Before ingredients find their way into the bottles and tubes on your shelves, they go through a rigorous process of being extracted and processed for their actives to take minuscule form but still retain their effectiveness. Aloe vera may just be heaven-sent because it doesn't necessarily need to go through the whole process. Aloe vera gel is one of Mother Nature's greatest gifts and so is the plant that it comes from. Very few ingredients can boast of the ability to be used directly on the skin and hair without any prior processing.
Aloe vera is indigenous to the Arabian peninsula and North Africa but grows freely in tropical climate across the world. As it stores water beneath its spiny surface, it is ideal to grow in hot, temperate weather. It is cultivated widely for its decorative purpose and is also popular for medicinal usage. The gel tissue that is found within the prickly stems of aloe vera can be used for a variety of beauty and medicinal purposes when freshly removed from the plant or in store-bought gel form.
Here are the ways aloe vera can aid your skin and hair.
It can soothe inflammation of dry skin and pimples
It can heal sunburns and rash on the skin
It can aid in treating dandruff and itchy scalp
Aloe vera can go beyond your beauty routine. Its health benefits mean it can work for medicinal purposes too.
It can help treat conditions like psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
It can improve digestive issues and stomach troubles
It can bring relief to the body in warm weather
Making aloe vera from scratch is the most inexpensive way to add this ingredient to your beauty routine. After you scrape the gel off the insides of the leaves, it can be pulsed in a blender to remove lumps and form a thinner consistency.
Once you have it, this is the best way to preserve aloe vera gel.
1. Pour the gel into an ice cube tray and freeze into smaller sized cubes for easy usage.
2. Pour into a zip-lock bag and freeze it.
3. When its gel is removed from the plant, enzymatic functions begin to take place and its active compounds reduce. Its exposure to oxygen can further affect the gel solution. Hence it's important to note that aloe vera should not be stored at room temperature, especially in hot and humid climates.
4. Freezing allows aloe vera gel to stay fresher for longer. When frozen in cube form or in a bag, it is recommended to be used for up to a week.
Now that you have your aloe vera gel, here's how you can get your skin to benefit from it.
The next time you experience redness or bumps after waxing or shaving, turn to aloe vera. Run frozen aloe vera gel over the affected area to reduce inflammation and soothe irritation and redness.
Sun burns can leave skin aching, tender and peeling. Boost the healing process with a mixture of aloe vera gel and coconut oil in equal proportion to form a runny paste. Apply over the affected area to aid in skin healing.
Those who have rough spots and cracked skin on the heels should generously apply aloe vera gel mixed with petroleum jelly over particular spots and wear socks overnight. With repeated usage, it will help soften the skin.
Treat heated, dehydrated skin with a cooling face pack of 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon cucumber pulp and 1 teaspoon of honey, freshly mixed and applied.
Blend 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with 3 tablespoons of rose water to form a runny liquid. Add more rose water if necessary. Put into a spritz bottle and store in the fridge.
(Also Read: 6 Amazing Aloe Vera Face Packs For Acne Free Skin)