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Treating sunburns with aloe fresh from the leaf
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.
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 in my allotment.
As so many half-hour sessions turn out I actually stayed for hours and was paying for it last night when I got home. Fortunately I have several Aloe Vera plants so by the time I went to sleep my back felt much better.
Peel the entire side of an aloe leaf
The juices inside the leaves of Aloe Vera are both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. When applied onto mild burns, it can soothe and heal the skin very quickly as you can see from the photos of my burn from last night and this morning.
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.
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 but please always wear 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.
Aloe vera makes a great 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 babies as you can see in the photo above so you can spread the natural healing by giving these little plants to friends.
Aloe prefers full sun and free-draining potting soil 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.