Update: This post originally ran on June 21 2012, but we wanted to share it again as summer winds down, and also because aloe is something you can use in your beauty routine all year round!
Aloe plants have a number of uses and benefits, and aloe is definitely something I like having around the house, especially in the summer time months.
It is incredibly soothing to the skin after a day in the sun, even if you aren’t sunburnt, and can also be used on scrapes and minor burns. Somehow I always misplace bottles of aloe though, and often find myself running to the store when I’m at the beach to stock up. It wasn’t until recently that it came up in conversation and someone told me about the aloe plant they have at home, and a lightbulb went off – I ran out to Home Depot and picked up my very own little aloe plant!
I’m terrible at keeping plants alive – I definitely do not have a green thumb, but aloe plants are really easy to maintain. They can be kept indoors and don’t require a ton of sunlight or even water. Plus they tend to live for years, and get pretty large.
The benefits of having an aloe plant at home? Any time I need aloe all I have to do is cut off a branch and get fresh aloe right from the source. You don’t have to worry about hurting the plant either when you cut off a leaf – they are amazing at sealing themselves back up and will continue to grow. Aloe gel is the clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the aloe plant leaf. The plants also produce a material called aloe latex which is just under the plant’s skin and yellow in color.
In addition to its use for sunburn/minor burn relief, aloe gel can also be used on acne, psoriasis, frostbite and cold sores to heal irritated skin. As for its beauty uses – the opportunities are endless! The gel straight from the plant can be rubbed on the scalp to promote healthy hair growth, and putting a little on your hands and running through the hair helps to moisturize dry hair. I’m looking forward to experimenting with making my own shower gel and lotion. If you have any tips, let me know!
Photos by Julia.
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