Aloe vera gel is a clear gel-like substance that is obtained from the genus of the Aloe plant and species A. vera. The plant is commonly found in the tropics but grows well indoors where there is direct sunlight. The plant is grown for ornamental and medicinal uses. Many people mistake it for the cacti family. This plant has long green stems with pointed tips, and sometimes a mottled pattern.
An aloe plant grows fairly quickly, and you can transplant the leaves into new pots to grow more plants. Once you discover the benefits of aloe vera gel you’ll be eager to have a ready supply of adult plants available for your skincare needs. If you don’t want to take the time to grow your own plants, you can find nearly pure aloe vera gel in tubes or containers at your local store or online.
Aloe vera gel has a light but pleasant fresh green natural scent. It has a silky smooth texture that is not sticky, and if it does get on clothing or linens, it easily rinses out with only warm water.
Aloe vera gel can help sooth and moisturize the skin, and is particularly beneficial for certain skin conditions involving inflammation or dry skin.
Why is Aloe Vera Gel Good for Skin?
Aloe vera gel contains over 75 potentially active compounds, including vitamins A, C, & E, enzymes, sugars, minerals, salicylic acids, and amino acids that are required by the human body. When applied to the skin, this gel can provide many cosmetic and medicinal properties.
Aloe vera gel can soften dry skin, heal scars, soothe sunburns, and speed up the healing and moisturizing of dry inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It can also speed up the healing of acne, and it’s antiseptic properties can prevent further flareups. Many people may also find it beneficial in healing up viral conditions such as cold sores or chicken pox.
How to Extract Aloe Vera Gel from Plants
The best source is directly from an aloe vera plant. It’s simple to extract the gel needed, while leaving the rest of the plant intact. Be sure to remove it from an adult plant, and choose a large stalk. You don’t want to harvest the entire plant at once, as you want to use it for the weeks ahead and allow it to continue growing.
Using scissors, snip off two or three inches of the pointed part of the leaf. Don’t worry about the bit of gel that drips out from the plant. It will heal itself up. While the leaf won’t grow back, other parts of the plant will continue growing, so one plant should last you for an entire season until you can remove leaves to grow new plants.
Once you have cut your leaves, wash them under a warm tap. This will remove any dirt and debris from the surface. Don’t worry if a yellow gel comes out. This is called aloe latex. It’s generally discarded as it can cause diarrhea if you drink your aloe gel orally.
Dry your leaves off, then place them onto a cutting board. Use a really sharp knife to trim the pointed spines from both sides of each leaf. The next step will involve removing the top and the bottom of the leaves.
You’ll have slabs of the gel. Ensure that you remove any small remaining leaf parts. Rinse the gel under the tap to get the latex residue off. Then cube your gel.
You can now take the gel and place it into a small glass jar. Keep your gel intact until you need it. You can then gently mash it out to a consistency that is good for rubbing onto the skin. You can the store your gel in the fridge until you need it. You should use up your gel within three days before its beneficial compounds start breaking down.
Options to Growing Your Own Aloe Vera Plants
If you live in a part of the world that doesn’t get a lot of the bright sun that the aloe plants love you can purchase your aloe vera gel in tubes or containers from the store. But if you do that, you should be aware that a preservative must be mixed with the gel, otherwise it will brown and turn bad.
Before purchasing from a store, read the label. You want to buy a gel that contains mostly aloe vera. For example, look for 98% pure aloe gel. You’ll never find 100% aloe vera gel, as it will quickly go bad. If you want 100%, then buy an aloe vera plant.
You also want to avoid colorants, such as green tints, or fragrances. Seaweed is a relatively safe as a natural thickener. Carbomer is a synthetic and should be avoided. Water may be used to water it down. Absorbic acid and potassium sorbate are reasonably natural preservatives.
Homemade Aloe Vera Face Mask
You can make your own homemade aloe vera face mask in the comfort of your home, and for just a fraction of the cost of a salon facial. You may make this special face mask from your plant, or from a high-quality aloe vera gel from the store. You can add other natural ingredients, such as lemon or honey to add additional healing properties to the face mask.
Ingredients Required for Aloe Vera Face Mask
Collect together the following ingredients to make your own soothing and healing face mask. This mask is good for both treating acne, and helping to lighten skin to even out skin tone.
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
- 2-3 drops of lemon juice
- Small bowl and spoon
How to Make Your Aloe Vera Face Mask
Mash your gel with the lemon juice. Ensure that the gel is thoroughly distributed, otherwise clumps of gel will just fall off your face. Depending on what purpose you’re using your face mask for will depend on how long you leave it on, and how often you apply it.
How to Apply Aloe Vera on Your Face for Acne
If you’re using your face mask for acne, apply it once in the morning and once at night. Go through the following steps.
- Use your fingertips to apply the mixture to your face.
- It can be messy, so do this task in the bath or shower in case the mask drips down your face.
- Use a towel to wipe around eyes as the lemon juice will sting them.
- Gently massage the mask into your skin ensuring that it penetrates the skin pores where acne bacteria lurks.
- Set a timer and leave on for 15 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
- Apply a light natural moisturizer but avoid clogging your pores with cosmetics.
- Repeat your treatment at bedtime.
- Do twice a day for the next two weeks.
- When your acne has significantly healed, you may do your treatments every 3 days.
- Keep up the treatments, as acne bacteria can be cyclical and come back the following month.
How to Use Aloe Vera on Face for Skin Fairness
If you’re using your aloe vera gel to brighten your face, or to even out skin tone after surgical or accidental scarring, acne scarring, or sunburn scarring, follow these steps.
- Apply the face mask to your face.
- Focus on the regions that have darkened scars or skin, while leaving regular skin alone.
- Leave your skin mask on for 20 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
- Repeat your treatments once a week until your skin has an even skin tone.
- It can take about a month for the epidermis to fully rejuvenate, so stick with your treatments for that length of time.
- Repeat at any time if you see your skin tone becoming uneven.
Benefits of Aloe Vera on Face Overnight
Many people can benefit from wearing aloe vera gel on their faces for overnight. It requires a minimum of effort, and you can sleep while your skin absorbs its benefits. In the morning, simply wash your face and you’re ready to go.
All you have to do at bedtime is apply the aloe vera gel all over your face. It doesn’t matter if you get it on your hairline or in your brows as you will simply shower it off in the morning. Aloe gel is also safe to use around the eyes.
While people can be allergic to anything, aloe vera gel has a high rate of tolerance for most people, and generally you’ll find it will be irritation-free.
- The gel contains natural antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
- Burns and small cuts will heal faster.
- Sunburns will be soothed, and skin will decrease in redness and inflammation.
- Its moisturizing properties will prevent lines and wrinkles.
- It can heal and prevent acne, itchy fungal infections, and coldsores.
- It works as a moisturizer to heal dry itchy skin.
- It can soothe inflammatory skin conditions, revealing healthier skin in the morning.
Application of Aloe Vera on Face Daily Benefits
Both men and women can use aloe vera on a daily basis. Men may find it particularly beneficial as it doesn’t have a feminine floral smell, while people who have allergies will appreciate how it isn’t scented with artificial scents or fragrances.
Aloe vera gel can be used all day and all night long. The benefits are much the same, except that if you wear it at night you can apply a heavier noticeable amount, while for daytime you only want a thin layer so you can apply cosmetics on top.
Aloe Vera Gel for the Body
Just like the benefits for your face, your body can also benefit from the ale vera gel. It’s particularly helpful for dry elbows, knees, and feet. You can also use it to help heal stretch marks from pregnancy. And since aloe vera gel doesn’t contain fragrances, dyes, or harmful preservatives, you can use it anywhere you want.
Where to Find Aloe Vera Gel
You have two options when purchasing aloe vera. You can either purchase a plant from a nursery or a grocery store that sells plants, or you can purchase your aloe vera gel in a tube or container.
You may also see aloe vera gel as a drink or juice, and while it’s great for internal digestive issues, this type is too thin and drippy to be used on your skin. Look for the gel in the tube, jar, or container first.
- Most grocery stores and pharmacies have aloe vera gel. Look for one with a high content of aloe vera, ie. 98%.
- Online wellness stores will sell the gel in their lotions section.
- Direct from brand manufacturers’ sites.
Cautions to Note When Buying Aloe Vera Gel
Be careful when purchasing your aloe vera gel. Some common brands of creams and lotions claim to contain aloe vera, yet it’s in such small quantities that its healing properties will be lost. Also, read the list of ingredients. If there are ten or more it could be laden with harmful chemicals that you don’t want on your skin.
Another caution is that some people have allergies. If this is you, you may wish to test a drop of gel on your inner wrist and leave it overnight. If there is no redness or hives the next morning, you can proceed with using it on your face or body.
Add Aloe Vera Gel to Your Shopping List Now
Aloe vera gel has many benefits for cosmetics or in healing skin conditions. While there are many other natural substances you can use on your skin, aloe vera gel is light and silky so that if you accidentally drop some on your silk blouse or cotton sheets, you can be confident that it will easily wash out with only warm water, unlike if you used a moisturizing oil.
While aloe vera gel is fresh in your mind, shop around a bit and add it to your shopping cart. When your order arrives you’ll soon discover how well the aloe gel absorbs into your skin, and how you can use it for many skin care purposes.