Anyone who’s had a sunburn knows how painful and annoying it can be. Thankfully, there’s a simple, natural remedy to that problem: aloe vera. It’s a remedy I swear by and will always recommend to others. On top of helping with sunburns, aloe vera has some other beneficial qualities, too. I’ve been so impressed with what this plant can do that I actually started growing my own!
Properties and Benefits
There are actually two parts of the aloe vera plant that are used for medical purposes. The first is the gel, which is found inside the plant. The second is the latex, which comes from just beneath the surface of the leaf skin. Most people use the gel to treat minor burns, but it’s also effective at relieving the discomfort of cold sores, psoriasis, and frostbite.
In addition, it’s used to treat rashes, inflammation, ulcers, and osteoarthritis. Aloe latex is used mainly as a remedy for constipation, but has proven useful at easing some effects of diabetes, asthma, and as a natural treatment for depression.
In addition to this impressive list of medical uses, the aloe plant is also packed full of other helpful properties, such as:
- Minerals: Chromium, copper, manganese, calcium, zinc, sodium, potassium and magnesium.
- Vitamins A, B12, C, and E
- Folic acid
Looking at all of these characteristics, it’s no wonder aloe vera is considered such a versatile natural remedy!
The 101 on how to Use the Plant Effectively for Sunburn
Aloe vera is no doubt a low maintenance plant. All you need is some sun and water to help maintain the livelihood of the plant. When needed, such as when you have sunburn, skin is peeling off from the UV rays, you can just use the gel from the aloe vera plant to aid with healing. Below are the steps you can follow if it’s your first time.
1) Wash the dirt off the leaves of the plant
2) Peel the skin off the leaves
3) The leaves have thorns on the side, so it’s better to cut the thorns using a knife
4) Inside of the leaf contains the aloe vera gel; just scoop it out using a plastic spoon or any kind of spoon
5) Apply on the area affected
6) You may also add a couple drops of essential oil such as lavender oil for the aroma and the antimicrobial properties to speed up healing. Just mix it directly to the gel.
While I wait for the gel to dry, I always go for a cup of ginger tea to help ease my pain.
It’s extremely easy and an economical way to use the aloe vera plant. If you do not have an aloe vera plant at home, you can always go to the store to purchase the products below. They are just as good as getting the gel from the plant.
Aloe Vera Products
There are a lot of aloe vera products out there meant to treat minor burns and skin irritations. Unfortunately, not all of them work the way they should. Some are made from aloe powder, which actually makes them less potent at soothing burns, rashes, and other types of skin disturbances. The most effective products are the ones made out of pure aloe vera extract, gel, and latex. I’ve tried quite a few, and I’ve listed the ones I found worked best:
- Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel – This is one of the only products where the gel looks just like it does inside the plant. I found that putting the bottle in the fridge to chill made the gel feel even more soothing when applying it to a burn or rash. You can also mix it with your favorite lotion or coconut oil for an amazing tingly experience. Highly recommended!
- NaturSense Organic Aloe Vera Gel – This wasn’t just my go to when I got a sunburn – I also used this product a lot whenever I got razor burn on my legs. It provided immediate relief every time. What’s more, it absorbed quickly and didn’t leave behind a sticky residue. It’s cold pressed and charcoal filtered, making it about as pure as you can get.
- Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel – I used this on a nasty sunburn I got last summer. The pain went away immediately, and the redness faded a couple of hours after application. It’s absorbs into your skin pretty quickly and only leaves a mild, easily washable residue behind.
Easing Pain and Increased Healing
Aloe vera is one of those wonderful plants that can be used for a bunch of different remedies. There’s no disputing how effective it is on sunburns (particularly the plant itself taken pure). Add to that the fact that it’s useful in so many other ways and it just makes sense to make sure you always have some on hand.
Do you have any other products that can help with sunburn? Please leave us a comment below. Don’t forget to check out our related posts!