Once a month, Heather from Tea With Me will be guest posting here on Show + Tell by focusing on a specific herb and showcasing their properties and medicinal uses. Not only do I love Heather’s photography and insight but her writing style draws me in every time! Enjoy and be sure to welcome Heather in the comment section!
Does anyone remember Excel’s Inferno gum commercials? I would always sing “Burn baby burn excel inferno!!” and K would correct me constantly. As we dive into summer, it’s inevitable that someone is going to get sunburned, especially when you are as fair as I am.
Known as Cleopatra’s beauty secret aloe vera is almost a mystical healing plant famously known for its capability to heal sunburns, but it also boosts immunity and has anti-inflammatory properties. Originally found in North Africa you can find your own little plant in most nurseries.
Would you be surprised if I told you aloe vera gel was clear? If not, why put a gel with green dye and perfumes on the largest organ you have? Not only does it have dye, but that green Banana Boat goop has SD Alcohol 40, Glycerin, polysorbate 2, and more. Making your own homemade aloe vera gel could not be any easier.
What You’ll Need:
- Aloe Vera Leaf
- Coconut Oil
- Vitamin E (optional)
- Cutting board
Since the amount of gel from a leaf can vary please use a 2:1 ratio between the aloe vera and coconut oil.
Note – A blender will make the lotion a lot smoother than smashing the aloe vera gel with a spoon or mortar and pestle.
Clean your hands and workspace thoroughly, you don’t want to have your homemade aloe vera salve contaminated. Choose a large succulent leaf from the base of the mother plant and slice off. Lay it down on the cutting board and slice the length of it without cutting all the way through.
In between the skin and the gel, there is a yellow residue; I find it helpful to let this drain. Once that is done peel back the edges and scoop out the gel with a spoon.
Add it to either a blender (if you wish to have it smoother) or mash it with a spoon and a bowl (or mortar and pestle). Mix in coconut oil and vitamin E, which is optional, and rub on to the burned area. If you have leftovers store in an airtight container in the fridge, aloe vera gel/salve always feels better cool on hot skin!
Coconut oil is a very effective moisturizer especially for dry skin. Like aloe vera, coconut has healing properties for skin problems such as eczema and others. If you will be using the entire amount right away feel free to skip the vitamin E. It helps preserve the salve a little longer in the fridge.