Aloe Vera is probably one of the oldest plants that is still respected and widely used now days. According to some historians, people have been using Aloe Vera almost 6,000 years back.
We can trace the usage of Aloe all the way back to ancient Egypt. The legend goes that Cleopatra regarded Aloe as the “sacred plant” and used it in her daily beauty care routine. And other women also valued the plant and believed that it will assist them in attaining physical and spiritual beauty.
In present times we still use Aloe like our ancestors and still value it for its amazing properties.
- Aloe is so versatile, that we use is almost everywhere: cooking, medicine, cosmetics, skincare and haircare. If we were to use more scientific terms, aloe had antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties while still being gentle on the skin- but what do these terms mean exactly?
- Moisturizes – aloe is famous for its moisturizing properties. It will make your skin feel and look hydrated, healthy and glowing.
- Provides UV protection – Ultraviolet radiation from the sun may cause ageing and skin irritation such as sunburn. Aloe extract provides skin protection before you go outside. It will also sooth your sunburn after.
- Soothes minor burns and cuts – Aloe extract has the ability to relieve pain from the small burns or cuts you might have gotten. The plant’s antioxidant and inflammatory components also allows minor injuries to heal faster.
- Aloe has anti-bacterial properties – so many people use aloe vera gel for acne, to heal minor cuts and even small acne scars
- Aloe is also anti-inflammatory agent meaning that if you have rosacea, eczema or any reaction that makes your skin look red – aloe will sooth and calm irritation.
There is a big variety of beauty products on the market that contain aloe vera in them. I tried few of those products and found them to be quite good and beneficial for my skin.
However, I know that many people prefer homemade beauty products. I love making my own care items myself too once in awhile.
There are many benefits of homemade goods:
- You know exactly what your product contains. You put all ingredients into it yourself, so you will not have any surprises in terms of chemicals and additives.
- You know 100% that your product is natural and organic (provided you are using organic ingredients).
- You can always customize your product by adding other ingredients that will suit your skin’s needs.
- There is something magical about making your own care products; for me it feels that I don’t just “mix things”. It feels that some of my spirit, my feelings, my soul also adds to the product.
- There are many, many ways to use aloe vera in cosmetics: it is good for your skin, so you can make cleanser, toners, gels and masks. Aloe vera is excellent for your hair, so you can make shampoos, conditioners and hair masks.
Who should not be using Aloe Vera?
There are no specific contraindications, however, we should not forget about individual allergies and sensitivities.
Also, some people report photosensitivity (it is when your skin becomes too reactive to sunlight and might burn easily) when using Aloe Vera containing gels and creams. This reaction is extremely rare; however, it is worth mentioning.
Always perform a skin patch test when using a product with an ingredient you’ve never tried before.
How to perform an allergy patch test?
Take a drop or a very small amount of a product
Place it on a small patch of your skin. It would be better if you choose the side where it is not noticeable to other people in case you do have an allergic reaction.
Wait for 24 hours. If there is no reaction (redness, swelling or/and itching) the product is safe to use.
Things to consider when making Aloe Vera products at home
- Always wash your aloe vera leaves well. Poorly cleaned leaves will contaminate your product and might cause an infection on your skin.
- I read in many articles that before preparing aloe vera gels and cream, you should place its leaves in a dark, cool place for 7 to 12 days (the longer, the better). The reason is that when leaves are stored in dark, cool place, the activity of plant cells increases, so increasing overall benefits from the plant.
- In other words, if you have patience, put aloe vera leaves on the bottom shelf of your fridge for 12 days and then use them for your products. If you have not patience, like me, then you can still use aloe vera without waiting.
- Anti-ageing effects of aloe plant starts showing when the plant is at least 3 years old. If you can, do not use young aloe vera plant leaves, because they do not have a potent concentration of “good” elements in them.
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1. Homemade Aloe Vera Gel
You can use this gel by itself; just apply to a clean damp skin. You can also use it as an additive to other skincare products. You can add this gel to your creams and toners; shampoos and conditioners and masks.
3 leaves of aloe vera plant
1 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil
- Cut aloe leaves in half. Then filet gel off the skin with a very sharp knife
- Place gel into a glass bowl
- Add vitamin E oil
- Mix everything with a mixer thoroughly
- Transfer gel to an air tight glass jar
- Place gel in the refrigerator and keep for a month
2. DIY Aloe Vera Honey Moisturizing and Nourishing Cream
This homemade aloe vera cream will hydrate your skin and will supply it with necessary vitamins and minerals. According to the legend, beautiful Cleopatra used this cream herself (I find it hard to believe, but why not).
This cream will require few things to be prepared in advance. First: rose water – you can either buy it or make it yourself. You can read all the benefits of rose water as well as recipes on how to make it and where to buy by following this post HERE.
Second, you will need to make (or buy) aloe vera juice.
4 tablespoons of aloe vera juice
2 tablespoons of rose water
1 teaspoon of honey
4 tablespoons of distilled water or mineral water
80-100 grams of shea butter
- Mix all ingredients together except for shea butter
- Using bain-marie (double boiler) melt shea butter slowly. Make sure that water in your double boiler is on the lowest temperature possible, you do not want to overheat butter
- Slowly introduce liquid mixture to melted shea butter stirring constantly
- Once all ingredients blend together, transfer your cream to a glass jar
- Keep refrigerated for up to 6 months
- Use cream twice a day applying to face, neck and hands
3. Moisturizing Face Mask for Dry, Tired Skin with Aloe Vera Juice
1 table spoon of aloe juice
2 teaspoons of warmed liquid honey
- Mix all ingredients together
- Apply to cleansed face for 15-20 min
- Wash off with lukewarm water
4. Honey and Aloe Vera Anti-Acne Face Mask
This mask has a high concentration of aloe vera, green tea, tea tree oil and honey which are all known for their anti-bacterial, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties.
1 large leaf of aloe vera plant
1 cup of hot freshly brewed green tea
2 tablespoons of honey
5 drops of tea tree essential oil
- Boil water and make a cup of green tea
- Cut aloe leaf in tiny pieces
- Pour steaming tea over aloe leaf pieces, stir and let mixture to cool off
- Add honey and tea tree oil to cooled aloe-green tea mixture
- Soak a gauze (or piece of thin fabric, or cut cheese cloth in some large squares) with the mask and apply saturated gauze over your face
- Wait for 20 minutes, remove gauze.
- Pat remaining mask into the skin, you do not have to rinse off mask solution
5. Aloe Mask for Dry and Dehydrated Skin
This is a very powerful mask that will rehydrate very dry, thirsty skin.
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed aloe juice (take a piece of aloe leaf and squeeze some juice out), or bought aloe vera juice
1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Mix aloe juice and olive oil together
- Apply to clean damp skin
- Leave for 20 min
- Wash off with lukewarm water
- You can do this mask as many times a week as you would like
6. Lemon and Aloe Vera Anti-Aging Lifting Mask
Aloe vera is a very strong anti-aging ingredient: it hydrates skin (as we age, our skin loses moisture and starts looking dry, dull and wrinkly), it also fades age spots. Egg yolk will provide lifting effect to your skin. It will also visibly minimize your pores.
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed aloe juice (take a piece of aloe leaf and squeeze some juice out), or bough aloe vera juice
1 egg white
½ teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
- Whisk egg white
- Mix egg white, aloe juice and lemon juice together
- Leave for 20 min
- Wash off with lukewarm water
- Do this mask 2-3 times a week
7. Calming Mask with Aloe Vera and Calendula
This mask can also be used as aloe vera cream for dry skin. It is also perfect for sensitive, acne prone skin and those people who have eczema and psoriasis. To read more about benefits of calendula for our skin, read the blog post by following the link HERE.
2 table spoon of calendula infusion (recipe below)
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed aloe juice (take a piece of aloe leaf and squeeze some juice out), or purchased aloe vera juice
- Prepare calendula infusion: take 2 tablespoons of calendula flowers and power 1 cup of boiling water over it. Cover the cup and let infusions brew for 30-45 min.
- Take cooled infusion and add aloe juice.
- Apply mask to clean skin
- You do not have to wash it off, leave it for a day or overnight
- You can apply your other skincare products on top of the mask
Aloe vera has so many benefits for your skin and it is not hard to make your own beauty products. In addition, this plant is excellent for hair care as well. You can make your own aloe vera shampoo, aloe vera hair masks and other hair products.
Please, leave us a comment and share your experience using aloe vera to make your own skin care products.