The 13 Best Aloe Gels and Lotions to Soothe Irritated Skin

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By now, we all know we’re supposed to wear SPF daily, whether it’s a beach day or not. But no matter how vigilant you may be, sunburns can still happen to the best of us. Maybe you missed a spot, or forgot to reapply. Either way, don’t beat yourself up—just find a way to find relief.

Now, we probably don’t need to tell you to apply some aloe on it. Known for its soothing and healing powers, this botanical has been used for centuries and ranks high on the ingredient list of after-sun products for a good reason.

But even if you’re not dealing with a sunburn, there are plenty of other reasons to love aloe-infused products. Aloe is gentle and works for all skin types—especially dry and sensitive. It’s also naturally hydrating and soothing, so it’s great in face masks, body mists, eye treatments and more. And the best part is there are amazing formulas at every price point.

Scroll down to find out which aloe vera gels and lotions we are loving right now.

Best Overall: Seven Minerals Aloe Vera Gel

Seven Minerals Aloe Vera Gel

Think of this as your first aid in a bottle. Made with organic, cold-pressed aloe vera and seaweed extract, the cooling formula soothes on contact, and does a great job minimizing redness and peeling (ugh, the worst). While many aloe vera gels have a sticky after-feel, this one doesn’t. It has a slippery texture that’s easy to apply, and it disappears as you rub it in.

Best Value: NaturSense Aloe Vera Gel

NaturSense Aloe Vera Gel

Maybe this isn’t the most ‘grammable bottle in the world, but it’s what’s inside that counts: 99.75% certified organic, cold-pressed aloe vera that’s naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins. In other words, this aloe gel is pure and gentle as an aloe gel can be. Besides soothing sunburns, it’s great for a bunch of other things, like razor burns, dandruff, eczema and more. As if all this weren’t enough—because it totally would be—it absorbs easily with a dry finish and is a bargain considering the size of the bottle.

Best Drugstore: Yes To Cucumbers Cooling Moisturizer

You know that old beauty hack of using a cold spoon to soothe tired, puffy eyes? Well, this drugstore pick takes that idea and applies it to the entire face. Here’s how it works: The lightweight moisturizer comes in a tube with a large rollerball applicator (it’s green, so cute). When you squeeze out the product and roll it over your face, the metal ball cools the skin on contact. And trust us, it feels way better than pressing a bunch of cold spoons on your face.

Now, onto the formula: The entire Yes to Cucumbers line is specially designed for sensitive skin, so no need to worry about irritation. Besides aloe vera, there’s shea butter and jojoba oil inside, both of which are super nourishing. It also has—you guessed it—cucumbers to soothe stressed skin. And oh, it smells just like fresh cucumbers, as you can imagine.

Best Face Gel: Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream

Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream

If an aloe gel and cream had a baby, it would be Korres Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream. Oil-free and great for all skin types, this ultra-comforting facial moisturizer combines aloe and probiotic-rich Greek yogurt to coddle prickly skin. It’s a smidge creamier than a gel and layers nicely under SPF and makeup.

Best Face Lotion: Mario Badescu Aloe Lotion

Mario Badescu Aloe Lotion

Mario Badescu is loved by derms and editors alike for its no-frills, super-effective formulas—and this one is no exception. Ideal for dry, sensitive or combo skin, this aloe lotion is actually a mild astringent but feels anything but drying on the skin. Formulated with aloe vera and a touch of alcohol, it gently removes excess oil, dirt and other impurities while re-balancing skin at the same time.

Best Body Gel: Sun Bum After Sun Cool Down Gel

As aloe gels go, this is an easy one to like. Enriched with antioxidant-rich vitamin E and tea tree leaf oil, it soothes and cools like nobody’s business, and you’ll forget you applied until you touch your arms and legs and feel how soft they are. While the label says it’s for after sun, you can apply it anytime you crave a little relief.

Best Face Mist: Herbivore Botanicals After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist

herbivore botanicals after sun spray

Made with only a handful of natural ingredients—all which you can pronounce—Herbivore After Sun Skin Soothing Aloe Mist keeps it simple yet effective, assuming you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up after a long day by the pool. Like a big gulp of water, it quenches thirsty skin with soothing aloe vera and therapeutic botanicals like lavender oil.  The spray comes out in a super-fine, even mist (not like a squirt gun) and feels particularly refreshing going on, thanks to spearmint oil.

Best Body Mist: Bare Republic Hydrating After-Sun Spray

Bare Republic Hydrating After-Sun Spray Mist

Nothing beats the convenience of a body lotion in a spray form. This aerosol mist from Bare Republic delivers a continuous, non-sticky mist, leaving skin soft and refreshed with a light tropical scent. You can spray your entire body and get to those hard-to-reach areas in like less than five Mississippi’s, plus it requires zero rubbing—perfect for when you’re in a rush (or just plain lazy). Besides aloe vera, it conditions with algae and seaweed extracts while chamomile and mint soothe.

Best K-Beauty: Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel

We’re obsessed with this aloe vera gel from K-Beauty brand Holika Holika not because of its cute aloe-shaped bottle (well, maybe a little) but what’s inside: fermented aloe pulp from South Korean’s Jeju Island and watermelon extract, which is super hydrating. While it doesn’t smell anything like juicy summer fruit, it feels just as refreshing when you apply it. You can use it all over but the unique jelly texture feels particularly amazing on the face.

Best Face Mask: Kiehl's Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask

Kiehl's Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque

Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque relieves dry, irritated skin with two standout ingredients: aloe vera and calendula. Together, this powerhouse duo delivers a cool burst of refreshing hydration while calming down any redness or itchiness you may have, all in just five minutes. When you scoop it out of the jar, it feels cooling and glides across the skin like a cushiony gel. It’s great for all skin types and can be used up to three times a week.

Best for Eyes: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Hydra-Gel Eye Patches

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Hydra-Gel Eye Patches

These cooling eye patches somehow feel like they just came out of the fridge—they’re that cooling—and stay cool even after the recommended 15 minutes of use. Each jar comes with 30 pairs of these green little patches, which are packed with aloe vera, cucumber extract, chamomile, and hyaluronic acid to tackle dryness and puffiness. Since it forms an occlusive layer between the skin and air, it seals all that good stuff deep into your skin.

Best for Scalp: Marc Anthony Hair & Scalp Detox Instant Cooling Scalp Treatment

Marc Anthony Hair & Scalp Detox Instant Cooling Scalp Treatment

Does your scalp feel tight or itchy? This cooling scalp treatment just hit shelves—and we’re in love already. Suitable for all skin and hair types, it contains aloe vera, witch hazel and a blend of tea tree, castor and peppermint oils, all of which work together to soothe and balance sensitive and irritated scalps. Like Yes To Cooling Moisturizer, it has a cooling metal roller ball applicator (this one has three mini balls, actually) that feels amazing when you roll it around. Use it pre-shampoo or as a leave-in treatment whenever you need an instant scalp refresh.

Best Splurge: Moroccanoil After-Sun Milk

Moroccanoil After-Sun Milk

Even fully SPF-ed skin can feel dry after a day in the sun. Enriched with antioxidant-rich argan oil and vitamin E, this luxurious milky lotion from editor-favorite Moroccanoil spreads like a dream and softens like a cream—you know, the kind that you scoop out with your fingers—without the heaviness. Thanks to a delicious blend of coconut and passion fruit oils, your arms and legs will smell like a tropical vacation.

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