Shopping·9 min read

Sunburn Relief Products, and Soothing Skincare to Use All the Time

Design: theSkimm | Photos: Selfmade, Kinfield
August 2, 2023

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We hope by this point you’re applying sunscreen daily, rain or shine, whether you want to or not. But no matter how diligent you are about applying, it can be hard to avoid lingering in the sun for too long and ending up looking like a fire-roasted tomato. When a sunburn strikes, you’ll need something to soothe and treat. We’ve rounded up some of the best sunburn relief products, plus skincare that’s great for soothing angry skin, burned or not. Let’s heal together.

Sunburn Relief


An aloe spray we love to use all the time…

Whether your skin is sunburned, sensitive, or just stressed out, this mist will do wonders for you. It’s made with aloe vera, spearmint, and cucumber, so it has a cooling effect. Try storing it in the fridge and spray it on those burns that seem to radiate heat. ($22, Kinfield)

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Not your mother’s aloe vera gel…

If you’re like us, when you got a burn as a kid, you would reach for that aloe vera gel in the bright green bottle. Think of this as the grown-up version. Hailing from one of our favorite sunscreen brands, it’s made  with added skin-soothing ingredients like niacinamide, glycerin, allantoin, and hyaluronic acid. It also has a delightful fresh scent. ($12, Nordstrom)

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An aloe gel that’s pretty much all aloe vera…

If you want something all natural, this gel is 100% certified-organic aloe with just a handful of plant-based ingredients to maintain freshness. There are no added dyes or fragrances. It soothes burns incredibly well, and we keep it on hand to calm rosacea flare-ups, too. ($19.95, Amazon)

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Crown Affair

A serum to help heal a scalp burn…

Who among us hasn’t forgotten to apply sunscreen on our pesky middle part? The result is an uncomfortable burn, then an itchy scalp, often with peeling. Halt that process in its tracks with this serum made with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and tea tree oil to soothe, moisturize, and prevent flaking — and it won’t make your hair feel sticky. It’s also great for those who deal with dandruff, or itchy scalps in general. We love the convenient spray bottle. ($58, Crown Affair)

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An ice roller that feels so good on angry burns…

Harness the power of cool and roll the sun exposure away. This soothes and de-puffs, and stays cooler longer thanks to its stainless steel design. You’ll come for the burn relief and stay for the daily effects of pore shrinkage and lymphatic drainage. ($30, Revolve)

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An anti-itch cream with oatmeal and aloe vera…

If it’s by Aveeno, you can count on it being good for your skin. This cream is no exception, featuring hydrocortisone, oats, and aloe to relieve itching and swelling associated with sunburns. It’s also great to apply on eczema, bug bites, poison ivy, and your run-of-the-mill rashes. ($10.88, Amazon)

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Soothing Skincare


A serum that feels like a tall glass of water for your skin…

After a sunburn, you’ll want to focus on healing your skin’s barrier, and this is just the thing. It has hyaluronic acid, squalane, and an algae blend that work together to soothe and deeply hydrate. We also love that it gives us a dewy look, perfect for no-makeup days. ($36, Selfmade)

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A cooling serum we’ve been using for years…

No matter what our current skincare routine is, we always go back to this serum by iS Clinical. While we admit it’s a little pricey, the results are worth it. Centella asiatica and vitamin B5 heal, while menthol soothes and cools. It’s even recommended for use on sunburned skin. ($62+, Dermstore)

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A mask that’ll take the redness right out of your skin…

This mask is made specifically for redness-prone skin, so it’s great for calming down sunburns. It’s made with thermal spring water that’s packed with soothing minerals, and ruscus extract to help close down aggravated capillaries. ($40, Amazon)

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May Lindstrom

A blue balm that’s like a facial oil in solid form…

Warm up this solid between your fingers then apply to your skin immediately after cleansing. It sinks right in to deeply moisturize and soothe, thanks to camellia seed oil and blue tansy. The scent is also incredibly anxiety-relieving; it smells like being in a spa. While it’s pricey, one tub lasts a long time. ($180, May Lindstrom)

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A milky toner that boosts the skin’s barrier…

Whatever Hailey Bieber is using on her skin, we’re taking notes. This is the newest addition to her skincare line Rhode, and trust us, it’s worth the hype. It nourishes even the most sensitive skin with ceramides and beta-glucan, and feels much more moisturizing than a traditional toner. ($29, Rhode)

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Krave Beauty

A light green serum that’ll give your skin a reset…

Treating sunburn means removing any actives from your skincare routine and taking it back to basics while your skin heals. This serum is here to help, with a healthy dose of tamanu oil, niacinamide, and ceramides. It’s also great to have in your arsenal if you have a bad reaction to a new product or are starting retinol for the first time. ($28, Krave Beauty)

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Cooling eye gels to stash in your fridge…

These eye gels are It for us; they really do it all, from depuffing to smoothing our under eyes. There’s nothing better than chilling these in the fridge and letting them go to town on our dark circles while we make our coffee in the morning. The best way to wake up our eyes. ($34, Dermstore)

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A spray solution specifically made for stressed-out skin…

It’s made with hypochlorous acid to soothe active flare-ups — and without fragrance, oil, and alcohol that might aggravate delicate skin (or a sunburn). Use it as a toner before applying serums, or throughout the day for hydration. ($12+, Sephora)

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A thermal spring water face mist to refresh your skin…

There’s one thing we know for sure: Face mists are not to be underestimated. This one, made with thermal spring water from France, feels like delivering a tall glass of water straight to your skin. It’s great for misting your skin in between skincare steps, allowing your favorite serum to soak in better. Plus, we love to keep the travel size in our bag and pull it out when we’ve been in the sun for too long. ($10+, Amazon)

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