aloe vera leaf

aloe there!

Yes, yes, I know – I’m a cheeseball who likes punny headers. That title, however, appropriately expresses the magnitude of my love for the succulent of all succulents: aloe vera. Called the plant of immortality by ancient Egyptians, aloe vera contains loads of minerals ranging from calcium to zinc to manganese. It’s also jam-packed with vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3, and B6 and can be used for everything from moisturizing and hydrating skin to reducing hyperpigmentation to enhancing hair growth. I got this bad boy at my local grocery store for 99 cents!

aloe cut into pieces

In order to use the pulpy flesh of this plant for beauty DIYs, I first remove its serrated edges, cut the leaf into large pieces, scoop out the insides, and place the goods in a pan. The gel of the leaf is highly viscous, so I blend it into an even consistency with the help of an immersion blender. The gel will typically foam as you blend it, but it quickly settles into a delightfully gooey texture. I store the aloe vera gel in the refrigerator to prolong its approximately week-long shelf life.

Here are the top five ways I use aloe vera:

HAIR MASK – Jammed packed with moisture, aloe makes a perfect one-ingredient hair mask. I soak my strands, from root to tip, with the gel and leave it in for an hour. If I’m feeling extra fancy, I leave it in overnight. I’m consistently surprised at how healthy and shiny my hair looks afterwards. It’s my go-to mask for those dry winter months!

SCRUB – I’ve been on a tear with DIY body scrubs. A simple aloe and sugar scrub is super hydrating and effective. Could it get any easier than two-ingredients? I think not!

MAKEUP REMOVER – Aloe vera is possibly the gentlest makeup remover I’ve ever used. I just put a bit on a cotton pad and wipe the day away! I can’t comment on its effectiveness on waterproof makeup/conventional makeup, but I can definitively say that it’s effective on the green brands that I use daily, including Alima Pure foundation, Pacifica mascara, W3ll People blush, bronzer, and highlighter.

MOISTURIZER – I’ve been slathering my face with fresh aloe, nightly, for the past couple of weeks, and I’ve been waking up to incredibly plump, hydrated skin. I plan on continuing this regimen for a month or so, as I’ve heard aloe also helps with hyperpigmentation. We’ll see if it works!

MINOR SCRAPES AND BURNS – Using aloe for minor scrapes and burns is probably its most common use. An all-natural panacea that’s both cooling and soothing, I’m never disappointed with aloe vera’s efficacy on tiny nicks and minor burns.

Do you use aloe vera? How do you use it? Comment below!

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