• Aloe vera and your DIY skincare products

    Aloe vera and your DIY skincare products

    Aloe vera is a popular ingredient in natural skincare and with good reason. It has a long history of use and both scientific and anecdotal evidence to support its great reputation. Known for it’s healing, soothing and cooling benefits, it is easily used fresh from the garden. It is a go-to home remedy for sunburns, insect bites and other wounds, but also has a wider use in the skincare industry.

    Many skincare companies, whether they promote natural products or not, use aloe vera as a marketable ingredient in their products. This prompts home DIYers to explore its use in their own creations, however its use in DIY products can be limited. Commercial gels using aloe vera are often confused with the gel-like substance that is found in the fresh leaf, however they are a much more complex cosmetic formulation. Many products using Aloe vera as an ingredient will use it in a refined extract form or as a dehydrated powder that can be made into a juice, which is then incorporated into water soluble products.

    For us DIYers, Aloe vera is best kept as a product we use fresh from the plant when needed. Much like a food product, the gel you find in the plant will quite rapidly go off and be deemed unsafe for skin application. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use it at all! 

    Some ideas for using fresh Aloe Vera at home:

    • Mix with a small amount of white clay for a soothing, healing and cooling facial mask.
    • Apply directly to insect bites or skin irritations to speed up healing time.
    • Refrigerate a leaf before applying the gel to sunburn.
    • Apply to the hair and leave for 30 minutes for a nourishing hair and scalp treatment.

    For more advanced DIYers, you may like to explore using an Aloe vera powder as per the manufacturers instructions, or play around with using a ready-made gel and adding your own extracts and essential oils, or adding it as an active ingredients in your creams.

    However you use it, enjoy the cooling, healing and soothing benefits of Aloe vera. 

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