Growing up, my Mom kept an aloe vera plant in the house. Whenever there was a cut, scrape, sun burn or any other sort of skin irritation, my Mom encouraged my brothers and I to pick off a leaf of the aloe vera plant and use the gel inside to help soothe our skin. Fast forward 20 years or so later and Mom’s advice lives on. I’ve now got an aloe vera plant of my own, and as of recent have come up with my own list of ways to use this amazingly moisturizing and healing plant.
Aloe vera is known for being healing, moisturzing and softening for the skin. It is a commonly used in cosmetics and hair care products – it’s likely in many of the products you already own. Any sort of skin issue you are dealing with- be it any kind of burn, cut, insect bites and stings, bruises, blemishes, welts… aloe vera is dramatically effective in helping the skin heal. It’s healing capabilities don’t just stop on the outside, either. Internally, aloe vera can help heal ulcers, stomach disorders, normalize bowel movements, hemorrhoids and other colon issues. It is a great natural cleanser for the colon and helps clear out the toxic material that tends to gather there. Cleansing of course happens with regular (but periodic – it is possible to build an intolerance) use.
Despite actually having an Aloe plant of my own, I do keep a tub of pure aloe vera gel around. I love it so much that before I run out I make sure to pick up another tub so I always have one around. Below are some of my favourite and most common uses.
1. Eyebrow Gel: There are a ton of companies that will sell you on an eyebrow gel product to help maintain the shape of your brows throughout the day. You can save yourself some serious cash and extra added ingredients by simply using aloe vera gel. Even on days I don’t fill in my brows, I always make a point of shaping them with a spoolie brush. I will take a teeny tiny amount of aloe vera gel and then use a spoolie brush to comb my brows into my desired shape. A little goes a long way, and it really works. Best of all you are using one ingredient with major skin benefits with no added nasties to worry about.
2. Sun Burn Soother: Aloe vera for sun burns is probably not new news to many of us, but I came up with this combo during my recent trip to Hawaii and absolutely loved the way it felt on my skin. You can certainly buy soothing products for a sun burn, but again, this quick mix will save you exposure to chemical additives often found in store bought products and will soothe you skin in an amazing way.
- 2 drops of peppermint essential oil to help cool the skin
- 3-5 drops of a carrier oil of your choice: I like jojoba because of the light consistency
- big dollop of pure aloe vera gel.
The cooling peppermint with the gel and oil to help it spread truly made my burn feel so much better. Best of all, all of the ingredients are moisturizing and healing. Sunburns happen, even for us that are diligent with our SPF usage.
3. In my morning smoothie: Yep, that’s right. I even drink the stuff. The brand I go for is Georges. The taste is mild and can be added to any combination. I usually add around 1 oz. into my smoothie. I have seen a lot of aloe vera drinks, typically in the Asian section or when I have actually traveled to Asia, but for the most part they have a lot of added sugar that I try to steer clear of. If you are interested in taking aloe vera internally, it is best to try and avoid the sugary drinks and instead opt for pure aloe.
4. As a facial moisturizer: I do treat myself to quality face cream or moisturizer and sometimes that comes with a bit of a price tag. Add a small amount of Aloe Vera to your moisturizer will help stretch the longevity of your face cream and will help double up on the healing and moisturizing benefits. In times when I have been in a pinch, I have concocted my own facial moisturizer by combining helichyrsum essential oil, frankincense essential oil, jojoba oil and aloe vera gel.
5. Hair Mask: aloe vera is extremely hydrating. Given how dry Calgary’s climate can be (especially in Winter), I like to pair aloe vera gel with raw honey (a natural humectant) and coconut oil for a moisturizing, replenishing scalp and hair treatment. Did you know dandruff can actually stunt hair growth due to its impact on the hair follicle? Keeping your scalp hydrated will make it easier to grow out your luscious locks.
Do you use aloe vera? What’s your favourite way? Happy Easter!