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I can’t help but get genuinely excited at the start of every Memorial Day Weekend and it’s not just because I know a 3-day weekend is on the horizon. Time off aside, it usually signals the start of truly warm weather and the much-needed exit of those random wintry days that make absolutely no sense in the middle of spring. It also means I can start stocking up on summer must-haves, like aloe vera products, with the assumption that my proactive move will motivate Mother Nature to speed up the seasonal transition.
But even if she doesn’t (#bummer), aloe vera is that classic multitasker you might as well get anyway. While some people prefer going the all-natural route and literally scraping the gel from the plant, I’m lazy and would rather get ready-to-use products instead. It’s got a pretty good reputation as an after-sun soothing agent, but its benefits go beyond that cooling sensation you instantly feel. Aloe vera also packs a heavy punch when it comes to fighting inflammation since it contains a slew of antiseptic agents including salicylic acid, a top fave for shrinking pimples and reducing acne overall. It’s also rich in a hodge-podge of vitamins whose benefits combat itchiness and also form an antioxidant barrier wherever it’s applied.
In short, it checks off a lot of boxes, thus eliminating the need for a ton of products in your summer routine. And when it’s 90-plus degrees outside, that’s especially gratifying because who wants to layer on multiple creams, serums, and oils that’ll only melt off later? Stock up on any of these top-rated faves so you can stay cool for the summer and beyond.
Babo Botanicals After Sun Soothing Hydrating Organic Aloe Gel
Your skin is the equivalent of a person stuck in the middle of a desert when it’s been exposed to the sun for hours at a time. Post-beach trip, this non-sticky gel will ensure it gets the hydration it’s thirsting for.
$14.95 at Ulta
Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel
This fragrance-free gel face cleanser is a filter-free mix of aloe for soothing irritated skin and propolis extract for speeding up the healing of scars and addressing inflammation.
$19 at Soko Glam
Coola Makeup Setting Spray
In addition to sun protection, this setting spray promises to keep your makeup from melting off and your skin from feeling too hot, thanks to aloe leaf extract.
$36 at Sephora
Garnier SkinActive Hydrating 3-in-1 Moisturizer With Aloe
Made with naturally-derived ingredients including aloe juice, this fast-absorbing moisturizer is a gentle, yet effective way to hydrate all skin types, but especially the sensitive kind.
$10.39 at Ulta
Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner
Use this toner in between your cleanser and moisturizer to wipe away excess residue and hydrate, or spritz over your makeup for a midday pick-me-up.
$39 at Sephora
Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque
After a long day at the beach, this gel mask makes for a satisfying last step in your night routine, cooling down the skin and revitalizing for a fresh complexion in the AM.
$45 at Sephora
Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea
This tried-and-true cult classic is a mix of botanicals that provide antioxidant protection and deliver a cooling sensation whenever you need it.
$7 at Ulta
Saturday Skin Quench Intense Hydration Mask
If you’re dealing with redness and inflamed skin that hurts to the touch, this biocellulose mask is drenched in botanical extracts, including watermelon and aloe, to provide intense hydraton.
$30 (for five masks) at Sephora
Sephora Aloe Vera Face Mask
Sephora’s fleet of crazy-affordable face masks includes this aloe vera option for a smoother-looking complexion.
$6 at Sephora
Tan-Luxe The Butter
Who says you have to sacrifice hydration while getting a tan? This safe sunless tanner is formulated with a slew of moisturizing and soothing agents to treat the skin as it changes color.
$36 at Sephora
The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream
Dermatologically-tested and fragrance-free, this moisturizer is ultra-gentle, but still made with the ingredients you need for adequate hydration.
$22 at Ulta