Are shaving creams good for sunburn? Research and alternatives


Shaving creams often contain ingredients that can help moisturize the skin, provide a cooling effect, or reduce skin irritation. However, they are not the best option for relieving sunburn.

This article explores how certain ingredients in shaving cream can help relieve sunburn symptoms. It also explains how to prevent and treat sunburn and answers some frequently asked questions.

There are no publicly available studies on the effects of shaving cream on sunburn.

However, shaving creams contain soaps or surfactants that can easily cause irritation. Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension of the liquid they are in, making the liquid easier to mix with water and turn into a foam.

Moreover, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology states that soap can increase the pH level of the skin. This can make eczema symptoms worse.

Another common ingredient in shaving cream is fragrance. Research shows that fragrances can cause allergic contact dermatitis or increase short- and long-term irritation.

Shaving cream instructions usually say to rinse it off after use. Therefore, leaving it on the skin may not be beneficial, as the soap ingredients can increase irritation.

However, some of the ingredients in shaving cream can help soothe the skin.

Using Menthol Shaving Cream for Sunburn Treatment

The authors of a study 2018 studied the influence of a topical gel containing menthol on body temperature. Study participants reported that menthol provided a cooling sensation but did not affect their core temperature or arterial blood flow.

Another one study 2018 found that menthol can stimulate receptor channels in the body and desensitize them. This could lead to local pain relief in the short term.

It should be noted, however, that there are no studies showing that menthol can aid recovery from sunburn or provide intense hydration to the skin.

Some shaving creams contain ingredients that can alleviate sunburn. These ingredients include the following:

Vitamin E

A variety of skin care products contain vitamin E, which has many benefits for the skin. These include:

Some older search suggests that vitamin E can help fight sun damage. However, more studies involving humans are needed, as most existing research has been conducted on animals or human cells in the laboratory.

aloe vera

Aloe vera has humectant properties. Humectants, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerineand propylene glycol, add hydration to the skin, often by drawing water from the deeper layers of the skin to the epidermis, which is the outermost layer.

the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that using a moisturizer containing aloe vera or soy may help relieve sunburn.

It is important to note, however, that research on the effects of aloe vera on sunburn is limited.

Shea Butter

Many moisturizers contain shea butter. Some people use it as a replacement for shaving cream.

Shea butter can help:

The moisturizing properties of shea butter can help soothe sunburn. However, more research on the effects of shea butter on sunburn is needed.


Chamomile is a popular ingredient in herbal medicine. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Too, older search suggests it may help with eczema or mild inflammatory skin conditions, including sunburn.

However, more evidence-based research is needed to support the use of chamomile as a treatment for skin conditions.

Green tea

Green tea contains antioxidants and polyphenols.

A Meta-analysis 2016 found that polyphenols can protect the skin from sunburn and UV damage. However, the researchers stress the need for further studies on the effectiveness and potential side effects of polyphenols.

According to AADa person recovering from sunburn should:

  • protect against further skin damage by limiting sun exposure
  • using moisturizing and moisturizing products, such as after-sun lotion
  • to drink a lot of water
  • take cool showers or baths
  • wear clothes that cover the skin on the outside
  • consider using ibuprofen or aspirin

the AAD also suggests that sunburn can be prevented by:

  • choose broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays
  • use sunscreens with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher
  • choose water-resistant sunscreens
  • wear sun protection clothing
  • look for shade

It is also important to use sunscreen frequently and generously. The authors of a study 2019 interviewed 12 people who suffered an unexpected sunburn after applying sunscreen. Participants said they thought they had applied enough sunscreen.

If a person’s skin is itchy, raw, or blistered, they should seek medical attention immediately.

It is also advisable to contact a doctor if over-the-counter (OTC) treatments are not effective. A doctor can prescribe painkillers, antibiotics, or creams that can relieve symptoms faster than over-the-counter treatments.

Below we answer some of the most common questions about shaving cream and sunburn.

Does shaving cream reduce sunburn?

There is no scientific evidence that using shaving cream can reduce the symptoms of sunburn.

However, some shaving creams contain moisturizing and moisturizing ingredients, such as aloe vera and vitamin E. These ingredients can help soothe irritation caused by sunburn.

Products such as after-sun lotions often contain similar ingredients and are likely to soothe sunburn more effectively than shaving cream.

Does menthol shaving cream really help with sunburn?

No studies prove that menthol shaving cream can reduce irritation caused by sunburn.

Is there anything more effective against sunburn than shaving cream?

Yes. According to AADsomeone can try:

  • take cool showers or baths
  • use moisturizers
  • drink water
  • covering the skin and limiting further exposure to the sun

There are many shaving creams with moisturizing and hydrating ingredients that can help reduce skin irritation. Some shaving creams also contain cooling ingredients, such as menthol.

However, shaving cream is not the best option for sunburn relief. Alternatives include using moisturizers and moisturizers, taking cool baths or showers, and limiting sun exposure by wearing protective clothing.

People with blistering, raw, or very itchy sunburns should see a doctor for an effective treatment.


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