The days of "hydrating" skin with deep tanning oil while baking in the sun are over. In today's educated world, a high-powered sunscreen is only the foundation for maintaining healthy skin and avoiding damage. Anyone spending time outside in the summer months, whether relaxing on the beach or doing a little urban farming, should counterbalance exposure to UV rays even after the sun goes down. From gels to serums, here are eight ways to keep your skin glowing year round.
SMN Aloe Vera Face and Body Gel
The Santa Maria Novella Aloe Vera Face and Body Gel glides smoothly across skin and is easily absorbed, with a consistency more like a light lotion than a gel, and great for everyday use. Not surprisingly, the gel from this legendary Florentine perfumery packs a pleasant floral fragrance that you won't mind applying to your face and body. The aloe vera gel sells online and in SMN stores for $40 per 250ml bottle.
Mario Badescu After Sun Cooling Gel
From one of NYC's most loved spas is the Mario Badescu After Sun Cooling Gel, a water-based moisturizer that calms skin with ingredients like rose extract, aloe, sorbitol and menthol. While non-greasy, the toner-like consistency of the gel lays on the skin slightly before absorbing—perfect for when your body is need of some serious hydration. Store it in the fridge for optimal cooling effect. Pick up the gel online or in person at their New York location for $14 per 6-oz bottle.
Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gelly
With a traditional aloe vera gel texture, the Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gelly is like the kind you slathered on as a kid, but made with better ingredients. The organic topical really aids the skin's healing process, cooling it down with aloe and soothing it with vitamins A, E and C. The gel sells in-store at Whole Foods, Life Thyme Market and other health markets or online from Amazonfor $9 per 8-oz tube.
Aesop Petitgrain Hydrating Body Gel
Aesop one-ups the classic aloe vera gel by adding petitgrain—an essential oil made from the leaves of orange trees—as well as Witch Hazel, grapefruit and lemon peel oils for the most in healing power. The mix, which feels best after time spent in the refrigerator, spreads easily on the skin and absorbs quickly. The hydrating body gel sells online or from Aesop stores around the world for $33 per 4.1oz tube or $95 for a large 16.9fl oz bottle.
Organix Body Wash Tea Tree Peppermint
Ideal for daily use, Organix's Tea Tree Peppermint body wash is great for permanent beach bums or anyone with dry skin. The slightly tingly mint cools skin while the silica from the bamboo extract relieves irritation and helps the body absorb the essential teatree oils more easily. Pick it up from Amazon for $8 per 13-oz bottle.
REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk
REN's Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk reduces redness first and foremost, but like all REN products, the ultra-fortifying face and body wash contains a high amount of bioactive ingredients to really heal dehydrated skin. Omegas 3 and 7 reduce inflammation, calendula treats radiation burn with its anti-viral properties and fennel seed helps ward off impending environmental factors—from driving away mosquitos to eliminating the common cold. The cleansing milk sells from REN for $32 per 150ml bottle.
Glo Therapeutics 15% Vitamin C Serum
High in anti-oxidants, Glo Therapeutics' 15% Vitamin C Serum is a lot like spreading orange juice all over your face. The somewhat sticky serum effectively works to strengthen skin cells and reduce the aging effects the sun and other free radicals impart. Pick up the serum online for $95 per 1 fl oz bottle.
Håkansson Vitamin Spray Passion Fruit
Witch Hazel, aloe vera juice, absorbic acid, tea tree oil and more make up Håkansson's Passion Fruit vitamin spray, which not only helps heal irritated skin, but also feels fresh and light going on. The spray is a great way to keep your skin hydrated on the go, or keep it in your desk drawer for a quick revival when feeling the effects of dry office air. Buy it directly from Håkansson for $33 per 3.8-oz bottle.