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Be honest, is it good to put aloe vera on your face?
Yes, yes and yes. But, as mentioned above, we’re talking about the gel inside the plant (aka the juice). It’s important to note here that an aloe leaf has three main layers: the skin, the gel and the latex. The skin and the gel are self-explanatory, but the latex is a thin layer of yellowish liquid between the other two layers.
“Aloe vera contains a form of latex that some people can be allergic to,” Bankston adds. “I would advise only using aloe vera gel with the latex removed. This is how it is usually formulated into products specifically meant to soothe and deliver benefits to the skin without causing irritation,” she explains.
Once you scoop out the insides (or buy pure aloe vera gel), there are a few advantages to adding aloe vera to your skincare routine.
- It stimulates collagen production. Aloe vera encourages new cell growth and promotes elasticity. It can reduce the appearance of fine lines, acne scars and dark spots. (Depending on how long you’ve had your scars, it won’t completely remove them but it can lighten their appearance.)
- It reduces inflammation and irritation. Aloe vera is best known for its ability to soothe pain and minimize redness. (Think: sunburns, rashes or infections.) Its anti-inflammatory properties (like aloin and metallothionein) provide a protective barrier for your skin, while also speeding up the healing process of the inflamed area.
- It fights against acne and breakouts. The gel prevents bacteria from building up, which means you can say goodbye to pesky breakouts.
- It hydrates the skin. “Aloe vera is very hydrating and soothing. It’s filled with antioxidants and glycoproteins that can help the skin retain moisture, boost hydration levels and provide suppleness,” Bankson says. Fun fact: Aloe vera is made up of 99 percent water. So, in addition to its hydrating elements, it has a lightweight texture doesn’t feel greasy or heavy, so even those with oily skin can use it.
What skin concerns does aloe vera target?
The ingredient can help troubleshoot dryness, irritation, hyperpigmentation and/or inflammation. Which is why there is an aloe vera face mask that suits any and all skin types or concerns.
How do you use aloe vera as a face mask?
The first step is finding the purest version of aloe vera possible. Your best bet is to invest in a nice aloe plant (or buying loose leaves at the supermarket). Once you purchase one, you’ll want to open one of the leaves lengthwise and scrape the gel using a spoon. (Bankson recommends avoiding the green parts of the plant to ensure you don’t get an allergic reaction from the latex.) FYI: Whatever gel you don’t end up using at the moment can be placed in a container and stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
If plant parent life isn’t in your future just yet, you can always search for aloe vera gel that is 100 percent natural. (Tip: Make sure it’s the first ingredient listed on the label).
Shop the expert’s recommendations: COSRX Aloe Soothing Sunscreen SPF 50 ($14); Juice Beauty Ylang Ylang Spa Wash ($18); Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant ($30); Elemis Superfood Calm Hydration Juice ($48)
Plant or pre-packaged gel, the great thing about aloe vera is that you can use it alone or with other ingredients found in your kitchen for even more benefits. So, let’s get started.
What are the best DIY aloe vera face mask recipes?
Now that we’re caught up with everything you need to know about aloe vera, let’s find a DIY recipe for your skincare woes. You’ll need aloe vera (of course), a bowl (to mix your ingredients) and a container for any leftovers.
When concocting your mask, it’s important to keep the texture in mind. It should be spreadable and smooth when you apply it to your face. Avoid making it too runny and shoot for a thicker, jelly-like consistency instead. Don’t worry if it takes a couple tries to get it right; practice makes perfect and half the fun is in the experimenting.