Aloe Vera, with its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, is a good and easily available home remedy for sunburn. The success rates are debatable when it comes to clinical first- and second-degree burns. But in normal sunburn, it triggers the healing process, helping with the redness, blistering, and skin peeling.
How does aloe vera help sunburn
- Aloe vera helps retain the skin moisture by providing a layer over the burned surface.
- The glycoproteins in the herb, along with the anesthetic plant lidocaine, relieve the pain, redness and swelling.
- The polysaccharides in aloe fix the affected skin cells, aiding in forming new ones.
- Aloectin B helps the immune system to function better, thus reducing chances of infections.
6 ways to use aloe vera for sunburn relief
1. Using pure aloe vera gel
Extract some fresh aloe gel and apply thoroughly on the affected areas including the lips and scalp, leaving it until it’s completely absorbed by the skin. Repeat this method thrice every hour to reduce the blistering and skin peeling. Freezing the gel in the form of ice cubes cools down the burning sensation faster. This one is safe for babies as well.
2. Cucumber and aloe vera pack
Just chop up some pieces of cucumber and blend it with the luscious crust of aloe in a mixer. Apply the pack on the burned area and leave it for half an hour. Rinse it off and pat dry. Repeat frequently for faster results. Adding some yogurt in this mixture makes a useful mask for curing facial sunburn.
3. Aloe vera along with oils
It can also be used along with lavender oil as the latter has healing properties for burning as well. Take one spoon of aloe vera gel and mix it with five to six drops of lavender oil. You can also add helichrysum oil and water in this mixture. Apply and let it stay untouched for twenty minutes, wash off and pat dry. Inclusion of organic coconut oil in this pack makes it work better for sunburn.
4. Aloe vera wrap with turmeric powder
First off make some aloe vera pulp by blending an entire leaf without the skin. Then add an equal amount of turmeric powder to make a smooth paste. Apply on the burned skin. Wrap with a bandage and leave for fifteen minutes, followed by unwrapping and rinsing with cold water. Pat dry and repeat twice to thrice per day.
5. Aloe vera and apple cider vinegar with vitamin E oil
Take one-third teaspoon of aloe vera crust and blend with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Add on some vitamin E oil (extracted from 2 vitamin E tablets) and one teaspoon lavender oil. Shake well before use. Apply on the sunburn and leave it to dry at least for fifteen minutes. It can also be left for overnight. Wash off with water and pat dry.
6. Aloe with peppermint oil, baking soda and witch hazel
Take 1 tablespoon witch hazel with 1 teaspoon of aloe and blend them together with 2 tablespoonfuls of water. Keep the mixture for 3 hours. Whisk in one teaspoon of peppermint oil and three teaspoons of baking soda. Cool it down before using.
Drinking aloe vera juice regularly, in addition to using the natural remedies can further accelerate the healing process due to its skin regenerating and immune boosting properties.
Things to remember while using aloe for sunburn
- Generally, it is advisable to test whether your skin is allergic to aloe vera beforehand by performing a patch test.
- Consumption of this gel may arouse problems for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and toddlers. Hence, medical supervision is suggested before using the above treatments, especially if there is a chance of the aloe being ingested, like in case of sunburn on lips.
If you go for commercial aloe vera creams, sprays and moisturizers, then opt for the alcohol-free ones as alcohol may lead to itching. There are aloe vera baby oils that adults can use with bathing water to treat sunburn. Applying a moisturizing baby lotion containing aloe after a shower can also help.