Wonderful Aloe Vera
The Aloe Vera Plant and Its BenefitsThe aloe vera plant (scientific name Aloe barbadensis) has many benefits for skin and hair and is unique among plants for its importance in the cosmetics industry. Cosmetic products made with aloe vera are used to treat everything from dry and scaly skin to chapped lips and dermatitis. Aloe vera is most noted for its gel and juice which are widely used in creams, lotions, shampoos and a variety of other cosmetic preparations. Aloe vera gel and juice are available commercially in liquid and in dehydrated form. An oil-soluble extract is also produced from the aloe vera plant. It is sold under the names aloe vera oil and aloe vera extract.
Aloe Vera PulpAloe vera pulp is the clear, thick substance inside of the aloe vera leaf. (It is often called aloe vera gel, but it is usually treated before it is sold commercially). Aloe vera juice is made by liquefying aloe vera pulp. Aloe vera gel is made by adding a thickener such as irish moss to aloe vera juice. Aloe vera gel is also available in dehydrated form. Aloe vera oil is made by extracting oil-soluble portions of the aloe vera plant into a light vegetable oil, such as safflower oil. Aloe vera juice, gel and oil can be used in cosmetics.
Using Aloe Vera In Your CosmeticsHere are some ideas for incorporating aloe vera into your cosmetic formulas.
- Aloe Vera Bath Salts: Add a small amount of aloe vera oil or dehydrated aloe vera gel to Epsom salt or sea salt to make aloe vera bath salts.
- Aloe Vera Bath and Body Oils: Add a small amount of aloe vera oil and your favorite essential oil or fragrance oil to a blend of light vegetable oils (such as corn oil, jojoba oil or sunflower oil) to make aloe vera bath oils, aloe vera body oils and aloe vera hair oils.
- Aloe Vera Soaps: To make aloe vera liquid soaps, add some aloe vera gel or aloe vera oil to liquid castile soap. To make aloe vera bar soaps from scratch, replace some of the water in your recipe with aloe vera gel or juice or replace some of the oils in your recipe with aloe vera oil. To make aloe vera soap from premade soap, you can melt down soap flakes or melt and pour soap, add some aloe vera oil or gel to the melted solution, stir well and pour into soap molds.
How to Make Aloe Vera Juice and Aloe Vera Oil
If you grow your own aloe vera plant at home, you can enjoy the luxury of using freshly made aloe juice and oil in your cosmetics. To make your own aloe vera juice, scrape the gel out of a leaf, and put it in a blender with an equal amount of distilled water. Blend on medium, strain, and then use as needed. To make your own aloe vera oil, scrape the gel out of a leaf. Add the gel with the leaf in a blender. Add a small amount of vegetable oil. Blend on medium and let sit for one day. Strain the oil to remove any large particles. Use as needed.
Aloe Vera Toner
Use this toner after washing your face to remove any residue left on your skin.
Combine in a clean bottle:
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) of aloe vera gel
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) of witch hazel extract
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) of glycerin (omit if you have oily skin)
Makes 8 oz. (240 ml) of toner
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