2 Aug 2022

DIY Frozen Aloe and Calendula Cubes to Soothe Sunburns and Other Hot Skin Issues

//
Comments0

Summer is a blessing and a curse. There’s nothing better than playing out under the sun’s warm rays, but a little too long in the sun can cause skin damage. But have no fear, herbalism is here! Beat the heat and soothe sunburns this summer with a cooling and soothing frozen calendula (Calendula officianalis) infused aloe vera (Aloe vera) gel ice cube. This recipe for DIY frozen aloe and calendula cubes will come in handy after the long days spent in the garden, the afternoons by the sea, or those children’s parties that seem to always be scheduled during heat waves.   

aloe leaf laying on a wooden table

Sunburns and Hot Skin

We’ve all had sunburns, but the effects don’t lessen with each occurrence. The skin, bright red and tender to the touch, becomes irritated and sensitive. As the burn sets in, so can the incessant itching that goes along with it. I recently enjoyed the sun too long at the beach and let me tell you, my skin was red as a lobster! Thankfully, I had some tried and true herbal allies to calm and soothe my skin. 

As a new(ish) herbalist, while going through the Mastering Herbal Formulations course, I discovered the most interesting and fundamental practices. Looking at an herb’s energetic properties and herbal actions when combining herbs was something new, but easy for me to implement. With energetics in mind, I created a power duo to provide a rush of cool as well as a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect. 

pouring infusion into ice cube tray

DIY Herbal Cooling Cubes 

If you haven’t yet tried a cold pack, frozen washcloth, or in this case, ice cubes on your skin during summer, this is your sign to do it now! Opposing forces can offer balance; in summer, where there’s extreme heat, there are cold herbal recipes to bring down the discomfort. 

stack of sliced aloe

Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe vera)

Most of us have seen this succulent plant with its thick, juicy leaves. Inside of those spiky leaves is a famous gel with a long history. Cleopatra and Nefertiti rubbed fresh aloe on their skin as a means to preserve their beauty (Gage, 1996). The desire to look young is essentially the hope to retain one’s skin elasticity, smoothness, and an overall healthy appearance. Aloe vera can thankfully do just that! 

Boasting a cooling energy, it is no wonder that aloe vera has been used to soothe sunburns, skin problems, minor wounds, and even frostbite. The reason we see aloe vera used for after-sun care or in various topical first aid products is largely due to the salicylic acid and magnesium found in this plant, which works together to ease pain (Herbarium, n.d.). Furthermore, salicylic acid is an organic compound used widely in various products and medications. Most notably, the positive effects of its topical use include skin exfoliation and anti-inflammatory properties (Arif, 2015).

When applied to the skin, the cooling properties of aloe vera, especially in gel form, are able to soothe a  sunburn. The skin happily drinks up the moisture and some of the heat from the burn is quelled. With continued use, the skin is able to peel and shed the sunburn, allowing new skin to take its place. 

steeping calendula flowers in water

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Have you heard the name “the herb of the sun” when referring to calendula? This sunny, golden flower is unique in that it opens its petals when the sun shines and withdraws them as the sun fades. With an affinity for all things solar, it makes sense that calendula provides soothing gifts to sunburned skin.  

Notably, calendula can be used in helping wounds, sores, varicose veins, pulled muscles, bruises, and you guessed it, soothe sunburns (Heinerman, 1996). This plant ally is a powerful flower to include in topical herbal creations. Calendula’s anti-inflammatory and astringent actions combined with its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties make it a common choice for a wide variety of skin issues (Hoffmann, 2003). When used topically in this DIY recipe, calendula provides hydration that the skin desperately needs when inflamed, burned, or irritated (Akhtar et al., 2011).

aloe and calendula ice cubes

DIY Frozen Aloe and Calendula Cubes to Soothe Sunburns and Hot Skin Issues


Beat the heat and those sunburns this summer with this soothing, cooling, and skin rejuvenating recipe. Use these simple herbal ingredients and your skin will thank you!

Ingredients

8 fluid ounces calendula (Calendula officinalis) infused aloe (Aloe vera) gel
4 fluid ounces calendula (Calendula officinalis) tea

Directions

  • First, create a calendula-infused aloe vera gel by filling an 8 fluid ounce jar ½  full with dried calendula flowers. If using fresh flowers, fill the jar ¾ full. Next, pour in aloe vera gel to cover the flowers and fill it up to 2 inches below the top of the jar. Cap the jar and store it in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Once the 2 weeks are up, use a fine mesh strainer to filter out the calendula flowers. Reserve the infused aloe vera gel for the recipe. 
  • In a French press or glass jar, add in 2 ounces of dried or fresh calendula flowers. Pour in 4 ounces of hot water into the press or jar. Allow for a long steep to create a strong infusion,1 hour or overnight if you’d like. 
  • Once steeping is complete, filter out the calendula flowers and reserve the gold liquid for the recipe.  
  • In a large measuring cup, add 4 ounces of the strong calendula infusion. Plus, add in 8 ounces of the calendula-infused aloe vera gel. Mix them both together. 
  • Pour the mixture into each opening of an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer. After a few hours, the calendula aloe cubes will be frozen and ready for use. 

To Use:

Remove one herbal ice cube from the tray, and glide it over hot spots of your skin, focusing on sunburns, areas of irritation, and key spots like the back of your neck. Store remaining cubes in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. 

In Closing, 

This DIY herbal ice cube recipe provides a cooling effect that instantly brings down the heat to soothe burns and other hot skin issues. The moisture and benefits from the aloe vera gel linger like a cold blanket of protection. The calendula soothes as it is absorbed into your skin. Together, these two herbal allies help soothe sunburns and quell the summer heat! 

DIY Frozen Aloe and Calendula Cubes to Soothe Sunburns and Other Hot Skin Issues | Herbal Academy | This DIY herbal ice cube recipe provides a cooling effect that instantly brings down the heat to soothe burns and other hot skin issues.

REFERENCES

Akhtar, N., Zaman, S.U., Khan, B.A., Amir, M.N., & Ebrahimzadeh, M.A. (2011). Calendula extract: Effects on mechanical parameters of human skin. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, 68(5), 693–701. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21928714/

Arif, T. (2015). Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: A comprehensive review. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 8, 455–461. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S84765

Gage, D. (1996). Aloe vera: Nature’s soothing healer. Healing Arts Press.

Heinerman, J. (1995). Heinerman’s encyclopedia of healing herbs & spices. Penguin Putnam Inc.

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. Healing Arts Press.

Aloe Vera (n.d.). The Herbarium. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from  https://herbarium.theherbalacademy.com/monographs/#/monograph/5085