: 9/10

Reviewer: JJ

Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Aftersun

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Price: £5

Buy online: www.lookfantastic.com

Feedback: “This cream is very light and absorbed into my skin very quickly without leaving a greasy residue (which is never pleasant, particularly if you are in warmer climes). The bottle claims it is enriched with 'cold cream' but to be honest it just went on like a moisturiser and didn't have any added cooling effect; after a day in the sun it wouldn't have the same impact as say a soothing aloe vera gel. On the plus side, I have very sensitive skin so usually never put aftersun on my face but as it was so light I gave it a go and had no adverse reaction the next day.”

Reviewer: RM

Score: 7/10

St Tropez Aftersun Lotion with Self Tan

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Price: £15

Buy online: www.st-tropez.com

Feedback: “I don't use sunscreen so I've never used aftersun. So after my day out in the sunshine (without sunscreen!) I came home and put on some of this St Tropez product. It looked and felt like a thick moisturising cream, but you could definitely smell the tan in it. It glides on really nicely and absorbs really well, leaving my skin feeling very well moisturised and soft. The tan is quite subtle on my skin tone but I can see that my lighter blotches have caught up with the darker skin. I really liked it and I would happily use it as a daily moisturiser for my face as it works perfectly.”

Reviewer: IM

Score: 9/10

Thalgo Hydra-Soothing Lotion

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Price: £25.50

Buy online: www.thalgo.co.uk

Feedback: “I applied this silky lotion after a hot bath and it had an instantly cooling effect without being too tingly (I’ve used aftersun creams in the past that have left me shivering as opposed to soothed). It has a lovely light texture and sinks in fast, and a few hours after application I noticed that my limbs were definitely a lot more luminous thanks to added iridescent pearly particles. This was a pleasant surprise - the cream delivers a subtle sheen that would be very flattering at sunset after a day on the beach. The ingredients list itself sounds refreshing, with Aloe Vera, Water Lily extract and Macro-Algae from the Philippines keeping sun-induced dehydration at bay. The beautifying benefits and softening effect of this aftersun make it a great buy for a foray into the sunshine, but for more intense and nourishing post-burn repair I think I’d opt for a richer cream.”

Reviewer: AH

Score: 9/10

Kiko After Sun Milk

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Price: RRP £15.90

Buy online: www.kikocosmetics.co.uk

Feedback: “This cream was really moisturising and had a gorgeous, velvety feel to it. Although it left my skin a little sticky at first, it sank in well after a minute or so and gave my skin a noticeable hit of hydration after a day in the sun. Although recommended for both face and body, I thought it was maybe a little too thick to use on my face, so probably best avoided if you’re prone to breakouts. Other than that though, I thought it was effective at preventing peeling and generally a good all-round pick-me-up for quenching parched post-sun skin.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 7/10

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun

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Price: RRP £11.99

Buy online: www.boots.com

Feedback: “Hydrating and tropically scented with a funky-looking ribbon of aloe vera running through it, this particular aftersun instantly transported me to a beach in the Caribbean (although the reality, to my dismay, was really rather different).

“It sank in pretty quickly and left my skin with a subtle sheen which flattered my tan, great for providing a little extra skin confidence for the evening. It was a little tacky upon application, but overall I thought it was a great way to make the most of sun-kissed limbs and ensure you have silky smooth holiday skin whether you’re Bahamas or Bournemouth-bound this summer.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 9/10

Clarins After Sun Moisturizer Ultra-Hydrating

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Price: £19

Buy online: www.clarins.co.uk

Feedback: “This moisturiser has a beautiful summery scent of mimosa and shea butter that instantly transports me back to my recent Cypriot holiday so it’s safe to say I was quickly under the Clarins spell. It has a light and silky application that is absorbed quite quickly, leaving me wondering ‘Is this it?’ as I am so used to aftersuns being thick and a bit tacky to the touch. This one definitely proved me wrong as my skin was still ‘ultra-hydrated’ the next day, showing off my tan beautifully.”

Reviewer: FD

Score: 9/10

Clarins After Sun Moisturizer Self Tanning

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Price: £19

Buy online: www.clarins.co.uk

Feedback: “A very similar product to the Clarins After Sun Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizer, however the Self Tanning version is much lighter, again proving to really hydrate my sun-kissed skin. After tanning, fake or not fake, it gives brilliant coverage and pretty much does what it says on the box: it truly intensified my tan. It has a more gentle fragrance but enough that it leaves a lasting reminder of my summer holiday. Overall I can announce I’m a Clarins convert.”

Reviewer: FD

Score: 9/10

Sensai by Kanebo Silky Bronze After Sun Emulsion

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Price: £60

Buy online: www.harrods.com

Feedback: ““A dermatologist once told me that Japanese brands should be the go-to skincare names for those of us beleaguered with sensitive skin. According to him, the effects of Hiroshima had caused a great deal of money to be invested into dermatology and creating products suitable for easily irritated skin. As a result the Japanese skincare products currently on the market tend to have a wealth of advanced technology behind them aimed at nurturing sensitive skin, so I was already a little biased towards Sensai.

“However, generally I’m a big believer in the soothing powers of aloe vera and always gravitate towards the pale green bottles on the shelf when shopping for summer. The Sensai by Kanebo Silky Bronze After Sun Emulsion is a good deal more luxurious than the products I usually opt for. I’m a sucker for glam packaging and the gleaming gold bottle does not disappoint. This product was rich enough that I could afford to be more sparing than usual and refined with my application. The smell was absolutely divine too; I can sometimes react to perfume in products but felt no adverse effects from this one, thank goodness. I must admit that once I run out I shall be returning to my cheap and chic aloe vera as the price tag does put me off; it will have to be my beauty summer romance of 2013 – a wonderful affair while it lasts but destined to come to a necessary end… once the bottle is empty.”

Reviewer: AV

Score: 8/10

Clinique After Sun Rescue with Aloe

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Price: £18.50

Buy online: www.clinique.co.uk

Feedback: "I really try very hard never to burn my skin when I go on holiday, and I slather my red headed children every few hours and after swimming in factor 50 - however sometimes despite using every good sunblock in the world, there comes a time when you miss a bit of skin. This happened to me and also for the first time ever, my children, on holiday this year (argh). On the first day I used a sun cream that seemed to come off easily in water and I burnt my back, also my children, for the first time ever got pink shoulders. I used this Clinique After Sun on all of us and it did a great job at cooling and soothing the delicate areas. It has a light texture that sinks in very rapidly, which leaves skin silky not tacky. I did worry that it wasn't quite as moisturising as it could be, though. I want an aftersun to feel like it's really nourishing the skin."

Reviewer: ST

Score: 7/10

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