Here it is: my absolute essential summer after-sun spritzer. Cooling, hydrating, takes away the redness and the heat, and helps reduce damage from sun exposure. This spritzer has been my saving grace this summer! Literally has saved my skin.
I have really pale skin and my skin is easily burned, despite applying copious amounts of sun lotion. Fifteen minutes, that’s all it takes sometimes. Protecting my skin is top priority, but I also wanted something to help my skin fight the damage after sun exposure, because even if you don’t get sun burn, the UV rays will damage your skin every time it’s exposed. This is called photodamage or photoaging by dermatologists and the damage happens in the deeper layers of your skin, so it can take years before signs of sun damage become actually visible. These signs can include brown spots, wrinkles, broken capillaries, and uneven skin texture. That’s why it’s important to look after your skin and give your skin some TLC and a bit of help every time you’ve been in the sun.
This amazing after-sun spritzer, even if I say so myself, has been my skin saver this summer. Not a single sun burn, didn’t peel once, and that’s astonishing, because our kiwi summer this year has been particularly hot and scorching!
The secret of this formula lies with the lycopene. If you haven’t yet read my previous post about lycopene, watermelon and sunburn, it explains what lycopene do and why they are so effective against sunburn. Watermelon are full of lycopene and this after-sun spritzer contains a lot of watermelon! It also contains aloe vera, cucumber, chamomile, lavender – all restoring ingredients that will help assist the skin to keep the damage to a minimum and keep your skin looking healthy and glowing!
Watermelon to reduce redness and damage from UV radiation
Cucumber to hydrate and cool
Aloe vera to soothe and moisturise
The spritzer contains no fragrance but has a delicious fresh scent which comes from its natural ingredients: cucumber, watermelon, lavender and chamomile.
All the ingredients I used to make this After-Sun Spritzer are available from Pure Nature. I used fresh aloe vera juice from my own plants (thanks Jodi!)
Cooling and soothing spritzer for after sun exposure. Contains cucumber, aloe vera, chamomile, and lavender to calm, hydrate and help repair skin from sun damage. Also mildly toning. Added watermelon extract helps reduce photoaging and hyperpigmentation, which comes from skin exposure to UV rays. Ideal for sensitive and aging skin.
INCI: Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Water, Lavender Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Water, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Citrullus Ianatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate
Cucumber hydrosol: Added for its soothing, hydrating, and anti-inflammatory properties. It will help soothe and cool the skin after sun exposure, reduce the redness and keep your skin hydrated.
Lavender hydrosol: Well known for its calming, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender boosts healing and helps reduce scarring. It is slightly anti-bacterial, which is beneficial if we start scratching our skin. So definitely worth having this in our spritzer!
(German) Chamomile hydrosol: German chamomile is one of the most powerful skin healers, due to its content. Check the INCI of your hydrosol and make sure it’s Matricaria Recutita Flower Water and not Anthemis Nobilis Flower water, which is the Roman chamomile and that one works more on the mind, rather than the body. For your skin you want the chamomile that is soothing and calming to the skin, not the mind (and that’s how you keep the two apart! Roman chamomile for the mind, German chamomile for the body).
Aloe vera juice: I used the juice from my own aloe vera plant. I scraped out the gel and pressed out the juice, but you can also buy aloe vera juice from a cosmetic ingredient supplier, like Pure Nature. You will have to use juice and not the gel. Gels are not pure aloe vera but contain other ingredients to thicken and preserve. These other ingredients don’t work well when you add them to other types of products, especially cosmetic waters, like this spritzer. You’ll notice it will go milky and can even separate. You don’t want that to happen to your spritzer! Aloe vera contains the natural compound aloin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It is also a moisturiser and has a cooling, hydrating effect on your skin. This is why putting aloe vera feels so good on (sun-)burned skin. However, it is by no means the best healer for sunburn, that’s reserved for watermelon.
Watermelon extract: In short, watermelon is the best when you want to reduce photodamage to your skin, due to its high antioxidant (lycopene) content. You can read all about it in my post about watermelon and why it’s so effective against sunburn.
Cucumber extract: To boost the cucumber hydrosol and add more of its goodness to the spritzer, I’ve also added cucumber extract. You can omit this and add more cucumber hydrosol, if you wish, but you will have a more potent (as in skin restoring) product if you try and add as much of the good stuff as you can.
Preservative: You will need to preserve this water-based product. This is absolutely essential! Make sure that the preservative you are using is suitable for water-based products, in other words, is water-soluble and not oil-soluble. I am using Geogard Ultra (now sold as Naturagard Ultra).
So now you know what each ingredient does, let’s get to making it.
Making your After-Sun Spritzer with fresh aloe vera
Weigh and mix together all hydrosols and extracts.
If you are using fresh aloe vera: cut it open and scrape out the gel. Squeeze through a strainer and collect the juice.
Weigh and add the aloe vera juice to the other ingredients.
Geogard Ultra (or Naturagard Ultra) is a preservative in powder form. It doesn’t dissolve well in cold water, so I stir it into warm distilled water separately, and then add the water/preservative mixture to the other ingredients.
If you use liquid preservative (make sure it’s suitable for water-products), then you can add it straight to the other ingrdients.
Pour into spray bottles and they’re ready to use!
Just a wee note of warning! Make sure you make enough! I made two bottles and both were half used up already before I finally got round to getting the pictures for this tutorial. My skin feels so amazing after using it, that I now spray my skin (body and face) with it every time I’ve been out to the beach, for a swim, and even after a walk!
If you want to learn how to formulate your own skin care products, sign up for the FREE Masterclass by Formula Botanica*. This is the accredited school that I am studying with.
Makes 200 g. You will also need two 100 ml spray bottle
|B||Watermelon extract||Botanical extract||10||20|
|B||Cucumber extract||Botanical extract||5||10|
|C||Aloe vera juice||Botanical extract||10||20|
- Mix the ingredients (hydrosols) from stage A together.
- Add ingredients (extracts) from stage B, and stir.
- If you are using fresh aloe vera, extract the juice from the plant, strain, weigh and add to the other ingredients. If you are using purchased aloe vera juice, weigh and add. Stir well.
- Heat the distilled water from stage C to about 45-50 degrees C in a small beaker. Add the Geogard Ultra preservative and stir until dissolved.
- Add the water/preservative mixture to the other ingredients and stir well.
- Pour in spray bottles.
Keep it with you in your bag and spray your skin as often as needed, but particularly after sun exposure. Can be applied to both face and body.
As with any skin care product, it is best stored and kept out of direct sunlight and not exposed extreme heat, which will degrade the beneficial compounds and reduce the effectiveness of the product. With correct preservation, it will keep for 12 months.
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