Aside from the occasional pimple breakouts before my period, I usually have clear fair skin. People often ask what my skincare routine is, and I tell them it’s fairly simple: a mild facial cleanser to wash my face in the morning and at night, removing makeup properly with a makeup remover, a bentonite clay face mask twice a month, and moisturizing my face before applying makeup with aloe vera gel moisturizer.
Many are surprised by that last bit. Sometimes, I use aloe vera gels you can buy in drugstores and beauty stores. In other times, though, when I’m using aloe vera gel for more than just beauty, I have plants at home that I use. Here’s why it’s safe and effective moisturizing tool.
- What Is Aloe Vera?
- Aloe Vera Plant History
- Aloe Vera Nutritional Information
- Aloe Vera Gel As a Moisturizer
- Where To Find Aloe Vera Gel Naturally
- Store-Bought Aloe Vera Gel
- Why Moisturize?
- 25 Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera For Moisturizing
- Potential Side Effects And Risks: Aloe Vera
- How to Use Aloe Vera Gel as a Moisturizer?
- Aloe Vera Gel vs. Other Moisturizers
- FAQs About Aloe Vera Gel As A Moisturizer
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a type of succulent plant. We can trace its origins to the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East, but it’s become a common plant everywhere in the world, particularly in tropical and semi-tropical climates. This is because mankind has recognized aloe vera’s special agricultural, medicinal, and cosmetic properties. Like other succulents, it can also be used for decorative purposes.
Aloe Vera Plant History
The Aloe Vera plant is believed to be one of the oldest known medicinal plants in human history. It has been used for thousands of years by many different cultures and civilizations around the world, including Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, Greece, and China. In fact, Aloe Vera was even mentioned in the Bible!
The exact origin of Aloe Vera isn’t known yet; however, it’s believed that the species first originated in Africa or other areas in the Middle East. From there, it spread to Europe and then North America, where it is now widely cultivated and popularly used as a natural remedy.
Aloe Vera has long been used for its healing properties. In traditional medicine, Aloe Vera is said to reduce inflammation, ease pain, aid digestion and stomach discomfort, as well as soothe burns, cuts, and skin irritations. It is also believed to have antibacterial properties that help fight infection.
Today, Aloe Vera is widely used in skincare products, health supplements, and food and beverages due to its numerous benefits. From moisturizing lotions to digestive aids, Aloe Vera has become a staple ingredient in many of our everyday products.
The history of Aloe Vera is rich with tradition and healing potential. As one of the oldest medicinal plants known to man, its use dates back centuries and continues to benefit those seeking natural remedies.
Aloe Vera Nutritional Information
The gel extracted from the Aloe Vera plant has been used as a natural remedy for various health conditions, including sunburn, digestive problems, and skin issues. In recent years, Aloe Vera has become increasingly popular as a skincare ingredient in recent years due to its moisturizing and soothing properties. But what exactly is the nutritional content of aloe vera gel, and why is it so beneficial for skin health?
Aloe vera gel contains various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are beneficial for overall health. Some of the key nutrients found in aloe vera gel include:
- Vitamins: Aloe Vera gel contains a range of vitamins, including A, C, E, and B12. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin and vision, while vitamin C helps to support the immune system and protect the skin from damage. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from free radicals, while vitamin B12 is important for energy production and nerve function.
- Minerals: It also contains many minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. These minerals help maintain healthy bones, muscles, and skin.
- Enzymes: Aloe Vera gel contains several enzymes, including amylase, lipase, and alkaline phosphatase. These enzymes break down food and aid in digestion.
- Amino Acids: The gel contains several amino acids, including alanine, saponin glycosides, and leucine. These amino acids are important for building and repairing tissues in the body.
- Polysaccharides: Aloe Vera gel contains a range of polysaccharides, which are complex carbohydrates that help to hydrate and soothe the skin.
Because of its nutritional content, Aloe Vera gel is highly beneficial for skin health. Aloe Vera moisturizer gel is a natural moisturizer that helps to hydrate the skin. The polysaccharides in its composition help lock in moisture and prevent dryness. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe the skin and reduce redness and irritation. The gel contains enzymes and amino acids that help to promote healing and repair damaged skin. So, if you’re looking for a natural and effective way to improve your skin health, aloe vera gel is definitely worth considering.
Aloe Vera’s Uses
Aside from ornamental purposes, aloe vera is used for the gel naturally found inside its leaves. When you break off an aloe vera leaf from a plant, you’ll find that the insides are full of a clear mucus-like gel. This substance serves many purposes.
Its most common purpose is a topical medication, which means it can be used on the skin. It can be used purely on its own or mixed into other topical medications to soothe certain skin conditions. These can include minor to acute burns, wounds, frostbites, or rashes. While it can soothe the inflammation and discomfort of these conditions, there’s no evidence to suggest that it can heal the skin.
For cosmetics, it can be used on its own or mixed into lotions, soaps, and other cosmetic products. This can treat dry skin or, as I do, use it to keep my skin moisturized and lock in that moisture before applying makeup.
Aloe vera can also be used in food. You can find small traces of aloe vera in yogurts and other deserts. However, it is very minimal due to the side effects of eating it.
Is Aloe Vera Safe?
While aloe vera is safe when used topically, it can be dangerous to use in large amounts or when eaten. Aloe vera contains a compound called aloin, a bitter substance that was once used in laxatives but later banned by the Food and Drug Administration.
While aloin can be removed through processing, it is possible that some traces of it could remain. Side effects can include abdominal pain, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Long-term consumption can lead to hepatitis, hematuria (blood in urine), weight loss, and kidney disorders.
Aside from the dangers of taking aloe vera orally, it’s generally safe to use topically. In fact, use of aloe vera as a medicinal plant date back as far as 512 AD as written in the Juliana Anicia Codex.
Aloe Vera Gel As a Moisturizer
You can use aloe vera gel as a facial moisturizer. Alternatively, you can also use it to soothe and moisturize sunburnt skin, flaking or peeling skin, other dry skin areas such as if you have cracked heels or you have dry legs and arms. You can tell your skin is dry if you try scratching your skin and you see white lines that take a while to go away.
Why Does It Work?
Aloe vera gel is an effective moisturizer because of its hygroscopic properties. The aloe vera plant can survive in any climate even in hot temperatures because they can absorb and retain moisture from both the air and the water in the soil absorbed by its roots. Because of this, it has good moisture-retaining properties.
This is similar to the way commercial moisturizers work. Moisturizers supply water to the skin and have a greasy substance that holds the moisture in place. However, unlike aloe vera gel, this greasy substance is often inorganic. It is also the reason why plenty of moisturizers leave a sticky after-feel as it dries. Some greasy substances can also block pores, leading to breakouts.
Aloe vera gel, on the other hand, has no greasy substance required to lock in the moisture. This makes it preferred by those who don’t like that greasy feeling. And while some aloe vera moisturizing products may contain inorganic materials, it’s easy to obtain aloe vera plants and make your own 100 percent natural aloe vera moisturizing gel from the comfort of your home.
Where To Find Aloe Vera Gel Naturally
You can buy your own aloe vera plants at your local florist, gardening store, garden emporium, or plant nursery. Aloe vera is a common plant, so it isn’t that expensive. Plant vendors may sell aloe vera in your area ranging from $3 to less than $15. The price depends on factors like size, age, quality, soil used, and the demand in the area. The cheapest aloe vera I found in Walmart costs $4.99.
An aloe vera pulp will require three to four years to grow into a full-grown plant with mature leaves. If you want to use aloe vera immediately, it’s best to buy mature ones.
Aloe vera plants are succulents, so they’re best kept in dry, warm, and bright conditions. Aloe vera requires less water, so either buy cactus potting soil mix or mix regular soil with perlite or sand, as these can reduce the amount of water in its pot.
Make sure your pot has plenty of drainage holes. Aloe vera plants can die if they’re watered too often or left in moist soil for too long. Water it once, and then let the soil go completely dry before drenching it again. Depending on the climate of where you live, watering your plant once a week should be a good estimate.
How to Trim Aloe Vera Leaves
To harvest your own aloe vera gel, you’ll need a sharp everyday knife. You can also use your hands, but this could damage the rest of the plant if you only want to harvest the gel of one leaf, so be careful.
Take one of the outermost leaves and cut it as close to the center of the plant as you can. Be careful not to damage the center where all the leaves are attached to.
If you’ve managed to snap the leaf off whole, slice the bottom of the leaf. If you see a yellow latex-like substance, drain it from the leaf. This is the aloin substance we mentioned earlier that has laxative-like properties. To avoid the yellow substance, cut the leaf from the bottom at the point where the leaf starts to look dark green.
Slice off both jagged edges of the leaf. This will cut open its sides. Next, slice off the top side of the leaf. If you’ve ever tried filleting a fish, the movement is somewhat similar to slicing off one side of the leaf. This will expose the gel underneath. You can fillet the other side of the leaf, or you can simply scoop the aloe vera gel with a spoon.
For excess aloe vera you can’t use immediately, store it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. If you have a particularly long leaf and don’t want to use the whole leaf, you can cut it in half, wrap the unused leaf in cling wrap, and store it in the fridge. An aloe vera leaf can up to two weeks in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer. Aloe vera gel, on the other hand, is best used right away, but it can be stored in the fridge for 10 days.
Store-Bought Aloe Vera Gel
If this seems like too much work for skincare, you can always opt for aloe vera gel moisturizers sold in stores. However, not all aloe vera gel products are alike, so be careful when you buy them.
For instance, the brand of aloe vera gel moisturizer I use is Esfolio, a Korean beauty brand. They sell different types of aloe vera products, including an aloe vera gel mist, and actual gel tubs. I make sure to buy the 100% aloe vera, although I know that it isn’t totally 100% pure aloe vera (be sure to check the ingredients). You might also find other brands of aloe vera gel ranging between 92 to 100 percent.
While dry skin isn’t a serious skin condition, it can lead to breakouts, redness, flaking, cracking, and open wounds associated with dry skin. Even if you have oily skin, it helps to moisturize every day.
If you’re using makeup, it’s important to moisturize particularly if you’re using matte makeup. Not all makeup is bad for your skin, but matte makeup like foundations, concealers, and lipsticks dries out your skin. Applying moisturizers and waiting for it to dry before applying makeup can hydrate your skin and keep the moisture even after you apply makeup.
Using makeup on dry skin can also risk breakouts and clogged pores. When your skin is dry, it’s prone to peeling and flaking. When applying makeup like foundation, you could risk mixing your foundation with dead skin when you dab it on your skin. This can clog your pores and cause pimple breakouts.
When it comes to makeup, aloe vera gel is a good moisturizer to use. Take some of your extracted aloe vera gel or store-bought gel and spread it around your face like you would with ordinary moisturizers. Let it dry first before applying your makeup. This ensures that your skin remains hydrated throughout the day.
25 Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera For Moisturizing
Aloe Vera has plenty of health benefits, but here are the 25 most notable ones.
- Aloe Vera moisturizer gel provides deep hydration to the skin.
- Helps to soothe dry and flaky skin.
- Moisturizes the skin without making it oily or greasy.
- Helps to prevent and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Soothes and reduces redness and inflammation.
- Helps to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
- Promotes skin regeneration and healing.
- Has a cooling effect on the skin, making it ideal for use on sunburns.
- Helps to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
- Helps to control oily skin and prevent breakouts.
- Provides a protective layer to the skin, preventing moisture loss.
- Helps to improve the skin’s elasticity and firmness.
- Contains antioxidants that help to fight free radicals and prevent damage to the skin.
- Has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for use on acne-prone skin.
- Helps to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
- Soothes and reduces the discomfort of eczema and psoriasis.
- Helps to soothe and heal minor cuts and burns.
- Helps to reduce the appearance of age spots.
- Helps to soothe and moisturize dry, cracked heels.
- Helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- Helps to soothe and reduce razor burn.
- Helps to reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
- Helps to soothe and reduce puffiness around the eyes.
- Helps to balance skin oil production.
- Can be used as a natural aftershave to soothe and moisturize the skin.
Potential Side Effects And Risks: Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel has many benefits, including its ability to soothe and moisturize the skin. However, like any other skincare product, Aloe Vera moisturizer gel can cause side effects and risks if not used correctly. In this section, we will explore the potential side effects and risks of Aloe Vera gel as a moisturizer and guide you on how to avoid any adverse effects.
- Skin irritation
One of the most common side effects of aloe vera gel is skin irritation. Aloe vera gel contains anthraquinones, which can cause allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms of skin irritation may include redness, itching, and swelling. To avoid skin irritation, doing a patch test before using aloe vera gel on your face or body is essential. Apply a small amount of the gel on your arm and wait for 24 hours to see if there is any adverse reaction.
Another potential side effect of aloe vera gel is photosensitivity. Aloe vera gel contains a compound called aloin, which can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. If you apply Aloe Vera moisturizer gel on your face or body and then expose your skin to the sun, you may experience sunburn or skin damage. To avoid photosensitivity, you need to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 after using aloe vera gel. Also, avoid sun exposure as much as possible, especially during peak hours.
- Interaction with medications
Aloe Vera gel moisturizer may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, diabetes medications, and laxatives. If you are taking any medication, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider before using aloe vera gel to avoid any potential interactions.
- Risk for pregnant women
Pregnant women should avoid using aloe vera gel due to the potential risk of causing uterine contractions. Aloe vera gel may also affect breastfeeding women, so make sure to consult your healthcare provider before using it.
It is crucial to be aware of the potential side effects and risks associated with using Aloe Vera gel as a moisturizer. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of aloe vera gel safely and effectively.
How to Use Aloe Vera Gel as a Moisturizer?
Using Aloe Vera gel as a moisturizer is simple and easy. Start by washing your face or the area of skin you want to moisturize. Once done, pat it dry gently with a clean towel. Then apply a small amount of Aloe Vera gel evenly over your face or skin, massaging it gently with your fingertips. The best time to use aloe vera gel as a moisturizer is after showering or before going to bed. This allows the gel to absorb into the skin for a longer period without any interference.
To maximize its benefits, it’s essential to use pure, organic Aloe Vera moisturizer gel that contains no harmful chemicals. Also, avoid using too much aloe vera gel, as it can make your skin sticky. Using a pea-sized amount for your face or a dime-sized amount for other parts of your body is recommended. You can also combine aloe vera gel with other moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, or a jojoba oil moisturizer for added benefits. With regular use, Aloe Vera gel can help to soothe, hydrate and nourish your skin, leaving it soft, supple, and glowing.
Aloe Vera Gel vs. Other Moisturizers
When it comes to moisturizing your skin, there are many options to choose from. From lotions to oils, each product claims to be the best at keeping your skin hydrated and healthy. Aloe Vera moisturizer gel is a popular natural alternative to traditional moisturizers.
- Lotions vs Aloe Vera gel
Lotions are one of the most popular types of moisturizers available. They come in various formulas and textures, making them suitable for different skin types. Lotions are usually oil-based and work by creating a barrier on the skin to prevent moisture loss. On the other hand, Aloe Vera Gel is water-based and absorbs quickly into the skin, making it an excellent choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
- Oils vs Aloe Vera gel
Oils are great for locking in moisture and can be used on the face, body, and hair. However, they can be greasy, clog your pores, and may not absorb quickly, making them less suitable for daytime use. Aloe vera gel, on the other hand, is lightweight and absorbs quickly, making it an excellent choice for daily use.
- Serums vs Also Vera gel
Serums are lightweight moisturizers that contain high concentrations of active ingredients and are usually applied after cleansing and before moisturizing. Serums are great for targeting specific skin concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Aloe Vera gel can also be used as a serum and has the added benefit of soothing and calming the skin.
One of the most significant advantages of using Aloe Vera gel as a moisturizer is its natural ingredients. Aloe Vera gel is derived from the Aloe Vera plant, making it a natural alternative to traditional moisturizers that may contain harmful chemicals. One of the disadvantages of using Aloe Vera gel as a moisturizer is that it may be less effective in treating severe dryness or some skin conditions. It is best suited for daily use as a lightweight moisturizer or as a serum.
In conclusion, Aloe Vera gel as a moisturizer can be a great natural alternative to traditional moisturizers. It’s lightweight, absorbs quickly, and contains natural ingredients that can soothe and nourish the skin. It also has the added benefits of being non-greasy and suitable for all skin types.
However, you should know that Aloe Vera gel may cause skin irritation in some people, especially those with sensitive skin. It’s essential to consult with your dermatologist if you have any concerns about your skin before you start using Aloe Vera. While Aloe Vera gel can be an excellent addition to your skincare routine, it’s always best to do your own research and seek professional advice before trying any new product on your skin.
FAQs About Aloe Vera Gel As A Moisturizer
1) Can you drink Aloe Vera gel every day?
Yes, you can, but not in large quantities, as it may have some side effects. Drinking small amounts of high-quality Aloe Vera gel every day, such as adding it to your smoothie or juice, can provide various health benefits, such as aiding digestion, boosting immunity, and reducing inflammation.
2) How many spoons of Aloe Vera gel should I drink a day?
The recommended amount of aloe vera gel to consume per day varies depending on the individual and the specific product being used. However, it’s generally recommended to start with a small amount, such as one tablespoon per day, and gradually increase the amount over time.
3) Can I apply Aloe Vera gel on my face overnight?
Yes, you can. Applying it to your face overnight can help to hydrate your skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, it’s recommended to choose a high-quality Aloe Vera gel that is specifically designed for topical use on the skin.
4) Is Aloe Vera good for wrinkles?
Yes, Aloe Vera is good for wrinkles. Aloe Vera moisturizer gel contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help to boost collagen production and improve skin elasticity, which can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, aloe vera gel can help to hydrate the skin, which can also help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
5) Can Aloe Vera reduce eye bags?
Yes, it can. To use Aloe Vera moisturizer gel for reducing eye bags, gently apply a small amount of the gel around the eyes using your fingertips, being careful not to get it in your eyes. Leave the gel on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with cool water