You must have heard your grandma or mother calling aloe vera a miracle plant. You would see them incorporating it into everything whether it is their skin concern, hair problem, or weight loss journey. Did this leave you wondering what makes aloe vera their go-to home remedy for almost everything?
Well, this amazing plant has been used in medicine, health, and the skincare industry for years. Aloe vera forms the base of most moisturizers, creams, serums, shampoos, and evening healing ointments.
It contains a mixture of 18 important amino acids the human body needs, a variety of vitamins including vitamins A, B, C, and E, minerals, and carbohydrates including acemannan.
Now you must be wondering which aloe vera should be used. The natural plant aloe vera gel that you extract from the leaves of your houseplant is incredibly advantageous. However, if you cannot go through the hassle of cutting the leaf, opening it up, and scooping out its get, aloe vera gels available in the market can do the job.
Benefits of Aleo Vera for Skin and Hair
Let us see which benefits make aloe vera the traditional miracle plant.
1. Neutralising Sun Tan and SunBurns
Do you often forget to reapply your sunscreen and it leaves you with an unwanted stubborn suntan? Or did you just forget it on your beach holiday that resulted in sunburn and peeling of skin?
Well, relax. Because aloe vera gel can be your savior. Aloe vera has many nutrients inside it that helps in soothing sunburns, lightening tan, and forming a protective layer over the skin.
Two of the most important ones are aloin with anti-inflammatory properties that helps to heal the peeling skin layers and metallothionein which tackles the damage caused by UV rays.
2. Reduction of Hyperpigmentation
Acne, UV radiation, aging, and even pregnancy can result in the formation of dark spots on the skin. Increased production of melanin is mainly behind hyperpigmentation.
Aloe vera helps in the reduction of pigmentation and brightens the skin. It contains aleosin which is proven to inhibit the formation of melanin in the skin by breaking down melanocytes. Additionally, it blocks tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in hyperpigmentation.
3. Has Anti-aging Properties
With aging, skin becomes dry, and its proteins like elastin and collagen are depleted. Thus, skin elasticity is reduced. As a result, there is the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Aloe vera is enriched in vitamins C, E, A, and beta-carotene. These supplements the skin and make it appear healthy, firm, and supple. It also boosts the formation of hyaluronic acid that plumps the skin.
Additionally, aloe vera increases the production of proteins including collagen and elastin. These proteins improve skin elasticity and help in fading wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet. Lastly, it rejuvenates the skin by removing dead skin cells and enhancing the formation of new skin cells.
4. Treatment of Skin Conditions
Aloe vera is known to deal with a variety of skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, cold sores, frostbite, infections, and inflammatory acne.
Aloe vera was used to treat frostbite and mouth-cold sores in the ancient era. The soothing and hydrating properties of aloe help to calm the itching, redness, and irritation in eczema and psoriasis.
Aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties that help in cystic acne treatment. Additionally, its anti-microbial and anti-septic properties help to treat skin infections and prevent acne caused by dust and microbes.
5. Moisturizing Skin and Scalp
The benefit of aloe vera we are all aware of is its hydrating and moisturizing effects. Aloe vera contains mucopolysaccharides in large quantities. These carbohydrates help to lock in moisture and hydrate the skin and scalp.
Moreover, aloe gel is quickly absorbed into the skin and causes no greasiness. Thus, it can also be used by people with oily and acne-prone skin types. So, it works as an efficient post-shower moisturizer, after-shave, dry skin treatment, and hydrating gel.
6. Cleaning Hair and Fighting Dandruff
Aloe vera also helps your hair in addition to the skin. It acts as an astringent and antiseptic agent. So, pure aloe vera gel can be used as a shampoo to clean the scalp, close pores, wash away excess oils, and nourish hair follicles.
Dandruff is caused because of dry skin and fungal colonization on the scalp. Aloe vera, first of all, hydrates the skin and then acts as an anti-fungal agent to fight fungi. Consequently, you will have a clean and moisturized scalp with no dandruff.
7. Restoring Scalp Health
Just like the skin, aloe vera works to restore and maintain scalp health. It does so by exfoliating scalp skin, removing its dead cells, moisturizing it, and strengthing hair follicles.
Additionally, it contains enzymes that breakdown fat producing cells and remove excess oils from the scalp. As a result absorption of other hair masks into the scalp improves and the scalp becomes healthier.
8. Healing Cuts and Abrasions
Aloe vera has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine used for the treatment of cuts and abrasions. It penetrates deep skin layers quickly and efficiently. Then it increases the production of proteins in the skin along with retaining water and nutrients. Consequently, it stimulates the production of new skin cells and dermal layers along with reducing the time required for healing.
Additionally, it works well in the treatment of 1st and 2nd-degree burns and keeping infections away from cuts and abrasions.
9. Helpful in Hair Nourishment and Growth
Aloe vera is full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients when applied to hair increase hair nourishment, and make hair strands thicker, and hair stronger.
Moreover, aloe vera helps in boosting blood circulation through the scalp and hair. As a result, hair grows longer and becomes smooth, shiny, and silky. It also conditions the hair and makes them soft.
10. Fading Stretch Marks
Did you lose weight too quickly? Or did you deliver your baby recently? Or is it your aging skin giving you stretch marks? Whatever the cause is, aloe vera can be helpful if you want to get rid of them.
Regular application of aloe vera on stretch marks has been shown to reduce their appearance significantly. Several properties of aloe vera including collagen-boosting, hydrating, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory work together to help in fading stretch marks.
Ways to Use Aleo Vera For Skin and Hair
Now that you know the benefits of aloe vera, you must be wondering how to use it to get the best out of this amazing cactus-like plant. Here are some face and hair masks you can you.
1. Face Masks
Several types of face masks are made using aloe vera. We have listed a few here.
a. As Facial Scrub
Take 2 tablespoons of lemon, 1 cup of sugar, and ½ or more cups of aloe vera. Mix them uniformly together. And use this mixture to scrub your face for 10-15 minutes. It will help to exfoliate and deep clean the skin.
You can also use 4 tablespoons of aloe vera, 2 pinches of sea salt, and 2 tablespoons of honey to make a facial scrub.
b. For Sensitive Skin
If you suffer from redness or skin sensitivity often, we have a mask for you. Mix aloe vera gel, cucumber juice, rose oil, and thick yogurt and apply it on the face for 15-20 minutes.
c. For Acne
If you have stubborn acne, a mask with equal amounts of aloe vera, honey and double the amount of rose water can do the job in treating recurrent acne.
d. For Dry Skin,
Aloe vera can be used alone for dry skin. But for additional hydration, you can add turmeric, rose water, honey, or/and milk it. Apply the mask for 20 mins every day to help your dry skin.
e. As Spot Treatment
For acne spot treatment, apply aloe vera pulp on your face, leave it overnight, and wash your face with a mild cleanser in the morning. You can also add vitamin E in aloe vera gel for acne and undereye dark circles.
2. Hair Mask
Following are some hair masks prepared using aloe vera. These masks can give exceptional results when used regularly.
a. For Hair Growth
Take about 1 cup of aloe vera, and add 1 egg and 1 or more tablespoons of castor oil to it. Blend the mixture, apply it thoroughly to your scalp and hair, leave it for 30-60 minutes, and rinse it off with a gentle shampoo.
b. To Fight Dandruff
Take 1 cup of aloe vera, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and one tablespoon of coconut oil or honey in it. Form a uniform mixture by blending it. Then apply it to your scalp, and massage it with your fingertips. Leave the mask for 30 minutes before washing your hair.
c. For Cleaning and Deep Conditioning Hair
For this purpose, use aloe vera, honey, and yogurt mask. You can also add sunflower seed oil to this mask if you have split ends.
You do not need to go any farther than your own garden to get bright, wrinkle-free, plump, and hydrated skin along with healthy, long, and strong hair. Your household aloe vera plant is the not-so-secret ingredient used in many haircare and skincare products. However, if you have no such plant, grow one to benefit from its unlimited uses.
In this article, we have talked about the benefits of aloe vera for skin and hair, the constituents of aloe vera behind those benefits, and several masks to treat multiple hair and skin conditions.