Aloe vera is so much more than that sticky, bright green gel you put on sunburns. In its purest form, aloe has plenty of uses, from first aid to helping you become your most beautiful self.
Used externally, aloe vera can reduce inflammation from eczema, pruritus, cold sores, and of course, sunburns, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. While none of these kinds of inflammation are desirable, it's good to know that there's some relief on the horizon for sufferers of these conditions.
Moisturizer For Oily Skin
Those with oily skin might not think they need a moisturizer, but a light moisturizer will actually reduce the production of oil because your skin will be hydrated and healthy. Aloe vera is the ideal moisturizer for oily skin, and many beauty bloggers have caught onto this ancient remedy-gone-trendy. Using the gel directly from the plant or in the most natural state you can find in a bottle, use a dime-sized amount all over your face. Aloe is an especially helpful moisturizer in the summer. It sinks into skin quickly, dries in a flash and doesn't leave a tacky feeling.
Get An Antioxidant Boost
Aloe can be used internally, too. Its refreshing, cucumber-like taste packs an antioxidant punch. Loaded with amino acids, vitamins and minerals, it can help with internal inflammation and heat from menopause and digestive issues, according to herbalist Sebastian Pole of Pukka Herbs, as he told Marie Claire.
"It can help strengthen digestion and rid the body of any nasty waste, thus detoxifying the body naturally."
Add it to iced green tea for a refreshing, ultra-detoxifying treat.
A Close Shave
No, really! Aloe vera gel can easily replace your everyday shaving cream. Its antibacterial properties are great for preventing ingrown hairs and soothing nicks, while its slippery nature gets the closest shave. Author of Bonding Over Beauty, Erika Katz, gave Prevention this recipe for a calming shave gel:
- 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
- 1/4 cup castile soap
- 1 tbsp. almond oil
- 1/4 cup distilled water
- 1 tsp. vitamin E oil
- 5 drops eucalyptus oil
Shake it all up in a pump dispenser and get shaving!
Photosterois, compounds found in aloe vera, have been shown to reduce glucose levels in lab mice with Type 2 diabetes, according to Livestrong. Consistent consumption of aloe vera can reduce triglycerides and glucose levels in humans, too, as confirmed by the Saudi Pharmacutical Journal in 2009.
Groom Your Brows
Tired of brow gels that make your brows sticky, crunchy and otherwise unruly? Brushing aloe vera onto your eyebrows with a clean spoolie might be just the solution you're looking for. In addition to keeping brows in line, it will also moisturize the skin underneath. With aloe vera, there's no need to use harsh cosmetics. It's a simple, low-cost beauty solution that will keep your brows at their best at all times.
Get A Healthy Mouth
Mouth pain can be excruciating after a dental procedure. Swishing aloe juice around your mouth may help mouth pain and heal wounds, according to Livestrong. Aloe vera's anti-inflammatory effects strike again!
Tired of getting those dull tresses when you straighten your hair? Aloe can help!
Soothe Your Soul
Whether you use it on your skin or drink it down, aloe vera is ready to soothe your ailments. This low-cost health and beauty hack costs next to nothing to try and has so many practical uses.