Use of the aloe vera plant has been documented as far back as 2100 B.C. It was mentioned in an Egyptian papyrus from 1550 B.C., and Egyptian queens attributed their beauty to the plant. Today, the aloe vera plant is still used for many things, and skin care is chief among them. Aloe is commonly referred to as the "burn plant" and is kept in many homes so it will be available to soothe burns.
The gel found in the aloe vera leaves is spread on the surface of minor burns to soothe pain and aid in healing. Pinch or cut off an inch or so of the tip of a leaf, and squeeze the gel from the leaf and onto the burn. This will not kill the plant. Rather, the leaf will develop a scar along the edge and continue growing.
Not only burns but also skin irritations such as a heat rash, poison ivy or dry skin will benefit from aloe vera. Use the same process as above to treat these skin conditions. Use of the aloe vera gel on a consistent basis will allow dry skin to become more elastic and smoother. The gel is absorbed into the skin and will rehydrate the skin and help in rebuilding healthy skin cells.
Skin and Facial Conditions
Eczema and psoriasis sufferers benefit from the use of aloe vera, which can lessen the severity of the conditions and stop itching. Aloe has been known to replace cortisone cream for inflammatory skin conditions.
Apply aloe vera gel to fever blisters and genital herpes to reduce swelling and pain associated with the blisters. Normal precautions will still need to be taken for outbreaks of the herpes virus, as aloe vera will not cure the virus.
Used as a moisturiser on the face, aloe aides in reducing wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. The facial skin will become smoother and younger looking with the use of aloe vera gel.
When applied directly from the plant, the gel will feel sticky as it dries. This will go away as the skin completely absorbs it. If you don't like the feel of the natural gel, there are commercial products available that contain the gel. Aloe vera can be found in commercial lotions, make-up and ointments. However, pure aloe vera tablets, juice and capsules are also available at health food stores.