An aloe vera gel comes from the aloe vera house plant which has numerous benefits for skin and hair.
Aloe vera also provides nourishment to the body as well as the face. So it not only serves as a good skincare and haircare ingredient but also has medicinal purposes.
Do you have this potted plant lying in your house? Read more to find out how you can make use of the holy grail gel inside to improve your skin, hair, and health.
How To Extract It?
An aloe vera plant is a potted plant readily available anywhere. It can also grow in harsh climates.
You can extract the gel commonly from Aloe barbadensis miller species among the other 420 species of the plant.
In order to extract the gel from the plant, use a knife to cut the fatter leaves near the root. Don’t use bare hands as the plant has thorns.
Slice these thorns found on the edges of leaves. Rinse the rest of the leaf. Next, place it in a bowl with the cut side downwards for about 15 minutes.
This will allow the yellow latex to drain out as it may not suit everyone. Then cut the pointed top of the leaf.
Allow the latex to drain again and gently press to soften the leaf.
Slice the leaf from one edge to another. You can also remove the green outer layer. You will find the gel inside that you can scoop through a spoon.
Once collected, wash and clean any residue off the gel. Next, place it in a jar, ice cubes or other container and store it in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
Before you apply it on the face, check it on your elbows or inside the wrist. Let it remain for a day and check if there is any inflammation.
This patch test prevents any serious damage to sensitive areas of your skin. Always check a product before applying it directly.
However, if you do not want raw gel then you can always purchase it from the market. It is much more convenient and has additional beneficial ingredients like calendula that help in soothing skin.
Now that you know how to extract it, let’s find out its benefits and use.
Benefits and Use of Aloe Vera Gel On Face
Treating Sunburns: You are likely to get sunburns in the extreme summer heat. One way to cure it is to apply the chilled gel all over your burns.
With its natural cooling and soothing properties, aloe vera is a good cure for sunburns.
Keep applying it twice or thrice a day till you see any changes in your inflammation and redness.
You can also mix 2 parts of water with one part of the gel to make a spray and use it on your burnt skin.
The antioxidants and minerals in the aloe vera gel help to increase skin healing and provides the skin with moisture and protection.
Though it cannot prevent sunburns, just treat them. Hence, you should still wear sunscreen regularly.
As a Skincare Product: Aloe vera can become a skincare product itself.
You can use it as moisturizers, a face wash or as a toner in your skincare routine.
Apply some gel to your face and rub gently in circular motions. Cleanse it off with water and top it up with a toner.
Make a toner by mixing water with half the quantity of aloe vera. Store it in a spray bottle and refrigerate. Do not add any additional ingredients like alcohol.
People with dry skin can also make use of the gel as a moisturizer. It does not apply heavily rather it settles down in the skin and unclogs the pores.
It is also beneficial as an aftershave treatment. Aloe vera heals the burns and wounds of shaving while soothing the skin, hydrating it and keeping it soft and smooth.
As a Skin Treatment: Not only is aloe vera good for skincare, it can also address certain skin conditions.
It is beneficial against eczema, infections, acne and rosacea.
Aloe vera reduces dryness and itchiness which can increase eczema. If there is eczema in the scalp, it helps alleviate that too. More on that later.
Psoriasis shows similar symptoms and. Therefore it helps reduce the itchiness and inflammation in this skin condition as well.
Aloe vera is antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Hence, it treats acne, rosacea and pimples without harming the rest of the skin.
It restricts bacteria and encourages the growth of cells. Moreover, it treats inflammation and redness while also cleansing dirt, sebum and shrinking pores.
You can mix a tablespoon of the gel with a few drops of lemon juice. Directly apply it to the pimples and acne twice a day. Also, mix aloe vera with tea tree oil for better treatment against pimples.
For Skin Healing: Aloe vera can treat burns, cuts, nicks etc because it heals wounds fastly.
It increases the growth of new cells by eight times hence, it reduces the time for healing and treats 1st and 2nd degrees burns quickly.
In fact, it is so good for wound healing that it penetrates the epidermis faster than water.
You can apply the gel to the wound or cut and put a bandage over it. Let it heal overnight and your healing process will be faster.
Similarly, it can treat insect bites as well as work as an antifungal treatment. Clean the infected area with water and apply the gel for 15 to 20 minutes.
Treating Aging Skin and Blemishes: Aloe vera is loaded with Vitamin C, and beta-carotene which helps in anti-aging, are anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.
As it renews cell growth it increases the production of elastin and collagen in the body. This helps to decrease the blemishes, fine lines and stretch marks. It is also effective against freckles if you add some lemon juice to it.
Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel for Hair
Not only is aloe vera beneficial for face but also for your hair.
It is rich in vitamins and minerals which encourage hair growth and treat the scalp.
Some of these benefits include:
Increases Hair Growth
As aloe vera initiates skin cell regrowth it also increases hair growth. When you apply it to the scalp, it increases blood circulation there.
Alongside it contains proteolytic enzymes which repair the dead skin already present on the scalp.
Therefore if you fear a lot of hair loss recently, aloe vera gel can help you recover from that.
An Alternative to Conditioner
A conditioner helps to smoothen your hair however, it is full of chemicals that can also harm your hair and scalp.
On the other hand, aloe vera helps to moisturize and soften the hair in the same way it moisturizes the skin.
If you make it a routine, then it helps to retain the shine and smoothness of your hair.
Gets Rid of Dandruff
It is a natural solution to dandruff. You get dandruff because of either dryness, extremely oily skin, or some sort of fungal infection.
Aloe vera is useful in healing all of these factors. Hence, it reduces dandruff in your hair if you apply it to your scalp.
While this gel is greatly effective in treating the skin and hair, it also has various health benefits.
Aloe gel can help treat the heartburn caused by GERD and acid reflux.
Since it is not toxic, you can consume one to two teaspoons after every meal.
It not only eases heartburn but also treats other digestive issues.
It is a natural alternative to mouthwash as it contains natural ingredients like Vitamin C and minerals that help reduce plaque.
Moreover, as it has good wound healing properties, it can also soothe bleeding gums.
- Controlling Blood Sugar levels
While this is still under research, aloe vera may be effective in treating diabetes.
Taking as little as two tablespoons of aloe vera juice in a day can reduce the blood glucose levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
However, you should use it after consulting your doctor. It may reduce your sugar to dangerous levels if you take it with medicines.
This is not a health benefit but it can be beneficial for your consumption.
If aloe vera coats food it stays fresh for longer as it protects from bacteria.
This applies to both fruits and vegetables. In the future, it can serve as an alternative to dangerous chemical preservatives.
Risks and Side Effects of Using Aloe Vera Gel
While aloe vera is generally safe, you should not use it on severe burns.
Aloe may not be as effective in treating deeper wounds and severe burns and may interfere with the healing process, slowing it down.
If you have sensitive or dry skin it may sting or burn at first. While this is normal, a rash or appearance of hives may indicate that you are allergic to it and you should not use it again.
Therefore, do a patch test beforehand.
You should also not use it directly on an infection. It does have anti-microbial properties but it can slow down healing as well.
Though for skin and hair, it is considered safe.
Aloe vera gel is a holy grail product for the face, skin and hair.
Moreover, it is natural so the side effects and risks are minimal.
Though, use it with caution and sparingly. Excess of everything is wrong and a little product can go a long way.