Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Harvesting Aloe for Soothing Sunburns

source image courtesy of Design Sponge

It is sunburn season! No matter your natural skintone, you should wear sunscreen everyday, but should you find yourself with a burn, here is how you can use a common houseplant, aloe vera, to treat your burns. By treating your skin with aloe rather than drugstore solutions, you can easily avoid unnecessary chemicals, artificial fragrances, and save money!

If you have an aloe plant at home, follow these easy steps for harvesting your own aloe gel:

1. Using a knife, cut one leaf, while limiting damage to the plant. Slice close to the base of the leaf and away from the center of the plant.

2. Once you've cut the aloe leaf, rinse the outer skin in under cool water.

3. Remove the serrated edges of the leaf and skin. Aloe Vera leaves are slightly curved, so put the concave side down on a cutting board. Next, slice around the perimeter. This will leave  the top and bottom layer of skin, exposing the Aloe gel between. The top layer of skin comes off next. Run the knife just under the surface and peel it away. Now flip the leaf over and do the same on the other side.

4. Next squees the Aloe gel to a storage container - I prefer a glass bottle with a pump. Fresh Aloe gel will keep for about a week, but you can increase its shelf time by storing it in the fridge. If you wind up with more than you can use in that time, stick your leftovers in the freezer. It can be stored there for up to 8 months. HINT - mix with a bit of water and use ice cube trays to make sunburn soothing frozen cubes!

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