What is Aloe Vera?
The Aloe Vera plant you're likely to recognise is the Aloe Barbadensis Miller, which has thick cactus-like leaves. This species of succulent has a firm outer leaf, and aloe latex within the inner leaf. The aloe latex is a sticky gel, and is the part of the plant which is best for topical use. Surprisingly, this gel consists of over 90% water.
The use of Aloe Vera in organic skin care dates back thousands of years. Egyptian queens such as Cleopatra and Nefertiti believed that bathing in 'the plant of immortality' would enhance and prolong their beauty. Alexander The Great used Aloe Vera as a healing solution for wounded soldiers on the battlefield. In early modern medicine, it was used to soothe the skin of patients burned by primitive X-ray machines. Now, you may find Aloe Vera in many of your cosmetics. In fact, many skin care and makeup products list Aloe Vera as the first ingredient, as a highly beneficial replacement for water (most Certified Organic products on Nourished Life list Aloe Vera first).
The benefits of Aloe Vera
So, what does Aloe Vera do for your skin and body? Today, Aloe Vera is used in organic skin care products, in the place of water as a base for hydration and as an anti-inflammatory star. Its benefits are due to a combination of a very wide range of goodies including Vitamins A and B, folic acid, enzymes, proteins, amino acids, good fatty acids and triglycerides.
Benefits of Aloe Vera for the skin
There are so many Aloe Vera benefits for your face and skin! Found in skin care products, cosmetics, plus used directly as an Aloe Vera gel, this wonderful natural ingredient has so many uses and benefits for the skin:
- Soothes skin irritation and other conditions: Aloe Vera gel is a natural skin care treatment for minor skin irritations, abrasions, burns, ulcers and other skin conditions. When applied directly to a wound the anthraquinones found in the gel of the plant have an anaesthetic effect, whilst it's medicinal properties fight off bacteria, help dilate capillaries and increase blood flow, besides helping to relieve pain and itching.
- Promote new skin-cell growth: Used regularly, it improves the appearance of aged or damaged skin by promoting new skin-cell growth. As a natural pH balancer, it gives the skin a smoother appearance and removes dead skin to unclog pores.
- Locks in moisture: Once natural Aloe Vera gel has dried on the surface of the skin, it provides a protective barrier that helps keep moisture locked in. Its cooling effects reduce acne inflammation and assist in healing, removing redness and soothing dry or angry skin.
- Non-irritating: It is a common ingredient in makeup removers, as it helps to remove stubborn makeup without irritating the skin.
- Fast absorption: Aloe Vera gel is absorbed almost four times quicker than water and is able to reach some of the deepest tissue in the body. This enables it to deliver nutrients directly into the skin where it is needed most.
*Treat sunburn: Mild, moderate and severe sunburn can also be eased by directly applying Aloe Vera gel to the skin. It's anaesthetic properties relieve some of the pain, while the gel heals damaged skin and encourages new skin cells to grow.
Other health benefits of Aloe Vera
- Treat sports injuries: For sports injuries, Aloe Vera gel can be applied directly to swollen skin and muscles. The natural anti-inflammatory properties will help to reduce the swelling.
- Aloe Vera supplements: When taken in the form of a supplement, Aloe Vera can assist the body in coping with changes such as stress, and help to balance overly acidic diets. It also can have detoxifying properties by absorbing toxins in the digestive tract.
How to incorporate Aloe Vera into your skin care routine
With its many benefits and uses on and in our bodies, it's no wonder why we stock so many Aloe Vera products here at Nourished Life! Experience the wonderful properties of Aloe Vera with some of our favourite products containing Aloe Vera:
Aloe Vera skin care
Aloe Vera is a very common ingredient in skincare (for good reason), so it's no wonder some of my favourite products include it. I love the 100% Pure Bright Eyes Mask for relieving darkness and puffiness around the eyes.
Aloe Vera body care
The Andalou Naturals Cooling Aloe Mint Shower Gel feels refreshingly cool after a hot summer day. The combination of Aloe Vera, Peppermint and Coconut Water feels smooth on the skin, and has an fresh, uplifting scent. Follow it up with the Andalou Naturals Cooling Aloe Mint Body Lotion to soothe problematic and sunburnt skin. It has a cooling and slightly tingly sensation which just feels amazing on irritated skin.
The Grants Mild Mint with Aloe Vera Toothpaste is a great option for those who are looking to ease their transition to natural toothpastes. The taste and consistency is very close to supermarket toothpastes, however it also includes Aloe Vera to soothe ulcers and gums naturally.
The Organic Shop Hand Soap in Organic Aloe & Milk cleanses the hands, and leaves the skin soft and smooth. Unlike mainstream hand soaps, this formula doesn't strip the skin of its moisture; instead, milk and Aloe Vera deeply hydrate the skin. This is an absolute must-have in my bathroom.
Aloe Vera supplements
The WelleCo Super Elixir Alkalising Greens contains Aloe Vera to support healthy skin from the inside. While this ingredient has plenty of external benefits, when taken in the form of a supplement, Aloe Vera can also aid in healing wounds and fight against the natural ageing process. When eaten or taken in a high dose, Aloe Vera can have a laxative effect (among other unpleasant effects). This multivitamin provides a potent and safe amount of Aloe Vera to maximise the internal digestive benefits and external skin benefits.