Aloe vera has been in use for centuries. The Sanskrit name of aloe vera is Ghikanwar or Ghritkumari. Aloe vera has been very much a part of ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of herbal healing, to treat many ailments. It has also become one of the most important ingredients for skin and hair care.
The plant is a powerful natural moisturizer and seals off loss of moisture. It also softens dead skin cells and helps their removal, leaving the skin smoother and brighter. In fact, it helps the normal functions of the skin by improving its capacity to retain moisture. Aloe vera also has an astringent action and tightens the skin, thus protecting it from early aging. It has shown remarkable results on sun-damaged skin, with its moisturizing, softening, soothing and healing actions. In fact, it can also be used to control acne and helps to heal and minimize acne scars.
Aloe vera has anti-oxidant properties and thus helps boost the skin’s cell renewal process. Therefore, the regular use of products containing aloe vera helps to delay visible ageing signs on the skin. It is ideal for general cosmetic care, too, and is added to skin care products and lotions, like cleanser, moisturisers, serums, gels, masks and so on.
Aloe Vera can also be used in home care if the plant is available at home. The aloe gel or juice may be applied directly on the skin. The gel obtained from the plant itself is the leaf pulp and is found in the inner portion of the leaves. The aloe juice is found just beneath the outer skin of the leaves. However, while using it directly on the skin at home, one should wash the plant well and observe total hygiene.
The aloe vera gel or juice may be applied on the face daily and then washed off with plain water after 20 minutes. It helps to soften and moisturize the skin. In fact, used regularly, it helps to restore the skin’s youthful properties.
Applying aloe vera is useful during winter and summer. In winter, it helps to relieve dryness and maintain the soft texture of the skin. In summer, it soothes the skin especially after sun exposure as it soothes the skin in cases of sun damage or sun burn. It also moisturizes the skin without making the skin oily.
PLUS! How to use aloe vera for skin and hair
Shahnaz Husain is a pioneer and leader of the herbal beauty care movement based on Ayurveda. As CMD of the Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies, she heads the largest organization of its kind in the world with a global network of salons, spas and beauty training academies.