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Aloe Vera Skin Care

I bought an aloe plant before I left for college three years ago. I wanted something green for my room that was going to be relatively difficult for me to accidentally kill (I don’t have the best track record of taking care of plants) and while there have been some close calls, I’m proud to say that my aloe plant, Alfred, is alive and well. The plant has been having some structural problems this spring, namely that it's growing sideways instead of up, so I recently decided to re-pot it and give it a helper stick to help it grow in the correct direction. 

And then...tragedy struck.

The topmost leaves of Alfred broke off when I was attempting to tie one of the leaves to a guide stick. Now, I’ve broken leaves off of the plant before, mainly for a quick sunburn treatment, but never a baby leaf. When “harvesting” aloe or breaking a leaf for any purpose, you’re supposed to break off the oldest leaves closest to the bottom. When this happened, I immediately hopped on Google to find out whether or not Alfred could survive the ill-fated consequences of my well-intended actions, and while the internet was not much help, I remain hopeful. Since I had these aloe leaves, though, I took to Pinterest to find out what to do with them.

According to alluringsoul.com, aloe can do wonders for your skin. It contains naturally occurring salicylic acid which is great for acne treatments, vitamins A, C, E, and B12, can reduce inflammation, and moisturize your skin. I’m always looking for more natural ways to take care of my skin, so when I found this website through my Pinterest search, I was pretty excited. The article included 7 different face masks you can make using aloe to treat your skin in different ways. I tried the first one, “Aloe Vera Face Mask and Scrub for Glowing Skin,” because who doesn’t love glowy skin, right?

In order to make this mask, I harvested my aloe according to the instructions on the site, after letting the aloe leaves “drain” for about 10 minutes. (This step is very important! According to ruralsprout.com, mature aloe leaves contain a latex-like substance that shouldn’t be ingested, and therefore probably shouldn’t be left on your skin. Drain your leaves, friends!) Pro tip: if you’re going to harvest your own aloe to make this mask, you can use a spoon to scrape the gel off the leaves once they are cut open. The spoon gives you a little more control than a knife. 

Once you have aloe vera gel, you’re ready to make this mask! And if you’re not harvesting your own aloe that’s totally fine! You can use any aloe gel from the store, just make sure the first ingredient listed is aloe vera. All you need is a little coconut oil and honey, and maybe brown sugar if you want to make it more exfoliating.

Recipe: 

  • 1 tbsp aloe vera gel (3 parts)

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (3 parts)

  • 1 tsp honey (1 part)

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (optional) (3 parts)

If you want to make this in a larger batch, I included the basic conversions for you. I skipped the brown sugar for this round and I also used raw Michigan honey, so there’s no processing involved; it's straight from the hive. Basically all you have to do is mix all of the ingredients together. I tried to soften the coconut oil and honey in the microwave so they would be easier to mix but accidentally melted them. I just had to wait a while for the mask to set up before I could use it. 

Now, use the mixture as a normal face mask, massaging it into your skin for a few minutes, and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Wash off and enjoy your glowy skin!

For more aloe recipes, check out alluringsoul.com.