All that fun in the sun suddenly doesn’t seem so fun once you see that red rash and burning start to come on. We all know we’re supposed to slather on sunscreen every two hours, but we also have all forgotten to do so. Whether you didn’t reapply enough sunscreen, missed a spot or two, or skipped sunscreen altogether (slap on the wrist for you!) sunburn happens. And you’ll need one of the best lotions for sunburn to ease the pain.
What is sunburn? Your body has a basic tolerance for harmful UV rays. Once that threshold has been passed, the sunburn process begins in the form of reddening skin, which is actually a result of increased blood flow in an attempt to heal the damage caused at the affected site. You might also experience flakey skin, which is dead skin cells dropping away. For some, sunburn may even result in a condition known as “Hell’s Itch.”
How to Deal With Sunburn
If your sunburn prevention game was off during your day out in the sun, what’s the best way to deal with sunburn effectively? The best lotion for sunburn, of course.
We searched the web to find the best after-sun products are full of what you and your skin need for a comfortable recovery. Additionally, we simply had to chat with Alicia Zalka, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist and Founder of Surface Deep so we could get her take on what really are the best options to choose from.
The list includes everything from lotions with ultra-moisturizing ingredients to restore your skin’s moisture levels to other products to help manage inflammation and itchiness. Keeping one of these products on hand is always a good idea just in case you need to restore your skin to its former glory as quickly as possible. It’s also important to note that it’s a good idea to apply an after-sun product to your skin whether your skin is visibly burnt or not. These are the best lotions for sunburn to soothe your skin.
1. Eau Thermale Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream
A sunburn means the skin barrier has been seriously compromised, which is where this incredibly healing cream comes in. The technologically advanced restorative potion speeds up the recovery process by creating an ideal healing environment. The rich water-in-oil formula is chock full of healing thermal spring water to help nourish your skin. It also boasts sucralfate to restore damaged skin while protecting it from environmental aggressors, as well as a copper-zinc sulfate complex to boost skin health.
Eau Thermale Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream
2. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless After Sun Gel Lotion
When your skin is suffering from sunburn, the last thing you want is a heavy cream on top of it. One of the best lotions for sunburn, this lightweight lotion has an airy texture so you won’t even feel it on your skin. It’s infused with aloe, the go-to ingredient to treat and soothe sunburn. The drier the skin, the longer it takes for sunburn to heal, which is why this lotion has hydrating ribbons, delivering 24 hours of moisture. It has a delightful coconut papaya scent to remind you of the beach and take your mind off that sunburn.
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless After Sun Gel Lotion
3. Sun Bum Cool Down Aloe Vera Lotion
Chock full of natural ingredients, this aloe vera lotion is dermatologist approved. The nourishing formula contains aloe vera, vitamin E and cocoa butter, which all work together to prevent your damaged skin from peeling and hydrate it. The light lotion sinks right into the skin and won’t leave it greasy. Pop it in the fridge before you apply it to deliver an intense cooling sensation.
Sun Bum Cool Down Aloe Vera Lotion
4. CeraVe Healing Ointment
“For a painful red sunburn you need something occlusive in the form of an ointment to create a protective and soothing layer on the sunburned skin,” says Alicia Zalka, MD. All in all, this means folks are going to want to look like a heavier lotion to use on their skin instead. Zalka recommends CeraVe Healing Ointment when it comes to burns this severe. It’s perfect for extra-dry areas and especially those areas where it is cracking. It works to restore the natural protective barrier so you can kiss that sun-kiss goodbye.
CeraVe Healing Ointment
5. Jergens Soothing Aloe Refreshing Moisturizer
Damaged, sunburned skin is extra thirsty, so bring back some moisture with this soothing lotion by Jergens. In addition to the sunburn standby aloe vera, it has cucumber extract to soothe and hydrate dry and puffy skin. The formula spotlights Jergens’s game-changing Hydralucence blend for long-lasting moisture that visibly boosts skin tone, texture and glow. Fast absorbing, skin stays hydrated for 24 hours after using this lotion.
Read More: Best Lotion For Dry Skin
Jergens Soothing Aloe Refreshing Moisturizer
6. Aquaphor Healing Ointment
This is referred to as one of the most essential solutions for any and all skin care needs, it’s no wonder why Alicia Zalka, MD recommends this as one of the best lotions for relieving sunburn. This ointment allows for the flow of oxygen for an enhanced heal, so no matter where your burn is, Aquaphor will do its best to repair and heal in no time. Expect a fragrance-free consistency and no preservatives either.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
7. Banana Boat After Sun Lotion
This is a classic for good reason — it brings instant relief to red, angry skin. Vitamin E and aloe vera team up to ease redness, peeling and dryness. Incredibly hydrating, this sunburn-relief lotion will restore moisture lost in the skin due to sun exposure and water when applied regularly. It may also help to extend the life of your tan.
Banana Boat After Sun Lotion
8. EltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex Face Moisturizer
So you managed to cover your entire body with the best sunscreen, but you forgot your face? Big, big oof. That really must hurt. Thankfully, Alicia Zalka, MD suggests EltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex Face Moisturizer for heavily burned faces. This day and night moisturizer is typically ideal for dry skin but also works excellently for burns. Maybe even keep it in your repertoire for casual face moisturizing moments, too.
EltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex Face Moisturizer
9. Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer
When you can’t bear the thought of aggressively rubbing anything into your skin, this spray moisturizer gets the job done. The healing powers of Vaseline are infused with aloe, hydrating and soothing suffering skin. Lightweight and easy to apply, the formula of this sunburn-relief lotion contains micro-droplets of Vaseline Jelly that instantly absorb sans any stickiness or greasiness. The non-aerosol, continuous spray dispenses lotion evenly all over.
Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer
10. Coola Organic Radical Recovery After Sun Body Lotion
Using a mix of lavender oil, sunflower oil, aloe vera and rosemary extract, the Coola Suncare Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion gives your skin exactly what it wants after a little too much time in the sun. It delivers a mix of antioxidants and nourishment to soothe your skin and help accelerate the recovery process. It also works to eliminate the annoying sunburn itch along the way.
Furthermore, you can use the lotion for sunburn multiple times throughout the day to ensure your skin remains fully hydrated. Plus, you know it works as over 90% of users award it top marks on Amazon.
Coola Suncare Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion
11. Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother
Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother is a non-greasy and budget-friendly answer to your sunburn woes. The rich lotion for sunburn uses aloe extract and coconut oil to deliver a naturally moisturizing treatment to get your skin on the path to recovery. You can apply the lotion to your face and body to alleviate the redness and itchiness associated with sunburnt skin. The soother is also free from parabens, phthalates and SLS, and 99.6% of its ingredients are natural.
Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother
12. Alocane Severe Sunburn Gel
Aside from burning pain, there’s nothing worse than a persistently itchy sunburn. Luckily, the Alocane Severe Sunburn Gel works quickly to get deep into your skin. The gel includes 4% lidocaine to begin the pain-relieving process and alleviate the itchiness. It’s not just great for sunburns, either, as it can also be used on burns from the kitchen and other itchy bites and rashes. The gel can be applied up to four times daily and goes on without a scent. This is a great product for keeping in your first aid kit for such situations.
Alocane Severe Sunburn Gel
13. Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel
If you prefer an organic answer to your sunburn problem, give this Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel a try. It’s made from 99% organic ingredients and uses freshly cut aloe vera grown in the heart of southern Texas in the production process to maximize its effectiveness against sunburn. It also utilizes a natural seaweed extract to accelerate the absorption process, so your skin is left smooth and silky without the stickiness of some competing aloe products. Plus, this effective lotion for sunburn can be used on a daily basis to keep your skin supple and maintain a healthy glow.