Back to All Posts

How To Use CBD For Aftersun Care

Share this post

While spending time in the sunshine has massive benefits on our mood, mental alertness, and vitamin D production, too much exposure can inflict a lot of damage on our skin. Adequate sun protection is a must if you expect to spend an extended amount of time soaking in the rays.

Even with good sun protection, sometimes sunburns still happen. More than just feeling red, hot, and extremely uncomfortable, ultraviolet radiation from the sun can leave long-lasting damage, like signs of premature aging, sunburns, and even increase one's chance of developing skin cancer.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a hemp-derived extract that has become wildly popular as a health supplement, but it may also have some promising advantages for supporting skin health.

In this article, we'll explore the potential benefits of CBD for aftersun care and how to shop for quality CBD products for taking care of your skin after basking in the sun.


How To Effectively Use CBD After-Sun Products

Quick tips for using CBD-infused sun care products:

  • When you've experienced a sunburn, it's best to stay out of the sun and use CBD-infused lotions right away
  • Shop for full-spectrum and high potency CBD topical products
  • Read the whole ingredient list and patch test before applying it to a large area
  • Read the certificate of analysis to verify the CBD extract quality
  • Always apply the lotions and creams to clean, dry skin
  • Stay hydrated and avoid direct exposure to the sun for some time to allow for healing

1. Full Spectrum & High Potency CBD

CBD isn't the only active ingredient from hemp. Full spectrum and broad spectrum hemp extracts contain a diverse range of cannabinoids and terpenes to support CBD's effects through the entourage effect.

If you want more from your CBD-infused products for after sun care, make sure you're getting the whole benefits from the hemp plant with these additional compounds.

On top of this, topical CBD products are notorious for containing a dismal amount of CBD (because it's expensive), but companies still charge premium prices for it. It's important to verify the concentration of CBD in your product by referencing the Certificate of Analysis.

Experts recommend aiming for topicals with at least 5MG CBD per mL for the best results—the higher the strength the better. To make this calculation, take the total CBD content and divide it by the cream, rub, oil, or lotion volume.

2. Read The Whole Ingredients List For Aftersun Lotions

CBD is just one of many naturally-derived ingredients that may help to support discomfort from sunburns and the recovery process. A long list of other therapeutic compounds in aftersun care lotions is great for conditioning the skin and reducing inflammation.

You want to look for something more than just a CBD lotion but an aftersun formula.

Regular lotion formulas contain a heavy amount of oil to water ratio, which is excellent for forming a barrier on the skin for deep hydration, but it can trap the sensation of heat, making the burning pain last longer.

Aftersun lotion formulas are much lighter, which allows your skin to feel cooler while still adding protection, hydration, and calm inflammation.

Here's a shortlist of other active ingredients in aftersun lotions:

  • Jojoba oil: hydration
  • Aloe Vera: hydration, cooling sensation, and humectant
  • Glycerin: hydration, humectant
  • Green tea extract: antioxidant
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E): antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, minimizes scarring.

If you're applying after sun care products to your face, make sure the ingredients are non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging).

The skin on the face is much more delicate and thinner than the skin on your hands, arms, and legs. To avoid clogged pores and irritation, only apply aftersun skin care products designed for facial applications.

Beware Of Skincare Industry Dupes For CBD Topicals

The skincare industry has been quick to jump on the CBD trend—it's been shown to have impressive inflammatory support and antioxidant properties, and it's a naturally derived ingredient.

The tricky thing is that not all skincare companies do enough research into how effective CBD is needed to support skin health.

Most brands we've encountered online and at your local pharmacy contain a trace amount of CBD extract to market the product in the space—when in reality, it doesn't have much CBD in it to have any effects.

Shop with brands with a track record for quality CBD extracts—American farmed, organic, and that independently lab-tests its extracts for quality and potency.

If you're not familiar with a brand, look at trusted third-party review sites and forums to read other people's experience with the product and company—don't just take the company's review page for word as many brands have been found out to pay for fake reviews.

CBD is an expensive ingredient, and you want to make sure you're paying for the quality and not falling for the marketing gimmicks.

The Takeaway: Using CBD After Prolonged Sun Exposure

CBD-infused after sun products could help support skin irritation and discomfort caused by too much sun exposure.

While there is no over-the-counter or pharmaceutical CBD product approved by the FDA to treat, manage, or cure any skin condition, including sunburns.

There's a large amount of research supporting CBD's potential to support a normal inflammatory response and antioxidant properties, which may help to alleviate your burn, which is why you're seeing CBD in so many aftersun products.

To ensure you're getting your money's worth, always verify the CBD content, safety, and patch test the lotion on a small area on your skin before applying it to the affected area to ensure you're not allergic to the ingredients.


  1. Beaty, R. E., Benedek, M., Wilkins, R. W., Jauk, E., Fink, A., Silvia, P. J., Hodges, D. A., Koschutnig, K., & Neubauer, A. C. (2014). Creativity and the default network: A functional connectivity analysis of the creative brain at rest. Neuropsychologia, 64, 92–98.
  2. Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain (London, England), 20(6), 936–948.
  3. Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349.
  4. Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 13, 927–942.

Interested in Learning More?

Get in Touch with a Product Specialist

Contact us