It is ideal for regenerating sun-exposed skin, relieving irritations, healing wounds, and treating acne. Discover how to take advantage of its properties. It may seem that the popularity of aloe vera is something recent, and even NASA uses it as a protector against toxins and radiation. But it is said that Cleopatra already used it in her daily care routine.
Alexander the Great healed with him his wounds and those of his troops in military campaigns. The Egyptians have used it for embalming their mummies. Something will have aloe vera to have traveled the long way of history, protecting and healing the skin of men and women.
Aloe vera, also known as Aloe barbadensis Miller, grows in the harshest conditions, even in the desert. Their leaves emerge from the sandy soils making the most rainwater, which they store in succulent leaves. That precious juice inside is known as acibar.
Although the plant may look like a cactus at first glance, it is more related to the garlic, onion, or lily family. It comes from Africa, and today it is also cultivated with great success in the south of the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands.
1. How To Use Aloe Vera For Skin
The fame of aloe is mainly due to its ability to regenerate the skin, heal irritations, eczema, acne, and, in some cases, even to alleviate psoriasis.
a. Aloe for wounds
Applied on eroded skin, it has a regenerating, antiseptic, analgesic effect. Due to its astringent power, it also has a hemostatic effect, which stops bleeding.
Aloe is therefore very effective after waxing, shaving, or burning, scraping, and small wounds. It favors healing, accelerating this process, and preventing the formation of keloids.
b. How to heal a wound with aloe vera:
To facilitate wound healing, apply it directly. After washing and disinfecting the wound, cut an outer leaf of the plant with a sterilized knife (the oldest and the ones with the most active ingredients). From it, extract the pulp, being careful not to take part in the rind, which is irritating.
Place it over the wound, securing it with a bandage if necessary. Thanks to its antiseptic, analgesic, and healing properties, it will relieve you, accelerate healing, and reduce healing time.
c. Aloe as a sunscreen
Aloe vera fights the harmful effects of the sun. If you apply it before exposure, it can absorb solar radiation, although you should never use it to replace a high factor sunscreen, in the case of prolonged exposure to the sun.
After sunbathing, it is very useful for its regenerative and antiseptic power and, if you apply it continuously, it can lighten sunspots.
d. Aloe for oily skin face
The antibacterial and astringent effect of aloe vera and its ability to remove fatty deposits from pores, make it ideal for treating oily skin and acne. But for the same reason, you should be careful with it if you have dry skin.
e. Aloe for mouth sores
For these same qualities, used in rinses, aloe juice can heal small sores. It can also be useful in gingivitis and speed up the healing process after tooth extraction.
2. How To Choose A Quality Aloe Vera
Like some of the unique plants that have become fashionable, aloe is used as a claim in detergents, dishwashers, fabric softeners, and many other products. But it is not always found in sufficient quantity, correctly formulated and without being associated with undesirable chemicals.
It must be borne in mind that the aloe plant has leaves with a higher concentration of active ingredients from the second year of life, so it is not enough to find aloe in the composition of any product, but rather try to know its quality.
This is not easy, and therefore certificates such as the IASC (International Aloe Science Council) or those of the Ecocert or BDIH natural cosmetics that guarantee good quality are useful.
3. How To Grow Aloe Vera At Home
Having aloe at home is simple, as it requires little care. The easiest thing is to get a sucker from another already grown plant, yours or someone else could pass you on.
- In a pot with sandy soil, plant one of the suckers of the mother plant.
- Make sure to place it in a place that receives plenty of light.
- Water it little and, in winter, protect it from frost.
4. How The Juice Is Extracted From The Plant
The acíbar extraction process must be carried out under special conditions. For this, the oldest leaves of the plant must be cut and, immediately, begin to process it at temperatures below 5 ºC.
Then it is stabilized and prepared into juice, pure gel, cream, lotion, shampoo, etc. Aloe should not be considered a panacea, but it has a proven, very useful re-capitalizing capacity.