Beauty

Super Ingredient of the Day: Aloe Vera

The incredibly useful Aloe plant has been prized as a herbal remedy for years. It not just nurtures the body from within – aiding digestion and boosting the immune system – but it can also be used to improve the health and wellness of your skin and hair. In fact, aloe vera is extensively used both in beauty products and as a homemade remedy, due to its antibacterial properties. It has been seamlessly integrated into the daily skin and hair regime, by many.

But what makes this plant so distinguishable?

The green leaves of this plant, hold a bitter, but gooey translucent gel, which has some amazing healing properties. The gel is made up of about 96% water, some organic compounds, a unique protein type and lastly, vitamins A, B, C and E. Truth be told, the translucent gel is the only useful component, which is used.

Read below to find out more on why and how the aloe vera plant, juice and gel could be used in your daily skin and hair regime.

Harvesting the Aloe Vera Gel

Before we get to the reasons of using Aloe Vera, let us understand the process of extracting the gel from the plant.

The task of harvesting the aloe gel is quite simple. First, gather a few aloe leaves – two or maybe three, depending on how much gel you require. Use a sharp knife to slice out the thorny edge from one side of each leaf. Take care to not cut your fingers on the thorns, while slicing out the edges. Then slice the leaves vertically, so you have two long halves. Place the halves, gel side up. Finally, use a spoon the scrape the gel away from each leaf and store it in the desired container. When you have finished using the required amount of gel, remember to refrigerate the rest for any future use.

If you don’t own an Aloe plant, or if extracting the gel by hand seems too tiresome, we highly recommend (product name) as the best substitute to the home-grow aloe.

Reasons to use Aloe Vera

There are not one, but multiple reasons of why we should use aloe vera as a beauty supplement for our face, skin and hair. To begin with, aloe serves as the perfect remedy for sunburned skin. It forms a protective layer on the skin, allowing it to retain its moisture. Aloe vera also serves as the perfect ‘non-greasy’ moisturizer. It softens the skin without clogging the pores. Men could also use the aloe vera gel as an aftershave treatment as it would moisturise their skin and help heal any razor cuts. In fact, aloe is one of the most common antiseptic remedies that is used to treat cuts, burns and any other wounds. Besides, aloe also helps in treating acne, scars, stretch marks and any other form of skin damage. It has some anti-ageing qualities too!

Also, aloe vera helps promote healthy hair growth. It contains proteolytic enzymes that repair the dead skin cells, increasing the blood circulation to the scalp. Just as it moisturizes the skin, aloe also softens and conditions the hair. And if used regularly, it would restore the shine and density of your hair too! Aloe also helps prevent dandruff.

Aloe Vera recipes for Face, Skin and Hair

One common way of using aloe vera is to apply the gel or juice directly. Simple and effective, this approach of using aloe is best suited for all skin and hair types. But for those who wish to experiment with this super ingredient, here are a few easy-to-make recipes.

 

Green Tea and Aloe Skin Toner

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Just blend in some water, aloe  and green tea, and you have your new skin toner ready for use. Easy-to-make, this three ingredient toner is the perfect remedy for those with a sensitive skin.

 

Lemon and Aloe Skin Scrub

Brighten your skin tone with the lemon and aloe skin scrub. All you need is some sugar, lemon juice and aloe, and voila! You have your scrub ready.

 

Aloe and Honey Face Mask

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The aloe and honey face mask is the perfect remedy for acne-prone skin. Just mix in some honey and the aloe gel (the gooey, translucent gel – if it is the plant you are using), and apply it on the affected areas. Keep it for a while and rinse well later.

 

Anti-Aging Aloe Peel

This easy face peel requires some cucumber, green tea, chamomile tea, aloe vera gel and gelatin. Blend in all the above ingredients together and apply it on your face, till the neck area. Rinse well later.

 

Aloe Scalp Scrub

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With so many benefits for hair health, whipping up this incredible scrub is a must! Just mix   brown sugar (a tbsp atleast) and some of the gooey aloe vera gel in a bowl. Take the hair by part and apply the cream on your scalp. Massage your scalp well and leave it on for about 10 minutes. Then take your regular head bath and let it dry off naturally.

 

Coconut and Aloe Hair Conditioner

Repair damaged hair with the coconut and aloe hair conditioner. All you need to do is just heat some aloe vera with water and mix it with coconut oil. Apply some of the paste on wet hair and let it stand for about 15 minutes.  Finally, wash it off with plenty of water.

 

Aloe Hair Gel

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Tame those messy manes with this simple homemade hair gel (that also doubles up as a soothing aftershave cream!). Just blend in some almond oil, olive oil and aloe vera pulp.

 

Aloe Eye Makeup Remover

Removing that stubborn mascara or eyeliner could get quite tiresome sometimes! But not removing them could also prove extremely damaging for our skin, especially around the delicate eye area. Hence, a simple blend of aloe vera with some extra virgin olive oil, would serve as an excellent substitute for an eye makeup remover.

 

Not all may enjoy a hands-on experience of using home remedies for skin and hair improvement and beautification. And besides, being a gooey gel, using aloe could get quite messy and cumbersome for many. Thus, for those who prefer a messy-free experience here are some aloe – based beauty products: