Today I will talk about my favorite super Plant ALOE VERA. It has been gifted to mankind since ages. It is nature’s remedy to many health and beauty issues. It contains amazing magical properties. I will highlight few and discuss more of its contributions towards beauty .
I have been using it in number of ways in my beauty regime and saved my self couple of bucks. It works beyond expectations than those over the counter treatments and beauty creams.
As a person who is always finding natural solutions to my skin issues. This practice is inherited by my dear mother. I have grown, looking up to her finding natural solutions to every day beauty problems. That I will keep sharing in my blog .
The name Aloe vera derives from the Arabic word “Alloeh” meaning “shining bitter substance” while “vera” in Latin means “true”. 2000 years ago, The Greek scientists regarded Aloe vera as the universal panacea (A solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases). The Egyptians called Aloe “the plant of immortality.” The Egyptian queen’s used it for beauty purposes. In ancient war’s it was used to treat the wounds of soldiers .
Its inner clear gel contains 99% water and rest is made of glucomannans, amino acids, lipids, sterols and vitamins. Aloe vera contains 75 potentially active contents including vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, salicylic acid and amino acid
It contains vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, which are antioxidants. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. Antioxidant in it neutralizes free radicals.
It contains 8 enzymes: one of them helps to reduce excessive inflammation. When applied to the skin topically while others help in the breakdown of sugars and fats.
It provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc.
It provides 12 anthraquinones, which are traditionally known as laxatives.
It provides 4 plant steroids; cholesterol, campesterol, β-sisosterol and lupeol. All these have anti-inflammatory action and lupeol also possesses antiseptic and analgesic properties.
It provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. It also contains salicylic acid that possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The acid is also best known for fighting Acne, Acne scars, removing grime and dirt from the pores, purifying skin for flawless complexion. Lignin, an inert substance when included in topical preparations enhances penetrative effect of the other ingredients into the skin. Saponins that are the soapy substances form about 3% of the gel and have cleansing and antiseptic properties.
Moisturizing and anti-aging effect:
It helps in binding moisture into the skin. Aloe stimulates fibroblast which produces the collagen and elastin fibers making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled. It also has cohesive effects on the superficial flaking epidermal cells by sticking them together, which softens the skin. The amino acids also soften hardened skin cells and zinc acts as an astringent to tighten pores. Its moisturizing effects has also been studied for treating dry skin with environmental exposure, where aloe vera gel improved the skin, decreases appearance of fine wrinkle and decreases erythema. It also has anti-acne effect.
Using Aloe Vera:
Now that you know its super contents and benefits it will help justify me, why I use it every day. I use it in number of ways, depending on concern and convenience.
My main concerns are always acne, acne scars ( I have highly acne prone skin) , blemishes, dryness, dehydration discoloration. I have to treat them or either prevent them. ALOE VERA has been with me on this battle no matter what.
It leaves skin more hydrated and glowing. Visible benefits are, scares are fading speedily one week after using it, in second week skin looked even, with constant natural glow from within. Probably Aloe vera is the only remedy for which I can confidently say it gives fast results, but consistency is the key two weeks every day.
I always have a jar of freshly derived Aloe Vera gel in my fridge that I apply twice and thrice a day as I am working in the kitchen. My base layer before applying makeup is always ALOE VERA because it leaves skin soft, supple and hydrated. It gives instant tightening effect on the face.
But freshly derived aloe vera gel is not always convenient to have. For the fact that it expires too quick, I wont recommend it using for more than 2-3 days. Or listen to your instincts.
For this reason I also buy ALOE VERA gel in a jar to keep it in my bathroom (also because my kids don’t like freshly derived gel because of its texture) for quick application on face and body as after bath moisturizer . I wanted something more beneficial in long run than just a moisturizer. As it has amazing anti aging properties.
You can use the gel in number of DIY beauty masks , DIY massaging cleansers or use it alone, to let it do its magic. When applied on hair with home made hair mask will give you moisturized hair. It helps with itchy scalp and dandruff in gentle way.
Here are my few of the favorite DIY ALOE face and hair mask recipes.
DIY BEAUTY MASK
- Aloe gel 1tbs
- Vitamin E. Oil or capsules 1
- Favorite fresh fruit juice 2 tsp
- You’r favorite Clay Powder 2 tsp
- Orange peel powder 1/2 tsp
Add in Aloe gel, vitamin E, fruit juice in your favorite clay powder. I use multani mitti or Indian healing clay. Make a thick paste or work your preferred consistency. Leave it for half and hour then apply it on cleansed face and let it dry. Wash off with lukewarm water followed by Aloe Vera gel in the end as moisturizer.
Here are the direct links to few of my favorite Aloe vera gel’s and Indian healing clay.
FRUITY GLOW MASK
For times like urgent meetup calls, A quick fix solution is needed. I mix the gel, honey with fresh fruit juice ( e.g Orange, Strawberry or Tomato just cut a small piece and squeeze out the juice) gently massage it into the skin and let it dry for tightening, hydration and fruity vitamin glow, it just takes 5 minutes to dry. Though it will be too runny in the consistency you need to dip your fingers and do the massage on face.
DIY HAIR MASK
- Aloe gel 3tbsp
- Honey 1tbsp
- Yogurt quarter of cup
- Egg 1
- Olive Oil 4 tbsp
- Multani mitti
Mix all the ingredients. You can add multani mitti to get your desired thickness of mask. Apply for minimum half an hour, maximum for 1.5 to 2 hours. Wash your hair with lukewarm water (never wash your hair with hot water).