If you’ve ever used any cosmetic product at any point in your life, chances are you’ve come across aloe vera. It’s everywhere from moisturizers to ointments, but have you ever wondered why? What does aloe vera actually do?
Let’s talk about this versatile beauty plant and why the ancient Egyptians called it “The Plant of Immortality” and how it can give all sorts of wonderful benefits to you skin.
Aloe vera is a succulent, a plant family of which the cactus is also a member. It thrives mostly in tropical climates and can be easily grown at home as a potted plant.
The useful part of the aloe vera is the pulp – the gel like substance inside the leaves of the plant. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes, and has a good anti-inflammatory effect, making it terrific for promoting healthy skin and healing damaged ones.
One of the best ways to get the benefits of aloe vera is to use it as a facial mask, leaving it overnight for maximum contact. Plus, your skin is more capable of fully absorbing the nutrients present in the aloe vera pulp at night.
How to Make an Aloe Vera Facial Mask
You can use the various aloe vera based moisturizers or face masks available commercially, but its cheaper and relatively easy to use fresh aloe vera straight from the plant. It’s one of the reasons why it’s handy to grow one on your own home!
First, cut off a suitably sized leaf from the plant. Hold it firmly and use a sharp knife to cut it at the base. Rinse well under running water. Cut the aloe vera crosswise into medium sized pieces, and use a spoon to scoop out the gel like pulp inside and mash it in a bowl with a little splash of water.
Before using, you need to test first if you’re allergic to aloe vera, as a small number of people are. Dab a small amount at the back of your hand and wait at least 30 minutes. If there’s no redness, itchiness or anything else that’s unusual, then you may continue using.
Simply take a small amount in your fingers and apply it with a circular motion on your face. Avoid your eyes but do include your eyebrows and a little bit of your hairline as aloe vera has benefits for hair, too!
Sleep on it! The next morning when you wake up, rinse well with warm water and apply moisturizer after, if desired.
Benefits of Aloe Vera for Skin
Doing this routine at least three times a week can do wonders to your face and skin. Some of you might be concerned if there are side effects, but it’s completely safe even for everyday use.
Expect the following benefits when you follow this religiously over a few weeks:
Lightens Your Skin
Aloe vera is a great and natural way to lighten your skin and make it look younger and “glowing”. It reduces pigmentation no matter what your skin tone is, and works well on dark spots in your face, such as under the eyelids or around the eyes. Apply liberally on these areas to even out these dark spots and make them less noticeable.
Gets Rid of Acne
One of the most common reasons people use aloe vera is to help fight acne. Aloe vera contains anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory substances called Auxin and Gibberellins that kills off any bacteria in your pores to prevent the worsening of acne. It also prevents any blemishes or scars left by healed acne.
In addition, it’s a great exfoliant, which helps remove dead skin cells instead of blocking your pores, which causes acne.
Aloe vera is also a good, natural option for those with sensitive skin who can’t use commercial moisturizers, which are usually harsh on skin. Apart from acne, it can help with other skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and eczema.
Moisturizes Dry and Oily Skin
Aloe vera is a fantastic moisturizer, and can help prevent dryness and itching from extremely windy or cold weather, which can dry skin out. It reduces excessive flaking, and makes your skin much more firm and elastic. It works especially well for very oily skin. A common misconception is that oily skin doesn’t need moisture, but in reality it still does. Aloe vera helps with this by helping control the production of sebum on your skin, making it less oily.
For women, aloe vera is great when used as a moisturizer prior to applying mineral-based make up, to prevent the skin from drying out.
Heals Your Skin
Aloe vera has powerful healing properties that can speed up the repair of any damaged skin. Cracked lips, accidental scratches, scars, pimples, sunburn – aloe vera can heal them all. What’s more, since aloe is also anti-microbial, it can help prevent infection of any open wounds on your face. Men can even use a small dab of aloe vera as an effective aftershave to help heal and soothe the small cuts from shaving. For women, it’s a good way to make stretch marks less visible, especially after pregnancy.
Promotes Healthy Hair
Aloe vera’s power is not just for the skin – it can do wonders for your hair, too! It promotes strong and healthy hair with a supple bounce and shine. It can also help prevent dryness and itching, which often leads to dandruff.
Makes You Look Younger
Aloe vera’s healing and moisturizing properties will leave you with soft and elastic skin without visible wrinkles, thanks to the antioxidants found in it including beta-carotene and other vitamins. It gives you a smooth, youthful glow that’s sure to remove a few years from your age!
Aloe vera is a powerful and versatile wonder plant that gives you smooth, elastic and healthy skin! And rather than buying one, it’s so much easier to just grow your own aloe vera at home – it’s cheaper, plus it’s pure and natural without any artificial additives.
Try one out now and reap the amazing benefits today!