Best Lotions for Sunburn, After Lotion, Best Sunburn Cream, Medicine, Does Lotion Help?
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Best Lotions for Sunburn, After Lotion, Best Sunburn Cream, Medicine, Does Lotion Help?

With so many skin care products out there, you may be left wondering what the best lotion or cream for sunburn is. Here is our insight into the subject.

Does Lotion Help Sunburn

The question “Does lotion help sunburn?” is one of the common inquiries we get from our readers.

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Well, according to the US National Library of Medicine, applying a water-based lotion helps to keep the skin moisturized while soothing the symptoms of sunburn and promoting faster healing. This is especially true of itching which is usually associated with dry skin.

As Zoe Draelos, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina also says, applying a good moisturizer also helps to soothe peeling and make it less noticeable.

After Sunburn Lotion Ingredients to avoid

There are many after sunburn lotions out there that claim to help to relieve the symptoms of sunburn and promote faster healing? No products are however created equally and some might do your skin more harm than good.

Francesca Fusco, MD, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine also advises against lotions that feature any anti-aging ingredients such as hydroxyl acids and retinol.

She also recommends staying away from alcohol containing products as this has a drying effect on the skin. For specific brands, check out the next section of this article.

Best Lotion for Sunburn or Best Sunburn Lotion

Now that you know that moisturizing lotions help with sunburn, you are probably wondering what the best sunburn lotion is given the wide range of brands available on the market.

Well, it is advisable to look for the following characteristics when deciding on the appropriateness of a lotion for treatment of sunburn:

–          The lotion must be water-based. Petroleum and butter based products are generally not recommended for use on sunburned skin. These typically clog the pores and prevent the dissipation of heat from the skin leading to more damage.

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–          Look for a product containing vitamin C and E. the antioxidant properties of vitamin C helps to limit the extent of skin damage such as wrinkles, sagging, and uneven pigmentation, and skin cancer.

Any water-based lotion that meets the above criteria has the making for the best sunburn lotion but Dr. Fusco recommends Eucerin and Lubriderm.

We dug further into the internet trying to identify more lotions with positive feedback and reviews in as far as soothing of sunburn is concerned. Based on our research, here is our list of some of the best sunburn lotion brands from which you may want to choose:

  • Eucerin After Sun Lotion
  • Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion
  • Hawaiian Tropic Cool Aloe After Sunburn
  • Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Lotion
  • Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Lotion
  • Alba Botanica Hawaiian After Sun Lotion
  • Australian Gold Moisture Lock
  • Hawaiian Tropic Lime Coolada After Sun Moisturizer

Sunburn Lotion with Lidocaine

Lidocaine and other “…caine” ingredients e.g. solarcaine are subject to controversy with some doctors such as Alan Greene, MD, a member of the clinical faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine recommending staying away from them altogether since they cause allergies in some patients and “…don’t work all that well” as Dr. Greene says.

According to, Lidocaine can nevertheless help to lessen pain and discomfort caused by sunburns. But should you decide to go that route, it is advisable that you test the lotion on a small area of skin first to see how it reacts with your skin.

Baby Lotion on Sunburn

“Does putting baby lotion on sunburn helps?” Jessica

Well, baby lotion can help to keep the skin moisturized and soothed. Whatever you do however, avoid using baby oil as it retains heat in the skin by clogging the pores which then worsens the sunburn.

Sunburn Cream and Best Cream For Sunburn

In addition to lotions, sunburns respond well to moisturizing with creams. There are even various creams out there specifically formulated for soothing of sunburned skins.

Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe Vera is easily the best cream for sunburn if online reviews and feedbacks from its customers are anything to go by. Others you may want to compare it with are:

–          Burt’s Bees Aloe and Linden Flower After Sun Soother

–          Bach Flower Essence Rescue Remedy Cream

Silvadene Cream for Sunburn

Applied topically, 1% Silvadene creams are beneficial to sunburns especially those characterized by blistering, a common symptoms of second degree sunburn. It lessens pain and promotes faster healing of the skin.

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Silvadene cream should however not be use by patients who are allergic to sulfonamides.

Hydrocortisone Cream for Sunburn

We have mentioned severally that topical application of 1% hydrocortisone cream helps to relieve sunburn pain and inflammation but only if they are applied early enough according to The Stony Brook School of Medicine. They can also help to relieve itching.

Hydrocortisone creams are usually sold over-the-counter in drugstores but should not be used for children younger than 2. They are also not suitable for use in rectal and vaginal areas for children aged below 12 years.

Be sure to follow the instructions provided by the pharmacist (or on the packaging) carefully.

Silver Sulfadiazine Cream Sunburn

If you have been keen on sunburn treatment, high chances are that you have heard or read about silver sulfadiazine cream. This is a topical antibiotic that kills bacteria and fungus and is typically used to treat or prevent infections especially in severe cases of burns, including sunburn, where dead tissue may be present.

The cream is especially beneficial to blistered skin, a common indication for second degree sunburn, but it is not suitable for patients who are allergic to sulfa medication.

Noxzema Cream for Sunburn

Noxzema cream is yet another over-the-counter treatment option that offers relief for sunburn symptoms.

Usually applied topically in a thick layer, it helps to draw the heat out and provide instant relief from pain. It also helps to speed up the healing process. You may however require reapplying it after 2 to 3 hours once it has absorbed into the skin and it no longer sit “thick” on the skin.

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Sour Cream for Sunburn

And then there was an email from one of our readers asking about the usefulness of sour cream for sunburn.

Well, applying sour cream is a very popular home remedy for sunburn. As with most dairy products, it helps to moisturize and cool the skin and soothe it of sunburn symptoms.

To use this remedy, simply apply a generous amount of sour cream and then allow it time to dry before washing it off with a moist cotton swab. Repeat several times daily to provide relief as required.

Caution: Avoid using this remedy if your skin is blistered.

Medicine for Sunburn

As for those of you asking abut the appropriate medicine for sunburn, you will want to consider the following options.

Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relieving medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin (Bayer) and Naproxen (Naprosyn) can help to relieve pain and inflammation caused by sunburn.

Do not give aspirin to children below 16 years of age as it can trigger Reye’s syndrome which is rare, but fatal.

Although acetaminophen is a popular painkiller, it doesn’t lessen inflammation. It is however the only pain relieving medicine recommended for pregnant mothers according to the WebMD website.

Over the counter antihistamines: Itching can also benefit from taking oral antihistamines such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton. Ask at your local drugstore (pharmacy).

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