Aloe and Oil: After-Sun Care, or More?

Aloe← Previous Post: Gardening, Sun, and Sun Protection

Two weeks ago, as mentioned on this blog, I spent way too much time outside and earned myself a nice sunburn. Not wanting to apply medication which could further thin or sensitize my skin on my tender arms, and needing to treat my burns, I immediately made the decision to take a medication break, even though I had a bit of rashy irritation.

The common remedy for sunburn is aloe, and I happen to have an aloe plant sitting just below my TV. Aloe soothes, but moisturization is also important with sunburn. My usual moisturizer is a blend of hemp, oat, and apricot oils, but I didn’t want to apply that straight up. I applied copious amounts of aloe juice directly from the plant, waited a bit, applied more aloe, let it dry, then rubbed my arms down with oil. Surprisingly, I woke up the next day with supple (though still burned) skin, with no rash. I drank lots of water to help my skin rehydrate and heal.

All through the week, I rinsed off, then applied aloe juice from the plant, and then oil. My sunburn didn’t feel great the first few days, but it was healing. About five days after starting, I decided to try the commercial “pure” aloe gel juice in my fridge. I applied it to only one arm. The next day, my plant aloe arm had a tiny bit of irritation, while the entire bottom of my right arm itched. Obviously something (preservative?) in the commercial aloe juice or the degradation of the store-bought juice had altered its reactivity and effectiveness. I waited a day, applied medication for two days to clear up the rash, and then switched back to aloe and oil.

Two weeks later, the aloe and oil are still helping. My arms are mostly back to normal, but the aloe and oil combination seems to be soothing minor day-to-day irritation and blocking against new irritants gaining hold as well. I may need to buy a few more aloe plants – it’s certainly preferable to constant steroid use.

Have you tried this remedy to control day-to-day chemical allergy symptoms? How did it work for you? Have you found any other non-prescription means of controlling your skin reactions? Comment below.

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