The incredibly useful aloe plant has been valued as a healing herbal medicine since ancient times. Not only does it nourish the body from the inside to promote digestion, provide beneficial nutrients and boost the immune system, but it can be used topically to improve the health and beauty of the face, skin, hair and more.
Read on to find out why and how you can use aloe Vera plant, gel and juice in your daily skin and hair care routine.
How to Collect Aloe Vera Gel
Before we get into the “why” of using aloe vera gel for all your natural health and beauty needs, let’s take a quick look at the process of harvesting the gel from the plant.
First, select one or more large, thick leaves at the base of the plant. Take the selected leaves by the base and pull gently but firmly. They should come free quite easily. When doing this, be careful not to cut your fingers with the thorns on the leaves.
After you have collected the aloe leaves, use a sharp knife to cut the thorny edge from one side of each leaf. Then cut the leaves lengthwise so you have two long halves. Place the halves on the cutting surface, gel side up.
Finally, use a spoon to scrape the gel from each plate into the container of your choice. When you have finished using the collected aloe Vera gel, do not forget to put the unused portion in the refrigerator.
If you don’t have an aloe plant or removing the gel manually is too much trouble, I highly recommend Amara Organics Aloe Vera Gel as an excellent substitute for homemade aloe.
6 reasons to apply aloe vera gel to your face and skin
- Softens sunburn
The anti-inflammatory and cooling aloe Vera gel is perfect for sunburned skin.
Creates a protective layer on the skin that helps retain moisture. Aloe is also rich in antioxidants and minerals that can speed healing.
In one study, Aloe Vera gel was found to have some anti-inflammatory effects superior to 1% hydrocortisone when used for 48 hours. The researchers concluded that the gel may be useful in the topical treatment of inflammatory skin conditions such as skin redness caused by UV radiation.
If you’re looking for a moisturizer that won’t leave a greasy film on your face, check out Aloe Vera. Softens the skin without clogging the pores.
Aloe Vera gel can also be used as aftershave, as it both moisturizes the skin and helps heal razor burns and small wounds.
Studies have shown that Aloe Vera extract is a powerful natural agent that improves skin hydration, making it a useful ingredient in cosmetic formulations and in the treatment of dry skin.
- Speed up wound healing
Aloe is most commonly used as a topical treatment for cuts, burns and other wounds – and for good reason. A review of four experimental studies found that aloe vera can reduce the healing time of first- or second-degree burns by up to nine days compared to control groups.
These incredible results can be explained by the fact that aloe accelerates the reproduction of skin cells eight times and penetrates the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) four times faster than water, says Dr. Dunhof of North Texas Research Laboratories.
- Fight aging
Because it is rich in vitamins C and E and beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), aloe may have some anti-aging properties. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, along with its ability to lighten blemishes, also help lift years off your face.
In addition, aloe vera can be taken in the form of anti-aging supplements, and some studies show that it increases collagen production in the body and improves skin elasticity in as little as 90 days.
- Reduce acne and infections
Those with acne can try aloe vera’s gentle cleansing and antimicrobial action to treat acne. This healing gel works on multiple levels.
Its antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties protect the skin from bacteria and other pathogens that lead to infection and inflammation. It contains substances – gibberellins and polysaccharides that stimulate the growth of new cells, and glycoproteins reduce inflammation and redness.
As an astringent, aloe Vera reduces pore size, which helps trap excess sebum, dirt and bacteria.
In Ayurvedic medicine, aloe is also used to treat psoriasis and eczema.
- Lighten places
Because aloe Vera can boost skin cell proliferation, fight inflammation, and reduce redness, it’s a great natural treatment for acne scars and stretch marks.
With the addition of a small amount of lemon
: Nature’s Soothing Healer, the main hair protein (keratin), is chemically similar to aloe vera, meaning this healing gel rejuvenates hair with greater elasticity. By improving elasticity, you prevent the breakage of thin hair strands, which is key when trying to grow strands.
- Prevent dandruff
Dandruff is caused by a number of reasons, including dry skin, fungal infections, and irritation of oily skin. Aloe Vera helps in all these conditions.
Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties fight against fungi, and the gel also moisturizes and balances oiliness.
- Nourishes and cares for hair and scalp
Just as it moisturizes the skin, Aloe Vera softens and conditions the hair. Regular use helps restore shine and vitality.
Unlike traditional chemical-based hair moisturizers, aloe Vera does not leave behind unpleasant or greasy residues.
20 Aloe Vera recipes for face, skin and hair
In addition to applying gel from the aloe plant directly to your skin and hair, try the following beauty recipes to harness the power of aloe vera naturally:
- Green Tea Aloe Skin Toner – This three-ingredient toner is super easy to make. It promises to shrink pores, detoxify, reduce redness and moisturize. Just mix water, green tea and aloe Vera for a gentle astringent effect. Those with very oily skin can add a little witch hazel if they wish.
- Eye Makeup Remover – Stubborn mascara and eyeliner can be very difficult to remove, which is why many eye care products on the market contain harsh chemicals. But they can seriously dry out the skin and damage the delicate eye area. This gentle yet effective homemade makeup remover is made with just two ingredients: extra virgin olive oil and aloe vera juice.
- Shaving gel – Aloe itself is the perfect shaving gel – it provides a smooth, close shave, moisturizes and kills bacteria. But even better when combined with liquid castile soap, vegetable glycerin, olive oil and essential oils like in this recipe.
- Soothing spray after sunbathing. Relax and soothe the skin after sun exposure with the beneficial ingredients of this spray: vitamin E, witch hazel and aloe vera.
- Skin Lightening Scrub – Brighten your skin tone and remove impurities from your face and body with this simple mixture of sugar, aloe and lemon juice.
- Daily Cleansing Facial Wash – suitable for all face types – dry, oily or combination – this gentle daily wash contains pure aloe vera gel, jojoba oil, liquid castile soap, beauty soap and essential oil.
- Soothing Moisturizer – A silky smooth face cream that smells great and lasts for months. For this you need aloe vera gel, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, beeswax and your favorite essential oils.
- Aloe Honey Acne Face Mask – A soothing and healing mask that combines the antibacterial properties of honey with the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera to reduce redness, pain, swelling and itching.
- Cucumber Aloe Facial Mask for dry skin – This mask is easy to make and reduces dryness and tightness on the face and hairline. Just add cucumber and aloe to a blender, blend and apply to skin for 20 minutes.
- Slick Tinted Brow Gel – Big, bold brows are all the rage. Beautify yours – and keep unruly hair under control – with this simple, natural gel packed with aloe vera, fair trade cocoa powder, activated charcoal and a touch of nourishing vitamin E oil.
- Citrus Shower Gel – A DIY refreshing shower gel that is sure to wake you up in the morning. Contains shea butter, aloe vera, guar gum, castile soap and orange, lemon and lime oils.
- Aloe Vera anti-aging scrub – simultaneously firms the skin, smoothes wrinkles and moisturizes. For this easy face scrub, you need cucumber, green tea, chamomile tea, aloe vera gel and gelatin.
- Keep Cool Facial Spray – Keep a bottle in your purse or fridge on super hot (or stressful!) days. Contains only aloe Vera gel, witch hazel and peppermint essential oils.
- Sugar Foot Scrub – Revitalize tired feet after a long day at work with an Aloe Vera Sugar Scrub infused with your choice of delicious essential oils.
- Coconut Mango Bath Bombs – Transform your bathroom into a home spa and bath water into a mango and coconut scented hot pot with aloe vera and coconut milk!
- 3-Component Instant Eye Lift Gel – Hide bags and under eye
l of oil.
- Conditioner for Dry Hair – Lemon, Aloe Vera and Essential Oils – A simple yet effective DIY conditioner.
- Anti-frizz spray. This simple spray detangles naturally, prevents frizz and adds shine. Plus, it contains all natural ingredients and only costs 39 cents!
Where to buy aloe Vera gel
As explained earlier, making your own aloe vera gel is the best way to reap the benefits of this wonderful natural ingredient. To do this, you need to grow your own aloe vera plant, although some grocery stores now sell large aloe vera leaves that can be used instead.
If you prefer to buy pre-made aloe vera gel, look for pure gel straight from the leaves. Amara Organics Cold Pressed Aloe Vera Gel is widely regarded as the highest quality store bought gel. You can buy it from this Amazon page.