Peeling skin is often caused by prolonged exposure to harmful UV light. It’s when your sun exposure exceeded the protection from the melanin in your skin’s epidermis. As a result, your skin burns and starts to peel.
With that, don’t stay out for too long or you might get a bad case of sunburn! Whether you have sensitive skin or not, painful, peeling skin isn’t going to make for a fun memory.
If you’re excited to get a dose of vitamin D this summer, then be sure to slather on the best lotion for peeling skin!
10 Best Lotions for Peeling Skin
Burt's Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother
This after-sun skin lotion can soothe and hydrate your sun–damaged skin from peeling, then keeps it soft by retaining your skin’s natural moisture.
Ingredients such as aloe vera and honey help rehydrate the skin while coconut oil helps soothe the burning sensation while conditioning the skin from peeling.
Apply it to any burned skin and it’s immediately absorbed, refreshing the skin from peeling right after being out in the sun! Not only that, this lotion can keep your skin soft and protected for longer because of its natural ingredients.
The Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother is highly rated as it helps you with peeling skin and soothing the unbearable pain that comes along with it. What’s good about this is that the skin is simultaneously hydrated and then the moisture is locked in, prolonging its effects.
- Easy application and usage
- Can be absorbed quickly
- Non-greasy finish
- Contains natural ingredients like aloe vera
- Soothes, cools, and hydrates sunburned skin from peeling
- Can feel sticky
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Moisturizing Sun Care After Sun Lotion
Best Value For Price
The Hawaiian Tropic Silk Moisturizing Sun Care After Sun Lotion is like a fragrant breeze that envelops your sunburned skin with moisturizing and cooling ingredients. The aroma catches your attention and relaxes your senses.
Specifically, the shea butter and silk proteins help retain moisture in the skin while exotic island botanicals like papaya, mango, and orange extracts carry the perfume. The lotion also has aloe vera to cool your heated skin for a refreshing kick.
When you use the product, it feels almost luxurious with its creamy and rich consistency. But when you apply it, you get protected skin without the greasy feel. It has a lightweight finish since the lotion is absorbed quickly.
What’s more, it claims to have 24-hour coverage and won’t get washed away as you stay in the sea for up to 80 minutes.
- Rich consistency due to shea butter
- Pampers and nourishes your skin
- Has ingredients that soothe dry skin and peeling
- Limited shipping
- Fragrance can cause irritated skin
Australian Gold Moisture Lock Tan Extender Lotion
This skin lotion also acts as a tan extender. Its moisturizing properties come from different natural ingredients that are also known to be rich in antioxidants.
Particularly, the Australian tea tree oil it contains removes toxins while gently hydrating the skin while giving you a tan.
Tea tree oil is also known to give a minty feeling to the skin so this can aid with the burning feeling.
Natural seed oil like sunflower oil also helps keep your skin feeling soft to the touch for hours. These ingredients then act as a formula for your peeling skin. It can be very strong and may cause slightly irritated skin damage.
In terms of fragrance, it has a sweet scent. It’s derived from a mix of orange, coconut oil, and vanilla they call cocoa dream.
- Non-greasy finish on sensitive skin
- Long lasting
- Vitamin E to nourish the skin that’s peeling
- Pleasant smell
- Contains natural ingredients: sunflower seed oil and olive oil
- Strong fragrance
- Limited shipping
Deluvia Face & Body Miracle Aloe Vera Moisturizing Cream
The Deluvia Face & Body Miracle Aloe Vera Moisturizing Cream delivers on its promise of a miracle. It’s easily one of the most versatile lotions since you can use it as a daily moisturizer or as a soothing treatment for a myriad of skin conditions.
Its hydrating ingredients act quickly and can soothe the dry and flaky skin of people who suffer from sunburns, psoriasis, eczema, burns, and bug bites. It can also reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well.
You can use it on any part of the body and it’s gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. It contains all-natural ingredients like coconut oil that softens the skin and other premium botanicals to improve your skin’s appearance.
- Easy to apply on skin that’s peeling
- Good for most skin types
- Suits sensitive skin
- Prevents scaling of skin
- No fragrance
- Limited shipping
Dermlogic Anti-Aging Resurfacing Peel Pads
The Anti-Aging Resurfacing Peel Pads are specially formulated to aid in the regenerative abilities of your skin. This not only makes it ideal for peeling skin, but also for heavily damaged skin with hyperpigmentation and scarring.
It brightens your complexion using ingredients such as salicylic acid and lactic acid. Moreover, it also prevents signs of skin aging such as wrinkles and roughness. This is because the Peel Pads penetrate deep into the layers of the skin and nourishes it by distributing moisture.
- Safe for even sensitive skin
- Clinically tested
- Nourishes deeply into the skin layer
- Can be used on any body part that’s peeling
- Limited shipping
- Tingly sensation when applied
Hampton Sun Hydrating Aloe Continuous Mist
Best Quick Relief
The Hampton Sun Hydrating Aloe Continuous Mist stands out in this list since it’s an after-sun mist. Nonetheless, it’s a hydrating product that can soothe peeling skin. Its natural aloe vera and menthol are what particularly give the minty sensation, allowing your sunburned skin to cool off.
As a mist, it’s a water-based formula that can be easily absorbed by the skin without feeling greasy. You can use this spray if you need to refresh and rehydrate your skin instantly.
The only downside is that as a mist, the effects are not likely to last as long, compared to skin lotions or products that you apply all over the body.
- Soothes sunburns and peeling
- Reduces skin redness
- Contains powerful antioxidants
- Moisturizes your skin deeply
Coola Radical Recovery Moisturizing Lotion
The Coola Radical Recovery Moisturizing Lotion gives you exactly what you need. It can soothe sunburns with antioxidants to revive the skin. It also possesses anti-inflammatory ingredients to lessen itchiness and redness.
To top it off, it can also improve the skin’s appearance to make it look younger than ever.
It’s made out of mostly natural products which includes its lavender scent. The brand is also well-recommended by dermatologists for sun-damaged skin. Its formula contains aloe vera to cool down your skin.
A few interesting ingredients are the natural yeast and agave ferments, which restores the cell’s integrity. This is vital in speeding up the recovery of your skin as it peels.
Another is natural rosemary which functions as an antiseptic. Combined together, the lotion can prevent further skin peels.
- Certified eco-friendly
- Heals chapped and peeling skin
Clinique Unisex After Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe
Best for Daily Use
The Clinique Unisex After Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe can prevent further skin peeling and also reduces sun damage. The aloe aids in soothing the sunburn while also having the skin be moisturized.
It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic so it’s perfect for daily use on any part of the body. It has a light fragrance that doesn’t overpower and can last for hours on the skin.
This skin peeling lotion could become your can’t-live-without since it’s the most handy of lotions. You can bring it with you everyday and it can also act as a sun moisturizer after being out in the sun.
- Alleviates dryness
- Instantly soothes
- Removes blemishes and peeling
- Suitable for all skin types
- Availability issues
TRISWIM Citrus Grapefruit Lotion
Best for the Water
The TRISWIM lotion is made for swimmers who often encounter harsh chlorine, bromine, minerals in hard water, and salt water. These can cause damage to the skin and leave a lingering odor.
The product is made to be used before swimming, but it can also hydrate and soothe sunburned skin. This is mainly due to the aloe and different ingredients like vitamin E that protect the skin from the effects of UV rays. It can create a barrier to prevent your skin from burns or damage.
Even if you aren’t a swimmer, you can still use this lotion to help with your skin peeling since it has all the required benefits to soothe the skin damage. Swimmers are also susceptible to sunburn so this skin peeling lotion can truly help with that as well.
- Prevents sun damage
- Boost in protection due to Vitamin E
- Good for dry and sensitive skin
- Product availability
Origins Modern Friction Nature's Gentle Dermabrasion
The “Dermabrasion” in Origins Modern Friction Nature Gentle Dermabrasion refers to how this skin peeling lotion exfoliates the skin. This feature, with the help of rice starch, can remove dull skin cells, and other signs of damaged skin like redness and discoloration.
The unique thing about this product is that it doesn’t cause irritated skin!
To further brighten the skin, it also has lemon oil and aloe vera. Other than these, it also has the required soothing and hydrating properties you need in a skin peeling lotion. The goal of this lotion is to keep the skin looking like it has a natural glow once the skin peeling has stopped.
- Reduces flaking and peeling
- Natural botanical scent
- Returns the skin’s natural glow
- Improved skin tone
- Good for any type of skin
Your Guide to Buying the Right Lotion for Sunburns
#1 What causes skin peeling apart from sunburns?
When your skin is too dry, the cell ages prematurely which can lead to skin peeling. You can observe this during wintertime or when you don’t take in enough fluids.
This is why the moisturizing properties of lotions are so important in healing peeling skin. It would also help if you drink liquid or foods that are high in H2O content.
That said, avoid products that leave your skin feeling tight and dry. This means that they dry out your skin too much and you could end up damaging your skin barrier.
Another common cause is allergic reaction. Allergies can appear in the form of skin redness and flaking. It’s similar to the dry, flaky skin you get from sunburns or spray tans.
Allergies tend to be difficult to spot but when you do, it’s always better to consult with a dermatologist to check the real cause.
If the results show that your allergies can be treated with lotion, then you can use the different lotions we’ve listed above.
There are many other skin conditions that could be the cause of skin peeling like an immune system disorder. Psoriasis and eczema are some of the usual suspects. People who have these conditions should consult their dermatologists first for the right products or lotions to use.
Still, the general guidelines of drinking enough H2O and keeping the body hydrated can apply to this situation. And so, despite the different causes, the symptoms of peeling skin can be handled similarly.
Good products in this case include the Deluvia Face & Body Miracle Aloe Vera Cream which is formulated for this purpose.
#2 How do you choose a good lotion for skin peeling?
The most important aspects of lotions include their capacity to hydrate, replenish, rejuvenate, and revitalize the skin by renewing the skin cells. You can observe this by seeing how well lotions can start the skin peeling to reveal the newly formed skin underneath.
While you can always use our best lotions list, you can further determine whether a lotion can fulfill your needs by checking the ingredients list.
Look for moisturizing ingredients such as the ever-present aloe vera and shea butter. Aloe and shea butter are the most popular choices and you would usually find them featured on the bottles or packaging of the lotions.
BEAUTY TIP: We even made a list of the best shea butter lotions if you’re interested!
It is also recommended to apply the lotion while the skin is damp. You also want the lotion to be able to rejuvenate your skin.
Your skin is working hard to create new skin to replace the ones peeling off, so if the lotion has ingredients that promote the cell’s recovery, then they’re a great choice. You can also check if they have nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, calendula extract, and sunflower seed oil.
For worse cases of skin peeling, the pain can be hard to bear. Lotions that have menthol or a cooling effect can soothe the discomfort. Typically, aloe vera and tea tree oil also function to soothe so if you’re looking for extra-strength cooling, the Hampton Sun Hydrating Mist is your pick for a quick cool down.
The Origins Dermabrasion offers exfoliation of the skin to improve the skin’s texture as it peels. Some may think it could cause irritated skin, but the product has proven to be gentle enough for even the most sensitive skins types.
Your skin requires a lot of care, so once the more urgent issues have been taken care of, you can check out the other benefits you can get from these lotions. Some products have skin-preserving properties or have special uses like the TRISWIM lotion for swimmers.
#3 Can I just use petroleum-based balms?
You may have heard of Vaseline as a treatment for burns. While the product states that it can be used for such, this only applies to minor sunburns. But if you are heavily sunburned, do not use it since it can irritate your skin.
This is because Vaseline is an oil-based product. It only works for minor burns because of its moisturizing properties. But for a bad case of sunburn, your safest bet are special after-sun lotions like the ones listed above.
Vaseline is different from a moisturizer. It has no inherent skin moisturizing properties. Your sunburned skin needs a stronger hydration to stimulate the healing of the skin. And while that happens, you will find yourself applying the lotion very often, so an oil-based product will only bring more harm than good.
Moreover, your skin can’t absorb petroleum and oil-based skincare products as quickly as lotions. This is a problem when your skin is in need of alleviation from sun burns. This oil-based product also tends to be thick and acts more like a barrier that seals the moisture of your skin and does not do much else for your burns.
To sum it up, Vaseline or other gel-like products can be good for small or temporary dry skin conditions, but it is not recommended for peeling skin.
Lotions can better target the underlying issues and speed up the healing process.
#4 What is the right way to apply lotion to sunburned skin?
Applying lotion on sunburned skin isn’t as straightforward as just putting it all over your burned skin. There are a few measures to take note of so that your skin can heal properly and quickly.
- Clean your skin as thoroughly as you can. Any product you place on your skin will seal in any dirt so make sure to remove any sign of them.
- Apply the lotion on the burned skin.
- Keep massaging the lotion onto the skin. You want the lotion to be fully absorbed and not wiped away later.
- Once dry, reapply the lotion after around 10-15 minutes.
- Repeat the process until you’ve applied three layers of lotion. This should help place as much of the product into the skin and also create a protective barrier for the skin, too.
- Apply three layers of lotion on your skin every day for around a week.
- You will then notice the skin will start to peel after five to seven days.
- Don’t try to peel the skin yourself. You want it to be removed as naturally as possible when the new skin is ready.
- At the end of the process, you’ll have new skin that replaces the sunburn. It can feel a bit itchy but refrain from scratching since the skin will be tender.
Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Lotion hits the sweet spot when it comes to helping with peeling skin. It’s not too pricey, yet it can help with almost all issues that you probably have.
The addition of coconut oil for a conditioning effect on the skin helps keep the moisture for a long while as the skin is soothed as well.
The runner-up is our more luxurious entry, Hawaiian Tropic Silk Moisturizing Sun Care After Sun Lotion. Think, getting the treatment for your sunburn while also being in the spa. The fragrant scent helps soothe not only the skin but your other senses as well.
This lotion is also a noteworthy alternative to aloe since it uses shea butter and silk proteins as opposed to the former’s main ingredients.
While it’s the pricier choice, the Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Lotion gives you your money’s worth with whole day coverage.
Now that we’ve gone through the different lotions for peeling skin, you know that there are alternatives to the typical short-term home remedies. When sunburned, your sensitive skin requires the appropriate skin care like lotions with soothing ingredients like aloe and sunflower seed oil.
Keep in mind the most important aspects of a lotion for skin peeling. It has to provide hydration while also rejuvenating the skin cells. Each lotion also contains their own unique benefits and ingredients that you may prefer depending on your needs.
FINAL TIP: For more lotion options, you can check out our article on the Best Nourishing Lotions for Crepey Skin.
August 16, 2021 – Updated product descriptions, improved article formatting, reviewed and updated overall content
July 19, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links