DIY After Sun Aloe Spray with Witch Hazel & Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm, Witch Hazel & Aloe After Sun Spray
This is a recipe you will turn to again and again to soothe sunburns or dry, inflamed skin after lots of sun exposure. It uses the healing power of aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis), known as “The Plant of Immortality” by Ancient Egyptians for its skin rejuvenative powers. If you have aloe plants in your home or garden, try making fresh gel from the leaves (see Note). Witch hazel (Hammamelis virginiana) is high in tannins that reduce swelling and discomfort. Lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis) is high in antioxidants and helps fight inflammation from sunburn. It makes a wonderful addition in an infused oil added to this formula for its skin soothing and healing properties, but Lavender, St. John’s Wort, Chamomile or Calendula infused oils would work wonders as well (see St. John’s Wort Solstice Oil post for infused oil directions). This spray is one you will want to keep on hand all summer long to spray on after long days in the sun.
½ cup aloe vera gel
1/2 cup witch hazel
¼ cup lemon balm infused oil or infused oil of choice
1 tsp vitamin E
10 drops lavender essential oil
Combine ingredients in a medium sized bowl and blend until creamy with a hand immersion blender. You can use a pitcher blender if you prefer.
Pour into an 8oz bottle with a fine mist sprayer. Store in the refrigerator and use within 6 months.
Shake well before use to disperse ingredients. Spray generously all other affected area and pat or massage gently with hands to help absorption. Reapply 2 to 3 times a day until area has healed.
How to Fillet Your Aloe Vera Leaves
Here is the process to fillet aloe vera leaves and turn them into aloe vera gel. This yields roughly ½ cup of fresh gel.
Cut 3 to4 large stalks of aloe close to the stalk with a sharp knife or scissors.
Place cut side of aloe down into a bowl letting the aloin (yellow sap substance) drain out into bowl for about 15 minutes. Sticky aloin isn’t toxic but it isn’t beneficial to skin.
Remove the leaf or leaves from the bowl. Place rounded side down on a cutting board. Cut a thin slice off where the aloin was dripping to remove excess with a sharp knife. Cut the tip off other side. Now cut a thin line on both sides of the aloe to remove the pointy edges, trying to make the slices as thin as possible.
Now you are ready to fillet out the inner section. Using a butter knife, cut at the widest part of the aloe as close to the skin as possible all the way to the end of the leaf.
Now slice under the gel trying to stay as close to the skin as possible. You will get a long slice of gel. If there is any gel remaining on leaf scoop it out and put it in a bowl along with the gel slice.
Repeat the process for additional leaves. Add all gel slices and pieces to the bowl.
Now using a regular blender or immersion blender, blend aloe until frothy. Your gel is now ready to use!