The Power of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Field in the Canary Islands (Source: Frank Vincentz)

I’ve been rhapsodizing about the wonders of aloe vera for a long time now. And not only because I am prone to a nasty sun burn.

Native to north-eastern and southern Africa, aloe vera is a succulent that contains powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties. The aloe vera gel within the aloe vera plant leaves are widely used in skincare for cosmetic or medicinal purposes. I personally use aloe vera gel in a hydrating face mask or to speed up the healing process of any mild scars.

You can usually buy an aloe vera plant at your local grocery store. To access the gel in the plant, all you need to do is tear off a leaf, slice the edges from each side of the leaf lengthwise and open up the top flap of the leaf. The slimy, fleshy gel from inside the aloe vera’s leaves should then be extracted. I extract the gel with a spoon and deposit it into a small bowl. Then I either apply the gel, as is, on skin or I will add a bit of coconut oil to make hair or face masks.

If you’re short on time, or quite frankly, not into tearing up your aloe vera plant, there are some great products out there that use aloe vera gel as a base for various skincare purposes.  There’s a company in Aruba that is my personal favorite. It grows, harvests and manufactures all their aloe products on-site. I use two of their skin products, the Hand & Body Lotion and the Luxe Foot Crème – oh my goodness, my skin has never felt this soft!

Have you ever used aloe vera for anything? Any go-to remedies or products?