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Aloe Vera Sunburn Treatment

Updated on February 15, 2011

Aloe vera is well-known for its wide range of healing properties, and aloe vera sunburn remedies are especially popular. The plant has leaves that are filled with a clear gel, which is very rich in nutrients and other substances, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, polysaccharides, enzymes and much more. When applied to the skin, the gel can provide relief to a range of skin problems, including sunburn.

The aloe vera plant is renowned for its power as a natural skin healer that’s widely used for a variety of complaints. Aloe vera leaves are filled with a cool, clear gel, which contains a wide variety of nutrients and other beneficial chemicals, including enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and many more. The gel can be applied straight to the skin, or can be mixed with other ingredients to create creams, lotions etc, which are formulated to address various skin issues.

Sunburn is one of these, and aloe vera sunburn treatments can be very soothing. Let’s look at using aloe vera for sunburn in more detail.

How does aloe vera help with sunburn?

Aloe vera gel is very cooling – you can feel this effect instantly when it’s applied to the skin. This helps to alleviate that horrible overheating sensation that sunburn brings. The gel also contains natural anti-inflammatories, which may help to promote skin healing while reducing the pain, redness and swollen skin that sunburn often brings. It’s also useful for the later stages of sunburn, when the healing skin starts to itch and peel, as it can help to reduce the itching sensation and keep the skin moisturised.

As well as being applied to the skin, aloe vera can also be used internally. Most people take it in the form of aloe vera juice or capsules, and (provided you’re using a good quality product with high aloe levels), these can provide your body with a range of nutrients that help to create healthy skin from within, and give the immune system a boost, thus promoting healing.

How to use aloe vera for sunburn

Pure aloe vera is excellent for treating sunburn – use either aloe gel alone, or high quality products that contain it as a main ingredient.

The gel can be applied to the skin directly – you can buy pure aloe gel from health stores, some pharmacies, and of course online. You could also grow your own aloe plant, and extract the gel from an aloe leaf by slicing it lengthways and scooping the gel out. Just wash the sunburned skin gently with cool water, and then spread the gel over the affected area. If the sunburn is more severe, you might want to avoid any contact, and instead spray the area with aloe juice (or immerse the skin in it, if practical). Note that if you’re very badly burned, or your sunburn is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, you should seek medical help.

As well as pure gel, you could make use of the wide range of commercially produced sun products that contain aloe vera – these include sunblock, aftersun etc. You need to be careful here, because unfortunately a lot of companies have jumped on the natural health and aloe vera bandwagons, but their products are filled with potentially harmful ingredients and/or negligible amounts of aloe vera that are unlikely to have much effect. So if you’re using a premade product, look for those made from high quality ingredients with significant amounts of aloe.

So, in summary, aloe vera can be used to help with sunburn in the following ways:

  • Apply pure aloe vera gel (or juice) directly to the skin
  • Use high quality aloe vera creams and other skincare products
  • Take high quality aloe vera juice or capsules to help promote healthy skin from within and support the body in its healing processes

Remember that although aloe vera can be a great way to soothe the symptoms of sunburn, it’s far better to avoid the problem in the first place, so stay safe in the sun by limiting your exposure and using a high SPF sunblock that’s applied regularly.


This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, and you act on it at your own risk.


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