Week 2 – Skin Health
Last week we covered some of the many healing properties of Aloe vera. Aloe vera is often underrated as more and more “exotic” skin care ingredients are introduced to the market. Considering the impressive list of active properties it contains, this plant should be at the forefront of every natural skin care routine.
Polysaccharides are star properties in Aloe vera. The polysaccharide Glucomannan increases collagen by stimulating growth factor receptors when used topically and Mucopolysaccharides help in binding moisture into the skin. That means more elasticity and fewer wrinkles!
The amino acids in Aloe vera soften hardened skin cells and support tissue repair. One of the amino acids, lysine, is a well-known remedy for cold sores and shingles caused by the Herpes virus. Using Aloe vera on an outbreak of blisters is a natural and inexpensive way to speed up healing.
Another component of Aloe vera is lignin, which is like a binding structure that keeps everything held together; a type of fiber. Lignin has penetrative properties and allows the Aloe vera to soak into the skin up to seven layers deep! This makes Aloe vera beneficial for a wide range of skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.
Saponins are soapy substances from the gel that are capable of cleansing by way of their antiseptic properties. Saponins perform strongly as antimicrobial & antiviral, against bacteria, viruses, fungi & yeast.
Aloe vera gel is famously known for its ability to dramatically speed the healing of sunburns. Other types of burns like chemical or radiation burns will also deeply benefit from an application of fresh Aloe vera gel.
The best way to use Aloe vera is fresh gel straight from the leaf. Simply keep an Aloe leaf (the larger the better) in your refrigerator and cut pieces off and squeeze out the gel as needed. Over the counter Aloe vera gels typically include chemical preservatives to lengthen shelf life. For natural Aloe vera gel on-the-go, you can bottle it up and add any of the following natural preservatives: lemon juice, vitamin E oil, citric acid (vitamin C), rosemary extract or Sage essential oil.
Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to be effective. Our Coastal and Rain scents both contain Aloe vera hydrosol. Aloe vera gel, straight from the plant, can be used directly on the face to minimize wrinkles and dehydration and Purequosa can be sprayed on the body for cooling, healing, and toning of the skin!
Next week we will cover the medicinal (internal) benefits of Aloe vera and the following week look for recipes for skin care and beverages made with the plant!