The best aftersun lotions for kids

best aftersun lotions for kids

by Samantha Price |
Updated on

We all know the importance of protecting our skin before spending time in the sun - sunscreen for our little ones is always to hand, but we can often neglect our skin after we've been in it, so getting one of the best aftersun lotions for kids is essential. For children, hours splashing in the salty sea, burying themselves in gritty sand and playing under the harsh sun (even with sunscreen!) can dehydrate the skin.

Investing in the best aftersun lotions for kids will leave their skin feeling soft, moisturised and restored. Lotion provides moisture to the skin after exposure to the sun. As the sun dries out your skin - it's important to rehydrate to prevent irritation, itchiness and flaking skin. You'll notice that a lot of aftersun products contain cooling agents like mint and aloe vera to soothe the skin after being in the heat for this exact reason.

Although you should always wear sunscreen to protect your skin, aftersun can provide relief from any accidental sunburn while also preventing the skin from peeling. To avoid sunburn and protect against the harmful effects of the sun, be sure to read our sun safety guide, as well as making sure to apply the best sunscreen on your little ones.

The best aftersun lotions for kids at a glance:

•Best aftersun lotion for children: Childs Farm After Sun Lotion - Buy now from Amazon
•Best aftersun with natural products: Organic Children Aloe Vera Lotion and Aftersun - Buy now from Green People
Best aftersun gel for kids: Ambre Solaire Hydrating Soothing After Sun Lotion - Buy now from Amazon
Best affordable aftersun lotion: Calypso After Sun Moisturising Lotion - Buy now from Amazon

Just take a look at our list of the best aftersun lotions for kids to find the perfect pick for your tot. In this list, we've also included some moisturising lotions that will help repair, rehydrate and restore skin after being in the sun.

Best all-round lotion for kids

best aftersun lotions for kids
Price: $38.60

Whilst it's not specifically for this purpose, one of the best aftersun lotions for kids that you're sure to recognise is E45 - a go-to for parents. Dermatologically tested and ideal for moisturising skin (especially for those with eczema), the E45 range is an amazing lotion to use as an aftersun as it restores hydration to the skin.

One reviewer said: "My daughter has sensitive skin and red, itchy skin as well. After using this for a week, it has improved a lot. Her skin is significantly less red and she has stopped scratching at it. My wife also uses this for her face and says that it is a great moisturiser and she likes the feel and smell of it. It isn't too greasy for her, and the smell is mild. Overall, this was a great value for money and they are very satisfied with this."


  • For all skin types
  • Also works well as relief for insect bites


  • Clinical scent isn't the most appealing

Best aftersun lotion for children

best aftersun lotions for kids
Price: $21.25

Childs Farm has a range of sun products to protect kids from the harmful effects of the sun. As well as sunscreen, they also have this aftersun lotion that's designed with sensitive skin in mind. Both approved by dermatologists and paediatricians alike: we love that this option is safe to use on eczema-prone skin.

One reviewer said: "I love this stuff; it really cools sunburn down longer than any other cream I've used! I have ridiculously sensitive skin which is prone to both eczema and sunburn. I put this on and it keeps it cool for a few hours before you need to reapply. Has a lovely soft natural smell and absorbs quickly without feeling greasy. It's also great for dry skin and treats my eczema as well so you can use it all year."


  • Ethically sourced ingredients
  • Paediatrician and dermatologist approved


  • Slightly small bottle

Best aftersun lotion for kids with instant relief

If you're looking for an organic aftersun lotion that's vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, the Aloe Pura aftersun lotion meets those requirements. Derived from aloe, this quick-acting lotion relieves and cools the skin after playing in the sun all day.

One reviewer said: "Both the sun lotion and the after sun lotion in this range are very good products. My child is allergic to just about every other sun cream from the supermarkets, even those supposed to be for kids or sensitive skin! He doesn't have any reaction to this product and it gives good sun protection."


  • Cruelty-free and vegan friendly
  • Non-greasy


  • May not be suitable for sensitive skin

Best aftersun with natural products

Likewise, Green People's aftersun lotion for kids contains (mostly) natural ingredients. It is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free; however, it has been designed specifically with children in mind. Fantastic for sensitive skin, natural ingredients include aloe vera, lavender oil and calendula to promote anti-inflammatory properties on the skin.

One reviewer said: "My son is so precious to me that I wouldn't use any other sunscreen or aftersun lotion on him apart from the Green People products. No nasties, kind to the planet and the adult range my husband and I use smells beautiful! All of them absorb easily with no sticky residue and I am so glad I found this company. I highly recommend them to everyone I meet."


  • 93 per cent certified natural ingredients
  • Great for sensitive skin


  • Can be tricky to get the remnants out of the tube

Best aftersun gel for kids

In the form of a cooling gel, this aftersun by Garnier is a popular choice. Containing responsibly sourced aloe vera: this soothing aftersun lotion provides a refreshing feeling. Pop in the fridge for added coolness - you'll be thankful when you apply it to your skin after being in the hot weather.

One reviewer said: "I think this aftersun is perfect. It's cooling after a long day in the sun, non-greasy, which is a must for me. I used it on all the kids as well. There was no sting which I usually experience when using aftersun. I would definitely recommend this for anyone. It smells great too."


  • Quick relief
  • Gel consistency is cooling on the skin


  • Strong scent

Best restorative aftersun lotion for kids

best aftersun lotions for kids
Price: $8.19

This intensive, restorative lotion from Vaseline works to repair the skin, making it perfect for aftersun treatment. Free from fragrances, it may be a good choice for those with sensitive or eczema-prone skin. Having been clinically proven to heal skin from dryness in just five days - this lotion transforms the skin. Before long, you'll have smooth and soft skin.

One reviewer said: "Excellent. Used the cream as an aftersun treatment for a month-long holiday in Florida. No burning and no skin peeling."

Another reviewer said: "The lotion is probably a bit thicker than most lotions, but it has very pleasant silky texture and it applies easily and absorbs quickly. It doesn't have fragrance as such, but like any fragrance free product it has some scent and sometimes these products tend to smell like wet sheep wool. This has a very light scent you can feel while applying, but it is not unpleasant and it doesn't linger."


  • Great for sensitive and eczema-prone skin
  • Extremely affordable


  • May need to reapply often for the desired effect

Best long-lasting aftersun lotion

best aftersun lotions for kids

Rrp: $12.90

Price: $9.99

From another trusted brand, Nivea delivers again with their aftersun lotion that provides up to 48 hours of moisture. Their hydrating formula locks in moisture and rehydrates the skin. Users have suggested refrigerating for added coolness.

One reviewer said: "The whole family love Nivea Aftersun. We all now think of it as the smell of a good holiday. It is so soothing and moisturising. We've been using it for years and wouldn't buy anything else."

Another reviewer said: "Yesterday my skin was burning hot, very red and sore, not only did this provide relief but I have woken up today with normal coloured skin again which has shocked me enough to write a review. I believe this could have saved me from peeling! Love the holiday smell it gives and it's definitely moisturising. Be careful in the hot sun everyone!"


  • Pleasing scent
  • Absorbs quickly


  • Reviewers found it smaller than expected

Best affordable aftersun lotion

Compared to competitors, the 500ml of Calypso aftersun lotion goes a long way at such an affordable price. With moisturising properties and an immediate cooling effect, it's a great value bottle to use after a day of playing in the sun.

One reviewer said: "This smooths on very easily and has an amazing smell. We all absolutely love it including my 6-year-old granddaughter who has eczema and can't usually use perfumed stuff. This aftersun does not irritate her skin at all which is brilliant as we don't have to carry something different with us for her. It leaves your skin lovely and smooth with an amazing smell. Will definitely buy this again."


  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy-to-use pump bottle


  • Too fragranced for some

Best budget aftersun lotion for kids

best aftersun lotions for kids
Price: $7.93

As well as in a convenient spray consistency, Vaseline's Aloe Soothe Body Lotion works perfectly as an aftersun due to its cooling aloe vera and moisturising properties. For healing and restoring the skin after sun exposure, this aftersun lotion is the most affordable on our list.

One reviewer said: "As a fair-skinned redhead, I go through a lot of sunscreen and a lot of aloe. This lotion has become my substitute for aloe vera gel. It's moisturising and cooling and doesn't leave your skin feeling sticky like gel does. If you're looking for aftersun care, look no further."


  • Big 200ml bottle
  • Made from pure 100 per cent aloe


  • We couldn't think of any!

Best aftersun with a pleasant scent

best aftersun lotions for kids
Price: $14.66

Not only is Hawaiian Tropic renowned for creating products with a delicious scent, the hydration properties of their aftersun lock in moisture for up to 24 hours. Perfect for a day after being in the salty sea and sand, this aftersun lotion softens the skin, leaving it feeling supple and hydrated.

One reviewer said: "It's the very best aftersun, it goes on smoothly and smells lovely. I have allergic reactions to all sorts of products, but not this one. There are no nasty after effects. It dries quickly, the whole family used it and said how nice it feels."


  • Instant relief
  • Dual-ribbon formula


  • May not be suitable for sensitive skin

Best moisturiser to use as kids aftersun

johnsons baby lotion
Price: $11.71

This gentle daily moisturiser from Johnson's is ideal for aftersun care. Free from paragons, dyes and phthalates, its gentle formula will soothe skin after being in the sun and boost its hydration. With natural ingredients such as coconut oil, it keeps skin feeling soft and healthy.

Review: "I love Johnson’s as it's a brand I feel I can trust, this baby lotion is excellent it is very gentle on baby’s skin and leaves skin super clean and soft! I also like to use this on myself so it's an all round family favourite, 100% recommend."


  • gentle on skin
  • Paediatrician and dermatologist-tested


  • Pump only on larger bottle sizes

Can I put aftersun on my baby?

Ideally, babies should not be in the sun long enough to need an application of aftersun. When they're under the age of 6 months old their skin is delicate and especially sensitive, so they are more susceptible to experiencing side-effects of both sunscreen and aftersun.

How to apply aftersun to children

Firstly, all of the sunscreen they've worn throughout the day needs to be washed off, so if their skin is a little sore, a soothing shower or bath may help with this. Then once their skin is dry or slightly damp, squeeze some aftersun into your hands and massage it all over their body (or get them to help or do it themselves if they're old enough). Don't forget the face and hands but be careful not to get it in the eyes!

How to protect your kids from the sun

As well as using the best aftersun lotions for kids, there are plenty of other ways to protect their skin. Here are some measures to ensure your children are safe and protected while playing outdoors in the sun. It's important to follow these steps to prevent the damage that the sun can have.

Shaded areas

Ensure your children have enough shade to protect them from sunburn and sunstroke. If you're going to be in an area with minimal coverage, provide beach tents, parasols or sunshades.

Keeping cool

Prevent overheating and heatstroke by investing in a portable fan or cool snack to take with you to help regulate their temperature.

Staying hydrated

Another way to regulate their temperature is by making sure they drink plenty of water. Prevent dehydration by taking a big bottle of water wherever you go.

Wearing sun protection

Dressing for the weather is the best way to keep your children cool and protected from the sun. Sun hats, UV-protected, correctly fitting kids sunglasses and rash vests - will stop skin, eyes and scalp from being damaged by the sun.

Applying sunscreen

Of course, regularly applying sunscreen, whether that's a waterproof SPF for children or not, is extremely important. The higher factor, the better, as this will provide more of a barrier against harmful UV rays. If your little one has sensitive skin, there are sunscreens for kids with eczema available that'll help prevent any flare-ups in the sun.

Samantha' Sam'Price is a Beauty, Fashion & Wellness Products Writer at Bauer Media, working across a number of brands including Closer, heatworld, Grazia, Yours and Spirit & Destiny amongst others. It was 2022 when Sam was employed as a Commercial Content Writer writing about Family Life on Mother & Baby, Yours and Spirit & Destiny.

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