Skip To Content
    Updated on Jul 21, 2020. Posted on Jul 21, 2020

    30 Things That’ll Help You Prevent Or Soothe Your Inevitable Summer Sunburn

    From hydrating lotions to aloe-infused gels, your skin will thank you for reading this post.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Aruba Aloe's Burn Aid to provide cooling, soothing, hydrating relief to your red hot skin — I've yet to find anything that works as well.

    a blue bottle of burn aid gel sitting on beachy rocks
    arubaaloe / Via instagram.com

    I first discovered this product about three years ago when I visited Aruba and I consider it to be the holy grail of after-sun care. I have very fair skin and burn basically as soon as I step into the sunlight. This product truly does what it says and is made with hand cut aloe from plants in, you guessed it, Aruba! The company has been making skin healing products for over 125 years!

    Promising review: "I bought this for obvious reasons...everything Aruba Aloe is amazing and I needed something for potential sunburns. Recently, I had my legs waxed and tried the Burn Aid Gel as an after treatment and it helped take the sting and redness away immediately. New use! Very happy." —Maureen E.

    Get it from Aruba Aloe for $24.

    2. Burt's Bees After Sun Soother, which contains aloe and coconut oil to naturally heal overexposed skin while also leaving you smelling like a honeymoon to Hawaii.

    to the left: a badly burnt back of a reviewer, to the right: the same back healed and tan
    amazon.com

    This product is formulated without parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or SLS.

    Promising review: "Whenever someone I know has a sunburn, I become that super annoying product-pusher friend. I tell everyone about the sun soother! Really, Burt’s Bees should pay me. It rubs into skin like lotion so you don’t feel greasy and can immediately put on clothes after application. A little goes a long way! It smells good without being overpowering (and I’m picky about scents!). Most importantly, it works! I’ve had everything from slight burn to looks-like-a-lobster-feels-like-fire and this sun soother has eliminated the pain/itch and drastically reduced the eventual peel. Highly recommend!" —jlgentr3

    Get it from Amazon or $7.69.

    3. Glamglow's GentleBubble daily cleanser, because you're definitely not going to want to put an exfoliant on your raw, red skin. Trust me.

    a bunch of squeeze tubes of the product surrounded by bubbles
    Sephora

    This cleanser is vegan and free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, and phthalates.

    Promising review: "I really enjoy using this product. I use it in the morning to gently wash my face. I have sensitive rosacea skin and it doesn’t bother me at all." —lovelynat08

    Get it from Sephora for $28.

    4. Glossier's Invisible Shield, a must-have for anyone who wants to protect their skin without the thick, greasy feeling of sunscreen.

    Glossier

    This lightweight water-gel goes on clear, boasts an SPF of 35, and instantly absorbs into skin so you can put your makeup on over it. It's also vegan and cruelty-free.

    Promising review: "I am a dermatologist. I have been searching for a facial sunscreen like Glossier for a long time. It is perfection!! The ingredients act as a radiation UV block/screen: UVB (radiation that causes burning) and UVA (radiation that causes aging). It goes on gently, without greasiness, and with light summer scent. So happy with the product !!" —Michael D.

    Get it from Glossier for $25.

    5. A scalp and hair mist from Sun Bum you'll thank your lucky stars for after one use — no more dried peeling flakes from your scalp after a tough sunburn for you!

    a hand spraying the small brown and yellow bottle of scalp and hair mist
    Target

    After shaving my husband's head during quarantine, we knew we'd need something to protect his now-exposed scalp during summer activities. Ya can't wear a hat in the pool! Anyways, we sprayed his head during our first beach day and he hasn't had a burn yet! It's not thick and doesn't leave any residue. Added bonus? It's vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free, oxybenzone-free, and phthalate-free.

    Promising review: "I was so pleased to find this! Due to a few health issues my hair started thinning and I worried about parts of my scalp getting sunburn. This is a great product to finish getting ready to go out in the sun." —Joanie15

    Get it from Target for $14.99.

    6. Pump Jelly from Moon Juice to quench your thirsty skin after a day out in the sun — it's jam-packed with adaptogenic Reishi which is said to help protect and minimize inflammation.

    a rounded tan glass bottle with a white pump
    Moon Juice

    The jelly is formulated without parabens, petroleum, pesticides, propylene or butylene glycols, phthalates, sulfates, PEGs, TEA, DEA, GMO, silicones, gluten, artificial dyes or fragrances and is vegan.

    Promising review: "I have been using the plumping jelly for a few months now. I even torched my skin in the Kauai sun and my face is still moisturized, vibrant and glowy. I will never not use this product!" —Nicole L.

    Get it from Moon Juice for $58.

    7. Jelly Pop Water Gel Moisturizer that'll leave your skin feeling hydrated and smelling like the freshly cubed watermelon you only ever eat on a beach vacation.

    buzzfeed editor holding the watermelon pink pump bottle in their hand
    Heather Braga / BuzzFeed

    My fair skin is prone to getting sunburnt (yes, I use sunscreen daily) and dehydrated in the hot summer heat, so I'm always open to trying new things to keep it feeling healthy. I gave this Jelly Pop Water Gel Moisturizer a shot and BOY was I pleased! It smells like freshly cut watermelon, has a water-like consistency I've never experienced before, and doesn't leave my face feeling sticky or oily. It's simply fantastic. I know it's mainly for your face, but I also used it on my arms and chest after a beach day and felt so refreshed after. It's also cruelty-free and vegan! Love, love, love.

    Promising review: "This product is incredible! The unique texture (gel to liquid) made me a little skeptical at first, but I love it now. I’ve only used it a few times, and there is already a noticeable difference in my skin. My skin feels very hydrated and plump after using this, and it has a nice cooling effect. I also feel like it has helped calm some irritation in my skin and faded some redness and scarring on my face. On top of that, it has a nice watermelon scent that smells like candy." —easy bake oven

    Get it from e.l.f Cosmetics for $8.

    8. A mineral-based sunscreen with a matte tint so you can get some sun without the sunburn.

    someone squeezing the tinted lotion onto their wrist
    Amazon

    This organic sunscreen is made with non-GMO ingredients and is cruelty-free.

    Promising review: "I am absolutely in love with this product. I tell everyone that this is my favorite beauty product. I am 20 years old and conscious about keeping my skin in good shape for as long as possible. As we all know, the sun is one of the most damaging aspects to the skin. Wearing a face sunscreen every day is so so important. I will never use anything but this product. It goes on perfectly. Your skin feels like butter with it on. I go in the sun pretty often and usually get burnt but haven't once with this product. Not only is the protection great but it's an all-natural product and isn't filled with toxins making it safe to use every day. I absolutely love this!!" —j torres

    Get it from Amazon for $36 (available scented or unscented).

    9. Or a hypoallergenic, paraben-free, gluten-free sunscreen that is available from SPF 15 to 70, so you'll rest easily knowing your skin is protected at all times.

    a model sitting in a sunshine filled car handing the lotion off to another model
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I love the smell of this lotion! Also it's a little bit thicker than most, which I prefer as it actually feels like I'm coated and protected with a nice layer of sunscreen versus the sunscreens out there that have the consistency of water almost. Also love that this brand is vegan and cruelty-free, and doesn't contain a ton of harmful ingredients. And as a Floridian I'm supporting a homegrown company when I use Sun Bum! A++" —KJN

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in three sizes and four SPF options).

    10. A Seoul Ceuticals vitamin C serum that'll nourish all skin types (yep, that includes you with your "accidental" sun burn and awkward bathing suit lines). It includes a blend of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C that'll also assist with reducing pores, breakouts, and targeting discoloration.

    amazon.com, instagram.com

    Promising review: "This serum paired with their moisturizing cream is wonderful; it has helped to fade sun damage spots on my skin (original purpose I purchased it), but has also minimized my pores and given my skin a more firm appearance and feel. The product has a very light, pleasant citrus smell and I put it on before my makeup every morning; it does not make me greasy or affect makeup application at all (and I am prone to oily skin). A few drops goes a long way so it has lasted quite a long time, but I will be ordering again when it finally does run out." —Bree

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

    11. Dr Teal's "Soothe and Sleep" Epsom Salt for the ultimate spa night soak that'll also help soothe your inflamed skin. Convince your S.O. to feed you grapes while you lounge for the full royal treatment.

    a bag of the epsom salt next to a bath tub
    Amazon

    Dr Teal's Epsom salt is an important part of my pre-bedtime ritual. I'm a bath aficionado and have tried many (many) products in my tub — nothing compares to this classic. It has a heavenly lavender scent, relieves any aches and pains in my body, and helps me to relax overall.

    Promising review: "I love Dr Teal’s Lavender Epsom Salts with lavender. Just amazing how rested and clean I feel after 30 minutes in the bath with these wonderful salts. Just soothes my skin and relaxes my muscles. Perfect!" —anniez

    Get two bags from Amazon for $20.95.

    12. An intensive hydration serum that'll have people saying "wow your skin looks amazing."

    a rectangular white bottle with light blue accents
    Sephora

    This product is formulated with pro-vitamin B5 and pineapple ceramide (FANCY!) and does not contain parabens, sulfates, or pthalates. It has Sephora's Clean badge of approval and the company is a supporter of the International Elephant Foundation. I've used it on my too-red face to rehydrate it after an unpleasant burn. Sephora literally describes it as "a cool drink of water for the face," which is good enough for me!

    Get it from Amazon or Sephora for $48.

    13. Micellar water you'll want to tell all of your friends about because it actually lives up to the hype. It can remove the most stubborn of matte lipsticks with just a few swipes and is nice 'n' gentle on skin.

    two bottles of the micellar water
    GarnierUSA / Via instagram.com

    I love that even when my skin is at its most sensitive (ahem, post-beach) I can still remove the impurities from my pores without any chemically-induced pain. I swear by micellar water and, honestly, you probably should too.

    Promising review: "I'm a little late to the micellar water trend but wow, I really love this product a whole lot. The first time I used it, it made my skin feel so soft and lovely compared to just my moisturizer alone. It has a neutral scent and is simple to use — you just put some on a cotton ball or pad and wipe your skin down, and that's it. It really does take off eye makeup well without burning your eyes or smearing it everywhere. And it's very gentle and soothing compared to almost every other cleanser/makeup remover I've ever used. I used it every day for a couple of weeks and my skin feels so much better than before." —Liz

    Get it from Amazon for $6.78.

    14. Black Girl Sunscreen infused with jojoba and avocado you can rely on to go on smoothly without leaving streaks of white residue — absolute beach day goals.

    blackgirlsunscreen / Via instagram.com, blackgirlsunscreen / Via instagram.com

    This sunscreen is paraben-free, fragrance-free, oxybenzone-free, octinoxate-free, silicone-free and aluminum-free.

    Promising review: "I used to dread wearing sunscreen because of that horrible ashy cast it gave my brown skin. Now? I actually look forward to putting this stuff on. I love how moisturizing it is and that it is completely sheer. What is advertises to do it actually does. I layer this on top of my moisturizer. You do need to work it in a little bit but it absorbs into the skin nicely. To all my brown/black ladies/fellas, what are you waiting for? Buy it!" —MD

    Get it from Target for $15.99.

    15. An ice roller, which is said to help decrease under-eye puffiness, minimize fine lines and will feel *oh* so good as you glide it across your burning hot skin.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I bought it because I got a little sunburn on my face and OMG it WORKED!! No drippy mess like trying to use ice cubes, easy to use, very soothing. I use it in the morning on my puffy eyes and in the evening after I do my light therapy on my face. Don't waste your $$ on more expensive ones, this does what it says and is worth every penny!!!" —H Haffner.

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99 (available in five colors).

    16. A CeraVe moisturizing lotion with SPF30 in it so you can get one step ahead of the sun and protect your face from the moment your start your day.

    BuzzFeed Shopping reviewer wearing the lotion to show its light texture
    Rebecca O' Connell / BuzzFeed

    Bek, my BuzzFeed Shopping colleague (above) loves this! Here's a bit of what she has to say about it: "You know how everyone is always on your case about wearing sunscreen EVERY SINGLE DAY? And maybe you're wondering how you could possibly fit yet another item into your packed skincare routine? The solution is simple: a moisturizer with SPF 30. This lazy and economical option means you can continue your usual routine and just sneak in the SPF, kinda like how parents sneak vegetables into their kids' food. I have ultra-sensitive skin — like truly diva-level, gets-red-from-everything kind of skin — and I have never had a problem with any CeraVe products. In conclusion, this is a non-irritating, affordable option for non-fussy people who just wanna tear through their skincare routine and get out the door."

    Check out the rest of her review (and more of our favorite sunscreens!) in "If You're Looking For An Everyday Sunscreen, Here Are 11 Glowing Recommendations."

    Get it from Amazon for $13.47.

    17. Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen which is great for all skin tones and a must-have for anyone who is tired of asking their friend "is it all rubbed in?" after slathering lotion on.

    a white bottle with a yellow cap and  the words "unseen sunscreen" written in rainbow font
    Sephora

    This sunscreen is noted as "Clean at Sephora" which means it is formulated without a list of over 50 ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, phthalates, and more.

    Promising review: "I’m a huge fan of the glow screen and buy it faithfully. I got this as a sample and was excited to try it. I ended up LOVING IT! It’s beyond lightweight and doesn’t clog your pores. I have sensitive skin and it worked super well for me. I put a little makeup over it and it also worked as a great primer. Will be ordering a full size! Highly recommend." —lindseyyfaye

    Get it from Amazon or Sephora for $34.

    18. A K-Beauty aloe vera gel you can rely on to help heal your probably-already-burnt shoulders all summer *and* assist in regular ol' itchy skin in addition to reducing oily skin, general redness, and acne!

    hand holding up the green tub of the aloe vera gel in front of a window
    Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "Love the scent, it's so refreshing. Completely targets the sunburned spots. It's been getting really sunny and hot and we've been living in the pool. When the little ones come out, they are red, but when we apply this to the skin, it instantly cools the skin and helps the redness go away overnight and it's not sticky It quickly absorbs into the skin leaving it moisturized. Always have to have this on hand during the summer. Love the big tub." —Amy D

    This product seriously packs a punch and is free of parabens and artificial colorings. BuzzFeed Editor Elizabeth Lilly is a huge fan and keeps her jar in the fridge for an extra cooling sensation — you can check out her full review of Nature Republic's aloe vera gel here.

    Get it from Amazon for $5.99.

    19. A weightless after-sun lotion from Hawaiian Tropic featuring a heavenly coconut and papaya scent that'll transport you back in time to a tropical vacation / a moment your skin wasn't crispy.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    This is a reef-safe sunscreen that's made without oxybenzone and octinoxate.

    Promising review: "So I went to Hawaii, and I burned the first day. Ouch. This product had a delicate scent and seemed to work for me. The burn quickly healed. Now at home, it reminds me of happier times. Highly recommend for moments of dreaming and, of course, sunburns." —PM77

    Get it from Amazon for $6.74.

    20. Glow Recipe's Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer that'll leave your skin looking so fresh you'll probs just wanna take selfies all weekend long.

    Sephora

    I've been using this product for over a year and I'd go out in a limb and say it's the most hydrating item I've ever used — especially when I have a sunburn. It's filled with soothing botanicals like peony and jasmine extracts and is free of parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, silicones, pthalates, synthetic dies and is vegan.

    Promising review: "When I bought this moisturizer, I had a slight sunburn on my face and that night I put this on my face after cleansing and toning and it was absorbed right away. My face no longer felt dry. I have used it most mornings and evenings since and not only did my face not peel (yes, even subsequent added time in the sun). Though it does sometime feel sticky, I think that it is also due to over use of toner because some days it has a slight sticky feeling but some days not. I would recommend this product and oh, it also smells great if you like watermelon." —SLG727

    Get it from Sephora for $39.

    21. Tinted lip balm with SPF 30 in it that'll keep your lips hydrated and luscious. Pucker up!

    a line up of the various tubes of the lip treatment in different shades
    Sephora

    In addition to being cruelty-and-gluten-free and vegan, this product is free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban, and contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances.

    Promising review: "I love this lip balm! I got the Simply Rose color, and it's perfect. I wanted something with just a hint of color, and this is perfect for me. Not too boldly pink, but just enough color to give a little something extra." —tmgraham90

    Get it from Sephora for $24 (available in four shades).

    22. Foaming face wash from Kylie Skin, full of vitamin C and E to help your burnt lil' nose heal while also removing dirt, oil, and makeup in the most gentle way possible.

    kylie jenner applying foaming face wash to her cheeks
    Kylie Skin

    I've been using Kylie Skin's foaming face wash for months now (a 5 fl oz bottle goes a long way!). In addition to feeling like a soothing face massage, it's been so gentle on my sensitive skin *and* left me blemish-free. I used it when I was burnt to a crisp recently and felt refreshed after.

    Promising review: "Does the job, gently cleaning the face, especially when you need something easy on a tanned sunburned face. Really love this, I just bought my second bottle. All the skin products are in fact amazing and very soft and tender on the skin." —Delia O.

    Get it from Kylie Skin for $24.

    23. A soothing Glossier face mist infused with rose water, aloe, and glycerin to keep your best asset moisturized and looking fresh as a daisy.

    a model spraying a clear mist out of a subtly pink bottle
    Glossier

    This mist is vegan and cruelty-free.

    Promising review: "I love this face mist. It's great for feeling refreshed in summer heat, or for applying to a face of make-up that's looking a little dry and flat. The product sprays out super fine! I sometimes use it as a subtle perfume because it smells beautiful (like roses, of course). Would definitely purchase again, or gift to a friend." —Sara O.

    Get it from Glossier for $15.

    24. The Body Shop cleansing butter, capable of removing waterproof makeup (wow???) while also enriching your skin with the soothing effects of camomile tea.

    instagram.com

    This product is paraben-free, gluten-free, silicone-free and 100% vegan.

    Promising review: "I'm really happy with my purchase. Usually I use coconut oil as an inexpensive and natural makeup remover and this product does the same trick, but it's a lot less messy and a little goes a long way! I highly recommend if you are looking for a quick and easy makeup remover that won't strip away the natural oils in our face or make it too greasy!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $14.84.

    25. Sun Bum's Cool Down aloe vera gel you can keep in the fridge and break out when you "missed a spot" while applying your sunblock and find yourself looking splotchy all over.

    a model holding a clear bottle with a yellow cap
    Amazon

    This gel is gluten-free, oxybenzone-free, vegan, and reef friendly.

    Promising review: "I ordered this when I had such a bad sunburn that I was red and blistered for days and I could not get the burning feeling to go away. Once I put this on it was like instant relief from the burn. It did not stop the peeling or popping of the blisters, but it took the heat right out of my skin." —Shells

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    26. A tub of Pond's cold cream cleanser that'll feel soooo good when your skin is radiating heat — it'll cleanse your pores and moisturize your face as well!

    The cold cream cleanser
    instagram.com

    Promising review: "I have to rate this as one of the best creams I use as a moisturizer in the winter. I am a Retin A user and my skin will get irritated from it and it burns and gets very dry and flaky.....I use this and it takes the burn away unlike any other product I have ever used...I leave it on overnight and my skin is better the next day. Works great for my sensitive skin. Other moisturizing creams burn and hurt when I put it on my irritated skin but this cleanser works as a wonderful moisturizer and is cooling and makes it feel better." —Honey

    Get it from Amazon for $5.29.

    27. An after-sun spray from Pacifica you can leave in your beach bag and apply it as soon as your feet leave the sand — it's filled with aloe to re-hydrate your skin and smells delicious.

    a spray bottle with a blue label indicating a coconut vanilla scent
    Amazon

    In addition to being 100% vegan and cruelty free, this spray is made without without petroleum, parabens, SLS or phthalates.

    Promising review: "Love this stuff! I have been out in the sun a lot lately (at high altitude, so harsh) and even with applying and reapplying sunscreen my skin is getting red and dry. This stuff sprays on so nicely and feels great. Not sticky, just super moisturizing. I use it at night and by morning all redness is gone and my skin feels hydrated. Mine arrived wrapped in plastic, lid on, no leakage." —Danielle K.

    Get it from Amazon for $11 (available in coconut or pineapple flower scents).

    28. Peach and Lily's Glass Skin Refining Serum, designed to help dehydrated skin and therefore help your face recover from that nasty sunburn you ended up with after falling asleep in your yard.

    a white bottle of the product surrounded by clear crystals
    Amazon

    I've been using this serum for the last month or so (in addition to the other products in the Glass Skin Discovery Kit). It's not super oily, feels really lightweight, and smells fantastic. It's infused with peach extract to help fill your skin with vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to keep it looking fresher than ever. I applied it one night after spending an entire day at the beach and woke up to find all of my redness gone and my skin felt hydrated and plump. In addition to all of that, it's free of oxybenzone, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrance and many other harmful ingredients, which you can find in the full listing.

    Promising review: "I grabbed this during the sale because I wasn't completely convinced after reading the reviews. I have a very minimal skincare/makeup routine and have not added anything else to my normal routine other than this product. I've been using it for about two months now (once daily) and my skin looks incredible. For the first time in my life I have ZERO redness, my pores are smooth, and my skin (including under eyes) is firmer and brighter. I love this product and will definitely continue to purchase it. I also love how fast it soaks into the skin." —Angela

    Get it from Ulta for $39.

    29. Rose-infused shea butter, complete with rose quartz stone inside, so you can nourish your torched skin while also soaking in *good vibes*.

    a jar of rose infused shea butter
    Crystal Bar Soaps

    I have tons of products from this small business (obsessed) and have no doubt this shea butter will help soothe any irritated skin. Rose oil has moisturizing benefits that'll help you banish your burnt, uneven lines before you know it (I'm looking at you bathing suit strap lines!). All of the products from here are made with natural ingredients — this specific one is only made with natural shea butter, arrowroot powder, rose oil, and mica.

    Get it from Crystal Bar Soap for $15.

    30. And a tried-and-true aloe vera gel with nearly 8K five-star reviews you'll be happy you added to your cart in preparation of your next day of fun in the sun.

    a reviewer holding the brown bottle with a green label
    amazon.com

    This aloe is au natural and only includes five ingredients (aloe vera, agar, citric acid, vitamin C, and potassium sorbat).

    Promising review: "I bought this aloe after trying and hating every other brand at the big box store. I have extremely sensitive skin and I found that every other gel was drying and even made me break out. NOT THIS ONE! I was super apprehensive about it absorbing quickly and being effective on my temperamental skin. APPREHENSION GONE! I applied this to my sunburn, a little goes a long way, and it was instantly absorbed and left my skin hydrated and super soft!! I was so impressed, I use it on my acne-ridden face!! It make my skin look hydrated, but not oily. I have spent 32 years trying to find a face moisturizer that hydrates but doesn't break me out and my search is OVER! Worth every single penny." —Lacey Dutch

    Get it from Amazon for $19.95.

    Friendly reminder not to fall asleep and only sunbathe the front of your body:

    NBC

    Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    What's your favorite product?

    Tell us about your favorite product
    Your review may be featured in a BuzzFeed.com post.
    *
    *
    *
    Minimum 25 characters, 1500 characters left
    *
    Upload up to 4 photos you took of the product and/or how you use it. (We love before & after photos!)
    View our photo guidelines with tips that increase your chance of getting featured.
    Max 10 MB. Accepted file types: .jpg, .jpeg, .png.

    Shopping Newsletter
     

    Find great products and the best-money saving deals around, delivered right to your inbox.
    Newsletter signup form