What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a stemless, succulent plant (plants that are normally thick or fleshy and have the ability to retain water). They tend to grow 24 to 39 inches tall. The plant is known to have many healing and soothing properties and has been used in herbal medicine for over 2,000 years. The ancient Egyptians went even further with this plant by burying it alongside their dead Pharaohs. It is light green in colour with spots and points along the edges. It is the inside of the plant that has all the great benefits for our skin – the thick gel. Let’s look below at some of the many different ways this wonderful plant does wonders to our skin.
Acne – If you have mild to medium acne then aloe vera will certainly help get rid of this (severe acne on the other hand may require more intrusive treatments). Let’s face it, acne is one of those horrible skin conditions that can be very hard to get rid of and can cause all sorts of frustration. So what to do? At night, after washing your face with a cleanser apply aloe vera all over your face and neck and leave it on overnight. In the morning wash it off. Continuing this regularly should bring positive results. You can even add a few drops of lemon, the antibacterial properties of lemon will further help reduce acne.
Sunburn – Clearly you should not stay out for long durations in the heat. But sometimes this may not be possible and therefore you should wear SPF at all times. However, if you do get sunburn then using aloe vera is a great way to heal the skin. The plant has wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties which means it acts as a shield for the skin and works to heal the damage that has been done. Furthermore it has a very soothing and cooling effect on the skin as well.
Complexion – One of the most common complaints people have is that their complexion is not clear, or they do not have the same tone on their entire face. For example, their mouth and forehead area is darker compared to the rest of their face. This could be due to sunburn or too much melanin. Applying aloe vera regularly onto your face will certainly ensure that your complexion is much more uniform, smoother and has a clearer tone throughout. Trust me, it works!!
Tightens the Skin – As we age our skin loses its firmness and begins to sag. Wrinkles and fine lines are further added to this mix. Using aloe vera regularly will help keep the skin tight and firm. It has a wonderful effect in hydrating the skin and improves skin elasticity. This means wrinkles and fine lines will not be as profound and visible.
Exfoliator – Using aloe vera gel as an exfoliator will help tighten your skin and bring about more radiance and glow to your skin. Especially those who have dull lackluster skin should certainly try this. Mix aloe vera gel with some brown sugar to create a medium paste and apply this on to your face. Scrub in circular motions. Leave this on for 10 to 15 minutes then wash off. Aloe vera has the ability to penetrate much deeper into the skin than other ingredients.
Hair Growth – Not only is aloe vera good for your skin but the benefits extend to hair as well. By drinking aloe vera juice regularly can help in hair regrowth. Alternatively you can use the aloe vera gel directly on your hair. Simply, massage the gel into your hair for five to ten minutes then wash off. This will not only help in hair growth but other hair conditions such as itchy, dry, flaky scalp or dandruff will no longer bother you.
How to Put Aloe Vera on Your Face?
You could use an aloe vera that you have bought from your local beauty store. However, and I stress this; get one that has as little artificial preservatives as possible. Otherwise it’s pointless as the chemicals will ruin your skin more than the benefits you will achieve from the aloe vera itself. On the other hand you could use an actual aloe vera plant by cutting the leaf and extracting the gel. However this method can be very messy and some may not have the patience.
Once you’ve decided on either of the above option, wash your face with a cleanser and apply the gel. Leave this on and wait until the gel becomes dry. Then wash your face with warm water and finish off with a moisturiser.