Aloe Vera has been making an impact on the skincare market as of late- aloe vera gels are being purchased by every person who yearns for the feel of smooth skin in the morning; and more aloe plants are being bought to gain a more accessible supply of the plant’s juices right at their very own garden. Aloe is most commonly known to be a skin exfoliant but discovery of the uses of the “wonder plant” dates back to many centuries ago- almost 6,000 years to be exact.
The first documented usage of Aloe was traced back to ancient Egypt. It was first regarded to as the “sacred plant” that Cleopatra used for her daily beauty care routine because of the belief that it kept the secrets to eternal beauty and immortality. The nourishing liquid of the plant was greatly valued and frequently sought out during the ancient times to attain peak physical beauty. The use of aloe was not limited to the living only- the dead were embalmed with the liquid of the plant under the belief that it could stop the decomposition process. It was also believed that eternal life could be achieved on both physical and spiritual level hence, aloe was also named the “plant of eternity”.
In modern times, the original use of the plant is still relevant and proven to be true to its word- its uses were infused in food, medicine, cosmetics of course, skincare. 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 – Most packaged aloe vera gels advise the user to leave the gel on their faces overnight and for good reason- aloe helps in sealing moisture easily onto your skin- for dry and oily skin alike.
• Provides UV protection – Ultraviolet radiation from the sun may cause ageing and skin irritation such as sunburn. Aloe extract provides skin protection when you are exposed to sunlight.
• 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.
The natural extract from aloe vera is readily available in the market but you can also opt to take care of one in your very own home. The aloe vera is a plant that is not only beneficial to your skin- it also an easy and eye pleasing plant to take care of when done properly.
A few tips to care for an aloe vera plant:
• You could keep an aloe vera plant inside your home- granted that you provide it with direct sunlight.
• Make sure that the environment around your home is ideal for the plant which is around 13 to 27°C.
• Water the plant every three weeks or so –don’t let the aloe vera plant’s soil be watered down for too long because the roots will rot. Let the soil dry out slightly before watering again.
When time comes for you to use a stem from your aloe houseplant, make sure that it has grown maturely for a higher concentration of nutrients in its gel. Following the instructions below makes for the best harvest of your aloe.
• Check out for any molds or damage that the plant may have and avoid using it.
• Pick out the thickest leaves in the outer section of the plant and cut there- most of the beneficial nutrients of aloe are stored at the base of it.
• Wash and dry the harvested leaves properly before cutting the thorny edges with a knife.
• Separate the outer portion of the leaf with the gelatinous interior and let the yellow sap drain. The yellow sap is called the aloe vera latex which can be used to treat constipation problems.
• Cut the aloe gel into slices or cubes and throw them into a blender for a smoother substance.
• It is best to use the cut aloe leaves immediately for better benefits but if you are not using it right away, store it in the freezer for later use.
Buying an aloe-based product such as gels is fine too, but make sure to check the label for products with high percentage of aloe. One way to check is to look and see if aloe vera is the first ingredient listed in the ingredients list.
Aloe Vera serves as a very useful plant in making sure our skin stays healthy and vibrant- the fact that it is also easy to get helps too. Whether you prefer buying a product or growing a plant of your own, the wonder plant really is a product worth investing in.