The 8 Best Sunburn Relief Gels and Lotions of 2019

Heal your skin with these cooling treatments

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel at Amazon

"This product is effective for moisturizing dry, burned skin, as well as reducing the discomfort that comes with a sunburn."

Best Budget: SunBurnt After Sun Gel at Amazon

"It’s hydrating without being sticky, and is incredibly affordable."

Best Spray: SOLAR RECOVER Save Your Skin Hydrating Mist at Amazon

"The distilled water base is free of impurities for healthy skin, and ingredients like calendula, vitamin E, and French seaweed lock in moisture while soothing itchy, painful sunburns."

Best for Face: Green Leaf Naturals Aloe Vera Gel for Face at Amazon

"Green Leaf Naturals’ Aloe Vera Gel for Face and Hair is a gentle formula that absorbs quickly without stickiness."

Best Lotion: Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut After Sun Soother at Amazon

"This quick-absorbing lotion combines the natural moisturizing effects of coconut oil with aloe vera, honey, and flower extracts for a more natural approach to sunburn relief."

Best Gel: Alocane Severe Sunburn Gel at Amazon

"Its cooling properties combined with the pain-relieving lidocaine make this gel a perfect pick for painful, itchy sunburns."

Best for Kids: Sun Bum “Cool Down” Hydrating After Sun Lotion at Amazon

"This hypoallergenic, gluten free, and vegan formula is perfect for children’s sensitive skin."

Best Organic: Maui Vera Organic Sunburn Relief at Amazon

"Its powerful combination of organic aloe, peppermint, green tea, and noni soothes skin."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel

Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel

Courtesy of Amazon

Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel is harvested from freshly-cut, cold-pressed aloe plants—not aloe powder. Aloe plants contain a moisturizing gel that can help speed up the healing of first and second-degree burns. Seven Minerals gel uses natural seaweed as a thickener to help the aloe stick to your skin, whereas most other aloe gels use thickening agents like xanthan gum and carbomers which irritate sensitive skin. This product is effective for moisturizing dry, burned skin, as well as reducing the discomfort that comes with a sunburn.

Best Budget: SunBurnt After Sun Gel

Sunbathers on a budget can stock up on SunBurnt After Sun Gel for a cooling, restorative treatment that doesn’t skimp on soothing ingredients. On top of nourishing aloe vera gel, this blend contains calendula (a flower possessing anti-inflammatory properties), echinacea (which may reduce irritation), and hyaluronic acid (a supplement that helps quench dry, parched skin). It’s hydrating without being sticky, and is incredibly affordable.

Best Spray: SOLAR RECOVER Save Your Skin Hydrating Mist

Sunburns don’t discriminate when it comes to where they burn you, and if you’re going to relieve pain and rehydrate your skin, you’ll need a spray treatment that’s easy to apply without assistance from another person. SOLAR RECOVER’s Hydrating Mist is a lotion delivered in water that takes care of your sunburned skin’s needs by spraying down hard-to-reach areas.

Save Your Skin’s mist not only adds moisture to parched skin, but also prevents peeling and other uncomfortable side effects from sunburns. The distilled water base is free of impurities for healthy skin, and ingredients like calendula, vitamin E, and French seaweed lock in moisture while soothing itchy, painful sunburns.

Best for Face: Green Leaf Naturals Aloe Vera Gel for Face

Getting sunburn on your face is particularly aggravating—your facial skin is more sensitive than skin on other areas of your body, and it’s hard to cover up the burn without further irritation. Green Leaf Naturals Aloe Vera Gel for Face and Hair is a gentle formula that absorbs quickly without stickiness.

This popular pick is made from 99.75 percent pure, cold-pressed, organic aloe vera gel, with a very small amount of thickener added in to help the gel spread across your face more easily and penetrate more deeply.

Best Lotion: Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut After Sun Soother

Aloe gel formulas are the go-to choice for sunburn relief, but lotions might be a better option if you have naturally drier skin and need the extra moisture. Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut blend works to replenish and recondition your skin after a nasty burn. 

This quick-absorbing lotion combines the natural moisturizing effects of coconut oil with aloe vera, honey, and flower extracts for a more natural approach to sunburn relief. It’s free of petroleum and potentially irritating parabens, and a little goes a long way.

Best Gel: Alocane Severe Sunburn Gel

Nothing feels better than a cooling gel on burned, irritated skin (especially if you’ve stored it in the refrigerator for extra brutal burns). Alocane’s Severe Sunburn Gel goes above and beyond most gel formulas with a high percentage of lidocaine, a topical pain reliever that also reduces itching to help your skin heal more quickly.

Alocane’s gel contains 4 percent lidocaine (the highest percentage allowed for over-the-counter products). The water-based formula also has soothing aloe and vitamin E to help this gel absorb deeper into your skin’s layers. Its cooling properties combined with the pain-relieving lidocaine make this gel a perfect pick for painful, itchy sunburns.

Best for Kids: Sun Bum “Cool Down” Hydrating After Sun Lotion

Protecting your child’s young, delicate skin during summer beach trips lays a foundation for healthier skin as they grow older. However, convincing them to sit still while you cover them with sunscreen and keeping track of how often they’ve reapplied is easier said than done. If your little one gets scorched after a day outside, Sun Bum’s Cool Down lotion can restore lost moisture and ease your kid’s sunburn pain.

This hypoallergenic, gluten-free, and vegan formula is perfect for children’s sensitive skin. Restorative aloe, soothing Vitamin E, and antioxidant-rich tea tree oil comfort kids’ red, itchy skin, reducing peeling and pain. It absorbs quickly, so your child won’t have to sit around and wait for a thick lotion to dry.

Best Organic: Maui Vera Organic Sunburn Relief & After Sun Moisturizer

Those who are committed to using organic body care products will appreciate Maui Vera’s moisturizer. Its powerful combination of organic aloe, peppermint, green tea, and noni soothes skin. The lotion has no parabens, artificial colors, or synthetic fragrances, making it an ideal pick for people with sensitive skin who are committed to an organic lifestyle.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular sunburn relief gels and lotions on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different products overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers, read over 27 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 1 of the products themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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Article Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Parente LM, Lino Júnior Rde S, Tresvenzol LM, Vinaud MC, de Paula JR, Paulo NM. Wound Healing and Anti-Inflammatory Effect in Animal Models of Calendula officinalis L. Growing in BrazilEvid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:375671. doi:10.1155/2012/375671

  2. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/noni

Additional Reading

  •  Maenthaisong R, Chaiyakunapruk N, Niruntraporn S, Kongkaew C. The efficacy of aloe vera used for burn wound healing: A systematic review. Burns. 2007;33(6):713-718. DOI: 10.1016/j.burns.2006.10.384