No matter how much sunscreen I apply, and no matter what level SPF I use, I always get sunburnt. If it’s not my scalp (the worst!), it’s that tiny patch of skin under my arms or my earlobes. I go through six bottles of aloe vera each summer and on top of sun-irritated skin, I have extremely sensitive skin and most lotions cause me to break out in an itchy red rash. In an effort to focus on home remedies, though, I’ve been on the hunt for better and more soothing ways to ease my bad sunburns. From easing that burning feeling to soothing redness on sunburned skin, I’ve searched for it all.
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I first ran across this sunburn hack in Cindie Allen-Stewart’s viral Facebook post when I was nursing my burnt skin after a particularly eventful day on the river. I tried it at home, and it actually made my burn feel so much better. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize just how popular this hack would become so I didn’t take any before and after photos. It was so successful, though, that I reached out to Cindie Allen-Stewart for permission to share her hack with our readers and she graciously approved. I shared my own experience below, as well.
If you’re like me, you hate getting sunburned. No matter how much sunscreen you put on, some people just burn anyway. I recently told a friend about a sunburn treatment that works wonders! She told me she had never heard about it, so I figured I’d make a post because I was sunburned recently. Usually, it takes just a couple days from start to finish, but this takes the heat out of it fast and makes it more comfortable on you.
I found out about this from my husband. His mom used to do this to him when he ended up with a sunburn.
First, buy you some Menthol foam shaving cream. It has to be the foam and it has to have menthol in it. We found Gillette shaving cream on Amazon since we had problems finding menthol foam in stores. We ended up buying 6 cans of it, but it works out because we live in Texas and sunburns happen a lot. (Plus, we have given a couple cans to friends.)
Next, apply the shaving cream on the burn. It may seem like it’s a strange shaving ritual, but trust me! Don’t rub it in, just let it sit on your skin. It will start bringing all that heat out (you’ll be able to feel it). You may feel like you are itchy too, but that’s a good thing! Itching means healing.
Then, after about 30 minutes, the shaving cream will seem like it has dissolved in spots. It will seem like it’s not as moist and a little dried out. You will feel as if you’re becoming a little cold, at least on the sunburned part of your body. THAT IS A GOOD SIGN!
Next, rinse it off in a lukewarm or cool shower or bath. It’s just to get the residue off.
Finally, if you still need it, do it again the next day. Usually after that second treatment, the sunburn disappears.
The pictures show my treatment. The final picture was taken the third day after my sunburn. I slept great after the first treatment and when my shoulders still felt hot from the burn the next day, I had another coating of shaving cream on just my shoulders. I have not had any peeling either. I use this on my kids too!
The photo above shows the initial burn.
The full shaving cream coat proves that you can’t leave a spot untouched. Cover it all, baby!
The last picture is the third day of Cindie’s sunburn. You can see that she hardly has any irritation in the sunburned area. As for the cooling effect of menthol shaving cream, she responded to a few comments that questioned its use.
EDIT: I do read comments as I can and noticed a trend in many comments. In the 10 years I’ve known about this, I’ve never felt as if the menthol burned on my skin. It has always felt very cooling instead. My mother-in-law actually learned of this from a doctor about 40 years ago. She thought it was crazy then too until she saw it in action.
I’m not saying to go out and do this, I was just showing my friends what I do. I never expected to get this much attention. I guarantee that all three pictures are me and this is MY result each time.
I’ve been asked about tanning with this method. My skin isn’t the greatest at tanning. I normally burn and return to white. However, sometimes, if a tan happens, I tan for about a week before returning to white. That’s my skin. Everyone is different. I would think it wouldn’t hurt the tanning.
My husband can not use aloe. He has said it feels like acid on his skin. There are people with an allergy to aloe. I have used aloe myself and it does soothe. However, I love this method because it works so fast. Seriously, lather, wait 30 minutes, rinse. The next day reapply on stubborn parts if necessary (and it’s not always necessary), wait 30 more minutes, rinse, and done!
I’ve also used Noxema. I hated it because I would have it all over and sleep in a shirt that just stuck to me at night and wouldn’t be comfortable. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, but I’d rather not be sticky at night when I’m trying to sleep.
PSA: Please remember to always use sunscreen! Too much sun exposure can be dangerous and lead to cancer. By no means am I endorsing going out without sunscreen! I burn with sunscreen as well and know of the hassle, but it is worth it to wear it!
The most important thing that Cindie stresses is that this won’t cure your sunburn in 30 minutes. It’s just a 30-minute treatment followed by another one the next day if necessary.
On June 23, I luckily ran across this Facebook post and decided to give it a try. I applied the shaving cream to my sunburn and am happy to report that this works, y’all! I did two treatments, the first on June 23 and the second on June 24. Per Cindie’s instructions, the second-day application was definitely necessary, but I saw improvements after the first one almost instantly.
It provided quick sunburn relief and it cooled my skin quicker than even aloe vera. The tingling sensation was pleasant and after washing it away with lukewarm water, I still didn’t feel the burning sensation from the fresh burn. With other sunburn remedies, I’ve experienced breakouts with my sensitive skin. This shaving cream method, however, kept my skin smooth and soft.
You should always wear broad-spectrum sunscreen, but it’s great to know that this shaving foam hack exists for those times you get a little forgetful while having fun in the sun. Many thanks to Cindie Allen-Stewart for sharing this tip and giving us permission to write about it!