Skincare

The Best Aloe Vera Creams and Lotions to Relieve a Sunburn

For when it's too late for prevention.

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Though we all know to wear sunscreen during a day on the beach, sometimes we spend just a little longer in the sun than we expected and end up getting burned. Whether your sunscreen washes off in the pool, you spend too much time lying on the sand, or it’s the first time you’ve exposed your skin to the sun’s UV rays this year, accidents happen. If that’s the case, the best thing to do is to treat your body to an after-sun lotion, such as an aloe vera cream.

Aloe vera cream can help speed up recovery, prevent peeling, and help relieve the discomfort of a sunburn. And even if you haven’t gotten burned, you’ll find an after-sun lotion will help soothe, nourish, and moisturize your skin after spending even just a short time outdoors. Most contain soothing ingredients like Vitamin E, which will feel incredibly cooling and healing on your skin.

We’ve put together a list of top picks for the best aloe vera cream, lotion, and gel on the market. Whatever type you prefer, you’ll be sure to find a fit for you on this list. Keep scrolling to shop our picks for after-sun lotions you’ll fall in love with!

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Sun Bum Cool Down Aloe Vera Lotion

sun bum aloe vera cream
Amazon

Where to buy: $11.99, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Preserves your tan
  • Smells great

Sun Bum Aloe Vera lotion is a go-to solution for sunburns or prolonging a tan. Made with cucumber extract, it’s light to the touch and absorbs easily. Keep it in the refrigerator and you’ll love the cooling sensation it gives you after spending the whole day outdoors. Writes one reviewer:

“I love Sun Bum! This lotion smells like heaven and has truly enhanced my tan since I’ve been using it. I first bought this product months ago before leaving for Florida for spring break, and I’ve been applying it almost daily ever since. I love that it’s not super oily but seems to be strong enough to withstand minimal water exposure. Will be purchasing again in the near future.” 

PURA D’OR Organic Aloe Vera Gel Original Lavender

aloe vera gel
Amazon

Where to buy: $14.99, Amazon

What we like:

  • USDA certified organic
  • No sticky residue
  • No artificial preservatives

If you prefer aloe vera gel, but hate the sticky residue gel leaves, Pura D’Or original gel is the right choice for you. Vitamin C and E also make this one a great option to use as a moisturizer for your hair. This reviewer writes:

I used the aloe vera in a leave-in conditioner mix and as a moisturizer for my face. One thing I love about this product is there is no strong scent to it. My skin is very sensitive to added fragrance, so this is a plus for me. My skin and hair love aloe vera so this is an affordable addition to my regimen.” 

Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After-Sun Soother

burt's bees aloe vera cream
Amazon

Where to buy: $7.69, Amazon

What we like:

  • Free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum and SLS 
  • Contains aloe and coconut oil
  • Infused with antioxidants

If you’re looking for a go-to lotion that you can rely on after getting some sun on your skin, Burt’s Bees Sun Soother is a great choice. The cream is not too thick or too thin, absorbs easily, and is infused with antioxidants and nutrients that will help relieve your sunburn and extend a suntan. Here’s what one fan writes:

“Burt’s Bees Aloe and Coconut after sun soother is a staple in my house. I can feel good about the nutrients I am putting on my family’s skin and it really speeds the healing from sun damage. Ideally, protect yourself from the sun. But any exposure can have damaging effects on your skin, so this is great for daily use in the summer.”

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless

hawaiian tropic aloe vera cream
Amazon

Where to buy: $6.74, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • Coconut papaya fragrance
  • 24-hour moisturizing
  • Airy and lightweight

 
If you prefer a lightweight moisturizer, Hawaiian Tropic‘s coconut-papaya-fragranced lotion is the perfect option for you. It has a weightless touch and will stay on for 24 hours, moisturizing your skin and preserving your tan. Take it from this reviewer:

“Lightweight and super moisturizing; this lotion was exactly what I was looking for and everything I hoped it would be. It wasn’t greasy at all and absorbed quickly into my skin.”

Maui Island Secret Burn to Brown Formula

aloe vera cream burn to brown
Amazon

Where to buy: $13.99, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • Infused with green tea extracts
  • Contains menthol and tea tree oil

Maui Island Secret Burn to Brown Formula is infused with menthol, tea tree oil, and green tea extracts — all of which help reduce the effects of sunburn, as well as prevent peeling. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking to relieve skin rashes, other burns, and jellyfish stings. This reviewer gave it top marks:

“I normally wouldn’t ever offer five stars to a product that isn’t all natural, but in this case I feel compelled. Not only does “Burn to Brown” do just that, but its efficacy makes it a vacation saver. Also, the fragrance is amazing, and it goes on incredibly smooth. Put it in the fridge and treat your skin to a soothing after-sun treat!”

Sun Bum Cool Down Aloe Vera Gel

Sun Bum aloe vera ge
Amazon

Where to buy: $9.99, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • Soothes sunburns
  • Preserves tan
  • Contains tea tree oil and vitamin E

If you’re looking for an aloe vera gel, Sun Bum Cool Down gel is a great option. Refrigerate it for extra relief and soothing sensation on your skin. This reviewer is a devoted fan:

“The most amazing savor for sunburn I have ever discovered. I was using just generic aloe my whole life and discovered this before a trip to Jamaica. It was amazing. I have recommended this product so many times to my friends.”

Moroccan Oil After-Sun Milk Soothing Body Lotion 

aloe vera cream
Sephora

Where to buy: $28.00, Sephora

Why we like it:

  • Lightweight and soothing
  • Contains Argan oil, coconut oil, and glycerin
  • Free of parabens and phthalates 

This Moroccan Oil After-Sun spray is infused with a delicate Monoï scent and will help even out and prolong a tan after a day in the sun. Plus, you’ll love the cooling, silky feel of the aloe, Argan oil, and Vitamin E-infused lotion. One customer raved:

“This product is INCREDIBLE. If you’re in the Midwest, like me, you have to give this a try. After a day in the sun and your skin is way to warm from the humidity, this will soothe and cool you down quickly. It has this amazing cooling sensation (almost like menthol) that I have always craved from after sun lotion.”

Coola ER+ Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion

coola aloe vera cream
Sephora

Where to buy: $32.00, Sephora

Why we like it:

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Contains soothing lavender oil
  • Free of parabens, Sulfates and phthalates

Coola ER+ Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion is a lifesaver. This thick aloe vera cream is also infused with lavender oil as well as organic agave, sunflower, and sweet orange oil – all of which help to soothe and speed the recovery of burnt skin. Here’s what one buyer wrote:

“This stuff is one of my summer staples. Completely hydrates and soothes any sunburn I get! Since starting to use this two years ago, my skin has never peeled, and heals into a nice tan. I try to use sunscreen, but I’m forgetful and accidents happen. This stuff works wonders!”

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator

cucumber gel mask
Sephora

Where to buy: $55.00, Sephora 

Why we like it:

  • Suitable for all skin types 
  • Free of parabens and phthalates
  • Provides extra hydration after sunburns

If you’re looking for a refreshing, cooling mask to use after a day in the sun, this Peter Thomas Roth Mask is a great choice! You’ll love how soothing the cucumber, papaya, and chamomile extracts feel on your skin. This reviewer raves:

“I absolutely love this mask! It’s super hydrating and leaves my skin very smooth! I use it two to three times a week, depending on how dry my skin feels. Definitely recommend!”

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