Guest Author - Samantha Jackson
The healing benefits of aloe vera on cuts, burns and bruises are widely known, but aloe's ability to beautify the skin is still a mystery. Most people don't think of aloe vera as a skincare product, but this centuries old gem has been utilized by various cultures across the globe for conditions such as cracking, flaking and dry skin as well as psoriasis or acne.
And, today it is among the more widely used and popular ingredients in many skincare products. Originally native to North Africa, aloe can now be found in any warm climate location and in colder locales it has adapted as an excellent indoor plant.
What is the best aloe vera part to use?
Typically the gel of the plant is used and this is found toward the inside section of the plant. You can get to it by simply cutting open one of the long stems or leaves.
Each plant produces two types of gel: a yellowish-green rubbery gel and a clear gel. The rubbery gel, referred to as aloin, is found next to the leaf; however, this gel tends to be an irritant and should be avoided. It's the clear gel that contains the healing properties that we're looking for.
Located toward the inner section of the leaf, the clear gel is skin friendly and offers the greatest rewards. It's possible to safely apply this gel directly on the skin right from the cutting. It also offers a number of internal benefits and is a wonderful addition to foods such as yogurt or a variety of beverages.
The healing properties of aloe vera
The natural benefits of aloe vera gel are astonishing. It is an effective antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory. Aloe is deep penetrating, reaching the areas of the skin where moisture is needed most.
Containing natural amino acids, steroids and enzymes, it also has the ability to stimulate new cell growth giving it anti-aging qualities. This helps to assist the skin in retaining much needed water and in removing dead or old skin cells which leaves your face smooth and glowing.
Skin is regulated by its pH balance and the skin's appearance can become dull and tired looking or develop any number of uncomfortable and undesirable skin conditions if the pH is too alkaline or too acid. Aloe helps the body balance its pH level which has a positive effect on the skin's look and feel.
Aloe also has internal applications. It has been shown to assist with stabilizing glucose levels and as an effective remedy for colitis. In reality, the advantages of aloe vera number in the hundreds and it is highly suggested that you do a little research to determine what aloe can do for your particular situation and the proper way to use it.
How to buy products with aloe vera
A vast majority of products on the market today embrace the use of aloe vera. But remember there are two different types so be sure to check the label. You are looking for the gel, not aloin or plant sap which is the irritant.
No doubt you will be amazed at the number of products that contain this wonder ingredient. I've seen it featured in beauty and bath products, lotions, shampoos and conditioners. I'm sure there are many more out there!