When you get too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun on your skin it causes the blood vessels to dilate. In turn, this triggers an inflammatory reaction with blisters, swelling, pain, and redness that we all know only too well as a sunburn. Your best defense against a sunburn is applying sunscreen lotion. However, if you forgot to reapply your sunscreen or you misjudged the strength of the sun, aloe vera can soothe your skin and help you recover.
How Does Aloe Vera Help?
Aloe vera's active compounds help reduce inflammation and pain and stimulate the growth and repair of skin. Not only does aloe vera hydrate the skin, it also provides a protective layer that helps hold in moisture. When aloe vera is chilled, the cooling sensation provides relief from the sting and pain of a sunburn.
Fresh Is Best
Like many other things in life, fresher is better when it comes to aloe vera and other botanicals. If possible, you should apply aloe vera to your sunburn directly from the plant for faster healing. If you have an aloe vera plant, cut off one leaf then use a knife to slice the edge and open it. Use a spoon to scoop out the natural aloe vera gel on the inside.
You can immediately apply this gel to the sunburn, or you can put the gel in the refrigerator for around 30 to 40 minutes for a nice cooling effect. If you don't have an aloe vera plant, look for gel in the store that has aloe vera listed as the first ingredient since this means it contains more aloe vera than anything else.
Make Your Own Aloe Vera Ice Cubes
Making your own aloe vera ice cubes is easy. Simply pour pure aloe vera gel into an ice-cube tray. Put this tray in the freezer and let it sit overnight. Then, if you accidentally end up with a sunburn, you'll have aloe vera ice cubes ready for use.
The aloe vera itself will help ease the burn and the coolness from the ice cube will offer some relief from the heat and pain. Aloe vera gel works better than aloe vera lotion because it contains water, which helps it freeze faster and it won't leave a greasy film on the skin after you use it.
How Often Should You Apply Aloe Vera?
You should try to apply aloe vera five to six times every day until your sunburn fades. After you've applied the gel to your skin and it has dried, you may notice that your skin feels sticky where it was put on. If so, you can wash it off with cool water. Also, it doesn't matter if you use the green or the clear aloe vera gel since both work equally well and both will go on the skin clear.
It's incredibly important to wear sunscreen so the sun can't damage your skin. However, if you're suffering from the painful side affects of a sunburn you can get some relief with aloe vera.