Does shaving cream for sunburn really work? tips against sunburn


boonchai wedmakawandGetty Images

Feeling like a lobster after a day at the beach is the worst. But there’s not much you can do about a sunburn except get over it and use home remedies to get relief in the meantime. Aloe cream and gel can make you feel cooler and less itchy, but if you don’t have any on hand, you might have another remedy for relaxing in the shower: shaving cream. Yeah.

A recent viral Facebook Publish describes menthol shaving foam as the ultimate hack for sunburn relief. The woman who shared the post applies it to her sunburn, letting it dissolve into her skin for 30 minutes before washing it off, and says it soothes and refreshes red, tight and dry skin. In his post, you can see a before and after photo of a sunburn, and he looks much less red and irritated in the after photo.

The post got over 232,000 shares, but does the trick Actually work? Let’s ask a few derms for their takes.

Does shaving cream really help sunburn?

Depends on type. “The shaving cream itself isn’t really what helps with sunburn, but there may be added ingredients in the shaving cream that can help soothe the pain and lessen the redness of a sunburn, like menthol and aloe,” says Susan MassickMD, a dermatologist at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University.

Shaving cream specifically, unlike gels or lotions you’d rub on your skin, acts almost like a protective barrier, says Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD, a board-certified Miami-based dermatologist and founder of Dr. Loretta Skin Care. It coats the skin and can help you feel temporarily cooler, if it has the right ingredients (more on that).

Alright, I’m up for trying this. How long should I keep shaving cream on sunburn?

The viral post suggested applying the shaving cream once a day and leaving it on the skin, letting it dry for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off with a warm shower or bath; you can reapply it the next day if your sunburn is still red and itchy.

Dr. Massick recommends applying the shaving cream to the affected area even twice a day, then rinsing off after 20 to 30 minutes so the shaving cream doesn’t get too dry. She points out that it is best to use lukewarm water to rinse off, so as not to aggravate the burning sensation on the skin.

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, on their website.

You can do the post-sun ritual even more frequently if your sunburn is really itchy or uncomfortable and you have nothing else in the house to soothe the burn. Ciraldo says you can reapply it every two to three hours for additional relief.

Also, another tip is to put the box of shaving cream in the fridge to keep it cool before it hits your skin, she says.

What kind of shaving cream should I use on a sunburn?

You can’t just pick up any shaving cream and expect it to work wonders on your skin, especially for severe burns. The Facebook post specifically advised people to buy menthol-containing foam shaving cream, as opposed to gel, because the foamy texture sits on the surface of your skin and then dries to provide cooling relief.

Dermatologists agree with the menthol trick: “Menthol has this cooling effect that also helps soothe skin when it’s hot and sore,” says Dr. Massick. “It replaces the burning sensation of sunburn with the cooling sensation of menthol, but you don’t lessen sunburn,” says Dr. Ciraldo.

Dermatologists ultimately recommend a product containing aloe because the ingredient is anti-inflammatory. Not only does it help skin feel fresher, but it reduces inflammation, which can shorten the duration of sunburn, decrease redness, and help skin stay hydrated and blister-free, adds Dr. Massick.

Is there a best home remedy you should use for sunburn?

Shaving cream is a solid tip if you’re out of aloe gel, but there are other home remedies that can help as well. Dr. Ciraldo suggests a cooling, anti-inflammatory oatmeal bath to reduce sunburn. You can even find shaving gels and lotions that contain oatmeal which can also be beneficial.

Applying cool compresses to the skin may also help. For true pain relief, it may be best to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. “Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs block the release of prostaglandins, the mediators of much of the redness and discomfort of sunburn,” says Dr. Ciraldo.

For more severe sunburns, an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream might not be enough, and you may need a topical cortisone cream with a prescription from a dermatologist, says Dr. runners to contact your dermis are severe blisters or fever).

Really, the best course of action is to avoid sunburn first, which means applying SPF 30-50 sunscreen with broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection, and reapplying it at least every three hours. . Try to avoid direct sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. if you can, advise Dr. Massick and Dr. Ciraldo. And if you feel your skin starting to burn or turn red, that’s your cue to cool down a bit on the inside.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and uploaded to this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content on


Comments are closed.