If you follow me on Instagram, you will see my plant obsession is still going strong. Really strong. In fact, I’ve progressed to the point where I’m now talking to my plants, naming my plants, and regularly browsing Etsy for plant stands and hanging plant baskets. Don’t even get me started on terrariums!
Pretty much every room in our house is complete with a plant friend…everything from herbs, to ferns, to cacti, to succulents. I haven’t put plants in our bathrooms yet, but I’m not against it.
Lately, my biggest plant obsession has been…aloe vera.
This isn’t my first encounter with the plant, though. I have memories of my mom snipping the tip off an aloe vera plant leaf, squeezing out the gel, and rubbing it directly on my sunburn. I also have a faint memory of her using it on our bug bites. Anyway, she was on to something.
Aloe vera gel has been used for centuries to moisturize, heal, and protect the skin.
Why Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera gel and aloe vera juice contain more than 200 bioactive compounds like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. After doing a little research, I learned some Native Americans called aloe vera the “wand of heaven” and the Egyptians referred to the plant as “the plant of immortality”.
Do I need to say more?
You might have your own aloe vera plant in your home for minor sunburns, scrapes, etc. But, there are some other amazing ways to utilize this plant!
Aloe Vera Beauty Hacks
- Under-Eye Gel – The delicate skin around the eyes is often the first to show signs of aging. If you aren’t using an eye cream morning and evening…START NOW! You can also use the gel from an aloe vera plant…not only does it have amazing anti-aging benefits, it also moisturizes the under eye area and helps with my under eye puffiness during allergy season. Pat a little under your eyes at night and…voila!
- Body Exfoliator – Aloe is such a great base for a homemade body scrub. Mix aloe gel with baking soda or sugar to get the consistency you like. Use the scrub in the shower on your arms, legs, heels, elbows, or anywhere that needs exfoliation! This is my exfoliator of choice before spray tans.
- Shaving – I will never shave with soap or shaving cream again! Apply aloe gel to your legs, under arms, bikini area, etc… and get to shaving! You will be amazed how smooth, soft, and moisturized your skin will feel hours after your shower.
- Acne Spot Treatment – Aloe has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that protect the skin from bacterial buildup, making it a perfect acne spot treatment. I often put a little aloe on my acne spots before bed, and I usually wake up with skin that is a little less red and a little less angry…which makes me a happy gal!
- Scars – When I first met my husband, he used expensive scar creams to help lighten some pretty gnarly scars from a scary motorcycle wreck. Now, he just uses pure aloe vera gel! Less expensive, and just as effective. Also, studies have shown that aloe actually improves collagen formation during wound healing, which is great to help prevent scaring from recent acne marks.
How to Get The Good Stuff
If you have an aloe vera plant at home and follow these steps:
- Select a leaf that is on the outside of the plant. They are the oldest and contain the most gel.
- Use a sharp knife and cut off a leaf from the plant. Slice the leaf at its base, near the soil.
- Carefully cut any sharp or thorny edges from the edges of the leaves.
- Squeeze the gel out of the leaf or slice open the leaf.
- Save any unused gel or unused sections of the leaf in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If you don’t want to mess with the plant or you prefer to just buy the gel, I recommend Curaloe Pure Aloe Vera Gel. I was introduced to Curaloe when my husband and I traveled to Curacao about a year ago. The plants are grown on a huge aloe vera plantation in the St. Joris area of Curacao, and the Curaloe products are very high quality.
I can’t be the only one who loves aloe! Let me know below if you’ve tried any of these aloe vera beauty hacks. 🙂