Best Organic Non-Toxic After-Sun Lotions & Creams For Sunburn

natural aftersun

05/13/2024

Konstantina Antoniadou

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If you’re in search of the best non-toxic after-sun lotions and creams for some post-sun relief, you’re in luck!

I’ve had my fair share of moments where I’ve resembled a walking, talking tomato, and I know a thing or two about choosing all-natural after-sun products for sensitive skin.

Slathering on those mainstream after-sun lotions can sometimes feel like you’re rubbing a science experiment all over your poor, parched skin. 

With a quick look at the ingredient list on some of those bottles? Sodium hydroxide, parfum, CI 19140. No thanks!

There are many organic after sun creams and lotions that can soothe and relieve sunburnt skin without causing rashes, or full-on allergic reactions.

Read on to find a completely nontoxic after-sun lotion to prevent peeling, creams and soothing after sun gel treatments. I also included some DIY options that work wonders!

To help prevent sunburns, have a look at our list of the safest non-toxic sunscreen options for 2024.

natural aftersun

Best Non-Toxic After-Sun Lotions, Creams & Gels!

I remember one particularly scorching day at the beach when I forgot to reapply sunscreen (rookie mistake, I know).  

Unfortunately, I am not alone! More than 1 out of every 3 Americans reports getting sunburned each year. 

Doctors warn that ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and sunburn at any age are associated with an increased risk for melanoma. That’s also the most commonly diagnosed cancer with 5 million people treated each year in the USA alone. 

Yet, only about 29% of US adults apply sunscreen to all exposed skin before going outside. I can’t stress this enough – prevention is better than treatment, so please take a few minutes to apply sunscreen so you won’t have to actually use any of the listed after-sun care for the face and body.

Non-toxic sunburn care products have the ability to calm down that angry redness and inflammation. Think of it like a cool, refreshing drink of water for your parched, sun-singed skin. Not to mention, they’re total multitaskers, tackling everything from dryness and peeling to itchiness and tightness.

Sadly, much like skincare, body wash, and makeup, all after-sun products are created equal. Some are packed with harmful chemicals that do more harm than good, leaving your skin feeling even more irritated and inflamed. 

So, what’s the best alternative? Option for chemical-free after-sun lotions and creams! Think soothing aloe vera, hydrating coconut oil, and calming chamomile. 

These plant-based ingredients swoop in to soothe, hydrate, and repair all the damage caused by those pesky UV rays without causing any additional irritation. 

Keep scrolling to find the best non-toxic after-sun lotion, gel, and cream products in 2024.

What do dermatologists recommend for after sun?

  • Aloe Vera: That is basically the holy grail of after-sun care. It’s super hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and helps to calm down that fiery redness faster than you can say “sunburn.”
  • Hydrating Moisturizers: Opt for moisturizers with ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or shea butter to help replenish lost moisture and prevent that dreaded peeling.
  • Cooling Gels: Products containing menthol or cucumber extract can provide instant relief from that burning sensation and leave your skin feeling oh-so-refreshed.
  • Antioxidants: Think vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea extract. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals caused by UV exposure and promote faster healing.
  • Avoid Harsh Ingredients: Make sure to stay away from products containing alcohol, fragrances, and other potential irritants. You want to soothe your skin, not aggravate it further.

What are the bad ingredients in aftersun care products?

  • Alcohol: Denatured alcohol or SD alcohol is added to skincare products for its ability to help them dry quickly and feel lightweight on the skin, it’s notorious for drying out the skin and stripping away its natural oils.
  • Fragrances: While fragrances are added to after sun gels, creams, and lotions to give them a pleasant scent and enhance the user experience, they can be a major culprit when it comes to skin irritation and allergic reactions.
  • Parabens: While they are effective at preventing the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast, parabens have been linked to hormone disruption and potential health risks. Some studies suggest that parabens may mimic estrogen in the body, which could potentially lead to hormonal imbalances and other health issues.
  • Sulfates: Sulfates, such as sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, are surfactants added to skincare products to create lather and help them cleanse the skin more effectively. However, sulfates can be harsh and dry on the skin, stripping away its natural oils and leaving it feeling dry, tight, and irritated.
  • Sodium Hydroxide: Also known as lye or caustic soda, sodium hydroxide is a strong alkaline compound used in skincare products to adjust pH levels. They are generally safe in small amounts when properly formulated, but they can be irritating to sensitive or sunburnt skin, especially in higher concentrations. Direct contact with sodium hydroxide can cause burns and damage to the skin, so it’s best to avoid products containing high concentrations of this ingredient, especially when dealing with sunburn.
  • CI 19140 (Yellow 5): CI 19140 is a synthetic colorant commonly used in skincare products to add a yellow hue. While it’s generally considered safe for use in cosmetics, it can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation in some people, particularly those with sensitive skin or allergies.

Can I use all-natural after-sun lotions every day?

Using non-toxic after-sun products every day may not be necessary or ideal for most people. After-sun products are specifically designed to provide relief and hydration to sun-exposed skin, particularly after experiencing sunburn or prolonged sun exposure.

However, if you’re not regularly exposed to the sun or if your skin is not sunburnt or irritated, using after-sun products daily may be excessive and unnecessary.

Instead, focus on maintaining a consistent skincare routine that includes sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage and moisturizers to keep it hydrated and healthy.


Best Organic & Non-Toxic After-Sun Products For Sunburn:


1. Burt’s Bees

natural aftersun

Burt’s Bee’s non-toxic after-sun lotion promises to rejuvenate our skin after a long day in the sun without relying on parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or SLS. 

This quick-absorbing formula is 98.6% natural and packed with plant-based ingredients such as aloe and coconut oil. 

Simply apply to your face and body after sun exposure, and voila!

As for the packaging, Burt’s Bee avoids over-packaging, and limits mixed materials as much as possible.

Price: $9.99

Main Ingredients: Water | Aloe | Coconut oil | Sunflower seed oil | Olive husk oil | Shea butter | Soybean & more!

Location/Shipping: United States


2. All Good

natural aftersun

For the best natural after-sun lotion for sensitive skin, look no further than All Good, and their soothing aloe gel. 

We love this brand because it’s a Certified women-owned B Corporation that actually cares for the people and the planet. 

Your skin will feel fulfilled and hydrated from the powerful blend of certified organic aloe, apple extract, calendula, and olive oil. 

And thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid and niacinamide (Vitamin B-3), you’ll also get to enjoy increased skin resiliency and a noticeably softer appearance. 

To top it all off, this aloe vera after-sun gel is Vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.

Price: $9 for one-time purchase | $8.10 with subscription

Main Ingredients: Water | Aloe barbadensis leaf | sodium hyaluronate | Niacinamide | Xanthan gum | Apple fruit extract & more!

Location/Shipping: United States, ships worldwide


3. Badger

natural aftersun

First up is Badger, a raved-about, woman-owned Certified B Corp, that formulates some of the safest body care products on the market. 

The Badger chemical-free after-sun gel with aloe vera has over 1000 raving reviews — and for a good reason. 

The formula is packed with certified 96% pure, organic, fair trade aloe juice that is known for relieving dry, as well as treating irritated and sunburned skin. 

The gel goes smoothly and is easily absorbed with absolutely no sticky or oily residue. 

Plus, if you hate strong scents, you’ll love this after-sun gel – it’s Totally clean and free of perfumes!

Price: $7.99

Main Ingredients: Organic aloe | Xanthan gum | Water | Gluconic acid | Sodium benzoate | Glyceryl caprylate | Citric acid

Location/Shipping: United States


4. Cave + Post

natural aftersun

Cave & Post’s non-toxic sunburn care products are formulated to help reduce peeling caused by long exposure to the sun’s rays. 

The company uses an all-natural blend of pure essential oils, including witch hazel and aloe vera, to nourish the skin and also decrease the chance of peeling. 

You’ll also love the refreshing scent of peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, sandalwood, and frankincense.

You can use this sunburn relief spray to reduce pain and inflammation associated with sunburns as soon as your skin starts showing signs of discomfort.

Price: $15

Main Ingredients: Pure essential oils | Witch hazel | Aloe vera & more!

Location/Shipping: United States, ships worldwide


5. Oars + Alps

natural aftersun

While there are many fantastic, non-toxic sunburn care products on the market, it’s hard to find an after sun cooling spray that actually does what it promises. 

Luckily, Oars & Alps ticks all our boxes. The formula cools, soothes hydrates, and repairs sun-kissed skin with a few simple, yet effective ingredients. 

For example, niacinamide helps reduce inflammation from sun exposure, which causes redness and soreness. 

Then, you have kukui oil and Alpine Caribou Moss™ which are chock-full of potent antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E that help the skin repair itself after exposure to UV rays. 

Plus, the scent reminds us of freshly cut aloe and green tea.

Price: $14 (1-Pack) | $27 (2-Pack) | $38 (3-Pack)

Main Ingredients: Water | Aloe barbadensis leaf extract | Alcohol denat | Propanediol | Niacinamide | Cladonia stellaris extract & more!

Location/Shipping: United States


6. Coola

natural aftersun

Coola’s non-toxic after sun lotion for sunburn treatment has a rich, creamy texture that goes in smoothly and gets the job done quickly. 

The tube is filled to the brim with EcoCert certified, 99% of the ingredients from natural origin.

We have organic agave and aloe vera as well as antioxidant-rich and vitamin-intensive boosters like rosemary extract and the nurturing oils of lavender, sunflower, orange peel oil, cedrus atlantica oil, and mandarin peel. 

In addition, this aloe after sun lotion is cruelty-free and responsibly packaged.

Price: $32

Main Ingredients: Water | Sunflower seed oil | Caprylic/capric triglyceride | Cetearyl alcohol | Shea butter | Coconut oil | Xanthan gum & more!

Location/Shipping: United States


7. THINK

natural aftersun

A fast-absorbing all-natural after-sun gel verified by EWG? We’ll take it!

Think Sport’s after sun care for the face and body is gentle enough to share with kids and babies.

So, it’s as hypoallergenic and sensitive-skin friendly as it can get!

If your skin feels and looks uncomfortable red, hot, and sore, rub a small about onto it for instant relief. 

The gel is produced in the USA with vegan and Leaping Bunny certified, and absolutely no parabens, phthalates, 1,4 dioxane, sodium lauryl sulfate, and biologically harmful chemicals.

Price: Out of stock

Main Ingredients: Purified water | Aloe Barbabensis | Glycerin | Sclerotium gum | Algin | Caprylyl glycol & more!

Location/Shipping: Worldwide


What is a good alternative to aftersun care products?

Apply Greek Yogurt

My dad uses this DIY all-natural after-sun treatment religiously. Greek yogurt contains lactic acid, which is a gentle exfoliant that helps to remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover.

This can be particularly beneficial for sunburnt skin, as it helps to slough off damaged skin cells and encourage the growth of new, healthy ones. 

The probiotics found in Greek yogurt can also help to balance the skin’s microbiome, which is the community of bacteria and other microorganisms that live on the skin’s surface. This can help to reduce inflammation and prevent infection, which are common concerns with sunburnt skin.

To use Greek yogurt as a DIY after-sun treatment, simply apply a thick layer of plain, unsweetened yogurt to the affected areas of the skin.

Let it sit for about 15–20 minutes, then rinse it off with cool water. You can also mix in a bit of honey or aloe vera gel for added soothing and moisturizing benefits.

DIY Aloe Vera Gel Straight From The Plant

Aloe vera does wonders for sunburn relief. It’s packed with soothing properties that calm inflammation and hydrate parched skin.

When you slice open an aloe vera leaf, you’ll find this clear, gel-like substance that’s like nature’s own after-sun lotion. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that promote healing and provide instant relief.

Plus, it has a cooling effect that feels downright heavenly on sunburnt skin. Just scoop out the gel and apply it generously to the affected areas.

Cooling Cucumber Slices

Cucumbers aren’t just for salads—they’re also a lifesaver for sunburnt skin! These crisp, refreshing veggies contain antioxidants and silica, which help to soothe and hydrate irritated skin.

Pop some cucumber slices in the fridge for a while to chill them down, then lay back and place them over your sunburnt areas. The coolness of the cucumbers will help reduce redness and inflammation while providing instant relief. Plus, it’s a great excuse to take some self-care time and relax.

An Oatmeal Bath

When your skin is feeling the burn, an oatmeal bath is the ultimate remedy. Oats contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm irritated skin and alleviate itching.

Grind up some oats into a fine powder using a blender or food processor, then sprinkle it into a warm bath. Soak in the tub for about 15–20 minutes to let the oatmeal work its magic. The soothing effects will leave your skin feeling soft, hydrated, and oh-so-relieved.

DIY Green Tea Spray For Sunburns

Green tea isn’t just for sippin’—it’s also a fantastic ingredient for skincare. It’s packed with antioxidants called catechins, which help protect the skin from damage and reduce inflammation.

Brew up some green tea and let it cool down completely, then pour it into a spray bottle for easy application. Spritz it onto your sunburnt skin whenever you need a quick refresh. 

Coconut Oil

Last but not least, we have coconut oil—the holy grail of natural skincare. This tropical gem is rich in fatty acids and vitamins that nourish and moisturize the skin.

When applied to sunburnt skin, it forms a protective barrier that locks in moisture and prevents further irritation. Plus, it has antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infection and promote healing. Just scoop out a small amount of coconut oil and massage it gently into your sunburnt skin. 


This was your full guide to non-toxic after-sun lotions & creams!

There you have it – the absolute best non-toxic after-sun cream, lotion, and gel products for sunburns!

It’s no secret that common formulas may contain an array of harmful ingredients that can exacerbate the dryness and irritation caused by sunburn, leaving your skin feeling even more parched and uncomfortable. 

On the other hand, organic after sun lotions with natural ingredients like aloe vera and coconut oil are great at soothing irritation without the icky side effects. 

Remember – the most important product in your skincare routine will ALWAYS be sunscreen! After-sun treatments are great and all, BUT we should focus on preventing sunburns rather than treating them.

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