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By Real Simple
Updated July 18, 2014
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Woman with mature skin
Credit: Ericka McConnell

The hallmark of a perfect summer day—warm sunshine—is also the source of one of its most common menaces: sunburn. It’s best to avoid sunburn altogether by regularly slathering on sunscreen, as there’s no way to reverse sun damage once it’s done.

But if you end up red and peeling despite your best intentions, you can ease the pain and discomfort: Doctors often suggest hydrocortisone cream and cold compresses to soothe skin. For more serious burns, you can take an anti-inflammatory drug, like aspirin or ibuprofen. Some studies have shown that aloe vera gel (made from the leaves of the cactus-like aloe plant) can aid healing of minor burns, and the American Academy of Dermatology recommends it for sunburns.

If you find yourself burnt this summer and without aloe vera on hand, try one of these doctor-approved natural remedies to soothe your skin.