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It’s nice when events conspire to inspire you, isn’t it? While in Maine for four days, I had a foot soak and massage at a lovely place in Portland. After the foot soak and massage, they spritzed my feet with a Soothing Lavender Skin Tonic. It felt divine and I vowed to recreate it when I got home. I drove eight and a half hours to get home from Maine yesterday. Our car has no air conditioning and it was both hot and humid, so I drove home with my window down and my arm resting on the door most of the way. The result was a seriously nasty sunburn from my shoulder to my wrist. I knew Lavender essential oil was good for sunburns, so set to making the Soothing Lavender Skin Tonic immediately… Oh sweet relief. Let me share it with you!
So how BAD was my sunburn? Pretty bad.
Let’s just say this photo doesn’t really do it justice. For a better view of the red horror that was my arm, look at this one on instagram. Um, ow. When I got out of the car, the Evil Genius looked at my arm and gasped then said, “Oh my. That has to hurt.” I told him, “Don’t worry. I have a plan!” I hugged the boys and ran straight into the kitchen where I mixed up my Soothing Lavender Aloe Tonic as fast as could be and popped it into the only clean and unoccupied spray bottle I had in my house: my Misto Sprayer. Thankfully, I store my 100% Pure Aloe Vera and Witch Hazel for just such occasions, so it was good and cold.
Why witch hazel, lavender, and aloe?
All three are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and moisturizing. On top of that, Lavender is analgesic, anti-viral, and deodorizing! Translation: it dulls pain AND kills stink. Can you think of a better combination for making a ridiculously painful sunburn feel better? I can’t! Besides all those wonderful things, there’s another biggie; it’s good for your skin any time. Witch Hazel has been used for everything from acne to sunburn, minor bug stings and bites, hemorrhoids, razor burn and nicks, varicose veins, nail infections, blisters, eczema and psoriasis, and beyond. That’s why I decided to call this a SKIN tonic instead of a foot or sunburn tonic. As it turns out, the Misto was a little bit of inspired luck. you can pressurize the contents of the bottle so it will spritz out almost like an aerosol and the brushed aluminum bottle kept the contents feeling cool and EXTRA refreshing. Any spray bottle will do, but this felt especially soothing.
Which aloe should I use?
In short, not the gloppy stuff. In long, I prefer Aubrey Organics 100% Pure Aloe Vera for a bunch of reasons.
- It’s exactly what it says it is, unlike the ones you grab at the drug store or big box store. Go on, flip that bottle of “Pure Aloe Vera” you bought at Walmart and look at the label. It has thickeners and preservatives. Those are fine for most times, but I use Aloe Vera as part of my regimen to treat my rosacea and for that application it needs to be pure with no additives. Aubrey Organics makes the only one that works for me both for that application and for things like this.
- Because it doesn’t have thickeners and preservatives, it is quite thin. In fact, it’s watery. That makes it easier to blend with oils and witch hazel and makes it the only Aloe Vera (shy of squeezing it out of a plant yourself) that can spray through a spray or mister bottle.
- There’s no artificial colouring in the Aubrey Organics Aloe Vera. It’s true, I’m a little biased against artificial colouring in food, but I’m also against rubbing it into my skin. I dunno… I’m already red, I don’t need to muddle it up by smearing blue or green gel on myself.
Preparation and Usage Notes:
- Because essential oils absorb so quickly into your skin cells, it’s important to use one that is excellent. Don’t just use any old Lavender oil. Certainly don’t use something marked ‘perfume oil’. I only recommend Spark Naturals Lavender Essential Oil. These oils are pure, therapeutic grade, and smell wonderful. t’s true. I’m an affiliate, but I’m an affiliate because I use their products myself and love them.
- The Aubrey Organics Aloe is also 100% Pure without preservatives, so I store it in the refrigerator for optimal quality retention.
- Witch Hazel can be purchased at the drug store or big box store, but I prefer to use the good stuff since I’m spreading it on my already compromised skin in situations like this. If you can’t wait for the good stuff to come in, mix up a half-batch using the best witch hazel you can find at your local store and use it until the cavalry arrives.