Aloe vera as a beauty remedy is by no means a new perception, in fact, this reputation has been around for more than 5,000 years. Studies show that ancient Egyptian legend Cleopatra applied aloe to her skin daily, and even native Americans referred to the plant as ‘the wand of heaven’ because of its beauty properties.
So, what is it about aloe that makes it so great? Well, it’s the inner most gel that contains all the beneficial goodness. Over 75 active nutrients have been identified in the gel, including amino acids, enzymes, saponins, minerals, vitamins and fatty acids.
By 600BC, aloe traders who travelled from Persia to India discovered that they could separate this precious gel from the outer rind by crushing the leaves with their bare feet and scooping the pulp into goatskin bags. Thankfully this method of extraction has since evolved, and effectively farmed aloe is now delicately hand filleted in order to extract the inner most gel. Scientists are then able to harness the gel’s power and elevate its abilities by adding complementary ingredients that work in synergy with the aloe.
Because aloe is a miracle ingredient in itself, when shopping for aloe products you want to look for ones that contain a high percentage of aloe gel; ones that place aloe as the foundation ingredient. These are the products that will contain the most innate aloe benefits and therefore the ones that will make you look and feel beautiful.
Let’s take a look at four ways aloe can make you ooze radiance:
Aloe and Inner Beauty
Beauty runs far deeper than your external appearance but if you really do want your physical appearance to benefit for years to come, you’re better off addressing beauty from the inside out.
Aloe vera can help since the prized gel can actually be consumed as a drink. During the Crusades, the Knights of Templar created a drink of palm wine, aloe pulp and hemp. It was named ‘the Elixir of Jerusalem’ and they believed that it added years to their health and life. While this isn’t the drink we’re recommending, a glass of aloe gel each day can work wonders for your overall health and wellbeing.
You may have seen aloe water and aloe vera juices pop up in supermarkets and health food stores but be wary as these often contain only a small percentage of aloe vera, and other parts of the plant may have even been used which can create quite a bitter taste. If you are after something that provides nutrients and results, you want to search for something that contains pure inner leaf aloe vera – the higher the percentage, the better.
Forever Living has mastered its aloe gel extraction process and within hours of harvesting the inner gel is stabilised to ensure its purity remains intact. The gel then goes through a special aseptic process to further lock in the benefits and prevent harmful bacteria. The outcome is a fresh and nutritious drink that’s almost as close to drinking the gel direct from the plant. At 99.7% pure aloe vera, Forever Aloe Vera Gel is the ultimate beauty beverage.
Since aloe vera is great for skin, hair and nails, drinking the gel will still benefit these aspects by working from the inside out.
Aloe and Hair
While aloe can’t transform your straight hair into tight curls, it can benefit the condition of your locks thanks to its hydrating and conditioning properties. Drinking aloe is great for hair but aloe-based hair products will also contribute to its healthy appearance so it’s worth looking out for aloe on your haircare products’ ingredient lists! Diane Gage, author of ‘Aloe Vera: Nature's Soothing Healer’ says, "Keratin, the primary protein of hair, consists of amino acids, oxygen, carbon, and small amounts of hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulphur. Aloe vera has a chemical make-up similar to that of keratin and it rejuvenates the hair with its own nutrients, giving it more elasticity and preventing breakage."
It’s important to note however that aloe cannot fix what’s already broken. If your hair is damaged and scattered in split ends, chances are your mane will need a good old trim, but the trick is to protect your hair before it reaches such a state. With summer approaching, your hair is at risk of sustaining damage from the sun, sea salt, chlorine, BBQ smoke and who knows what else, but this is where an aloe-rich product like Aloe First can help. Aloe First contains 80% pure aloe vera gel as well as bee propolis and plant extracts to help protect your hair from such summery threats.
Aloe and Skin
Skincare is where aloe vera really leaves a lasting impression – there’s a reason why people refer to their radiant complexion as their ‘aloe glow’! Your skin’s pH should be 5.5 but external irritants and harsh cleansers can disturb your skin’s natural balance which can lead to blemishes and uneven skin tone. Restoring balance is key and because aloe also has a natural pH of 5.5, this ingredient is a great place to start!
Drinking aloe will benefit skin from the inside and if you drink Forever Aloe Vera Gel you will also benefit from added vitamin C. Vitamin C contributes to the maintenance of collagen in the skin and collagen is responsible for skin’s ability to maintain its shape. Loss of collagen can lead to sagging, fine lines and wrinkles, but collagen does naturally fade as you age so vitamins that assist are most welcome!
Topical aloe products are also great for skin, particularly those that prioritise aloe as the primary ingredient. A high percentage of aloe means you’ll benefit from aloe’s ability to naturally soothe, moisturise and it will also work as a natural barrier to protect your skin from aggravators that can lead to a break down in collagen.
Aloe Propolis Creme boasts 74% aloe as well as bee propolis and camomile, and since it’s quite a thick cream, dry skin, such as the type you get on freshly shaven legs, will love it. If you are wanting an aloe-rich product for your face, Aloe Activator should definitely be on your shopping list. This unique liquid moisturiser packs an incredible 98.9% pure aloe in every drop, and this means it can be used as a cleanser, toner and moisturiser, soothing your complexion and leaving it beautifully conditioned.
Aloe and Nails
If you’re constantly plagued by flaky, weak nails, you may find that aloe vera helps. While poorly removed gel polish and constant washing up isn’t going to do your nails any favours, aloe has long believed to be beneficial for your cuticles and nails so it’s worth investing in a decent hand lotion that’s high in aloe, as well as drinking the pure gel of course!
Aloe Lotion, with 66% aloe and apricot kernel oil, creates a lightweight barrier which is essential for both your skin and nails, especially when you’re constantly using your hands to wash, clean and touch things around you. Since it’s a light lotion, it absorbs quickly into skin – this means no greasy residue – plus it’s packed with nourishing ingredients. You may also be interested to hear that it also contains elastin and collagen. Elastin helps to give skin its bounce but, like collagen, elastin also diminishes with age.
Has aloe helped to make you feel beautiful? Let us know which products you can’t live without in the comments.