Remedies for sunburns are trending on TikTok, and a dermatologist weighs in

Here's what to do and what to avoid if you got a little too much sun

woman applying sunscreen on the beach on her nose
(Image credit: AleksandarNakic/Getty Images)

Summer's nearly here, and remedies for sunburns are popping up all over FYPs alongside seasonal nail ideas and bikini hacks

But, it goes without saying that we need to be cautious before attempting trending hashtags on TikTok. (We don't need to remind you of the time when TikTokers were using lube as makeup primer, right?) 

While scanning video clips, you might've come across beach-goers who recommend you combat redness and irritation with frozen aloe vera, which seems pretty standard. 

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Others swear frozen witch hazel is the cure for getting rid of that burn, and quickly.  

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♬ Spongebob Tomfoolery - Dante9k Remix - David Snell (opens in new tab)

While the soothing effects might be immediate, overall, frozen concoctions aren't the key to beating the burn, according to skincare pros. (And neither is sour cream, just in case you were wondering.) 

"Applying ice on a sunburn can cause irritation and redness in individuals with thin, sensitive, and/or damaged skin. In fact, you should never put ice directly on sunburns because it can cause frostbite," says dermatologist Dr. Michele Green (opens in new tab). "It would be best to apply a cold compress or cool, but not frozen aloe vera or witch hazel."

So, what are the best ways to get rid of that lobster-red look? Allow Dr. Green to fill you in. 

The best remedies for sunburn

Although Dr. Green is not in favor of freezing aloe vera, she still recommends it when patients complain about their burns. 

"Aloe vera gel has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that accelerate wound healing while also containing mucopolysaccharides which help the skin retain moisture," she said. 

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Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel
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But it will most definitely need an accompaniment in the form of scent-less moisturizer too keep your skin healthy and hydrated, even while it's hurting.

"Moisturizers that contain vitamin E and oatmeal, in particular, can effectively help with sunburns," she added. 

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GNC Vitamins E, A & D Moisturizing Lotion 16oz

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Pond's Triple Vitamin Moisturising Lotion With Vitamins B3, E And C

How to avoid sunburns

The truth is, you'll have to do the prep work before you venture out to the beach or sit by the pool with a new book. (Speaking of which, if you were wondering, "What should I read next," we have your summer 2022 lineup ready to go.) 

"The best way to prevent sunburns is to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above at least 15 minutes before you go out into the sun," Dr. Green said. "It should be reapplied every two hours or even more frequently if you are swimming or doing heavy exercise."

In order to stay safe, you need to be proactive throughout the day. While it can seem irritating to stop and reapply, in the end, it'll be worth it—your skin will thank you. 

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MG Skin Lab Advanced Formula SPF 50: Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Sunscreen

Should you have any questions about staying safe during the summer, examining sun spots, combatting harsh burns, and so on, always seek advice from a skincare professional. Do have a look at our beauty editors' picks for the best sunscreen for face usage, too.

Danielle Valente

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 

The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 

When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)