Tutorial: How to Use Aloe Vera to Treat a Sunburn


Go to your garden to treat sunburns! You know I had to throw that line in somewhere..

Aloe Vera is one of the most popular medicinal plants grown in gardens across the United States. It has a wide range of uses. One of its most common uses is to treat sunburns. Sunburns are common during the summer time in Southern California. Even when you apply sunscreen religiously, there can be a spot that is missed and that spot ends up getting burned. There are also certain types of people who have a tendency to burn much more easily than others.

I have 3 children; 2 brunettes and 1 red head. They can spend the same amount of time in the sun with the same level of UV protection, but my redhead will get a sunburn and the other two will be just fine. So I’ve become pretty well versed in using Aloe to treat her sunburns. As such, I get a lot of questions about how to use Aloe to treat the burns. I’m sure many of you out there already know. For those of you who don’t know, it is really easy. Here is a quick tutorial:

  • Cut off a leaf from the Aloe plant. From that leaf, cut off a piece and place it flat on a chopping board. You may store the remainder of the leaf in the refrigerator where it should keep for about 1 week or so.
  • Then slice off the prickly ends with a sharp knife. The Aloe should not be prickly on any side.

  • While the Aloe is still flat on your chopping board, take you knife and cut through the middle horizontally to expose the Aloe’s flesh & gel.

  • Take a piece of the Aloe and slather it on your sunburn generously. Let it dry on your skin. You do not need to wash it off until you shower. Reapply the next day as needed.
  • The not so fine print: I want to remind you its always best to consult a healthcare practitioner before trying something new. My family and I frequently go to a Naturopathic Doctor. As such, we use a lot of natural remedies. This post is meant to share my experience with you. There may be some people who are allergic to Aloe Vera. In such a case, the use of Aloe should be avoided.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to do this many times for my daughter. Fortunately, it has worked like a charm. Hopefully you will never get a sunburn. But if you do, its nice to have an Aloe plant growing in your yard or by a sunny window sill that you can go to for help.

I have read somewhere that the Aloe Vera plant’s medicinal properties are their best when  the plant is at least 3 years old. I wish I could remember where I read this so that I could establish whether or not the information was valid or not. But this has stuck in my mind so I always use leaves from my older plants.

Aloe is one of those plants that I love having around. I get a healing vibe just looking at it. I recommend it to everybody because of its many benefits. Do you grow Aloe? If so, do you harvest the leaves for anything special that you might want to share with us?

I’m sharing at:  Sunny Simple LifeFlamingo Toes,  Nifty Thrifty Things,  Under the Table Dreaming, Mosaic Monday, The ScoopWOW, Home and Garden Thursday


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  1. Nell Jean June 16, 2013  5:49 pm Reply

    Am I the only one who gets a rash from aloe juice or products containing aloe?

    • Nadia June 16, 2013  5:53 pm Reply

      A rash is a sign that you may be allergic to Aloe and I'm sure you are not the only one.

  2. Nelly June 17, 2013  10:01 pm Reply

    I love natural Aloe Vera! My first memory of it was during my summers in Colombia when I was 8 years old. My grandfather had a lot of potted Aloe Vera plants; he would use it for sore muscles, hair and skin. If you said you had a sore neck or shoulders he would massage you with the whole leaf, he just shaved off the prickly sides and one side of the outer skin and he would massage till the inside was pretty dry. It was very cooling and I'm sure the kids took advantage of his good nature. I've always used it periodically on my hair 20 minutes before a shower, same for my face, and of course for sunburns. Some of my cousins take the inside and stir it with warm water and drink it in the mornings on an empty stomach. I guess it's good for digestion too, I wouldn't be surprised!

  3. sian June 18, 2013  2:20 pm Reply

    I'm so pinning this. I love Aloe Vera and buy is as a organic gel. I was just thinking the other day that I should really buy the plant x

  4. The Sage Butterfly June 18, 2013  10:43 pm Reply

    This is how I use it as well. It really works, and I much prefer using something natural. Very nice post!

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