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All hail the power of aloe vera

Potted Aloe Vera When: 07 Dec 2016 Credit: Ina Peters/westend61/cover Images
Aloe Vera

Don’t underestimate the power of aloe vera when it comes to skincare.

This green plant may seem pretty ordinary but it can work wonders if your skin is feeling dry, itchy or sensitive, or you’ve spent too long in the sun. Fans of the natural ingredient even claim it can delay hair turning grey. 

“Aloe vera is a soothing and hydrating ingredient for the skin that contains anti-inflammatory properties. This is why this ingredient is found in many face and body products that treat sunburns for its soothing and cooling effect,” Vanessa Charest, aesthetic nurse at London Real Skin in Holborn, told Cover Media. “Aloe vera is a very popular ingredient in many skincare brands as it a humectant and antioxidant that contains enzymes, Vitamins A and C that can help treat burns, dry skin and cystic acne. 

“It is a versatile ingredient that can be used on all skin types and it can even assist with treating skin conditions like psoriasis.” 

Vanessa has shared a simple way to use aloe vera at home to perk up parched skin. 

“A popular DIY recipe includes mixing the natural aloe vera gel from the plant with castor oil and applying it as a mask,” she said. “It is super moisturising and healing. Leave it on for 15 minutes.” 

You can find aloe vera in an array of skincare products as it has a low risk of causing allergies or adverse reactions. 

Our favourites include Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer SPF30, Kiehl’s Calendula Petal-Infused Calming Mask, and The Body Shop’s Aloe Calm Hydration Sheet Mask. 

The polysaccharides in aloe vera promote anti-inflammatory benefits and offer a protective barrier to the skin, and it contains “healing” minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Aloe is packed with phytosterols which can soothe itching and irritation, making it a good choice for eczema sufferers. 

Buy yourself an aloe plant and cut a leaf open to extract the gel-like substance inside. This can be applied directly to the face as a serum after cleansing, mixed with olive oil and brown sugar as an exfoliator, or dabbed on dry or itchy patches. Try freezing the stuff in an ice cube tray and use it on irritated skin or apply it to your legs before you shave to prevent irritation. 

– Cover Media