Have you ever spent an afternoon on the beach only to be left with a searing, stinging red reminder of that day? Sunburn, a radiation burn that results from overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, makes for a brutal end to a good day.
Enter aloe vera gel—a soothing ointment that’s been used since ancient times as a treatment for everything from skin disorders to epilepsy (1). You can buy it bottled, but the bright green stuff in the drug store is a far cry from the original plant. Besides, homemade aloe vera gel is extremely easy to make at home. If you’re lucky enough to have an aloe vera plant—a type of succulent—in your yard, you can chop leaves directly from the source. If not, many ethnic markets or natural markets carry the leaves for fairly cheap.
While aloe vera can be consumed to help with a variety of ailments, our focus today is treating the skin. Aloe vera gel has been shown to soothe the effects of overexposure to sun, and aloe vera helps generate an antioxidant protein in the skin—metallothionein—which then combats the effect of hydroxl radicals (2). It’s also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, moisturizing and anti-aging effects.
With aloe vera’s healing properties in mind, how do we boost the relief aloe vera provides after a long day in the sun? Freeze it. When your skin is radiating heat, counteract that burn with these refreshing aloe vera cubes. Be a super mom and have these stored in the freezer ready to go after your kids are outside all day, or just prep a batch the night before your morning hike. The cute, pineapple shaped ice cube molds are optional (you can get them on Amazon), but highly recommended.
Aloe Vera Ice Cubes
- Gel from 2 aloe vera leaves
- ½ cup water
- Cut off the white end of the aloe vera leaf as well as the spiked tip. Slice off the spiked sides of your aloe vera leaf. Using a vegetable peeler, strip off the top layer of the leaf. You’ll find a large “fillet” of aloe vera gel. Carefully remove the bottom side of the leaf with a knife, leaving the gel as if you were filleting a fish.
- In a blender, combine the gel with the water. Blend until gel and water come together into a liquid. Strain the liquid from the froth.
- Pour the liquid (discarding the froth) into your ice cube molds and freeze for at least three hours, until solid.
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