Aloe Vera is no new kid on the block. If you’ve been living long enough on this planet, there is very little chance of you not having heard of aloe vera. And for a good reason too, because aloe vera is no less than a wonder plant and the world seems to know.
In Ayurveda, aloe vera is known by terms such as ghrita kumara or kumari, among others. The thick fleshy leaves contain a clear healing sticky gel that is 96% water and the rest many beneficial substances including vitamin A, B, C, and E, calcium, amino acids, and enzymes. It is soothing, cooling, and rejuvenating in nature. There are many Ayurvedic medicines in which the gel of this plant is used.
Since skin in particular needs nutrition of its own, aloe vera, when formulated the right way for personal care, can do many things: exfoliate, treat, restore, provide nutrition to the skin—you name it. Which is many dermatologists today are recommending this wonder plant for anything ranging from stretch marks to burnt skin, as it is known to provide relief in these aspects.
Soothes Sunburns & First-Degree Burns
Lying on the beach with an intent to get tanned skin sounds perfect, but sometimes the sun is not very kind on your skin and you get sun burned instead. In such a case, some aloe vera is all you need to treat it—you can cut open an aloe vera leaf and scoop out the gel and apply it straight all over the affected area or mix it with a bit of cucumber juice for some extra cooling. This treatment is also beneficial if you’ve got some minor burns on your skin as aloe vera heals the skin, replaces the moisture, and provides a whole lot of anti-oxidants, thus speeding the recovery process.
Aloe vera gel is naturally non-comedogenic, which means it does not clog or block pores, making it ideal for the oily or acne-prone skin. Its antibacterial properties are very effective in treating pimples and the accompanying redness. Clean your face with a face wash apt for your acne-prone skin, gently towel dry your face, apply a light moisturizer, and then dab a thin layer of the gel on the affected areas and leave it on for the night. Rinse off in the morning.
Stretch Marks & Scars
Aloe vera can help reduce the stretch marks on the body that form as a result of rapid weight gain or loss or any superficial scar for that matter. You’ll need to buy or extract pure, organic aloe vera gel and massage the gel two-three times a day, every day, on the stretch marks and let it absorb completely.
External Wounds & Insect Bites
For minor bumps, scrapes, and insect bites, aloe vera is excellent for providing immediate relief. Its potent antibacterial properties help in healing the wound or bite, while soothing any irritation, redness, or swelling as well. It is vital, however, especially so in this case, to make sure that you extract either fresh gel from the plant or use a store-bought one that is 100% pure aloe vera to prevent the risk of further aggravating the wound.
This one takes a minimum of 90 days of continuous usage to show the effect on the skin but works for sure. You can apply it directly on your face (and around your eyes) and leave it on overnight or mix it with a teaspoon of 100% raw organic coconut oil and massage your face for a heavy dose of hydration and rinse it off after 10-15 minutes. To accelerate the anti-aging process, you can even consume aloe vera orally—just add a teaspoon or two of aloe juice to your fruit juice or smoothie and let it do its magic.
Aloe vera is a good alternative to any chemical-laden make up remover. Add aloe vera gel to a teaspoon each of almond milk and lemon juice each. Massage the mixture on your face, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off with a moist cotton ball before rinsing it off.
Heals Skin Conditions
Aloe vera gel has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation, swelling, redness, and rashes on the skin. Apart from healing wounds and soothing the skin, if used regularly, it can work as a relieving agent for skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema. It’s best to extract the gel straight from the plant, but if you’re using a store bought one, take a look at the ingredient list to make sure it’s pure aloe vera gel and is not a concoction of aloe vera with a host of other ingredients.
No matter what the weather or place, we’re constantly being told to put on sunscreen; while it does protect us from the many harmful effects of sun exposure, it really cannot do much about the tanning. But thankfully, there are ways of naturally fading the tan (unless you’re completely fine rocking it) and this is where our favorite plant comes to the rescue. How do you use it? Mix aloe vera gel with some lemon juice and apply all over the affected area and leave it on for about 15 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
Aloe vera can be an excellent and very effective home treatment for hyperpigmentation and spots & marks caused by acne if you don’t want to go for any chemical or laser treatment. Try this treatment daily for two weeks: Add two tablespoons of aloe gel and 1/2 a tablespoon of raw honey and apply the mixture on your skin. Wait for 20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
Aloe vera gel contains a fair amount of vitamin C, which is essential for brightening the skin and giving it some glow. Mix a tablespoon of that with two tablespoons of coconut oil, 1/2 a cup of castor sugar, two teaspoons of dry green tea, and a couple of drops of vitamin E oil, and you’ve got your very own brightening and super hydrating face scrub!