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Expert Shopper Personal Care

These 8 products provide the ultimate sunburn relief

Use these medical supplies to manage and treat sunburns


Whether you spend a few minutes or several hours in the sun, you can get a sunburn if you don’t have ultraviolet (UV) radiation protection, such as sunscreen lotion or a sun hat. Sunburns are a type of skin burn from prolonged exposure to sunlight or sunlamps. If you get a sunburn, you can experience red, painful skin that’s itchy and tender to the touch. 

Once you realize you’ve been sunburned, starting treatment is essential. Treatments, such as pain relievers and creams, can soothe pain and relieve itching. 

How to treat sunburns

Finding the right sunburn relief treatments can provide quick relief. Depending on the severity of your sunburn, you can purchase over-the-counter medications and other treatments to soothe the affected skin. In addition, bandages and creams help you tend to your sunburn.

Features to look for in sunburn relief treatments

  • Avoid topical creams containing benzocaine or lidocaine if you have allergies. These medications can cause allergic reactions and worsen sunburns.
  • Don’t use petroleum jelly, butter or other oiled-based treatments. They can block your pores, preventing heat and sweat from leaving your wound. 
  • Wear loose, breathable clothing as your sunburn heals. Tight clothing doesn’t let your sunburn breathe and heal properly.
  • Try creams that contain ingredients such as vitamins C and E. These minerals may help prevent or limit skin cell damage. 
  • Take over-the-counter medications for pain relief. Medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen ease painful sunburn symptoms.

Best sunburn relief supplies

Sun Bum Cool Down Aloe Vera Gel

This after-sun gel soothes your sunburn and prevents peeling skin. It's dermatologist- and sonny-approved. It's oxybenzone-, octinoxate-, gluten-, cruelty- and paraben-free. It includes scents such as tea tree, aloe vera and cocoa butter and contains ingredients such as carbomer, glycerin, polysorbate 20, tea tree, triethanolamine and vitamin E.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Maui Island Secret Burn to Brown Formula

This gel treats sunburns, kitchen burns, skin rashes, insect bites and other types of skin irritation. It includes ingredients such as pure aloe extract, allantoin, aloe barbadensis gel, menthol, tea tree oil, green tea extract and Maui coffee extract. It also contains medicinal properties and is an astringent. 

Sold by Amazon and Walmart

Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel 

The Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel includes aloe grown in the United States that’s NSF Organic and IASC-certified. It includes 100% natural-thickening agar that won’t leave a sticky residue on your skin. This vegan gel is great for daily use to moisturize skin and hair. 

Sold by Amazon and Walmart

Burnshield Sterile First Aid Burn Dressing

These dressings contain sterile trauma hydrogel to treat sunburns. The hydrogel has antimicrobial properties, such as tea tree oil, to soothe and protect the wound. All dressings are non-adhesive and easily removable. They are strong, durable dressings that withstand pulling and shaping. 

Sold by Amazon and Walmart 

Boiron Calendula Cream

This cream treats sunburns, scrapes, cuts and insect bites. It's designed for use on dry or chafed skin. It contains the calendula officinalis plant as an active ingredient and is paraben- and perfume-free. The cream does not contain artificial colors or fragrances. 

Sold by Amazon and Walmart 

Tylenol Extra Strength Acetaminophen Rapid Release Gels 

This 100-count bottle of gelcaps provides pain relief for sunburns. Each gelcap contains 500 milligrams of acetaminophen, which helps temporarily relieve pain. Adults and children 12 years and older can take this medication. 

Sold by Amazon and Walmart 

Burt’s Bees Aloe and Coconut Oil After Sun Soother

This non-greasy, fast-absorbing lotion has a formula with ingredients such as aloe and coconut oil. It's paraben-, phthalate-, petrolatum and SLS-free. It can be applied to your face and body to soothe sunburns. The lotion comes in recyclable packaging and is Carbon Neutral-certified. 

Sold by Amazon, Burt’s Bees and Walmart

Sunburnt Advanced Sun Recovery After Sun Gel

The gel has ingredients including calendula, echinacea and hyaluronic acid to treat sunburns. It contains pure, organic aloe vera gel that won’t leave your skin sticky. It doesn’t contain lidocaine, so it’s safe to use if you have allergies. It is paraben-, glycol-, PEG-, phthalate-, dye- and fragrance-free.

Sold by Amazon and Walmart 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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