This past weekend, I went on an impromptu trip to Flagstaff to escape from unbearably hot Phoenix. It was so refreshing to get out of the heat; I spent nearly the entire weekend outside near a lake. Since my trip was last minute, in my haste to pack, I completely forgot to bring sunscreen. I tend not to get sunburned easily so I figured it would be ok. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Even though Flagstaff weather is usually 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix, it is also 6000 feet closer to the sun. That 6000 feet really makes a difference.
By the end of the weekend, my arms and the back of my neck were a nice shade of red. When I came home, my skin HURT. I put together this soothing, healing spray to provide some relief, but I also drank a ton of water to rehydrate. If this happens to you, make sure you also drink a ton of water.
The spray immediately reduced the pain, thank goodness. The next morning, you could hardly tell that I had been sunburned.
Here is what I made:
First, I made a strong cup of Moroccan Rose Mint green tea, and let it cool to room temperature. If you don't have any of this tea on hand, some fresh or dried mint leaves or rose petals would make an excellent substitute.
While the tea was cooling, I took a 6 inch piece of fresh aloe and cut it into cubes, and put the aloe and the tea into a blender. (If you don't have fresh aloe growing, you can use store bought aloe vera gel.) Blend the mixture thin enough to be used in a spray bottle, if you have one. If you don't have a bottle handy, add more aloe to make it into a thick jelly that you can apply by hand. I also added 4 drops of peppermint essential oil and 10 drops of lavender essential oil, and placed the mixture in the refrigerator.
When it was cold I sprayed it on, and, OMG, I breathed an instant sigh of relief. Here is why this blend works so well:
- Peppermint is a mild analgesic and it instantly killed the pain.
- The lavender essential oil is very soothing and anti-inflammatory.
- The aloe helps to moisturize the skin and is also very cooling, soothing, and anti-inflammatory.
- All of the ingredients are antibacterial.
- These ingredients combined with the antioxidants from the green tea helped my skin to recover very quickly.
I reapplied the mixture every few hours, which helped me get through the day.
The next morning, I couldn't even tell that I had been sunburned. Wow. I had read about using these different ingredients to heal a sunburn, but because I never really burn, I never got to put it to the test. Once again, I am awed and impressed by the power of plants.
I still have some of this mixture in my refrigerator, and give myself a spritz after being outside. I learned my lesson, though and will definitely be carrying sunscreen wherever I travel.