Having an aloe vera plant at home allows you to have instant access to aloe vera’s many medicinal, healing properties, which comes in very handy if you find yourself, or one of your family members with a sunburn.
Just about everyone has probably experienced the painful redness, and even blistering, followed by peeling, that come with a sunburn. Not only is it uncomfortable, but being overexposed to the sun’s rays can lead to more serious skin issues too, including dark or age spots, freckles, chronic dryness, scarring, wrinkles, or even skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined, and about 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers have been linked to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. While it’s best to prevent a sunburn from occurring in the first place, sometimes, despite your well-intentioned efforts, that familiar red, painful burn has scorched your skin.
That’s why it’s important to immediately treat a sunburn should it happen, with the best remedy available, and surprisingly, although aloe vera isn’t expensive, nor does it require a prescription, it’s one of the most effective treatments there is. The healing power of plants is undeniable, especially when something as simple as an aloe vera plant can provide great relief to something so painful.
Why Aloe Vera Is So Effective
Aloe vera is considered to be the most biologically active of the Aloe species, with over 75 potentially active components that have been identified within the plant, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lignin, salicylic acids and more.
Aloe gel is the clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the aloe plant leaf. It offers protective effects against burns as well as helping to heal all types of burns, including a sunburn, faster by preventing UV-induced suppression. It was even approved for use as an over-the-counter medication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration back in 1959.
The gel contains glycoproteins that can relieve pain and inflammation while reducing swelling, as well as polysaccharides that help repair damaged skin cells and trigger new ones to form. Aloe vera gel even contains lidocaine, a well-known ingredient for relieving pain. It also helps to form a protective layer over burned, peeling skin, while hydrating it and holding that moisture in. The hormones auxins and gibberellins are present in it as well, aiding in healing while also providing anti-inflammatory properties.
How To Use Aloe Vera Gel To Treat Sunburn
You can use aloe vera gel on its own, or combine it with other natural ingredients like essential oils that are also known to support skin health and repair damaged skin. Here’s how to do it.
1. Pure aloe vera gel
If you don’t have access to an aloe vera plant, many health food stores offer fresh aloe vera leaves in their produce section. Alternatively, you can purchase ready-made 100% pure aloe vera gel online. Of course having one at home will help you treat your sunburn, and potentially other wounds or burns, much quicker. First, wash off any dirt that’s on the leaves and dry them, then peel the skin off of each leaf. If they bother you, you can cut off any of the outer thorns first using a knife. Use a spoon to scrape out the gel from the leaf and then use your fingertips to gently apply it to sunburned areas. You can also just take the leaf and use the gel that’s exposed to rub it directly onto the burn. Allow it to remain on your skin until it’s completed dried and absorbed. There’s no need to rinse, but if your skin feels sticky, once it’s dried you can rinse it off with cool water. Apply it to your sunburn two to three times each day until it has healed.
2. Extra-moisturizing aloe vera sunburn gel
This amazing recipe uses the healing, soothing properties of aloe vera with coconut oil’s super moisturizing abilities, as well as lavender essential oil, which is known to reduce redness and the sting of a sunburn. Its antimicrobial properties help to speed healing even further, and its wonderful aroma disguises the smell of aloe vera, which some people don’t care for, although it isn’t very strong.
Follow the method above to get the aloe vera gel, but instead of placing it directly onto your sunburn, put it into a container. Add about two tablespoons of coconut oil and three drops of lavender essential oil. Blend the oils and aloe vera gel in a food processor, or use a fork and beat thoroughly. Now apply the mixture to your sunburn – don’t rinse. Apply again for a total of two to three times daily. Store it in a lidded container in the refrigerator – just keep in mind that as the coconut oil hardens when it cools, you’ll likely need to mix it up again before re-applying.
3. Aloe vera sunburn spray
This aloe vera sunburn spray is easy to make at home and it’s an incredibly soothing, healing remedy for a sunburn. It contains aloe vera, coconut oil, and lavender essential oil, as well as peppermint essential oil, which is known for further soothing pain and inflammation. To make it, you’ll need to make aloe vera juice first, but it’s very simple. Follow the method described earlier, scraping off a total of two tablespoons of aloe vera gel. Put it into a blender and add enough water to bring it to a total of a half-cup. Blend on a low setting for three minutes. Now it’s ready to use in the following recipe.
- 1/2 cup aloe vera juice
- 1/8 cup coconut oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1 glass spray bottle
- Add 2 inches of water to a pot over medium heat on the stove.
- In a jar, combine the aloe vera juice and coconut oil. Now place the jar into the pot and stir, allowing the mixture to liquify before combining.
- Once it has liquified and is well-combined, remove the jar from the pot and add essential oils. Mix well.
- Pour the mixture into your spray bottle and spray onto affected areas. Keep it stored in a cool place.