Aloe Vera...... the healing plant with such a beautiful minty green color, one that can grow in so many environments, and one that truly quenches the summer skin's thirst when it's fresh gel is squeezed out from the plant and glides lovingly over the skin.
But did you know that Aloe Vera is HIGHLY unstable as a product ingredient, so much so that it requires a great deal of preservative to be added to the product formulation just to keep it from not going rancid? Freeze-dried aloe vera powder is the only method I am aware of to keep some of the properties of the Aloe intact without using preservatives.
If you are in love with aloe, here are some ways to incorporate it into your skincare routine:
1. GROW YOUR OWN fresh aloe vera plant! These plants are highly adaptable and can grow in sun or shade. Beware though if you put them in a container somewhere they get very comfortable in their environment, and if you want to move the container elsewhere, be sure to do it gradually, starting with an hour a day and working your way up. They get a bit attached to their sun/shade living quarters, but either one will do, and they make beautiful specimens.
2. GREEN IT UP with Aloe Masks! Use the fresh aloe gel as your "activator" to mix into a paste with your powdered masks. They add a cooling and calming effect.
3. SENSITIVE SKIN EXFOLIATING AGENT. Combining aloe gel with your cleansing grains, and massaging into the skin is soft and gentle on sensitive, inflamed skin. If you have had infected acne areas, rosacea, or other problem skin this is an oh oh oh so sweet treatment to boost your cell turnover in a gentle way!
4. Use it for your POST-CLEANSE. Massage the gel all over your face and neck AFTER your regular cleanse routine. Let it sit and allow the skin to "drink" your fresh aloe gel. Layer with your favorite daily moisturizer.
5. Toning Boost! Add a dollup of aloe to your toning mist, and store in the fridge. It will add coolness, and fresh tightening action to your regular toning.