*re-posted from my blog Growing Up Savage*

After that nightmare of a trip a few days ago, I have been stuck with this brutal sunburn on my shoulders, chest, back, and knee-pits (what I call the area behind my knees…). As someone who does NOT enjoy discomfort or a constant burning that keeps me from being able to lay down properly, I was desperate to find something that would hurry up the healing process.

I first went to a generic Dollar General brand of Aloe Vera Gel. The minute we got to the hotel we would be staying at to get out of the heat, my step dad went across the street to the DG and bought this and man am I glad he did! I also too the liberty of laying in a tub of cool water for about five or six minutes (I recommend doing this for much longer than I did if you want to avoid nasty blisters…) before we got the gel to cool my very heated skin.

The second thing I went to oddly enough was Coconut Oil from a store in Pennsylvania that sells only natural products. We try to stick with organic products because it is much better for you. Our coconut oil was actually liquefied by the heat, making it much easier to smear on a nasty sunburn. My mom had her doubts when we were using it since no one has heard of it being a sunburn balm.

It definitely should  be!

Now, sunburns of the caliber we had don’t just magically go away after one application of anything, and there were days I wanted to just rip my own skin off just so I could wear t-shirts and sleep properly again, but that Coconut Oil drastically healed my arms (which had not received the worst of the burns oddly enough) after two applications. My shoulders also felt much better after a few applications.

A couple of days ago, I fished the Aloe Vera Gel out of the jeep because I wanted to see if using it with the Coconut oil would help speed up the healing (my chest was still burning a bit and is still fiery red). My shoulders had begun peeling already so I was even more excited to speed it up.

This. Was. A. Huge. Mistake.

I’m not sure why, but when I put the gel on my shoulders, a burning sensation SO BAD I was squeezing my shirt in my hands and pacing around the house with my head lowered in an attempt to not rub the offensive goop off my shoulders. I mean it was pretty awful.

This is nothing on the product of course, but my burn was worst in the slivers of skin between my neck and my shoulders, so when I peeled them it must have exposed some very new sensitive skin.

(Like when Katniss Everdeen was when she was burned up in the explosive fire that killed her sister and other innocent people in the third book….that baby skin)

The coconut oil didn’t burn me like that at all (in fact it was very soothing) so I have been using that since. My recommendation is to double up on both until your skin starts to peel, then stick to the coconut oil. Aloe Vera is amazing, but in retrospect it is an antiseptic which means it will burn the crap out of damaged skin.

Be warned everyone!😄

So next time you are going fishing, camping, hiking, or anywhere you will be exposed to the sun, take two things with you: organic sunblock and coconut oil. Aloe Vera gel if you like.

Published by Caitlyn Booth