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.  


♬ Spongebob Tomfoolery - Dante9k Remix - David Snell

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. "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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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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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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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
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.