by Melissa Chichester
Although it is native to Northern Africa, it was also highly regarded in ancient India and China in traditional practices. Aloe vera has been used for health and wellness for thousands of years and is so highly regarded it was known as “the plant of immortality” in Ancient Egypt.
In one legend, Alexander the Great was commanded to seize the isolated island of Socotra off of the eastern coast of Africa to gather aloe vera for wounded soldiers. It is also believed that Cleopatra used aloe vera daily as a beauty elixir. Today, aloe vera is frequently used in the most exclusive and expensive skin care products on the market. There’s no doubt that aloe vera is special! Here are seven ways you can use it in your routine.
Skin-pampering aloe vera gel is calming and softening when applied topically to the skin. The thick, clear gel found inside the leaves of the plant can be directly applied to the skin. Many beauty products and skin creams contain aloe vera because it leaves behind smooth and soft skin. It is gentle enough to be used all over the body, including on the face. Pure aloe vera gel can be used on its own to hydrate skin.
Aloe vera gel is best known for soothing skin. Aloe vera can help provide a cooling sensation to the skin, which makes aloe vera great for general after-sun skincare as a follow up to sun tan lotion.
Aloe vera gel can be used as a hair mask to soothe and cleanse the scalp. Aloe vera contains a host of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and several amino acids. These nutrients help nourish the scalp. Here’s how to use aloe vera as a hair mask:
Aloe vera will leave your hair soft, shiny, and replenished.
Aloe vera can be used in DIY face masks as a carrier ingredient. You can mix it with nourishing face mask ingredients including honey, yogurt, or oatmeal. Some face masks come in powder form and are meant to be mixed with water. You can use aloe vera instead of water to blast your skin with its beneficial nutrients!
Facial exfoliators can be expensive. One of the easiest ways to exfoliate your skin gently is to use aloe vera and baking soda. Simply mix one teaspoon of aloe vera with ½ teaspoon of baking soda, and gently rub in circular motions over your skin. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
These are only some of the reasons aloe vera has gained a top spot next to the sunscreen in most medicine cabinets. Aloe vera is one of the useful plants out there, and you can reap the benefits from it with the plant itself, supplements, juice, topical applications, and more.