Have a look at different natural beauty products and you will be amazed to see one common ingredient in several of the products. The ingredient is aloe vera, which is a common plant in home gardens in many parts of the world.
Aloe vera has so many medicinal properties that ancient Egyptians called it the “plant of immortality.”
Even today, the use of aloe vera is very wide and extensive in the beauty industry.
The gel inside aloe vera leaves is loaded with several nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are good for the skin and hair. This herb is safe to use externally and internally.
Here are the top 10 beauty benefits of aloe vera.
1. Prevents Premature Aging Signs
Aging signs like wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin are bound to appear with age, but at times these signs appear earlier. You can prevent premature aging signs by including aloe vera in your beauty regimen due to its high antioxidant content.
Aloe vera gel penetrates keep into the skin to keep it moisturized. Being a rich sourch of nutrients like vitamins A, B, C and E, it nourishes your skin. Also, the gel contains polysaccharides that stimulate skin regeneration.
A 2013 study published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that fresh aloe vera gel in varied concentrations showed improvement of the skin’s visco elastic and hydration properties, which are important for fighting premature aging signs. The study sheds light on the synergistic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and ultraviolet (UV) protective properties of the herbal plant.
To keep your skin young, it is important to exfoliate on a weekly basis. To make an exfoliating mask:
- Blend 1 teaspoon of fresh aloe vera gel.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of ground oatmeal and ½ teaspoon of olive oil in it.
- Apply this mixture on your face and neck area.
- Allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
- Then, with wet hands, gently scrub off the paste.
- Finally, rinse your face and neck with cold water.
- Use this mask once a week.
2. Keeps Skin Moisturized
Being a great natural moisturizer, aloe vera keeps the skin well hydrated and enhances its elasticity. Well-hydrated and moisturized skin looks healthy and smooth.
It easily penetrates into the skin when applied topically and also helps restore the pH balance of the skin. Plus, aloe vera does not give a greasy look, making it a good option for those who have oily skin.
A 2006 study published in Skin Research and Technology reports that freeze-dried aloe vera extract is effective at improving skin hydration, possibly through a humectant mechanism. Consequently, it may be used in cosmetic products for the treatment of dry skin.
- Peel off the outer layer of an aloe vera leaf with a sharp knife and gently scoop out the gel.
- Massage the gel on your face, neck and other body parts.
- Do it daily before going to bed.
3. Reduces Acne
Aloe vera is a natural antibacterial agent that helps fight the bacteria responsible for acne. It also stimulates the growth of new cells.
Plus, it has healing and anti-inflammatory properties that help the skin heal quickly and reduces skin inflammation.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found aloe vera to be very effective for the treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel directly on the affected areas a few times a day.
- Fill an ice cube tray with aloe vera gel and freeze it. Rub a frozen cube on your acne to soothe the inflammation. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
- Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel with ½ teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice. Apply it on the acne-affected area. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse it off with water. Do this twice daily.
Along with treating acne, this natural herb is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis and eczema.
4. Treats Sunburns
The soothing and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera help treat skin sunburn. Plus, the gel helps retain the skin’s moisture level, which is important for healing sunburned skin.
Aloe vera is even effective at getting rid of an unwanted suntan.
A 2008 study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology notes that aloe vera gel displayed some anti-inflammatory effects and is useful in the topical treatment of inflammatory skin conditions, such as UV-induced erythema.
- Apply freshly extracted aloe vera gel directly on the sunburned area and allow it to dry on its own. There is no need to rinse it off. The gel quickly penetrates into the skin and does not have a greasy feel.
- Alternatively, mix 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and the juice of half a lemon. Massage it on the sunburned skin in circular motions. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
5. Minimizes Stretch Marks
Ugly stretch marks can steal away the beauty of your skin. Though it is difficult to get rid of stretch marks completely, you can minimize their visibility to a great extent with aloe vera.
Aloe vera can help restore the skin’s elasticity and repair skin damage.
- Mix together equal amounts of aloe vera gel and rose water.
- Apply it on the stretch marks and massage gently in circular motions for a couple of minutes.
- Keep it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Finally, rinse it off with cool water.
- Do this twice daily.
6. Works as a Natural Makeup Remover
Commercial makeup removers can be full of harmful chemicals that can be damaging to your skin. Instead, you can use aloe vera as a natural makeup remover.
The slippery nature of the gel can easily collect makeup residue and leave your skin clean. It even gives the skin a radiant glow.
- Put a dollop of pure aloe vera gel onto a cotton ball.
- Swipe the cotton ball all around your face to remove your makeup.
- Finally, rinse your face with water, pat dry and apply a light moisturizer.
7. Promotes Hair Growth
In addition to skin, aloe vera gel is good for your hair health. It can help promote hair growth.
It also removes dead cells from your scalp that can clog your hair follicles and result in dandruff. Plus, aloe vera can help maintain the pH balance of your scalp, which is needed for healthier hair.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research reports that the enzyme content of aloe vera prevents hair loss by protecting the scalp against many diseases. It also aids in the reduction of dandruff.
- Mix aloe vera gel and castor oil in the ratio of 2:1.
- Gently massage the mixture onto your scalp.
- Leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, wash your hair with a gentle shampoo.
- Do this twice a week.
8. Heals Minor Burns, Wounds and Insect Bites
The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic nature of aloe vera makes it effective against minor wounds, small cuts, bruises and insect bites.
A 2007 study published in Burns found aloe vera to be an effective intervention used in burn wound healing for first- to second-degree burns.
A recent 2016 study published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery reports that topical application of aloe vera improved the biochemical, morphological and biomechanical characteristics of the healing cutaneous wounds in rats. This treatment option may be valuable in clinical practice.
- Cut open an aloe vera leaf to extract the gel.
- Put the gel in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Apply it directly onto the affected area.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
9. Treats Cracked Feet
Cracked feet can take away the beauty of your feet. To bring that beauty back, you can always rely on aloe vera.
Aloe vera has moisturizing and antibacterial properties, which make it an excellent treatment for dry and cracked heels. Plus, it helps get rid of dead skin cells and aids in skin cell regeneration.
- Mix together 4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and ½ cup each of oatmeal and gram flour.
- Rub the paste all over your cracked feet and massage gently.
- Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Rinse it off with warm water.
- Use this foot mask 1 or 2 times a week to prevent and treat cracked feet.
10. Lightens Dark Lips
Aloe vera can also be used to lighten your lips and make them soft and supple. It helps get rid of dead skin cells and rejuvenates the soft skin of your lips with its soothing properties.
- Rub aloe vera gel regularly on your lips to lighten and soften them.
- For a weekly treatment, mix 1 tablespoon of coarsely powdered rice with enough aloe vera gel to make a paste. Rub this homemade scrub on your lips gently for 5 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water. Use this lip scrub once a week.