What Is Aloe Vera?
A species of the genus Aloe, Aloe Vera is a super thick plant that stores water within its leaves in a gel-like substance. The leaves on this plant can grow to about 12-19 inches (potentially higher during the summer) of green, pointed leaves. These plants typically grow in tropical climates.
What Are The Benefits?
Like nearly all plants, Aloe Vera contains many nutrients that make it beneficial.
There is a gel-like substance located inside of the plant’s leaves that holds many antioxidant and antibacterial properties alongside the stored water. You can also find vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to our bodies within this plant.
Because of this, Aloe Vera is the perfect all-natural topical cream, serum; you name it! One of the most common benefits of Aloe Vera is the healing of damaged skin. Since it decreases the time that it takes to heal from many types of trauma to the skin, it is a great go-to when you have an accident or need some restoration.
I remember when I was getting my hair done for the 1st day of 5th grade. My grandfather had a thing for people using his comb. Anytime someone else hair strand was in the teeth of his comb, all hell broke loose.
My aunt and I were in the kitchen where she was curling my hair. My grandpa came and asked who used his comb. Startled, my aunt and I both looked toward my grandpa, and bam! The hot curling iron made contact with the left side of my face, and gave me a 3rd degree burn all the way down to the white meat. Can you believe this happened to me the day before school? A family friend suggested to apply pure Aloe Vera plant gel on the burn. Not only did it completely heal within weeks, it left no scar.
How to Make Your Own Aloe Vera Gel
Who’s ready for the fun part?! Now that you know all about the incredible benefits of Aloe Vera, do you think you can make your gel? I think, yes! Just take note of these easy-to-follow directions and create your own “Aloe potion!”
What You’ll Need:
- Aloe Vera Plant
- Sharp knife
- Small sized bowl
- Medium sized bowl
- Clean jar
- Vegetable peeler
- Natural preservative
Purchase an Aloe Vera plant. You can find these plants at your local home improvement stores, organic markets or plant nurseries. There are also a few online plant stores that sell them, such as Garden Goods Direct and The Growers Exchange
Wash your hands and tools. You want to prevent any germs from entering the gel.
Cut a few leaves off the plant starting with the outer pieces. Leaves around the outer area mature faster. Also, be sure to cut from the base when you’re slicing away.
Leave the leaves sitting upright for a few minutes inside your medium-sized bowl and wait for the dark portion of the resin to drain. You do not want to include the resin in your mixture because it contains latex which is harsh on the skin.
Grab your vegetable peeler (or knife if you do not have one) and peel off the green, outer layer. When cutting, stay as close you can to the green layer to get all of the “gelly” goodness out!
Take your spoon and scoop all of the gel off of the side of the leaf into your small bowl.
Add a preservative to your gel. This step is entirely optional but highly recommended to help your gel last. For every ¼ cup of gel, add in 500mg powdered Vitamin C or 400 IU vitamin E (you can also crush the right number of tablets). You can stir the mixture thoroughly or put it in a blender for faster results.
Pop the lid on your glass jar and place the substance inside. Refrigerate when you’re not using it.
Tip: Keep in mind when making your gel is to create a little at a time if you do not use a preservative.
This type of gel is perishable and only lasts for about a week, so it’s essential just to cut a leaf or two each time you make a batch. You can also freeze your gel after a week and use as needed.
Ways to Use It
Now that you’re ready to use your new jar of homemade gel, we can get into how to use it. Unlike a lot of plants, you can use Aloe Vera for all types of body care methods. Check out a few ways that you can apply this gel in your everyday life.
- Aloe Vera gel nurtures your hair and scalp. When styling your hair, you can add a little of the gel to your hair products for added moisture and nutrients. If you have issues with dandruff, the gel should do the trick.
- You can also apply the gel directly to your edges or scalp if you’re experiencing a little balding. The gel is excellent for hair growth!
- It can be used to style your hair. Since we’re talking hair, here’s a tip for defining and moisturizing your curls: use Aloe Vera gel!
- Apply it to your sunburns or any other burns. Not only does it cool your skin, but it also restores it a lot faster than a regular topical cream.
- Use it on your dry skin. Aloe is known to soothe and moisturize skin since there is plenty of water trapped within the plant.
- It’s great to add to homemade anti-itching mixtures. As you can see, aloe gel is perfect for calming your skin after you expose it to harmful conditions. So, if you have a mosquito bite or any other kind of irritating itch, use a mixture with the gel in it or apply the gel directly to the itchy area.
- Add it to your daily routine for your face. The gel lightens blemishes, fights acne and prevents aging.
It will have YOU, ‘KRUSHING’ on your beauty!
Who knew that a plant provides all of these benefits and uses?! Aloe Vera is one of the best ingredients to use in almost all of your natural home remedies. Restore and heal your hair, face and other skin with your easy-to-make Aloe Vera gel!
If you make your own Aloe Vera gel or have made it in the past, let us in the comments. Be sure to tell us how it has benefited you!