When you think summer, do you imagine fun days at the beach, family BBQ’s, and fruit popsicles? Or do you just think: lobster-red skin, buckets of natural sunscreen, and peeling like a snake? You’re not alone!
Health Effects of Sunburn Gels
Many of us deal with aggravating sunburns during hot times of the year, but unfortunately, a lot of the treatments that we use for them are actually introducing more issues than we bargained for!
This chemical is found in many popular sun burn gels, including Sun Burnt brand After-Sun Gel (which is marketed for its natural ingredients like echinacea, aloe, cantharis, and calendula). Despite of the wide use of sodium hydroxide, it’s actually known to be a skin and eye irritant! While you think you’re applying healthy ingredients to your skin, you’re actually exposing it to a toxic chemical.
Sodium hydroxide causes even more health problems. When inhaled, it can cause irritation throughout the respiratory tract, including lungs, throat, nose and mouth. This is especially concerning, since sodium hydroxide doesn’t have an odor.
This chemical, which is found in Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel and many other brands, is suspected be a human carcinogen (especially for bladder, liver, and testicular cancers). This chemical is also referred to as TEA in many products. TEA can also cause irritation in the respiratory tract when it’s inhaled daily for under a month. If you’re constantly applying these sun burn gels all summer, you’re increasing your risk of this irritation!
Natural Sunburn Salve
Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend all year indoors now. Nature has already provided a number of perfect solutions to speed up sunburn recovery. Here are the purest forms of healing that all the big brands are ripping off of.
Honey is well known to provide anti-microbial action which is an essential part of healing the skin from wounds and burns. Many people are surprised to hear that honey is even widely used in hospitals after medical operations to prevent infections naturally. Moreover, honey’s gooey nature helps to keep affected skin moisturized as it heals.
Coconut oil is another natural skin healer with anti-microbial properties. This trait helps skin to heal faster from an injury. Coconut oil has also been proven to be an anti-inflammatory agent when applied to the skin, which helps to relieve discomfort from sunburns (and other types of burns, for that matter). Not to mention, it acts as an analgesic, meaning it can reduce pain.
This is probably the most well-known natural burn remedy. Applying aloe vera speeds up your skin’s recovery from a wound. Aloe contains 8 different enzymes which are known to reduce inflammation when applied to the skin, and 2 different hormones that help speed up healing and reduce inflammation.
And that awesome cooling sensation? Aloe vera is yet another analgesic which works almost instantly on your itchy and sensitive (and very red) skin.
How to Make Your Own Sunburn Remedy
Interested in taking advantage of all three of these burn remedies? Lucky for you, we’ve got this totally simple homemade sunburn treatment recipe that includes all of the wonderful effects of honey, coconut oil, and aloe vera (and none of the added chemicals found in over the counter sunburn gels and ointments).
What You Need:
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera
What to Do:
- Use a hand mixer or a whisk to whip all 3 ingredients together, until smooth.
- Cleanse the burn area first (we recommend either apple cider vinegar).
- Then apply a small amount of your sunburn salve directly to the skin, and cover with gauze.
- Store the rest in an air-tight jar at room temperature.
- Feel free to make a big batch (twice, or even 4 times the size of these measurements) to prepare for the hot sun this summer!