DIY After-Sun Spray with Calendula

June 28th 2020

by Jessicka Nebesni, Mountain Rose Herbs

After what seems like an eternity-long winter, my skin craves the summer sun. After venturing out for a long day of exploring the outdoors, I find that my largest organ needs a little extra pampering. Like many folks, I’m a big fan of aloe vera gel, but it can get messy and goopy to use on its own. Fortunately, I found that by combining the cooling benefits of aloe vera gel with witch hazel extract and skin-loving calendula hydrosol (a mild plant water created during the essential oil distilling process), you can create a mix that is refreshing, easy to use, and makes for a comforting end to a long day in the outdoors.

What Is an After-Sun Spray?

An after-sun spray is a healthful body spray used to cool and refresh the skin after spending time in the sun. Just like a tall glass of cool water can be taken internally to rehydrate, an after-sun spray is used topically to bring moisture and relief to thirsty skin. This formulation also has the added benefits of organic herbs and skin-loving botanical ingredients.

How To Use an After-Sun Spray

After-sun sprays are great for when your skin feels a bit heated or mildly irritated. If you store your after-sun mixture in a glass spray bottle, then you can apply the mixture as if it were a body spray or facial toner (avoid eyes and sensitive areas). You can also use the after-sun blend as a compress by soaking a thin washcloth in the mixture and holding it on the skin. For additional cooling, you may refrigerate your spray for an extra refreshing after-sun experience!

Natural After-Sun Spray Recipe with Calendula


Herb-Infused Witch Hazel Extract:

After-Sun Spray:



Making the Herb-Infused Witch Hazel Extract:

  1. Fill a 7 oz. jar (or larger) half full with a mixture of equal parts green tea leaves, lavender, and cleavers (you’ll need at least 4 ounces of finished extract for this recipe, but feel free to make more and save for other projects, it should last up to a year!).
  2. Pour witch hazel extract over the herbs and fill to the top of the jar.
  3. Secure lid, shake well, and allow to infuse for 2 to 4 weeks.
  4. Strain into pantry jar.

Making the After-Sun Spray:

  1. In a glass bottle with mister, combine 4 ounces of homemade herb-infused witch hazel extract with hydrosol and aloe vera gel.
  2. Secure lid, shake well, and spray generously on skin as needed (as always, avoid contact with eyes and other sensitive areas).
  3. Keep refrigerated (will usually last up to a year if properly stored).

Pro Tip: While this spray may help deal with the occasional over-sunning, it is NOT an excuse to forget about sun safety! We encourage everyone to take appropriate UV protection precautions whenever possible, such as limiting periods of direct exposure and wearing protective coverings.


* These items can be found at

Since 1987, Mountain Rose Herbs‘ team of herbalists, plant lovers, and environmentalists have always put people, plants, and planet before profit. From product quality and sustainable packaging, to fair trade practices and watershed conservation, MRH take pride in doing business right. Their belief that people, plants, and planet are more important than profit guides everything they do.