If you’ve ever spent a bit too much time in the sun, you’re probably very aware of one of the many benefits of aloe vera.
In addition to its cooling and soothing properties on sunburnt skin, it’s also an all-natural, super-hydrating ally to your everyday skin and hair care routines!
Lucky for us, aloe vera is inexpensive, versatile, and easy to find at your local supermarket, drug store, and even home gardens.
This unsuspecting pulpy plant is very easy to apply to your skin and has a light, non-greasy, hydrating “formula”.
Aloe vera gel contains 96% water!
All the extra power is packed into the remaining 4%.
No wonder it’s so hydrating!
Aloe vera has been used for centuries.
Six thousand years old carvings of the plant have been discovered in Egypt, where it was considered the “Plant of immortality”.
It’s rumored that even Cleopatra used aloe vera to protect her royal skin from the desert heat and dryness.
It has been used to treat wounds and even help with digestion when ingested as it serves as a mild laxative.
Due to its ability to grow in even the driest environments and its many healing benefits for the body, inside and out, it can now be procured worldwide.
Pure aloe vera gel harvested straight from the plant is considered so “clean” that it can even be ingested.
Aloe is very refreshing and versatile and can be added to a variety of recipes from smoothies and salsas.
It is rich in antioxidants and may reduce blood pressure levels, boost memory, and even treat IBS.
While many store-bought aloe gels should work just fine for sunburn, when it comes to skincare (and cooking), the benefits of aloe vera are best captured when harvested straight from the plant or from products with natural, pure aloe vera gel.
Pure aloe vera plant pulp can be found inside the cactus-like plant leaves that can easily be grown at home or found in local stores.
No matter if you have a green thumb or not, aloe vera plants are extremely easy to grow.
If you grow your own, extracting its gel is simple!
To extract the aloe plant’s gel and use it on your skin, break a leaf off of an aloe plant as close to the stem as possible to get all the “meat”.
Then, use a knife to slice the green skin off of the aloe leaf lengthwise, so you’re left with a piece of pure, clear aloe vera gel.
From there, you’re free to apply it directly to the skin to seize any of the following 10 amazing benefits of aloe vera for skin and hair!
Is aloe vera good for skin? (hint – yes!)
1. Reduce Wrinkles and Signs of Aging
One of the many benefits of aloe vera for skin is its anti-aging properties!
Collagen is the most abundant and most important protein in our bodies when it comes to the skin’s health and appearance.
As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen, causing our skin to sag, thin, and form wrinkles and fine lines.
Luckily, aloe vera has collagen-boosting capabilities to help turnover old, damaged cells and produce new ones!
Not only does aloe help to increase your levels of collagen (aka the fountain of youth), it is packed with antioxidants that protect your skin from the damaging effect of free radicals.
Free radicals can be found all around, and even inside of us and can lead to a number of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
They cause oxidative stress that causes damage to otherwise healthy cells.
By applying a thin layer of aloe to the face, you can help fight off aging signs, provide an extra boost of collagen, and fight off free radicals!
2. Soothe Sunburn
The most popular use of the application is sunburn relief.
The aloe vera plant has been effective at treating first and second-degree burns, which includes most sunburns.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has actually found aloe superior to lotions containing oil as it can trap heat make sunburn even worse! Raw aloe straight from the plant can be rubbed on the skin for instant sunburn relief.
Pure aloe vera gelscan also be bought over the counter, but make sure to avoid artificial colors and fragrances to prevent further irritation.
You can also keep it in the fridge to cool it down and provide extra cooling relief!
A quick aside – while aloe is great for helping to soothe burnt and irritated skin, the best way to avoid sunburn altogether is with sunblock.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide, and about 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
So to make your sunny day skincare routine complete, start with sunblock high in SPF (and plenty of it), then turn to aloe to rehydrate and soothe your skin.
3. Brighten Skin and Reduce Hyperpigmentation
You can also use aloe vera for face and body hyperpigmentation! Hyperpigmentation is a build up of melanin that often results in dark spots on the skin.
It can be caused by overexposure to the sun, hormonal issues due to pregnancy, and acne, all of which aloe can help to manage!
Aloe vera blocks the enzyme tyrosinase, which is a primary “component” of skin hyperpigmentation.
This humble gel also contains polysaccharides, water, lectins, vitamins, minerals, and other active compounds to reduce hyperpigmentation.
It is even used for overall skin lightening.
4. Lock in Moisture
You can create your own aloe vera moisturizer or in store-bought moisturizing creams.
Rather than leaving a heavy, sometimes oily feeling on your skin, aloe is clear, lightweight, and soothing.
Aloe is gentle enough to be used on the face and body every day.
Simply apply it after a bath or shower and allow it to absorb to help seal moisture into your skin.
There are also tons of moisturizers that contain aloe vera. Check out some of our favorites below!
5. Fight off Acne
Using aloe on your face on a regular basis will also help to soothe and fight off acne.
Aloe vera contains salicylic acid, which helps to gently dry acne while providing anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce redness and inflammation to irritated acne.
Salicylic acid achieves this by dissolving the top layer of skin cells and exfoliating the cellular buildup.
It is also rich in nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which can also help to keep your skin clear and radiant in the future.
6. Heal Minor Ailments
Aloe can also be used to help another symptom of acne – minor wounds, broken skin, and acne scars.
Aloe helps to heal scratches and other small wounds on the face and body by boosting collagen and fighting bacteria.
Just apply it directly to the wound a couple of times throughout the day like you would with Neosporin.
It can also help to soothe and moisturize chapped lips in place of oily chapsticks!
7. Treat Skin Conditions
Aloe can also be used in the case of more extreme skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
These conditions can cause dry, flaky patches of skin that are easily irritated and often difficult to treat.
Because aloe is so clean and simple, it’s less likely to further irritate the skin.
When applied topically, aloe’s antibacterial properties alleviate the inflammation, redness, and itchiness that often accompanies these skin conditions while keeping the skin clean and healthy.
How can I use aloe vera on my face and hair?
You’ll be pleased to know that aloe vera uses don’t stop with the skin; there are also benefits of aloe vera for hair conditioning and scalp healing!
An aloe vera hair mask can be enough to clean your hair!
The gel of the aloe vera plant can be used as a shampoo to remove excess sebum (oil) without stripping the hair.
Shampoos with sulfates and unnecessary artificial fragrances can damage and dry the hair out.
It also helps to strengthen the individual strands.
El Patron even created their own aloe vera and eucalyptus shampoo to gently clean and nourish your hair.
Make Hair Shine
You can also use aloe vera as hair conditioner or a deep conditioning treatment.
Whether you apply the gel directly to your hair in the shower like you would a normal conditioner or mix with water, coconut oil, and essential oils for a leave-in treatment, aloe’s hair strengthening and moisturizing benefits will keep your locks hydrated and shiny.
We’ve also included a DIY deep conditioning aloe hair mask recipe below.
Cleanse and Heal the Scalp
This one is a 2-in-1 for your skin and hair – aloe’s skin healing properties also bring benefits to your hair.
Aloe is rich in proteolytic enzymes, which heal dead skin cells while encouraging the growth of new skin cells on the scalp.
Aloe can also heal wounds on the scalp and moisturize the skin to prevent dandruff.
By keeping the skin where hair follicles are grown healthy, you’re encouraging stronger and healthier hair growth in the future too.
DIY Aloe Recipes for the Skin and Hair
Before digging into any of these DIY recipes, remember to test a small amount on your skin to test for an allergic reaction.
Though there is a small chance that you’ll be allergic to aloe, it is possible, so make sure to try it out on a small area to check for irritation before you apply it to the delicate skin on the face.
How to Apply Pure Aloe as a Moisturizer
Aloe alone can make a great, clean substitute for your everyday moisturizer whenever you’re running low or looking for a new alternative.
Freshly harvested gel can be applied directly to the skin or stored overnight in the fridge so it’s ready for you in the morning!
Once you have your gel, just rub pieces of the gel over your skin in a thin layer.
It may feel a bit slimy, but it shouldn’t be heavy.
You can also apply to the lips for extra hydration.
Allow the gel to dry, then apply your makeup as usual!
Repeat twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening after washing your face, for the best results.
Aloe Face Mask for Oily Skin
Aloe is a great, non-greasy yet ultra-hydrating substance.
This DIY face mask can help to remove excess sebum while nourishing your skin with vitamin C and probiotics from greek yogurt.
It’s an easy, inexpensive, and clean way to revitalize your skin and restore your youthful glow!
Plus, all of these ingredients can be found in your fridge!
Mix 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (either directly from the plant or store-bought), 1 teaspoon greek yogurt, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice together.
Apply to clean, dry skin and leave it on for 15 – 20 minutes.
Then, rinse and apply your favorite moisturizer. Voila!
Anti-Aging Aloe Face Mask
This clean and comfortable face mask is great for preventing future wrinkles from forming.
Mix together 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, and ½ teaspoon matcha green tea powder together.
The caffeine in green tea can help tighten the skin, while aloe boosts collagen and coconut oil delicately hydrates your face.
Leave the mask on for 15 – 20 minutes, rinse, and moisturize if necessary.
Exfoliating Oatmeal and Aloe Face Scrub
Aloe is a great, gentle exfoliator on its own due to its concentration of salicylic acid.
Oatmeal adds an extra boost of exfoliation to remove dirt and oil while soothing inflammation.
This simple yet effective exfoliating scrub works to remove drab, dead skin cells and allow the aloe to penetrate deeper into your skin.
Just mix 2 tablespoons of oatmeal powder (raw or ground) with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel.
If you choose, you can also add in one tablespoon of honey to help brighten the face and fight bacteria.
Hydrating Aloe Vera Hair Mask
Many of the same ingredients used in an aloe vera face mask can also work on your hair!
This one has 3 hydrating ingredients to help penetrate even the most brittle and dry hair.
Mix 2 tbsp of aloe vera gel with 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp olive oil, and 2 tbsp plain yogurt.
Separate your hair into multiple sections and apply from the roots to the tips.
Let this sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing with water and shampoo for luscious, shiny locks.
Our Favorite Aloe Vera Products
This aloe face moisturizer by Skin Script is perfect for oily skin types.
Because aloe is light and thin, it absorbs quickly and weightlessly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue.
It’s gentle and light enough to use every day!
This cucumber aloe face spray is refreshing, hydrating, and easy to apply throughout the day.
In addition to aloe, it uses green tea and cucumber extract powers to replenish, cool, and soothe the skin all day long.
Epicuren has created its own gentle and clean aloe vera calming gel that can supplement your daily moisturizer.
Just apply and allow it to dry before your regular, everyday moisturizer to reap all its benefits!