To really understand how to soothe and manage sunburn you have to understand what you just did to the largest organ we call the skin by staying out too long. Ultraviolet light causes oxidative damage to the skin cells just as rust accumulates on metal when left exposed to moisture. The damage is done by something called free radicals that get formed and begin to damage the DNA of cells. Some of these cells get so damaged they become appropriately called, “Sunburn cells.”
Given that free radical and oxidative damage cause the development of sunburn with the ensuing inflammation and pain the way to best manage it is to reduce the inflammation as quick as possible. We are in an era where the natural remedy is in demand. Essential oils are a few of my favorite things and I personally prefer sage pine constantly filling the environment I am in for spiritual reasons. For sunburn however you can use a few drops of lavender, sesame, chamomile, or peppermint oil diluted into coconut oil or aloe then applied to the skin.
Other natural oral remedies include polypodium leukotomus extract which is a South American sea fern and astaxanthin. Both of these oral supplements have a tremendous antioxidant capacity to reduce oxidative damage of ultraviolet light.
When it comes to brands and products over the counter I always turn to the personal budget. Whatever your budget allows go for it and give it a try to see what works for your skin.