You might have learned about different plants and their properties back in school. These days, we’ve come to see entire healthcare and cosmetic industries turn towards more natural and plant-based products, imbibing their properties in order to enhance their effectiveness. There are a number of healthcare and skincare products in the market containing ingredients such as coconut water, white lilies, the extracts of fruits such as kiwis and strawberries and even oils like argan, olive or camellia. 

There is, however, no other plant that has been used as extensively for its properties in the health and skin care industry as much as aloe vera. A stem-less perennial plant (or may have a very short stem) with the tenacity of a bulldog (yup, that breed is a real tough one), the aloe vera plant is native to the Arabian peninsula, although it has been widely cultivated and distributed across the world, especially on account of the growing demand for the plant. It is known to thrive in even extreme weather conditions, a factor that has allowed it to flourish in almost all parts of the world. Aloe vera gel has umpteen beauty benefits from health to skin to hair. You can use aloe vera for hair growth, skin concerns and health issues. But the question is how do you use aloe vera gel for skin and hair. Let us tell you.  


1. Aloe vera for your skin

Aloe vera for your skin

Starting off with the versatility of the plant, it can be used as anything, from an ornamental piece to a food source. You might have even come across a number of companies selling bottled aloe vera juice in the market. Now, while non-decolourised aloe vera juices that are not purified aren’t exactly something you might want to consume, especially since they can lead to diarrhoea and cramps in the stomach, decolourised low anthraquinone aloe vera juice is known to have a number of health and skin benefits

Now that we’ve got a word of caution out, we can move on to learning about all the amazing benefits that the aloe vera plant can provide you with. Aloe vera has been used for skin and hair care for ages and finds mention in a number of Ayurvedic medicinal texts, where it is referred to by the name ‘Kathalai’ (and ‘Ghritkumari’ in Hindi). We’ve curated a list of some of the ways in which this succulent can help you get rid of your health, skin and hair problems.

Being alkaline in nature, it can help you balance your body's and skin’s pH levels, thereby reducing the risk of skin infections and other bacterial diseases. However, aloe vera's benefits for skin don't end here. The gel taken from the leaf of the plant is also known to be rich in powerful antioxidants belonging to the polyphenol family, which further prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in and on your body. This helps in keeping acne and other skin woes caused by bacteria at bay.


2. Aloe vera helps heal burns and scars

Aloe vera helps heal burns and scars

A number of topical ointments and scar removal creams have aloe vera as an important ingredient in them. Not only does it help fade away scars, it is also said that aloe vera benefits skin by providing relief from burns of the first and second degree, on account of its soothing and healing properties. In fact, experimental studies have shown that the use of aloe vera gel can reduce the healing time of burns by as many as 9-10 days!


3. Fresh and hydrated skin

Fresh and hydrated skin

Improving your water intake is perhaps the best and simplest way of detoxifying your skin. Almost two-thirds of the human skin is made up of water. Since aloe vera is water-dense and has water-retention properties, it (as well as its juice) is an excellent candidate for keeping your skin fresh and well hydrated. Aloe vera gel benefits dry skin and topical application and intake of its juice both help in hydrating skin. 


4. Improving internal organ functionality

Improving internal organ functionality

Besides the many aloe vera's uses for face and hair, it is also beneficial for your body. It is no secret that a healthy liver and digestive system is crucial to the health of your skin, as well as to the overall health of your body. Aloe vera is extremely hydrating and contains a number of phytonutrients that help it keep your liver healthy and functioning efficiently. Being rich in nutrients such as vitamin C and E and beta carotene allows it to recharge your body and improve your digestion, while the juice of the plant can help increase the water retention capacity of your intestines.

Treating your skin right!

All those vitamins and antioxidants that we’ve just mentioned, they help keep your skin free from acne. Depending upon your skin type, you can combine aloe vera gel with a number of different ingredients in order to make masks and scrubs, using ingredients easily sourced from your kitchen. For example, a mask made using the gel, mixed with milk, honey, turmeric and rose water can help in keeping dry skin soft, supple and looking fresh. If you’ve got sensitive skin, you might want to mix the gel with some cucumber juice, yogurt and rose oil to apply onto your skin and nourish it.

Talking about the benefits of aloe vera on face, some of the compounds present in it are also known to repair UV damage and fight its effects, while its anti-ageing properties can delay the occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines on your skin.


5. Aloe Vera for your hair

Aloe Vera for your hair

One of the many benefits of aloe vera for hair is that makes it stronger and longer in no time. The plant contains certain proteolytic enzymes that can help repair the skin cells on your scalp, thereby reducing hair fall and dandruff to a certain extent. Your hair is largely made up of a protein known as keratin. The chemical composition of aloe vera is very similar to that of keratin and this helps it rejuvenate and nourish your hair, conditioning it and making it all the more strong. You can use aloe vera gel for hair by mixing its juice with coconut oil and applying this mask to get strong, smooth and shiny hair.