So, I was walking through the aisle of my favorite farmer’s market and I saw THIS…
Ok, the leaf didn’t have all of the benefits listed on it, but you get the point.
Fresh aloe vera leaves sold individually for $1.29.
I did a Naturalista Curly Dance of Joy!
Kinda like this…
Why the sheer bliss over this pointy succulent that looks like it fell out of space?
Aloe Beauty Basics*
The aloe vera plant has been used for centuries for its medicinal, beauty, cosmetic, and skin care gifts.
The name ‘aloe’ comes form the Arabic word “Alloeh” which means “shining bitter substance.” Vera in Latin means “true.”
Each leaf of the aloe vera plant has three layers:
- Inner fillet or gel – contains 99% water; the rest consists of glucamannans, amino acids, lipids, sterols and vitamins
- Middle layer of latex – bitter yellow sap that contains anthraquiones (known as laxatives, analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals) and glycosides
- Outer thick layer of 15-20 cells called ‘rind’, which has a protective function and synthesizes carbohydrates and proteins
These layers are packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, natural sugars, fatty acids, and more.
Aloe Vera Is High In:
- vitamins a, c, and e (antioxidants)
- folic acid
It contains 8 enzymes:
- bradykinase – helps reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin; the other enyzmes help in the breakdown of sugars and fats
- lipase and peroxidase
calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc
Aloe Vera Benefits:
- aloe produces gel and latex which are used for medicines
- aloe vera gel increases collagen production at the wound site, which accelerates healing and reduces scar tissue
- when taken by mouth, aloe is used to treat fever, inflammation, constipation, itching, stomach ulcers, bowel diseases, and the side effects of radiation
- helps naturally detoxify the body
- used to treat cuts, scrapes, burns, sunburn, frostbite, psoriasis, and cold sores**
Shea Butter Benefits
Not to be left out, shea butter is also deeply moisturizing, soothing and healing to the skin and hair. Even though I buy raw shea butter, I don’t like the smell of it by itself. I also find it’s too heavy to use on it’s own for my hair/skin.
I like to mix it with apricot kernel oil or safflower oil.
Apricot kernel oil is a non-greasy, lightweight oil that’s similar to almond oil (for those of us with nut allergies). It adds a silky feeling to any oil or body care recipe. It’s high in vitamins A, C, & E (antioxidants), and is easily absorbed into the skin.
It goes extremely well with my shea butter blends. I love mixing it with other oils and essentials to specifically lighten shea butter’s texture and scent.
Benefits of shea butter are:
- makes skin more supple, stronger
- reduces premature lines of aging
- soothes skin
- strengthens and protects the skin
I love shealoe butter cream from head to toe during the fall & winter months. It replaces vaseline in our home, which sits on top of our skin or wipes off all over the furniture and car seats!
Not Shealoe Butter Cream! It absorbs quickly into the skin and stays there all day and night!
I used real aloe vera gel by chopping about 1/8 of the leaf off at the bottom, and using the gel inside for my recipe.
You can also use aloe vera leaf juice, but reduce the amount to 1 and 1/2 tbsps.
Since I had so much aloe vera leaf gel left over, I blended the the extra that I didn’t use (about 1 tsp), added some aloe vera juice and made a nice hair quenching spritz to keep my havana twists hydrated and loved!
I’ve included this super simple recipe below.
Aloe Vera & Sandalwood – ProVitamin B-5 Hair Spritz (Recipe)
3 oz aloe vera juice
1/8 tsp dl-panthenol 50% (liquid)
1/2 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
4 drops sandalwood essential oil (or your favorite)
Add ingredients to spray bottle & shake gently. Spritz on twists, braids, and protective styles.
The spritz is easy to make in a pinch and won’t cause your hair to frizz like water-based spritzes. It’s also oil-free which my scalp loves!
Shealoe Butter Cream
I didn’t blend the aloe vera long enough this time (maybe 30 seconds to 45 seconds) and I had little pieces of aloe in the butter. It still melted into my skin but next time I’ll blend it a little longer.
Since I don’t like the smell of raw shea butter, I mix a little cocoa butter in, which gives it a slight chocolate scent. Cocoa butter also adds a touch of shine for hair and skin.
Do you use shealoe butter? Tell us in the comments!
*Surjushe, A., Vasani, R., & Saple, D.G. (2008). Aloe Vera: A Short Review. Indian Journal of Dermatology, 53(4), 163-166.
I am flexible and flowing. Louise Hay
Moisturize Lavishly :-)