| Aloe vera has been used for more than 3000 years. It is commonly found in many gardens and homes. Its Sanskrit name is Ghikanwar or Ghritkumari. Aloe vera has been known for its healing properties since ancient times. It was used to heal cuts and wounds as it helps formation of scar tissue. It is a powerful natural moisturiser 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 has anti-oxidant properties too and boosts the skin's cell renewal process. In other words, it helps to delay the visible signs of ageing.
In cosmetic products, the stabilised aloe vera gel or juice is used. It is added to skin care products and lotions, like cleanser, moisturisers, skin serums and so on. However, if the aloe vera plant is growing at home, one can also apply the gel or juice directly on the skin. The gel obtained from the plant itself is the leaf pulp, 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 and then washed off with plain water after 20 minutes. It helps to soften and moisturise 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. It also moisturises the skin, without making the skin oily. Aloe vera can also be added to face masks. Take one tablespoon besan, one teaspoon each of orange peel powder and curd and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Mix together and apply on the skin, washing it off after 30 minutes. It is a powerful moisturiser and therefore helps in dry skin conditions. It helps to moisturise the skin and seal off the loss of moisture. It softens the skin and helps to remove dead skin cells. It also soothes the skin in cases of sun damage or sun burn. If used regularly, it helps to preserve the skin's youthful properties and delays ageing signs.