I made the mistake once of reading the ingredients on the back of the bottle of aloe vera I'd bought at Target. I was shocked to see it listed about a dozen unpronouncable chemicals! That bottle went immediately in the trash, and the next time I went shopping I bought myself an aloe vera plant.
Aloe plants can be found at almost any store that sells houseplants (you can even buy one on Amazon) They're easy to grow, and usually pretty inexpensive. I started with a tiny (maybe 3 inches tall?) plant, and within a year or so it was over a foot high, with nice thick leaves. I give it a good watering once a week, and otherwise leave it alone. It lives quite happily next to my bathtub.
But how to make that plant into something you can use to soothe your sunburn?
I initially tried to just cut off a leaf and squeeze out the gel. What I got was a goopy, slimy mess. Yuck! So I gave up on it for a while. Then, spurred on by too much sun on a beautiful weekend in July, I did a little more research.
The easiest way I found to use aloe is to cut off a nice, thick leaf and put it in the freezer. When it's fully frozen, I cut it into chunks and store it in a glass jar back in my freezer.
When I need it, I use a paring knife to cut away a bit of the green skin, exposing the frozen clear gel and leaving the rest of the skin as a "handle". I simply rub this over the burn (I love how it's so cold, since it's frozen! Feel so good on a sunburn!)
And that's all there is to it! Easy, once you know the trick (and boy am I glad I found that trick!)
This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS.