While I don’t tend to spend much time laying out in the sun (partly to protect my skin and partly because I find half an hour is about the point when I go from pleasantly warm and relaxed to sweaty and frazzled), I still like a product to cool me down post-heat.
And that’s because while after sun/face mists aren’t a. particularly good value or b. an actual necessity, the immediate cooling effect they offer immediately makes me feel less Monica-in-Barbados, and more Giselle-on-a-beach-shoot. A girl can dream anyway…
But seriously, since I have the hair of Cher circa 1983 when it’s exposed to more than half an atom of moisture, plus the skin tone and general sun aversion of a vampire, it takes a little extra something to pull my look together post-beach. Otherwise the result is basically an enormous-haired, fairly sweaty me for the rest of the day (and I’m not willing to inflict that on passing small children/easily-startled dogs/any particularly observant wildlife).
So a refreshing after sun mist it is. And given my general love for all things Herbivore I thought it would be a pretty safe bet to check out their After Sun Skin Soothing Aloe Mist (£18 for 240 ml, Cult Beauty).
Herbivore After Sun Skin Soothing Aloe Mist
Containing aloe water and witch hazel to soothe and lightly hydrate, as well as lavender and spearmint oils to provide an instant cooling sensation as it dries, this mist may smell (slightly alarmingly) exactly like mouthwash but soon subsides to allow the lavender through.
Like all products from Seattle-based Herbivore, this is alcohol and synthetic fragrance-free, as well as vegan and cruelty-free.
I’ve included the full list of ingredients at the bottom of this post.
On the Skin
Absolutely gorgeous applied post-shower- or pretty much any other time- the spearmint oils here do a great job of providing an instant hit of cool to sun-scorched skin.
The soothing action continues further as the water and aloe here start to evaporate, leaving me nicely refreshed.
But while that’s all lovely I have to say that in terms of hydrating this doesn’t go anywhere near as far as my normal pure aloe gel (although it is about the same price as the one from my local store).
I also suspect- given the really thin texture here- that it’s just plain old H2O (the first ingredient on the product’s list) here doing the bulk of the heavy lifting refreshment-wise.
On the other hand, I really like how non-sticky this is compared to normal aloe (making it particularly great for the face), plus its spray format *definitely* makes it quicker and easier to apply (and simultaneously makes me feel like I’ve properly got my life in order when I whip this out on the beach).
As another plus, while there of plenty of after suns that offer the same instant cooling effect, a lot of cheaper alternatives out there often use alcohol to get that same tingle going (just what sun-damaged skin needs; alcohol…).
Instead here it’s the spearmint essential oil that offers that freshness. Although again very sensitive skin types may not get on with essential oils either.
Finally, since its housed in a generous (240ml) glass bottle with a spray nozzle, this isn’t exactly the easiest to lug to the beach/on holiday but is really lovely waiting at home in the fridge for me.
It also means I get to be really greedy and buy the littler version (£10 for 60 ml, Cult Beauty) for my beach bag.
Is this £18 after sun spray a necessity? No, absolutely not. Is it pleasingly refreshing enough tpo perk you up after the beach? Yes, probably (as long as you aren’t sensitive to essential oils).
And for me certainly it’s far (far) more preferable than reaching for the sort of alcohol-infused, fragranced after suns that tend to lurk in shops is near the beach.
Great for: Light hydration without any sticky or tight feeling once dry (like I can sometimes find pure aloe gel does). Really fine, wide-spraying mist, making application easy. My already sun-sensitised skin also appreciates the lack of fragrance here.
Not-so-great for: Full on moisturising, as this isn’t as hydrating on my skin as pure aloe gel or a body cream, and I find it’s intended more as a quick, easy (and yummy-smelling) way of soothing skin. Also, while I’m super pleased to see a glass bottle here, it doesn’t make for an ideal travelling mate so be really careful how you pack this one.
The full list of ingredients:
Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water (Aloe Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Leucidal (Radish Root Ferment), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil