Aloe Vera For Soothing Sunburns And Irritation


When the summer sun seems too irresistible, and you find yourself lounging by the pool or the beach, there's a notorious party crasher you'll want to avoid - the infamous sunburn. Picture this: your skin turned lobster-red, and every touch feels like you're being poked with a thousand needles - ouch!

Luckily, Mother Nature has gifted us a magical plant that comes to our rescue - Aloe Vera! This green miracle worker is a master at soothing that hot, angry, sun-kissed skin.

Aloe vera has been traditionally used as a medicinal plant in several cultures. Countries such as India, Mexico, Japan, and China have used aloe vera for a number of natural treatments for centuries. The aloe vera plant is not just known for its health benefits but also as a natural skincare source. Now the plant is widely being used in dermatology and cosmetology. You can find aloe vera infused creams, lotions, serums, etc. quite easily these days.

Let’s see what aloe vera is made of to understand its remarkable benefits. 

An article in Mount Sinai’s (New York) Health Library explains the content of aloe vera.

Slice open an Aloe Vera leaf, and you'll uncover its secret: a clear, gel-like substance that's a real-life elixir for your skin. 

Despite its many benefits what’s a surprising fact is that Aloe Vera is 99% water! But don't let that fool you. The remaining 1% is the real game changer. Packed within this small percentage are two crucial elements: glycoproteins and polysaccharides.

Think of glycoproteins as your skin's first responders. When your skin is in trouble - say, it's burnt or inflamed - glycoproteins race to the rescue. They help to alleviate pain and lessen swelling, providing instant relief.

Polysaccharides, on the other hand, are your skin's personal repair crew. These hardworking molecules stimulate skin growth and initiate the healing process. They're the silent heroes that help your skin recover and rejuvenate.

So, while at first glance Aloe Vera might seem like it's mostly water, that tiny, potent 1% packs a mighty punch. It's a dynamic duo of healing and rejuvenation that works tirelessly for the health and beauty of your skin.

In short, Aloe Vera is the underestimated superhero your skin needs. Whether you're looking to soothe burns, reduce inflammation, or just boost your skin's natural glow, this humble plant is ready to leap into action!

Now let's break down some of its fantastic features:

A prominent Journal of Dermatology has revealed some pretty cool things about Aloe Vera. One is that it may guard your skin against damage from radiation - think of those harmful rays from the sun. While the experts aren't entirely sure how it works, what they do know is that using Aloe Vera can help produce a protein that shields your skin from these rays.

Aloe Vera is also like the peacemaker in a playground scuffle, calming things down. It has a special ingredient called C-glucosyl chromone, an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce swelling and redness.

This plant encourages fibroblast, a type of cell, to produce collagen and elastin fibers. These fibers keep your skin elastic and youthful, preventing wrinkles. Plus, Aloe Vera also has a fantastic knack for bringing skin cells closer together, which softens your skin.

Not only that, but Aloe Vera is like a much-needed drink for your skin, quenching its thirst and helping it stay moisturized. In fact, it's so good at this that when workers wore gloves with Aloe Vera gel, they saw a decrease in skin dryness, wrinkles, and overall skin health improved. And for those struggling with acne, Aloe Vera can be a trusty ally. It's got an anti-acne effect that could help keep your skin clear and healthy.

So, to sum it up, Aloe Vera is a multi-talented superhero for your skin. Whether you're looking to protect against the sun, keep your skin looking young, stay moisturized, or combat acne, Aloe Vera has got you covered!

So how can you deploy this natural first-aid kit? 

When applying Aloe Vera on sunburn, you're spoilt for choice! Here's how you can use it:

There are three ways to use Aloe Vera for sunburns:

  • Straight from the leaf
  • Pre-packed gel
  • Balms, lotions, and sprays

  • If you have access to an Aloe Vera plant, you can use the gel or juice directly from the leaves. This is the best way to use aloe vera without burning a hole in your pocket. Experts recommend using 100% aloe vera gel for best results. 

    The next best option is to buy pre-packed gels available in stores. Try and find one with 100% aloe vera gel. If you can’t opt for the ones with the highest percentage of the gel. Keep the gel in the fridge to enhance its soothing effects.

    Lastly, if the gel is hard to come by go for after-sun sprays, rescue balms, and lotions. Again opt for products with the highest percentage of Aloe Vera.

    Instead of buying commercial products here are a few simple and effective DIY recipes for sunburns using aloe vera:

    1. Aloe Vera and Cucumber Mask:

    1 cucumber

    2 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel

    Cucumber is known for its cooling and hydrating effect combined with the soothing effect of aloe vera these two together will give your inflamed skin much needed relief. Blend a cucumber to form a paste. Mix in 2 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel. Apply this mask to the sunburnt area for 20 minutes and rinse off.

    1. Aloe and Coconut Oil Lotion:

    1/4 cup of aloe vera gel

    1/4 cup of coconut oil

    Blend together aloe vera gel and coconut oil to reach a lotion-like consistency. Apply the mixture to the sunburn. Coconut oil is a great moisturizer and will help with dryness followed by sunburn.

    1. Soothing Aloe Vera Bath:

    1 cup of fresh aloe vera gel

    1/4 cup of baking soda

    Warm bath water

    Blend aloe vera gel till you get a liquid. Draw a bath with warm water and add the liquid aloe vera and baking soda. Soak for 15-20 minutes. This bath can be soothing and provide relief over large areas of sunburned skin.

    Now that we know how to use aloe vera here are some myths and misconceptions you should be aware of:

    Myth 1: Aloe Vera is not a replacement for sunscreen. Use it as a post-treatment rather than to prevent sunburns. It is great for soothing skin but not meant to protect you against UV radiation.

    So always keep a good sunscreen handy when stepping out!

    Myth 2: Aloe Vera being a natural ingredient is safe to use on any type of skin condition but not all skin conditions benefit from aloe vera. For example, it should not be used on fungal infections and open wounds as that can worsen the condition due to its moist nature. Always consult a healthcare provider or dermatologist before using aloe vera for serious skin conditions.

    Myth 3: Drinking Aloe Vera juice daily has no side effects. However, due to its laxative properties consuming it daily or in large quantities may not be advisable for everyone. It can lead to abdominal cramps, and diarrhea, and can even affect the balance of your electrolytes. So be mindful of how much and how often you consume it.

    Myth 4: All parts of the Aloe Vera plant are beneficial. When you cut open an aloe leaf you will see a yellow substance just under the leaf and above the gel, it is called latex and can be harmful if ingested. It's a powerful laxative that can lead to serious health issues, including severe diarrhea and kidney problems if consumed in large quantities.

    Myth 5: As mentioned earlier, Aloe Vera can cure acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and can aid in reducing the inflammation associated with acne, but it’s not a cure. Use it as an additional tool in your acne treatment rather than the only treatment.

    There are also some potential side effects and risks of using Aloe Vera for treating sunburn:

    Unexpected Guests: Side Effects

    While applying Aloe Vera gel to your skin is typically harmless, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, it's a different story when it's consumed. Aloe Vera is a natural laxative and when consumed in large quantities can lead to abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or even worsening constipation. 

    Playing It Safe: Risks

    Even with its superstar status, Aloe Vera isn't for everyone. There's a small chance that you might be allergic to Aloe Vera or other ingredients in Aloe Vera-infused lotions or gels. If you have allergies to plants like garlic, onions, or tulips, you might be more likely to react to Aloe Vera. So before you use Aloe Vera, do a patch test. If your skin shows any symptoms like redness, itching, or swelling, Aloe Vera is not for you. Stop using it immediately.

    Conclusion:

    It is important to remember, aloe vera is just for minor sunburns. For severe sunburns, seek immediate medical attention. And, even in case of minor burns, make sure to perform a patch test on your skin to ensure you don't have an adverse reaction to any of these ingredients.

    Whether it's sourced from your backyard plant, bought as a gel, or found in lotions, Aloe Vera is a versatile and effective solution for sunburn but no substitute for sunscreens. Just remember to use a good sunscreen to protect your skin when you step out!


    To wrap it up, Aloe Vera can be a power player in your sunburn relief game. But, it's crucial to use it sensibly. After all, when it comes to skincare, it's better to be safe than sorry!


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