Skin irritations and abrasions like cuts and sunburn are damaging and can be very painful. Fortunately, plants have a solution to ease the discomfort. Aloe vera (also known as aloe barbadensis) will cool and hydrate the skin, so you continue your day without wincing. Discover our guide for making a cooling topical gel from this caring, helpful plant.
Make your own
Cut a fresh aloe vera leaf from the plant and place it on a piece of kitchen paper on a wooden board. Wait about 3 minutes until the bitter, yellow aloin has dripped out of the leaf. Then cut off another wafer-thin slice, about 1 mm thick, from the end, to remove the very last aloin.
Cut a 2 cm thick section from the leaf, then cut the piece lengthways in the middle. Rub the exposed gel inside the leaf directly onto your skin, or scrape it out with a spoon and apply it with your fingers. You'll feel the cooling effects, and your skin will rehydrate more quickly. If you're using the gel to treat sunburn, don't forget to wear suncream with a strong SPF factor — recently sunburnt skin will be extra sensitive.