The Best Sunburn Lotions

ByMaria Del Russo
Amazon/Bustle

No matter how much you try to protect yourself from sunburn, the fact of the matter is: sometimes, it's going to happen. And that's totally ok — you're human. You sometimes make mistakes and forget to reapply your SPF every few hours. Or maybe you simply missed a spot. And now, you're red and itchy and uncomfortable. So what do you do? Reach for one of the best sunburn lotions on the market, of course.

These products work to heal your skin and relieve some of the symptoms of sunburn — specifically that dry, itchy, burning feeling that happens. But they can even be used even if you don't have a sunburn. Even if you're ultra-diligent with your SPF, and you don't actually burn, dryness can still occur. Sunburn lotions and gels also work to help prevent peeling, and can also work as a tan extender if you're hoping to keep your bronze a bit longer.

As far as ingredients go, aloe is the gold standard. But it's not the only one that keeps your skin supple and hydrated. Honey can also be helpful in healing sunburn because of its antibacterial properties and its ability to help the skin repair itself faster. Vitamin E is a good one to look out for, too. Because it's an antioxidant, it can help your skin defend itself against free radicals that lead to breakdown.

Got all that? Good. Now it's time to shop. Ahead, find the best sunburn lotions out there today. These are one of those products you should try to avoid needing, but are always good to have on hand — just in case.

1The Best Sunburn Lotion In Terms Of Price & Feel (Plus, It's Reef-Friendly)

When it comes to getting the best bang-for-your buck, nothing beats Sun Bum Cool Down Soothing And Healing Aloe Lotion. But the price isn't all this bottle has going for it. Cool Down is packed with aloe and vitamin E to hydrate and protect your crispy skin. It also contains cucumber extract, which will help soothe redness and offer you some relief from the itch. What's more? Cool Down is just as good for the environment as it is for your skin. It's made with vegan, reef-friendly ingredients, so you can feel good about putting it on. And since it's hypoallergenic, even the most sensitive skin types can use it without a problem.

2Another Great, Very Nourishing, Vitamin-Rich Aloe Lotion — But It's More Expensive

A close contender to Sun Bum is Bee Friendly Sunburn Relief & After Sun Lotion. It has a lot of the same ingredients as the former, including aloe vera and vitamin E. But there are a few things that sets this bottle apart. Like the name suggests, this lotion contains both beeswax and honey — two surprisingly amazing ingredients for burn relief. Honey is antibacterial, and has been used as a wound healer, meaning it will get to work at healing your burn as soon as you smooth it on. Beeswax offers some serious softness to your chapped, itchy skin. It also helps improve elasticity, which means you're less likely to peel. Bee Friendly is also free of parabens and chemicals, so it's another option that'll be just fine on sensitive skin. Plus, it's not tested on animals — which is always a bonus.

3A Budget-Friendly, Nearly-Pure Aloe Gel — But It's Kinda Messy

If you're a purist when it comes to your sun protection, then you'll love Brooklyn Botany Aloe Vera Gel. It's made of 99.7 percent pure aloe vera — meaning it's as close to rubbing an actual aloe leaf on your skin as you can get without, well, rubbing an aloe leaf on your skin. There is one downside to this, however. Aloe's natural state is very runny, so this bottle is a bit messier than some of the others on this list. But if you can get past that, you're in for a serious treat. Brooklyn Botany has no added chemicals, no fragrance, or alcohol, and does not test on animals, making it a very friendly option. And since its formula is so pure, it can actually be used for a lot of skin ailments — from dandruff and razor burn to insect bites. Consider this your all-in-one summer emergency bottle.

4An Aloe Vera Spray You Can Use On Your Scalp And Hair, Too

Our scalps are one of the most vulnerable parts of our body when it comes to sunscreen. Not only are they physically closer to the sun, but they rarely get the protection they need. (When was the last time you actually put sunscreen on your scalp?) So when that area gets burned, you're going to want to pick up Majestic Pure Aloe Vera Hydra Mist. It can technically be used on your entire body, but it's amazing to soothe your scalp. Since its a mist, it won't gunk up your roots. You can spray it on after showering and then style as usual. What's more is that the mix of aloe vera and vitamin C make this an amazing leave-in conditioner, too — so your hair looks incredible while your sunburn's getting healed. In fact, you may find yourself using this product long after that happens.

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