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Aloe Vera has long been hailed as a ‘miracle’ plant! The ancient Egyptians would often refer to it as the ‘plant of immortality’ because of its medicinal and therapeutic benefits. From its antioxidant to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is used today to treat everything from acne to sunburns! Right now, you may be wondering to yourself, “Can I use aloe vera as a natural moisturizer?”
Aloe Vera is a great natural moisturizer and can be used on any skin type. Alone, it hydrates oily skin without clogging pores. Combined with natural oils, it soothes and softens dry skin. It is rich in antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which benefit not only sensitive skin types but also helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles on aging skin.
Now that you know aloe vera is a great natural moisturizer, let’s explore this ‘miracle’ plant in more detail. We will discuss its skin care benefits as well as the many ways it can be used in conjunction with essential oils and organic butters to moisturize and nourish the face and body. So, if you are ready to learn all-you-need-to-know about aloe vera as a skin moisturizer, then please continue reading…
Is Aloe Vera Good for Your Skin?
Aloe Vera is a type of cactus plant that grows in hot, dry climates in places such as Africa and India. It secretes a clear gel that when applied to skin has both medicinal and therapeutic properties which a study that was performed shows evidence of this.. There are eight common skin care benefits from using aloe vera gel. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Treats sunburn. Aloe vera is rich in both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. These help the skin to renew itself after sun exposure. It also soothes and cools sunburnt skin while providing a protective layer against further UV damage.
- Moisturizes skin. Aloe vera is a great natural skin moisturizer. It softens and hydrates without a greasy feel. It is non-comedogenic and therefore will not clog pores. It can mixed with oils or creams, which is great for women who wear mineral-based make-up. Or, it can be applied after shaving to soothe the skin and heal small razor cuts, a must for both men and women!
- Treats acne. Aloe vera has other biological properties also. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents which help heal and soothe irritated skin. It is often used along with traditional acne medications to speed healing and prevent skin from scarring. In addition to treating acne, aloe vera is also good for other chronic skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
- Fights aging. Aloe vera is rich in skin-nourishing properties such as beta carotene, vitamins A, B, C, D and E and minerals including magnesium, potassium and zinc. These along with its antioxidant properties help enhance skin tone and firmness, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also improves elasticity and provides essential moisture for aging skin.
- Eliminates stretch marks. Aloe vera is safe for pregnant women and is often used to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. When the gel is applied topically to the stomach, hips or thighs, it improves elasticity and softens skin, making stretch marks appear less visible. If used daily, results can be seen in as little as two to three weeks!
- Nourishes skin. Aloe vera is nutrient-rich, containing over seventy-five skin improving ingredients including various vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and amino acids. It ‘feeds’ the skin, keeping it healthy and hydrated.
- Prevents dark spots. Aloe vera counteracts tyrosinase, the enzyme that causes skin discoloration, such as dark spots. Its antioxidant agents suppress UV-inducing hyperpigmentation which often results in ‘age’ or dark spots.
- Treats cold sore. Aloe vera is great at soothing and healing cold sores. It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that help inhibit the virus while, at the same time, speeding up the healing process. When applied topically (or taken internally), it has the ability to create antibodies necessary for the immune system to fight-off the cold sore virus.
Can Aloe Vera be mixed with Oil?
We already know that aloe vera alone is a great, natural skin moisturizer. When used with organic or essential oils, however, its hydrating and healing benefits are significantly improved. The six most commonly used oils with aloe vera gel include the following:
- Coconut oil. Coconut oil combined with aloe vera is an excellent moisturizer for treating parched, flaky skin. Simply mix equal parts aloe vera gel and coconut oil (three teaspoons each) for a homemade skin treatment that will nourish and hydrate even the driest of skin types.
- Olive oil. Olive oil is a wonderful companion to aloe vera. The two together will moisture and nourish dry, sensitive skin. Make your own natural moisturizer by combining two tablespoons of olive oil with one large jelly aloe leaf and apply the mixture liberally to the skin.
- Lavender oil. Lavender oil when mixed with aloe vera is an amazing treatment for acne suffers. The former provides a cooling, soothing base while the later fights acne-causing bacteria and reduces scarring. Combine one tablespoon of aloe vera with three to six drops of lavender oil and apply topically to the affected area.
- Avocado oil. Avocado mixed with aloe vera is great for moisturizing dry skin. The healing properties of the aloe vera gel combine with the hydrating agents in the avocado oil, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth. Mix equal parts of each and apply to the skin as needed.
- Vitamin E oil. Both vitamin E oil and aloe vera gel have skin soothing and healing properties that work wonders on irritated, sensitive skin types. When mixed together and applied overnight, the two have ample time to deeply penetrate and nourish the skin. Use vitamin E oil sparingly (only one to two drops) as it is very thick and may clog pores!
- Argan oil. Argan oil comes from Morocco and is rich in fatty acids, which makes it essential for the skin. Try combining three teaspoons of aloe vera with three teaspoons of argan oil and apply directly to the skin. This will absorb easily and provide non-greasy, non-irritating hydration.
Can Aloe Vera be mixed with Shea Butter?
Along with essential oils, aloe vera can also be mixed with ‘butters’, to moisturize and nourish the skin. Shea butter and cocoa butter are excellent choices! Combined with aloe vera, they create a naturally rich skin hydrator that feels and smells amazing!
Below is a do-it-yourself aloe vera and shea butter moisturizer sure to please:
- Place four tablespoons of shea butter into a mixing bowl. Soften it up with a hand mixer or egg beater until it reaches a fluffy, whipped texture.
- Add three tablespoons of aloe vera gel and mix it again until well-blended.
- Add two tablespoons of rose water, one teaspoon of argan oil and ½ teaspoon of vitamin E oil. Blend together until it reaches a soft, creamy consistency.
- Place the mixture in the fridge for fifteen minutes, then remove it and mix it up once again for about ten minutes.
- Spoon this mixture into a clean jar (with a lid) and store in cool, dry place.
- Apply the mixture to the skin liberally (when needed) and allow it to absorb completely.
And there you have it! A homemade, natural moisturizer that is not only good for the skin but also the environment! The ingredients are cost-effective (compared to many store-bought, commercial-brand moisturizers) and can be easily found online through retailers such as Amazon.com.
Just a word of caution. Before applying oils or any homemade skin formulas, it is important to perform a patch test on your skin. Even if you have never had a prior history of any skin irritation issues you may find that concentrations and different mixtures may cause slight irritation like rashes, swelling, itching or even burning. To learn how to perform a patch test on your skin CLICK HERE
Do I Apply Aloe Vera Before or After Moisturizer?
If you are choosing to use a store-bought moisturizer (hopefully it is fragrance-free and dye-free) in addition to aloe vera gel, it is best to apply the gel first! This will allow the nourishing and healing properties of the plant to absorb completely. Applying aloe vera gel to skin that has already been saturated with moisturizer is pointless!
Also, it is recommended to wash your face thoroughly before applying aloe vera gel. This will remove any pollutants, irritants or residual products from the skin, providing a clean surface for the ‘miracle plant’ to work its magic!
In conclusion, aloe vera is an excellent natural skin moisturizer for any and all skin types. It hydrates oily skin without feeling heavy or clogging pores. It helps soften and smooth dry skin, when combined with moisture-rich oils such as coconut, olive and avocado. It soothes and heals sensitive, irritated skin including chronic conditions resulting from eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
Aloe Vera also helps prevent premature skin aging by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is a natural sun screen that helps block damaging UV rays, which can age skin over time. After sun exposure, it provides cooling, soothing relief to burnt skin, while hydrating and nourishing it at the same time.
So, it is true after all! Aloe vera is indeed a ‘miracle plant’!
More Related Information on Aloe Vera:
You can find more information on the aloe vera benefits, on health, beauty, medicinal, skincare and clinical uses here. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/