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Necessary? Can it be substituted for a cream? Everything you need to know about the ‘aftersun’

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Summer is accompanied by long days at the beach and pool that involve sun exposure that does not occur at other times of the year and with which the skin suffers. In these hot months, a product becomes the protagonist in supermarkets, pharmacies and bathroom furniture throughout: the aftersun.

Whether it’s because you’ve been burned or because you’ve simply spent many hours in the sun, this product is essential for a large part of the population when they return from the beach or the pool. But is it really necessary? Can it be substituted for a moisturizer?

Lucía Gámez, dermatologist and member of the AEDV, recalls that “it is convenient to apply a product after sun exposure”. The doctor recommends using an aftersun and not a moisturizer because the formulation of the first is specific to help skin recover after sun.

“The aftersun contain active ingredients that help and have a calming and regenerating effect, beyond simply offering hydration as can happen with a conventional moisturizing cream. Among them hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, centella asiatica…”, explains the dermatologist. In addition, she proposes a popular trick in some houses: put it in the fridge. “If they’re cool in the fridge, when we apply it, it has a calming effect,” she adds.

When it comes to choosing the aftersun that best suits each one, Ella Gámez would not think too much about it. “All those that are marketed contain active ingredients that help the skin after sun exposure,” she points out. She does ask to consult a dermatologist and choose a product that suits our needs in the case of an aftersun for the face.

“At the facial level, they usually come separately. It is true that any product for the body could be used a priori, but there are facial pathologies that require other care. If someone has acne, it is not the best thing to put on a body cream, in this case it is good to always follow the advice of the dermatologist”, warns the doctor.

At the time of applying it, the question arises as to whether a moisturizing cream should also be applied or if the action of the aftersun is enough. As in the case of the face, it depends on the needs of each one. “They are lighter than a moisturizer, so they come in handy in this time of heat and humidity. With sweat we tend to need fewer and less dense moisturizers”, says Gámez, who believes that in most cases it would not be necessary to apply a body moisturizer afterwards.

“If hydration is needed, you can introduce a shower soap with moisturizing principles, or oil-based, to complement, and then use the aftersun”, recommends people who need extra hydration in the summer months.

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