For as long as I can remember, my mom always had an aloe plant in the kitchen. I never really thought much about it until I burned my finger on the stove one day. She broke off the tip of one of the aloe leaves and squeezed the gel over my burn. It was immediately soothed, and I was in amazement. A plant had just fixed my hand!
Since that point, I have always kept an aloe plant around my apartment, and at the very least I have had a bottle of aloe vera in my fridge.
Treating burns and rashes is one of the main reasons that people keep an aloe plant hanging around their house, but there are so many other things that aloe can do. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are also really easy to take care of. All they need is a little water, a little sunshine, and they will provide you with endless health benefits beyond soothing your cuts or burns.
1. Make-Up Remover
One of the top pieces of advice for healthy glowing skin is to make sure that you remove your makeup at the end of the day. There are plenty of different removers that you can get at the store, but often they will have harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin and even cause breakouts. Exactly the opposite of what you want! If you have an aloe plant around, you are all set! All you have to do is squeeze a little aloe gel out onto a cotton ball and wipe off your makeup. It is much better than store bought and more cost effective!
2. Face Wash
Another way to use aloe gel for your face is to make your own face wash. If you have sensitive skin, then aloe vera gel is perfect. It won’t irritate your skin or cause breakouts, and it is easy to customize the ingredients. A simple base to start with is one tablespoon aloe, one teaspoon almond milk, and one teaspoon lemon juice. Mix it all together and create a paste and let it sit for a few minutes then rinse it off. If you want to experiment with fragrances, you could add soothing lavender or calendula essential oil. Need a hydrating boost? Add in some coconut oil. The possibilities are endless, and you can mix up a wash for any need!
3. Fresh Breath
Bet you didn’t know that aloe vera gel could be your key to fresh breath! Most people only think of the topical treatments of aloe, but it has a ton of benefits for internal use. One of the easiest ways to treat a mild case of halitosis is to drink some aloe gel mixed with water. Aloe has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe acid in your stomach that can be a leading culprit of bad breath. You can also mix it with apple juice if you want to add a little flavor to the aloe. Just make sure that you don’t ingest over ¼ cup aloe gel because too much can have a laxative effect.
4. Hand Sanitizer
This application for aloe was new to me, but I’m so glad that I found out! Hand sanitizer has become a regular part of everyone’s routine, especially with the winter season upon us. Just hearing all the coughing in the store or seeing that guy sneeze two seats in front of you on the bus can make you want to take a bath in hand sanitizer. The only problem is that the alcohol in hand sanitizer can be extremely drying for your skin. That is no good with cold winter winds! Skip the alcohol-based sanitizer and make your own with a five to one ratio of aloe gel to witch hazel and a few drops of any antibacterial essential oil like peppermint, lavender, or tea tree oil. You’ll kill any germ you come in contact with, smell great, and keep your hands completely soft and beautiful with this DIY sanitizer. Note that you can find witch hazel with or without alcohol, so if you want this to be totally alcohol-free make sure that you find witch hazel that doesn’t contain any.
There are so many more amazing benefits of having an aloe plant in your house beyond just these four reasons. It really is an awesome plant that can help you stay healthy both inside and out!
Image source: titanium22/Flickr