If you're wondering whether Aloe Vera is useful for sunburn, this article discusses why Aloe Vera works, how to use it for sunburn, recipes for your own home-made sunburn relief lotions, and other products containing aloe that are good for sun protection.

Aloe Vera for Sunburn - Aloe Plant

Aloe Vera gel is often lauded as an effective way to relieve sunburn. If you’re suffering from the aftereffects of prolonged exposure to the sun, Aloe Vera may be the answer you are looking for to make your sunburn less painful or to recover from the sunburn faster.

Why does Aloe Vera work for sunburn?

A sunburn is essentially an inflammatory response by our skin after we’ve been exposed to too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun. A possible reason for Aloe Vera's effectiveness with sunburn is the anti-inflammatory compounds present in Aloe Vera gel. Besides these anti-inflammatory compounds, Aloe Vera also contains substances that promote the repair and growth of skin, allowing your sunburn to heal over faster.

Things to note before you use Aloe Vera gel

Although it is rare for anyone to be allergic to aloe vera gel and a reaction is usually just a rash, it is still prudent to check if you may have an allergy to it before applying the gel to your sunburn. This is especially so if you are using a commercial Aloe Vera gel that also contains other chemicals.

You can easily check if you have an allergy to Aloe Vera gel by applying it to your inner arm and waiting for about 24 hours to see if a reaction occurs. Do not use the aloe gel if you develop a rash.

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera 100% Gel, 24 oz (680 g)
Amazon Price: $6.99 $4.73 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 5, 2014)
The Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera gel contains no alcohol or fragrance and has had great results for many who have used it for sunburn. A 24oz bottle lasts me a very long time and can also be used for cuts, burns and other minor skin ailments too.

Aloe Vera gel is recommended for minor sunburns and should not be used if you have a serious burn that is blistering. In case of blistering, you should consult a physician about your sunburn and use the Aloe gel only if you were advised to.

Before using Aloe Vera for sunburn relief

Before using the Aloe Vera gel on your sunburn, it is important to make sure that your skin is clean and dry. After that, using the Aloe Vera gel is as easy as applying it to the affected area with your fingers. There are no limits to the number of times you use Aloe Vera gel in a day so just reapply whenever you need to.

Tip: For an even better effect, Aloe Vera gel that's been placed in the fridge for an hour before applying will feel absolutely refreshing on sunburnt skin.

Home-made Aloe Vera sunburn relief gel

Aloe Vera can be applied on its own for sunburn relief but these recipes may provide additional relief from sunburn due to their other ingredients. The recipes may be used with Fruit of the Earth's Aloe Vera gel or with the gel that you harvest from your own Aloe plant.

Home-made Aloe Vera sunburn relief recipe #1

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel
  • Some cold green tea from a tea bag


  1. Mix a small amount of green tea with the Aloe Vera gel. 
  2. Apply the mixture directly to sunburnt areas.

Home-made Aloe Vera sunburn relief recipe #2

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel
  • Some cucumber juice


  1. Mix the cucumber juice with the Aloe Vera gel
  2. Apply mixture to affected sunburn areas.

Protect your skin from sunburn

As effective as Aloe Vera is for sunburn relief, you should still take preventive measures to protect your skin from sunburn. Repeated sunburn causes your skin to age quickly and has also been linked to skin cancers.

Watch the following video to get an idea of how harmful it can be to expose yourself to excessive sun without protection:

If you are convinced of the need for sun protection, the following are some ways you can protect your skin from sunburn and damage.

  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun especially between 10am to 3pm as the ultraviolet rays responsible for sun damage are strongest during this period.
  • Wear sun-protective clothing if you have to stay out in the sun for prolonged periods. These are clothes made from special sun-protective fabric that block out UV radiation.
  • Apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. You should look for a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 and ladies should apply sunscreen under their makeup. Use a generous amount of sunscreen and make sure you cover all areas of exposed skin.
  • Reapply sunscreen frequently, about once every 2 to 3 hours or more often if you prespire or if its an especially sunny day.

Aloe Vera Sunburn Protection Products

Aloe Gator SPF 40+ Gel (4-Ounce)
Amazon Price: $8.99 $1.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 5, 2014)
This SPF 40+ broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. It's waterproof so you can use it for swimming and other water sports. Although this Aloe Vera sunscreen provides 8 hours of protection, I recommend reapplying it every 2 to 3 hours for maximum protection against sunburn.
Banana Boat Aloe Vera with Vitamin E Sunscreen Lip Balm, SPF 45 .15 oz (4.25 g)
Amazon Price: $0.01 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 5, 2014)
The skin is not the only area of your body that needs protection from the sun. Your lips are another area that need to be protected from the damaging ultraviolet rays. However, I wouldn't want to put sunscreen on my lips and that is where this Aloe Vera sunscreen lip balm comes in handy. This is a sheer formula with no color so even guys can use it. As with the sunscreen above, reapply every 2 to 3 hours or more frequently.