Aloe Vera Sunburn – Best, Gel and Lotions

Aloe Vera Sunburn – Best, Gel and Lotions


If you spent the weekend at the pool or the beach without slathering on a sunscreen and are now wondering if aloe vera sunburn treatment will work for you, then you have landed in the right place. This article will explore the effectiveness of aloe vera for sunburn relief and offer you tips to help you get your smooth, soft skin back in no time. 

Does Aloe Vera Help Sunburn

The question “Does aloe vera help sunburn?” often arises among our readers and in online forums targeted to health and skin care. The answer to this question is yes, aloe vera helps relieve sunburns and is perhaps the most popular home remedy for sunburns.

Initial scientific studies have ascertained that aloe vera helps the skin to heal from sunburns as well as other forms of burns.

This succulent African dryland plant contains anti-inflammatory compounds that reduces inflammation and aids the healing process and is often touted as the “burn plant”. The sap from the aloe vera plant also helps to soothe the skin and reduce the soreness associated with sunburns. It also has moisturizing properties that not only helps to heal sunburned skin faster but also prevent the peeling often associated with sunburns.

Couple that with its antibacterial properties and the moisturizing properties and you have the making for a powerful ingredient for treatment of sunburns. As a matter of fact, some hospitals nowadays use aloe vera gel for treatment of burns.

It deserves to be mentioned at this point however that aloe vera is only useful for mild sunburns and should not be used for severe sunburns particularly second degree sunburns that are normally associated with the formation of blisters.

Aloe Vera Sunburn Myth?

There is a segment of aloe vera critics who hold the opinion that the use of this succulent Africa plant for treatment of burns is nothing more than a myth. This can’t be further from the truth given the fact that scientific studies have ascertained that aloe vera helps the body to heal from burns according to the Mayo Clinic website.

Best Aloe Vera for Sunburn – Gel or Fresh Juice

You are probably right now wondering what makes for the best aloe vera sunburn treatment option between applying fresh juice from an aloe vera plant and an over-the-counter aloe vera gel.

Well, using fresh sap from an aloe vera plant is not only the cheapest option but also the most effective. Applying an aloe vera juice is as easy as splitting a succulent leaf by slicing it into two and then gently applying the exposed gel directly on the skin several times a day.

This may however be out of the equation in some regions outside of Africa, but using an aloe vera gel is just as effective if it is the only option available to you. You should however ensure that the gel is 100% aloe vera if you decide to go that route or if it is your only option.

Aloe Vera Lotion for Sunburn

The numerous benefits of Aloe Vera to the skin have made it find its way into an amazing array of skin products, including lotions. Applying a lotion with Aloe vera as one of the ingredients is often helpful in relieving the pain associated with sunburns and promoting the healing of the skin while at the same time keeping the skin moisturized.

There are even lotions specifically formulated for use on sunburned skin. I spent some time looking for some of the more popular brands and came up with the following list from which you may want to choose an aloe vera lotion for sunburn:

  • Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Lotion
  • Burt’s Bees Aloe and Linden Flower After Sun Soother
  • Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun Lotion
  • Hawaiian Tropic Shimmer Effect Coconut Papaya After Sun Lotion
  • Clarins Ultra-Hydrating After Sun Moisturizer

Aloe Vera Gel for Sunburn

There are numerous brands of aloe vera gels out there that you can use for sunburns. Such gels are typically sold over-the-counter in drugstores (pharmacies). It is however so important that it deserves another mention that the best aloe vera gel for sunburn is one that is 100% aloe vera.

There are lots of brands of aloe vera gel out there that feature other products that are not as useful for sunburns and using some of them such as lidocaine can as a matter of fact be counterproductive for some types of skin. So, do your due diligence and ensure that what you take home is 100 percent aloe vera gel; I said it again 🙂

Aloe Vera Sunburn Treatment – How to Use Aloe Vera for Sunburn

As you have most likely noted by now, aloe vera sunburn treatment is as easy as applying aloe vera on the sunburned area of the skin. Here is how to use aloe vera for sunburn:

Fresh Juice Aloe Vera Sunburn Treatment

  1. Get some aloe vera plant leaves and split them into two; by slicing them along their length. You may want to remove the small thorns first.
  2. Apply the exposed sap on the affected area of skin.
  3. Reapply as frequent as needed, 2-3 times daily at the very least. Aloe vera sap has high water content which makes it to evaporate relatively faster, but it is nevertheless very effective in treatment of sunburns.

Aloe Vera Gel Treatment of Sunburn

You can as well purchase a commercial aloe vera gel from the supermarket or your local drugstore and use it to treat the sunburn. Just make sure that the product is 100 percent aloe vera; that is there are no other unnecessary ingredients. Some skin care experts suggest placing the gel in your refrigerator for a few minutes before slathering it on your sunburned skin to provide instant soothing.

Beyond Aloe Vera Sunburn Treatment

In addition to the aloe vera sunburn treatment option, you will also want to consider the following tips:

  • Take a cool shower or get a cool compress several times a day
  • Avoid further exposure to sun’s UV radiation by using sunscreen when going out
  • Take OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Avoid using petroleum jelly e.g. Vaseline on the sunburned skin as this typically traps in heat and worsens the burn
  • Do not break blisters. Instead apply antibacterial creams such as Polysporin
  • Get adequate water for optimum hydration