ALOE VERA YOUR ONE WAY TICKET TO WELL-HYDRATED SKIN
All your questions on Aloe Vera answered including...
- ALOE VERA, A TURBO-CHARGED CACTUS
- THE BENEFITS OF ALOE VERA ON SKIN
- ALOE VERA TO HYDRATE SKIN
- ALOE VERA, RESCUE REMEDY FOR SUNBURN
Aloe vera comes from the Liliacee family, a group of succulent plants that are bursting with juice, nutrients and polysaccharides. They can grow up to 80cm high and 1m wide and their chunky leaves contain the highly-prized aloe vera gel. Aloe vera is a semi-desert plant that flourishes in hot, dry climates. It's been used since time immemorial as a medicinal and cosmetic treatment for burns. As with most cacti, aloe vera leaves contain 99% water. Add to that its 200 powerful active ingredients including 12 vitamins, 20 minerals, 18 amino acids, enzymes and proteins. In other words, it's one of the most amazing plants on Earth! When used in its purest form (you can buy pure aloe vera gel or grow it yourself), it sticks to skin and can feel a bit gloopy. Which is why you may prefer to apply treatments that include it in their formulae.
THE BENEFITS OF ALOE VERA ON SKIN
Aloe vera has taken the beauty world by storm thanks to its skin-friendly properties. Nowadays you'll find it in day/night creams, hydrating treatments, serums and body lotions:
- Soothing: aloe vera soothes irritated skin, inflammation caused by sunburn), itchiness and insect bites/stings.
- Purifying: aloe vera's powerful enzymes exfoliate the epidermis to get rid of dead skin cells, giving our circulation a boost and allowing our skin to breathe and regenerate.
- Balancing: aloe vera has a pH value close to that of skin, meaning its gel maintains and redresses our skin's pH levels when they're out of sync.
- Healing: when applied to skin, aloe vera boosts skin cell renewal, which means it quickly heals scars and can help treat other minor injuries.
- Anti-ageing: aloe vera has firming properties that increase collagen and hyaluronic acid production, whilst combating the appearance of wrinkles.
- Protective: even though aloe vera gel is quickly absorbed, it leaves behind a protective film that protects skin from wind, salt and pollution.
ALOE VERA TO HYDRATE SKIN
Healthy skin = hydrated skin. Thanks to its high water, mineral and vitamin content, aloe vera is the perfect hydrating ingredient. Being a desert cactus, aloe vera survives by stocking water in its leaves. And manages to do the same with our skin! Aloe vera gel deeply hydrates and nourishes skin: it crosses the epidermal barrier to nourish the dermis and hypodermis. What's more it can harness water on our skin's surface and prevent it from evaporating. Its ability to retain water comes from the poly and monosaccharides contained in its flesh. These sugars help our skin to remain well-hydrated for longer.
Aloe Vera for the skin: how to use this miracle planet
Aloe vera is a fleshy plant made up of 85% juice that's packed with minerals, amino acids and vitamins. A plant that has remarkable benefits for our skin, hair and nails, provided that it's used correctly. Here are our beauty tips.
#1 As a moisturiser
Aloe vera gel makes a great daily moisturiser. Moisturising, nourishing and softening it's perfect for both dry and oily skin - it hydrates without overloading our skin. And won't leave a greasy film!
#2 As an exfoliating mask
You can whip an exfoliating, homemade, 100% natural mask to deal with any stubborn zones - elbows, heels, knees... Mix 550g of coarse sea salt, 225g of aloe vera gel, 200g of coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of honey. Apply as required, leave to dry and gently rub off using small, circular movements. Baby-soft skin guaranteed.
#3 As a poultice to treat burns
Aloe vera heals all types of burns, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Just mix aloe vera gel with vitamin E oil to form a poultice that can be directly applied to burns.
#4 As an anti-ageing treatment
Aloe vera has turbo-charged anti-ageing properties that pump our skin with all the nutrients and vitamins needed to prevent dry skin and the appearance wrinkles. Its antioxidants combat free radicals that cause premature skin ageing.
#5 As an aftersun
Aloe vera's soothing action makes it the perfect aftersun! Let the gel dry to form a protective, transparent film to calm hot skin after a day in the sun.
#6 As an acne treatment
Aloe vera treats acne thanks to its healing, anti-inflammatory, moisturising and antiseptic properties. Dab some aloe vera gel onto a spot, massage it in and repeat whenever necessary.
#7 As a digestive aide
Aloe vera contains acemannan, an active ingredient that soothes the digestive system, helping acid reflux, oesophagal inflammation and tummy aches.
#8 As a dandruff treatment
You can rid of dandruff by making a homemade treatment using aloe vera juice. Mix it with coconut milk and wheatgerm oil. Massage it onto your scalp and then rinse off with plenty of water.
#9 As a scrub
When used as a scrub, aloe vera removes dead cells, boosts cell renewal and hydrates our skin. Nourishing and moisturising, aloe vera feeds our skin vitamins and trace elements. Added plus: it's healing properties means it can repair the epidermis and boost our skin's micro-circulation.
#10 As a make up primer
Aloe vera gel's texture works really well as a primer: its hydrating and smoothing properties prepare our skin, for make up that looks matt and natural.
ALOE VERA, RESCUE REMEDY FOR SUNBURN
Originally from South Africa, and only growing in hot and dry climates, aloe vera is an oily plant that resembles a cactus. It has been used for thousands of years for its dermatological properties – even Cleopatra used it – and is a shining star in today’s beauty products. The reason? Its precious gel, extracted from the leaves, is rich in vitamins A, B, C and E; minerals including calcium, phosphorous, potassium and zinc; enzymes; and amino acids.
It's top for hydration
Aloe vera gel contains 85% mineral- and vitamin-rich water and has exceptional hydrating power, strengthened by its poly- and monosaccharide content (sugars that are capable of retaining water). Try making a homemade mask with one tablespoon of aloe vera gel, one teaspoon of yoghurt and one teaspoon of honey. Apply in a thick layer and leave for 10-15 minutes. Soft skin is yours!
It can heal you
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, aloe vera is a powerful healing remedy and is used in products like deodorant, for example, to regenerate the skin. It can help skin recover from minor burns, irritations and grazes and is a brilliant sunburn rescue remedy. Simply let the product dry to form a thin transparent protective film.
It can mattify oily skin
Aloe vera is also an ally of oily skin, as it is non-comodegenic (it won’t clog pores) and astringent, making it effective at combating acne.
It has anti-ageing powers
Aloe vera gel promotes the production of fibroblasts – the cells that participate in cellular renewal. Which means it can protect against the signs of ageing and helps the skin to have a smoother and more youthful appearance for longer.
Article supplied & written by Marie Claire, part of Hearst Communications, Inc.
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