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Noxzema is a skin care brand owned by Unilever. The brand has offered a range of facial cleansers for more than 100 years, and currently produces cream cleansers, pads, and scrubs.

One of Noxzema’s most popular products is its Original Cleansing Cream, a type of cold cream. Cold creams are thick creams made of water and oil that are used to remove makeup and soften the skin.

Cold creams create a cooling sensation on your skin, which is where they get their name from.

According to anecdotal reports, cold creams can help soothe a sunburn and its symptoms, including burning and itching. Some people use Noxzema’s Original Cleansing Cream for this purpose.

But even though the product may help, there are certain things to keep in mind. Read on to learn more about potential side effects, how to use Noxzema for sunburn, and other options for soothing sunburn.

Historically, people used cold creams for sunburns because they feel cool on the skin. The sensation can offer some relief by easing burning and stinging. Today, people still use cold creams in this way.

In addition to its cooling sensation, Noxzema’s cold cream has ingredients that may help sunburns. This includes:

  • Soybean oil. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, a moisturizer with soy can help relieve sunburns.
  • Menthol. Menthol is the main component in peppermint oil. It has pain relieving properties that may reduce sunburn pain.
  • Camphor. Camphor also has an anesthetic effect when applied to the skin, which might ease a sunburn.

But despite these ingredients, Noxzema’s cold cream may not be the best choice for sunburns.

Possible complications

On Noxzema’s FAQ page, the company states that it hasn’t tested the product for this purpose. It suggests using it as a facial cleanser that’s washed off after using it.

Plus, if you have sensitive skin or your sunburn is severe, the product might do more harm than good. Menthol and camphor can irritate the skin.

Noxzema also contains potentially irritating fragrances, such as:

  • eucalyptus oil
  • clove oil
  • cinnamal (from cinnamon)
  • limonene (from citrus peel)

Some people find that the oils in cold cream clog their pores and cause acne.

Due to these risks, it might be best to use other treatments, like fragrance-free home remedies. Oral anti-inflammatories like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cool compresses, or topical anti-inflammatory like 1 percent hydrocortisone could also be helpful.

If you’d like to use Noxzema for sunburn, you have several options.

Cooling cleanser

  1. Wash and dry your hands.
  2. Apply a thick layer of cold cream on your sunburn.
  3. Leave it on for 5 minutes. You’ll feel a cooling, tingling sensation on your skin.
  4. Wash off the cleanser with cool water.
  5. Apply a gentle moisturizer.

Leave-on moisturizer

  1. Wash and dry your hands.
  2. Apply the cold cream on your sunburn.
  3. Try not to wear clothing on the affected area. You also might want to cover your bed, chair, or sofa with a towel before sitting.
  4. Reapply the cream every few hours as needed.

Keep in mind that cold creams are meant to be washed off. Avoid using Noxzema as a leave-on moisturizer if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Since Noxzema isn’t meant to be a sunburn treatment, you may want to use other options. Effective remedies include:

Cool baths or showers

A cool bath or shower is a simple, inexpensive way to relieve a sunburn. You can add 2 ounces of baking soda to the tub for extra relief.

After you’re done, carefully pat yourself dry to avoid irritation. Finish with a moisturizer to reduce dryness.

Fragrance-free moisturizer

As your sunburn heals, it’s important to hydrate your skin. This will help minimize stinging and dryness.

It’s recommended to use a fragrance-free moisturizer with aloe vera or calamine lotion.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is an all-natural home remedy for sunburns. It has a gentle, cooling effect on the skin.

For best results, use pure aloe vera gel. The bottle should list “aloe vera gel” as the only ingredient. You can also buy fresh aloe leaves from the grocery store and remove the gel.

Many people place the gel in the refrigerator for an extra cooling sensation.

Hydrocortisone cream

If you have a mild to moderate sunburn, use hydrocortisone cream to reduce discomfort. Hydrocortisone cream is available over the counter.

Over-the-counter pain reliever

Over-the-counter pain medications can help ease pain caused by sunburns. Examples of these NSAIDs include:

You can also try topical pain relievers in gel form.


People with certain medical conditions should avoid using NSAIDs. NSAIDs should also be taken with food to avoid an upset stomach.

In general, mild-to-moderate sunburns can be treated with home remedies.

If your sunburn doesn’t get better within a few days, see a doctor. You should also get medical help if you have the following symptoms:

  • severe swelling
  • blisters (especially on your face, hands, or genitals)
  • sunburn on a very large area of your body
  • pus, red streaks, or pain (signs of infection)
  • fever of higher than 103°F (39.44°C)
  • confusion
  • fainting
  • dehydration

These signs might indicate a more severe sunburn.

Find a doctor

If you need help finding a doctor, search for a primary care physician in your area using the Healthline Find Care tool.

Was this helpful?

Some people use Noxzema’s cold cream to treat the symptoms of sunburn. It has a cooling effect that may relieve itching and burning. The cream also contains menthol and camphor, which have pain-relieving properties.

But Noxzema cold cream isn’t formulated for sunburns. It also contains fragrances that may irritate the skin.

To be safe, use a fragrance-free treatment instead. Home remedies like aloe vera gel, fragrance-free moisturizer, and hydrocortisone cream are better options.