Health-conscious homebodies everywhere are increasingly looking for more natural options to remedy a myriad of health, wellness and beauty needs. As we learn more and more of the sometimes unnerving side effects that human chemical creations can cause, we look back to nature to fill the gaps.
When it comes to skin care, few if any natural ingredients can hold a torch aloe barbadensis. Known by its common name, aloe vera, this hearty succulent plant can be grown and cared for easily, even for forgetful black thumbs like me, as it is evolved for a desert existence. More important, and beneficial for most of us, is that the thick spiny leaves of this plant contain a slimy gel that could be described as a wonder-balm for skin.
This gel contains a host of natural compounds that act as both antioxidant and antibacterial agents on your behalf. Here are just a few ways that aloe vera can help you and your homebody be healthier.
As a Soothing Skin Balm
Aloe vera has been known for centuries for its ability to moisten and hydrate dry skin, soothe itchy rashes and it is especially popular for treatment of sunburn.
The simplest and most wholesome way to use aloe vera topically is to cut off a leaf from your own home plant – cut the outer, lower leaves as close to the bottom as possible. Then trim the edges and slice it open to reveal the glistening wonder gel inside, which can be applied directly to skin. Just to be safe if you have very sensitive skin, apply to a small area of irritated skin first to make sure your skin doesn’t react (very rare).
Alternatively, if you’re too lazy or your need is more immediate, your can buy a good quality Aloe Vera Gel.
Want more? Well aloe vera is even useful for reducing the inflammation and irritation of acne, and may speed healing, as some studies have shown.
Reducing Plaque and Gum Disease
A lesser know application of aloe vera uses the juice. Using aloe vera juice as a mouth rinse can actually reduce the bacteria that cause plaque, as well as candida albicans yeast in the mouth, keeping your mouth feeling cleaner, fresher and healthier. In fact, aloe vera proved as effective as the chemical mouthwash ingredient chlorhexidine in this study. If you want to give it a try, you can check it out here.
For Washing Your Face and Body!
Aloe Vera can be a fantastic addition to many of your daily cleansing routines, because for healthy skin its triple threat: it nourishes skin with antioxidants; it soothes with its anti-inflammatory compounds; it protects and heals with its antibacterial properties.
Some products are even incorporating aloe vera by infusing it into common bath, shower items, simplifying and amplifying cleansing and beauty routines. Check out some of these popular sponges below, made with all natural konjac from the konyakku plant, a centuries old tradition in Japan for washing babies’ delicate skin. But these ones pack an added punch, as they’re infused with aloe vera and/or activated charcoal! More on that ingredient coming soon!
What’s your favorite way to use aloe vera? Check back soon for an intro to another natural health supplement and remedy, activated charcoal!