You only need to look at me for about half a second to know that I burn easily. I ate lunch outside the other day for about half an hour and ended up with a bright red chest, and while I was in Costa Rica my shoulders did a very convincing impression of a moulting reptile (ewwww). And while I am in no way advocating going out and getting a sunburn, if you do happen to get one (as I inevitably will, it seems), this lovely cream helps.
The water part of the cream is aloe vera juice and witch hazel. Aloe vera is a long time favourite for soothing sunburns, and witch hazel is a mild astringent and will help soothe tender skin. Vegetable glycerin increases the humectant properties of the lotion, helping keep the skin hydrated as it heals.
Raw honey contributes beneficial enzymes and antibacterials, and bee propolis amps up the antimicrobial/antiviral/healing factor. Silk peptides help with healing and regeneration thanks to their protein content, which is close to that of human skin. And lastly, allantoin (USA / Canada), a long time favourite for all kinds of healing products like diaper creme and scar salves.
For oils I chose a host of favourites for soothing, healing, moisturizing, and regeneration. Borage oil is an extremely rich source of fatty acids, as well as vitamins and minerals. Rosehip oil is a light, fast absorbing oil high in vitamins C & E, and known for its regenerative and healing properties.
Seabuckthorn oil is a favourite for anti-acne products, and it’s loaded with vitamins C & E, amino acids, and beta carotene. It’s high beta-carotene makes it an excellent healing oil—perfect for a sunburn lotion. Seabuckthorn is also pretty expensive, so you can feel free to replace it with more of either borage or rosehip oil (or a blend of both). Tamanu or emu oils would also be good choices for substitutions if you happen to have them on hand.
The essential oil blend is designed to be soothing, cooling, and healing. Peppermint cools, chamomile soothes, and eucalyptus and lavender help heal. They also smell nice all together, so that’s a plus as well.
The final lotion is light and creamy, with a slight yellow hue from the seabuckthorn. It’s slightly cooling on the skin, and imparts much needed moisture to dry, burnt skin.
Soothing Sunburn Cream
Weigh the emulsifying wax and oils into a small saucepan and melt over low heat.
While the oils melt, whisk together the witch hazel, aloe vera, vegetable glycerine, honey, bee propolis, silk peptides, and allantoin (USA / Canada) in a small glass measuring cup. Gently heat through to encourage everything to dissolve.
Once the oils have melted, add the water part and heat through. Remove the pan from the heat and thoroughly whisk everything together, and then whisk occasionally as the lotion cools (the thickening may take a few days if you are using a different emulsifying wax from emulsimulse/ritamulse). Once it’s cool, stir in the essential oils and preservative, and decant the lotion into a 120mL/4oz pump-top bottle for storage and use.
Don’t have the oils called for in the recipe? Check this out.