Does using shaving cream to treat sunburn actually work?

Does shaving foam help to ease sunburn? [Photo: Getty]

Last weekend’s scorching weather has left a number of us suffering from sunburn.

While many will have resorted to slapping on after sun, others turned to the Internet for a solution to ease their pain and discomfort.

And that’s caused one home remedy to resurface and go viral.

Originally posted last year, one Facebook user shared her hack for soothing sunburn with shaving foam.

The remedy uses menthol shaving cream to “take the heat out” of burned skin.

She suggests slathering on the foam on affected areas, being careful not to rub it in. It is then left for 30 minutes before rinsing.

The whole process is repeated daily until the burn has healed.

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Since sharing, the home hack has been shared over 233K times, and received over 65K comments with many people singing the method’s praises.

But, does it actually work?

According to Dr Sonal Shah, NHS GP and lifestyle medicine expert, the first thing to stress is that people should take measures to avoid getting sunburnt in the first place by ensuring they use adequate suncream or avoid being in the direct sun, as this can damage the skin and lead to skin cancer.

“The reason some people find that shaving foam can help sunburn is because it contains menthol and when menthol touches the skin it provides a cooling effect,” explains Dr Shah.

“However it is not a remedy that I would recommend, mainly because it could put you at risk of infection.”

Instead, if you do get burnt Dr Shah recommends following these simple steps:

  • Try to cool down the skin with cold compresses or cold flannels, be careful not to apply ice directly to the skin.

  • Apply after sun or aloe vera gel to the skin to help soothe it, a good tip is to leave after sun cream in the fridge, so when applied to the skin it can soothe any discomfort.

  • Buy treatments over the counter that contain silver sulphadiazine which can help with burns.

  • Take paracetamol, ibuprofen or antihistamine to stop the pain and itching may help.

  • Avoid picking or bursting blisters, as this may expose the area and lead to infection.

  • Keep the area clean and dry, and wear loose fitting clothing to avoid things rubbing over the area.

  • Avoid things like vaseline or toothpaste.

Dr Shah says the symptoms should improve in a few days, but if the area remains red, tender or appears wet and infected she suggests consult your doctor or pharmacist for more advice.