Warmer weekends mean that we’re all digging deep in to our drawers to pull out the bikinis and board shorts that have been in hibernation. But with the season of beach visits and barbeques soon upon us, we also have to keep in mind that the Aussie sun is growing stronger.
Let’s face it, even the most diligent sun safety devotees among us have been guilty of getting a little too much sun at times. And then paid the price with a wallop of sunburn! But luckily there’s a natural way to relieve the burn and improve skin healing should you overstay your welcome in the sun!
Aloe vera products are everywhere – in sprays, gels, and creams – but in my opinion nothing beats fresh aloe. However, it can even be improved upon with the addition of a few key herbs. I make these healing ice blocks up in advance and keep them in the freezer. That way I have them handy if someone needs something soothing and cooling to apply to their skin after an extra-long arvo on the sand!
Aloe and chamomile ice blocks
- 2 mature aloe vera leaves (this succulent is pretty easy to grow, and I think we all have a friend or family member who has one in their garden)
- 1/4 cup chamomile flowers (both dried or fresh work).
- Optional: peppermint essential oil.
- Slice the aloe leaves open lengthways and scoop out the gel. Be careful only to get the clear gel, as the rest of the leaf can actually be a little irritating to skin!
- Throw it in a blender with the chamomile. We all know this herb for it’s calming effects, but it’s also a lovely anti-inflammatory and blitz until smooth.
- Pour the mix in to an ice cube tray and, if you’d like, add a drop of peppermint essential oil. You can add any oil you’d like really, but peppermint is known as a refrigerant herb. This means that it will complement the cooling effect of the ice and keep irritated skin feeling cooler for longer.