Did you know you can heal a sunburn faster and nourish your skin with your very own DIY after sun lotion?
When you use your own ingredients you know exactly what is going on the largest organ of your body…your skin!
You can pick and choose things that promote healing and cell turnover and leave out all the preservatives, dyes, and emulsifiers.
If you have ever suffered from a bad sunburn you know how miserable it can be! I use a few handy home remedies when someone in my family gets a sunburn, along with whipping up a batch of this homemade aftersun lotion!
I wanted to share the recipe with you today.
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You shouldn’t use only aloe vera for sunburn
The redness and swelling you get from a sunburn is actually an inflammatory response by the body from cellular damage after overexposure to UV radiation. (Wow, that was a mouthful!)
Inflammation is the body’s way of “cleaning up” the cells that are no longer working properly so they don’t become dangerous. (source)
That’s why we peel after a sunburn, to shed those damaged cells before they effect the surrounding cells.
Our real goal of after sun care is to protect the skin layer underneath your sunburn. You can’t do anything for that top layer since they are already toasted!
Have you ever held your hand on your sunburnt skin and just felt the heat radiating off?
Well you are losing a ton of moisture so one way to minimize the collateral damage is by sealing in the skin’s moisture and adding in antioxidants using topical creams.
A widely used remedy for sunburns is aloe vera gel for its strong antioxidant properties. However, you cannot use aloe vera alone because it’s mostly water. When applied topically, it evaporates quickly from the skin and you won’t absorb most of the medicinal properties.
You also need to mix it with something in that provides a barrier to keep in moisture. Shea butter is an excellent partner for aloe because it is nourishing and provides mild UV protection.
No matter what you put on your skin, you can’t heal a moderate or severe sunburn overnight, but it will certainly heal much faster with the right remedies.
Lucky for us, we will add those healing ingredients in our after sun lotion!
After Sun Lotion Ingredients
Shea butter has so many medicinal benefits for our skin. It is my absolute favorite base for almost all of the different creams and lotions I make for my family.
For example, shea butter is the base for my homemade stretch mark cream. I pretty much buy it in bulk whenever I can find it certified organic!
The cool part about shea butter is it’s naturally UV protective around SFP five. Although that isn’t much for a day on the beach, it’s perfect for a normal day when you don’t spend as much time outdoors.
Shea Butter is also high in the antioxidants and is very anti-inflammatory, which actually helps reduce the swelling from sunburns. (source)
Besides all these healing attributes, shea butter is luxurious! It makes such a creamy base for our DIY aftersun lotion.
Of course we have to include aloe vera in our after sun lotion because it is so nutrient dense that helps our skin heal faster from burns.
If you are lucky enough to have a plant in your house you can cut the leaves in half, scoop out the insides, and use the fresh gel in your lotion. If you aren’t a plant lady, check out this aloe vera gel. It is organic, nonGMO, and has no preservatives, dyes, or emulsifiers like other brands on the market.
Sweet Almond Oil
Besides smelling wonderful, we are using sweet almond oil for its Vitamin A and Vitamin E, both of which help to heal inflamed skin.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil is great for calming down the sting of a sunburn and gentle enough to be applied directly on top of damaged skin. Lavender is effective as a local anesthetic due to being high in linalool and linalyl acetate, so it will help reduce the pain of a severe sunburn. (source)
Helichrysum Essential Oil:
Our last ingredient for our after sun lotion includes helichrysum essential oil.
This oil is included in the recipe for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. (source)
People from the Mediterranean region (where the plant is abundant) have been using this oil for centuries for healing and now so will we!
How to Make After Sun Lotion
Gather up all your ingredients. You can find them at a local health food store but I will link here to some reputable brands that I trust on Amazon.
1/2 cup (4 ounces) of my favorite Shea butter (certified organic)
3 tbs Aloe Vera (certified organic)
3 tbs Sweet Almond oil (certified organic)
1 tbs Rose Hips (certified organic)
20 drops Lavender Essential Oil (certified organic & kid safe)
20 drops Helichrysum Essential Oil (certified organic & kid safe)
You will need a stand mixer or hand mixer to get the right consistency for this after sun lotion recipe.
Start by breaking the shea butter in chunks and place it in the mixer. If you use this shea butter, you will need to cut it in four sections so you can use 1/4 of the block for this recipe.
Whip on high for 20 seconds. The shea butter will stick to the bowl. Not to worry, it won’t be hard to use after we are done.
Scrape down the sides to remove as much of the shea butter as possible and then add the sweet almond oil. Whip again for 20 seconds.
Continue this process of whipping and scraping in between each ingredient on the list. I add both types of essential oils together.
The lotion will then be creamy and easy to transfer to a mason jar.
How to use your after sun lotion
The best time to use after sun lotion is right out of the shower while your skin is still mildly wet. This helps seal in moisture and can prevent your sunburn from peeling so quickly.
I also recommend lathering up 2-3 times a day immediately after you a sunburn so you can absorb more of the healing nutrients during that acute inflammatory period.
A quarter-sized portion of after sun lotion is enough for two arms or one leg.
Your after sun lotion will last outside of the fridge for the entire summer season. It will stay fresh much longer in the fridge. You will likely need to make more than one batch of this for the whole family to get through the summer.
Also note** you can use this recipe for just regular lotion. The ingredients are still great for your body even when you don’t have a sunburn!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know what you think in the comment section below 😉
DIY After Sun Lotion with Aloe to Heal a Sunburn
- 1/2 cup shea butter
- 3 tbs sweet almond oil
- 3 tbs aloe vera gel
- 1 tbs rose hips oil
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 20 drops helichrysum essential oil
You will need a stand mixer or hand mixer to make this recipe. It will be easier with a stand mixer.
Break shea butter in chunks and place in the mixer. Whip on high for 20 seconds. It will stick to the sides.
Scrape the shea butter from sides. Add almond oil and whip for 20 seconds.
Scrape sides again and add aloe. Whip for 20 seconds.
Repeat this exact process for both the rose hip oil and essential oils, adding them one at a time and mixing them well.
The after sun lotion should be creamy and easy to remove with a spatula.
Store in a 4 oz mason jar with airtight lid.