Some hand lotions do have certain ingredients that can help a sunburn. You need to check the label to see if the brand of hand lotion has the right ingredients. Other hand lotions don’t have any ingredients that can help a sunburn. They won’t your sunburn or make it any worse. But, they won’t make it any better either.

What Is A Sunburn:

A sunburn is when your skin becomes exposed to too much ultraviolet light (UV). This can either be from overexposure to the sun or using a tanning bed. A sunburn will damage the top layer of skin and dry it out.

A sunburn could also cause pain, redness, and blisters to the area burned. You will need a good hand lotion to help moisturize your skin after a sunburn.

The peeling you may get after a sunburn is the damaged skin from UV light. This is natural for the skin to peel since it is dead.


Burns to the body are classified in three different categories. First degree, second degree, and third degree burns. A first degree burn is going to be the least severe. The worst degree is a third degree burn. If you have or think you may have a third degree burn, you need to see your doctor immediately.

A first degree sunburn is what many would call a minor sunburn. The skin is red, painful to the touch and you may peel as well.

A second degree sunburn more severe compared to a first degree. This type is sunburn is red, painful, minor swelling and warm to the touch. You can also expect blisters with a second degree sunburn.

Third Degree sunburns are the most painful and severe. This one that is very painful, hot, red, swelling, and has lots of blistering. You can expect a lot of pain and peeling skin with this type of sunburn.

What Ingredients Help Sunburns:

Many different ingredients will help calm the skin after getting a sunburn. These include oatmeal, vitamin e oil, lavender oil, honey, and aloe vera. You can use these ingredients by themselves or in a hand lotion.

When using these ingredients you always want to make sure that they are organic and 100% pure. You don’t want any added ingredients or chemicals on your sunburn. Sometimes added alcohols or other ingredients can burn when you apply the hand lotion.


Oatmeal is good for anti-inflammation and good antioxidant that will help soothe a sunburn. You may not realize it but a lot of different hand lotions do have oatmeal in them. Oatmeal is a very common ingredient that is cheap and works well with many skin types.

Vitamin E Oil:

Vitamin E oil is a really powerful antioxidant that is said to help with everything from moisturizing to helping a sunburn. Vitamin e oil is also thought to be good for preventing scars after getting a sunburn. Some cheaper vitamin e oil can be made from soybeans so if you want the purest form, make sure that it’s soy-free.

Lavender Oil:

Lavender essential oil can be great for the skin in small quantities. Hand lotion has just the right amount of lavender oil that could help with your sunburn. If you are nursing or pregnant always ask your doctor before using any essential oil.


Honey is a calming ingredient that has been used by people for years. Honey is great for the skin since it is soothing and moisturizing. This is the perfect ingredient for a sunburn. Honey is also full of antioxidants and is naturally antibacterial. Make sure the honey is organic and pure. You don’t want any added ingredients to the honey.

Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera is a very common ingredient that people apply to sunburns and really any kind of burns. People have been using aloe vera for years because it works.

If you have a sunburn, you don’t need to use a hand lotion that has all of these ingredients. Some hand lotions have these ingredients but unfortunately, most of them don’t. It is becoming harder to find these ingredients in hand lotion that have worked for people for years. Most companies will just add synthetic ingredients instead of these proven ingredients.

How Often To Use Hand Lotion On A Sunburn:

How often to use hand lotion on a sunburn depends on each person’s skin and the burn itself. A minor burn may only need lotion on once or twice a day for a day to heal. While a moderate burn may need hand lotion on 3-5 times a day for a few days to get better. If you have a severe sunburn you should always consult with your doctor.

For minimal sunburns, you can apply hand lotion anywhere between 1-5 times a day. The hand lotion should have one of the ingredients listed above or another soothing ingredient. Be careful to rub the hand lotion in gently so you don’t hurt your sunburn or rub too hard.

Ingredients To Avoid For A Sunburn:


Always check your ingredients to see if the hand lotion you are using has alcohol. Putting alcohol on a sunburn can make your sunburn more irritated and red. Alcohol could also make the sunburn sting and burn when applying hand lotion.


Fragrances are what give hand lotion their unique smell. Sometimes these fragrances are synthetic and should be applied to skin that doesn’t have a sunburn. Applying these on broken skin can cause a burning and stinging. The skin can also become irritated and inflamed. Check the bottle to make sure it says fragrance free.

When To Avoid Using Hand Lotion For A Sunburn:

Some sunburns may not need hand lotion. These are typically more severe sunburns. Don’t use hand lotion on broken skin. Go to your doctor if you believe that you have a severe sunburn.

How To Apply Hand Lotion To A Sunburn:

You need to be extremely careful when applying hand lotion to a sunburn. You can cause a lot of unnecessary pain if you aren’t careful.

First, wash your hands. You don’t want to get any bacteria into the area where you have a sunburn.

step 2. Take it slow. You want to be very gentle around a sunburn. If you go fast you could cut yourself with a fingernail. Apply some hand lotion on your fingers and dab it onto the sunburn.

Sometimes it’s easier to lightly dab the product on and other times you can gently rub the product over your sunburn without causing discomfort. Don’t worry about rubbing the product in all the way. If you try and rub the hand lotion in all the way you could create friction between your fingers and the sunburn and cause unnecessary pain.

Does Hand Lotion Prevent Sunburns:

Some hand lotions do have a SPF and others don’t. This means that some will prevent a sunburn while others wont do anything for preventing a sunburn.

Getting a sunburn can be extremely painful and you should always try and prevent a sunburn. Some hand lotions do have an SPF in them to help prevent a sunburn. Other hand lotions don’t.

You will have to check the label and see if yours does. In my experience, most hand lotions don’t have a SPF in them. If you look at hand lotions that have SPF you will notice that they come in many different ranges. The higher the SPF number, the better and more powerful the hand lotion will be.

For example, a product with SPF 40 will be better then a product with a SPF of 15.

If your hand lotion does have an SPF, apply more to the skin every 3 hours. It’s best to apply more if you are swimming or getting wet since the SPF can wash off. You want to look for a either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These are the best active ingredients that are really good at preventing sunburns.