Can Aloe Vera Help Heal Your Sunburns?

aloe vera for sunburn

Bright glittering sunshine, enjoying at a beach/pool, relishing mangoes and ice creams, summers bring along an overflow of happiness in our lives. However, all this happiness can quickly turn into sadness, thanks to sunburns. If you have dealt with this, you may have indeed used or asked to slather it to soothe your sunburns. Now, the question arises, is aloe vera beneficial  to heal sunburns? Let’s find out!! 

Facts About Aloe Vera

  • It is a perennial evergreen plant that has been in use for thousands of years to treat several skin conditions.
  • It is applied to the skin as well as taken orally. 
  • Aloe vera has anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • It has 19 out of the 20 known amino acids that are considered necessary for any organism. 

What Causes Sunburn?

Sunburn happens when the UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds damage your DNA inside skin cells. Meanwhile, the immune system releases inflammatory proteins to help repair the damage. Hence, ensuring an increase in the size of the blood vessels and allowing more blood to enter. It causes skin inflammation and the peeling of damaged skin cells. 

What Does Research Say About Aloe Vera Healing Sunburn?

Some studies have shown evidence (1) that aloe vera could help heal first to second-degree burns, including mild to moderate burns on the skin. According to a recent study (2), its anti-inflammatory attributes are due to the presence of a compound known as aloin. It can aid in preventing the peeling due to sunburn and keeping your skin moisturised. 

Scientific evidence to prove the efficacy is still limited and would require more research to support the claims. 

How to Apply Aloe vera For Sunburn?

  • Using the pure aloe vera gel from the leaves
  • You can also get gels at nearby stores
  • Lotion, creams and other cosmetic products with aloe vera
  • After Sun Spray-mists 

It’s best to use 100% pure aloe vera gel that’s chilled. In case you cannot find pure gel, look for products that have a high percentage of aloe vera in it. Take some aloe vera and conduct a patch test to ensure you aren’t allergic to it. You can discuss with a dermatologist if you are planning to use aloe vera. 

A Word of Caution

Avoid using aloe vera gels on severe or third and fourth-degree burns. These burns are serious and would require medical help from a professional. Contact your nearby hospital immediately. 

What are Some of the Other Uses of Aloe Vera?

  • It helps relieve constipation when taken orally. 
  • It helps lower the levels of blood sugar & provides relief from heartburn.
  • Keeps your skin moisturised & clear
  • You can also use it to improve damaged and dry hair.

Risks of Using Aloe Vera 

  • Always take a patch test before using aloe vera on a larger area of your skin. Apply it on your arms and leave it for 24 hours to see how your body reacts. If there are no adverse reactions, you can start using it or else avoid it. 
  • Ensure that you do not over-apply aloe vera gel on sunburns and follow the instructions on the product label. 
  • Those allergic to tulips, garlic or onions are at a higher risk of being allergic to aloe vera. 
  • Taking it in oral form will not help to cure sunburns. 
  • If the burns are severe or you feel sick with symptoms such as fever, dizziness and nausea, then you need to reach out to a doctor as soon as possible. If the burn appears to be infected, make sure not to apply aloe vera and seek medical help immediately.

Summing Up 

It may seem like a great option to use aloe vera to reduce the pain, burning, and swelling due to sunburns. However, the research is still insufficient to prove that it does heal sunburn. Even if you start using it, keep a tab on signs like dehydration or heat exhaustion. If the burns are severe or you feel sick with symptoms such as fever, dizziness and nausea, consult a doctor immediately. Overall, it is vital to be careful not to get sunburnt and keep these key points in mind. 

  • Unless important, avoid stepping out when the sun is at its peak, i.e. 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. 
  • Cover yourself up with full-sleeved clothes and always carry an umbrella, scarf or hat. 
  • Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has at least SPF 30 and reapply it every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating. 


  1. How long does it take for a sunburn to fade?

The time for sunburn to fade will depend on the severity of your condition. Mild sunburns may last for about three days, moderate sunburns for about 5-14 days , and severe sunburn may last for a few weeks or require more time to heal. You would also need the expertise of a medical professional for cases of severe sunburns. 

  1. Is it okay to use coconut oil for sunburn?

No, Avoid using coconut oil for sunburns, it may irritate your skin further.

  1. Should you put a wet towel on sunburnt skin?

Yes, you may place a clean, cool wet towel on the area for about 10 minutes or a few times a day to soothe the skin. However, ensure not to rub it on the skin as it will cause more injury.

  1. Can using ice help with sunburnt skin?

You can use ice for mild skin burns. However, do not place ice directly on the skin. It is best to place it in a handkerchief or cotton cloth and then on the skin.



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Chaitali Nayak

A writer and a skincare fanatic, Chaitali believes that words and kindness can transform the world. She has a master’s degree in Advertising & Public Relations and has worked for various advertising agencies and digital marketing firms. With the help of expert dermatologists at CureSkin, she works towards creating content that helps eliminate misinformation related to skincare. The aim is to educate yet bring something exciting and new every time for the readers. When not busy writing, you can find her talking to her plants, eating, drawing or watching movies.