The Best Way to Use Aloe Vera for Sunburns

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Keep aloe vera as a houseplant for on the spot sunburn treatment. Includes tips on how to use aloe vera for sunburns such as how to peel a fresh leaf and before and after shots of an aloe treated sunburn.

How to use Aloe Vera to treat Sunburns

I do it every year. I forget how powerful the sun can be if you stay out in it for too long, especially at the beginning of summer. This year it happened after I thought I’d hit two birds with one stone while out working in the garden. I’d catch a base tan while I stayed out for only about half an hour and get some work done preparing for the growing year ahead.

As so many half-hour sessions turn out I actually stayed for hours and was paying for it last night. A deep red burn stretched across my back and the backs of my arms. Fortunately I have several aloe vera plants so by the time I went to sleep my back felt much better. This is how I use aloe vera for sunburns and tips on how to peel and use it fresh from the plant.

Use Fresh Aloe Vera for Sunburns

The juices inside the leaves of aloe vera are both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. When you apply it to mild burns, it can soothe and heal the skin very quickly. The photo below shows you my burn from yesterday and this morning. If I hadn’t smeared my burn with fresh aloe vera, it would still be as red.

How to use Aloe Vera to treat Sunburns
Peel the entire side of a leaf

To use fresh aloe, cut a large leaf from the plant and then peel back the outer skin on one side. Gently rub the leaf’s juice all over the burn. If the leaf seems to be drying up, peel back a little more of the exposed side and it will be wet again. You can store the leaf in the refrigerator to get even more of a cooling effect.

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How to use Aloe Vera to treat Sunburns
The sunburn one day after treating it with aloe vera

Sunburn after One Day

I’m still burned but it isn’t as painful as it was and my back isn’t as inflamed. Fortunately I did have sun protection on my front so it’s not both sides of me that are burned. There are some great natural sunblocks on the market such as this one from Beauty by Earth. No matter your skin type, use at least SPF 25 when you’re in the sun. Even higher sun protection may be needed for your face, chest, neck, and hands. These areas are more exposed to light than others and will burn and prematurely age quicker than other areas.

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How to grow and use Aloe Vera to treat Sunburns
Aloe vera is a fuss-free houseplant that sprouts babies easily

Aloe Vera as a Houseplant

Growing Aloe Vera is very easy too! They make excellent houseplants and only need watering about once a week. Aloe also sprouts loads of aloe vera pups so you can spread the natural healing by giving these little plants to friends. That’s actually how I got my first couple of plants well over a decade ago. Since then those small plants have grown huge and I’ve potted up their babies to pass on to other people.

Keep aloe vera as a houseplant for on the spot sunburn treatment. Includes tips on how to peel the leaf and before and after shots of an aloe treated sunburn #aloevera #sunburntreatment #herbalism

Aloe prefers full sun and succulent potting mix so make sure yours has perlite or grit in it. Only water the plant when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch – poke a finger in it if you’re unsure. Aloe is a type of African succulent and comes from an environment where it will be water stressed. It prefers to live the same way in your house.

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  1. Thank you for this helpful post. I have some large Aloe Vera growing in my garden, I might try grow some smaller ones in pots. I’ve popped some in The fridge for my sunburn.

  2. Emily Stone says:

    I remember when I went away last summer and I completely forgot to put on suncream and suffered from quite a similar burn, I was amazed at how well aloe helped.

  3. Ouch! Great advice tanya. Hope you heal quickly.