Fresh aloe vera, hailed the “plant of immortality” by the Ancient Egyptians and famously used by Cleopatra as part of her beauty regime besides those milk baths to keep her looking youthful. As a skin tonic, fresh aloe vera direct from the leaf surpasses some of the most expensive skin care products on the market. It’s a great anti-aging treatment as it tightens skin by increasing collagen production and elastin and stimulates fibroblast cells, regenerating the cells for younger looking skin. Aloe vera is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral which makes it perfect in keeping skin clear and controlling acne. It also soothes, softens and moisturises skin, helping skin problems like eczema and psoriasis heal.
The best way to use aloe vera is fresh, straight from the inner gel of the leaf. Products containing aloe vera have little or no benefit compared to the live stuff since the inner gel of the leaf is difficult to stabilise. It has to be processed to extend shelf life which reduces it’s medicinal and therapeutic properties greatly. You can buy the whole leaf in places like Wholefoods or Glaser Farms for the organic version and sometimes conventional fresh aloe vera at your local supermarket.
My personal favorite way to use it for anti-aging, skin enhancing purposes is as a face mask with only one ingredient, the fresh aloe gel.
Skin Lifting Mask
1. Cut an inch off from a fresh aloe vera leaf.
2. Slice it in half.
3. Expose and rub the inner clear gel all over your face and neck. Tip: pressing the gel with your fingertips will squeeze more gel out.
4. Gently pat the gel around the eyes.
5. Lie down and relax for at least 20 minutes or keep on overnight (recommended).
6. Wash off with lukewarm water.
When you apply the gel, you will feel it tightening and working immediately. I would recommend to do this three times a week to start seeing results and enjoying the countless benefits of this low-maintenance practice that packs a high nutrient dense punch for your skin.