Heliotrope San Francisco

Aloe Vera has exceptional healing properties. It has been used for thousands of years. Egyptian hieroglyphics from 6,000 years ago, mention the plant as a healer of many ailments. They called it the Plant of Immortality and it is believed that it was part of Cleopatra’s beauty routine. Today, the gel or cream is in most first aid kits. As a gel, it is used to treat burns, wounds, rashes and sunburns. Because it’s healing properties work internally as well as externally, many people drink the gel as a juice or add it to smoothies. It has been found to have incredible positive effects on the digestive system. Aloe Vera in gel form should be in everyone's bag of tricks!

Botanical image of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a succulent that is one of 420 plants in the genus Aloe. In the plant world, this means that there are many types of Aloes, but only one true Aloe Barbadensis, or Aloe Vera. It is believed that the plant originated in the Sudan. It was soon introduced to most warm regions across Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Now, most languages have a word for Aloe Vera and the plant is grown on every continent. It is farmed and found in kitchens and in warmer climates in gardens. Aloe Vera is one of the most widely used plants.

Aloe Vera growing on a plantation in the Canary Islands

Right below the green outer surface of the leaf is a yellow/orange layer, which is a form of latex that is also used for its nutritional and healing properties but is usually separated from the gel. The gel, which is the part of the plant that is most valued, is the soft clear jelly-like substance in the center of each mature leaf.

Sliced Aloe Vera leaves

There are more than 75 identified active components in the form of vitamins, enzymes, minerals, fatty acids and hormones. Aloe Vera contains all 8 Essential Amino Acids - the chemical that form the building blocks of proteins - and 20 of the total 22 amino acids that are required by the human body to function.

I think you’re getting a sense of why the Egyptians considered it a key to Immortality! When used in skin products, Aloe Vera acts on multiple levels to moisturize, heal and condition the cells of the skin. 

All skin types - from oily and prone to breakouts to normal or dry skin - will benefit from the astringent and antioxidant qualities, and it's ability to promote new cell growth.

Aloe Vera contains the vitamins A, C and E which are antioxidants and help to clean the skin of free radicals before they cause damage. Vitamins C and E also improve the skin’s natural firmness.

Aloe Vera contains a component called Proteolytic Enzymes which remove dead skin cells and thus clear the way for cell growth and regeneration. As the dead cells are removed, the high water content of Aloe Vera itself hydrates the skin.The high water content combines with auxin and gibberellins - naturally occurring plant hormones - to soothe and heal skin with their anti-inflammatory properties. Gibberellins directly stimulate new cell growth.

For acne prone skin, Aloe Vera can help to heal the inflammation and prevent breakouts. As you might know, acne is the buildup of dirt from pollution, dead cells and oil in the pores of the skin. This buildup often causes localized bacterial infections that the skin responds to by forming a pimple around the irritation. The mineral component Magnesium Lactate helps to reduce itching, as the antiseptic properties simultaneously removes the gunk and tightens pores while the high water content leaves the skin feeling hydrated and moisturized. The hormone gibberellins stimulates new cell growth, which reduces the appearance of scarring and helps the surface of the skin to smooth out.

Aloe Vera is excellent in helping the skin move towards and maintain the proper pH balance.

Our Olive Leaf & Neroli Moisturizer is delicate enough for sensitive skin and contains ingredients that help to soothe inflammation, regenerate and hydrate cells. The antioxidant properties of Aloe Vera help protect your skin throughout the day or night.

The Clay & Herbal Extract Detox Mask utilizes the astringent and antioxidant properties of Aloe Vera to help clarify and tone the skin while leaving the cells hydrated. It is excellent to use when the skin is inflamed or at risk of a breakout or twice weekly as a rejuvenating treatment to keep your skin looking its best.

Two of our serums Cucumber & Botanical Healing Serum and Rose & Nettle Daytime Face Serum utilize all of the healing the rejuvenating properties of Aloe Vera in combination with other nourishing ingredients. The Cucumber & Botanical Healing Serum provides a rich dose of soothing and cooling moisture. Rose & Nettle Daytime Face Serum combines powerful antioxidants in a light formula that protects and hydrates the skin throughout the day.

Get an Aloe Vera plant to brighten up a well-light window and cut a portion from a mature leaf to use for those accidents that always seem to happen. The leaves self heal, so the plant won't be harmed as it helps you to heal. There are so many benefits to this amazing plant! Aloe Vera might not improve your chances at immortality, but it will bring you a healthy glow!

Aloe Vera in small pot

Written by Jen Bator — February 06, 2017

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