A number of natural and skin-safe beauty products call for aloe vera gel. The clear, slimy pulp derived from the pea-green succulent plant has been used in health and beauty remedies for almost 2,000 years.
Aloe vera gel contains 99 percent water. The remaining 1 percent of its content is what makes all the difference. It contains essential vitamins like vitamin A, C, E, B12 and folic acid that work as antioxidants against free radicals.
An enzyme called bradykinase found in aloe vera gel helps reduce excessive inflammation when applied topically on the skin. It also contains auxins and gibberellins, which are hormones that aid wound healing.
The humble aloe vera gel contains a long list of minerals, namely calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc, which are essential for various bodily functions. Its fatty acid content adds to its antiseptic and analgesic properties; it can also be used to treat minor burns.
Coming to the beauty benefits, aloe vera gel stimulates fibroblast cells that produce collagen and elastin fibers, making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled. The amino acids in it also soften hardened skin cells and the zinc acts as an astringent to tighten pores.
Aloe vera gel also protects against skin damage from harmful ultraviolet (UV) sunrays.
Owing to its numerous health and beauty benefits, aloe vera gel has become a universal panacea and should be included in your health and beauty regimens. It can be used most successfully to get rid of acne and scars, to make homemade face wash, and also to lighten skin.
You can find a lot of packaged options for aloe vera gel in the market, but nothing can supersede the natural form. It is super easy and also somewhat satisfying to grow your own aloe vera plant and extract fresh gel whenever you need it.
But before you proceed, take note of these three important points:
- It’s best to get the gel from the outer leaves that are healthy and growing toward the bottom of the plant. Plants that are too immature to harvest will not have leaves growing close to the ground. To remove a leaf, cut it at an angle, close to the plant's base.
- Place the cut leaf upright in a glass in a slightly tilted position for 10 minutes. This will allow the dark resin sap to drain from the leaf. The resin contains latex that can irritate the skin and also be harmful if ingested.
- Always wash your hands before extracting aloe vera gel, as any impurities can contaminate and spoil the gel quickly.
Fresh aloe vera gel without any added preservatives will stay good for 1 week when kept refrigerated at all times.
If you don’t have an aloe vera plant, you can also purchase cut and packaged leaves from the market and extract the gel yourself.
Read on to learn how to make your pure and fresh aloe vera gel in less than 5 minutes.
Method 1: Using a Blender
The easiest way to prepare a batch of pure and fresh aloe vera gel is by scraping the pulp out of the leaf and blending it into a smooth paste using a high-speed blender.
Things you’ll need:
- Aloe vera leaf
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- High-speed blender
Step 1. Clean and peel off the aloe vera leaf’s skin
- Wash a healthy aloe vera leaf under running water.
- Using a knife, cut the serrated edges off the leaf. If the leaf is too long, you can cut it into 8-inch pieces for easy handling.
- Make a long, lengthwise incision in the middle of the leaf to peel off the skin.
- Place your knife right under the rind and slide it along the length of the leaf to pull off the skin. Try to stay close to the skin so you get as much gel as you can.
- Repeat the same for the other half of the skin.
Step 2. Scoop out the pulp and blend it in a blender
- Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the pulp and collect it in a bowl. Avoid scraping the yellowish part of the pulp, as it contains toxins.
- Put the pulp in a high-speed blender and blend it for 30 seconds.
- Transfer the gel into an airtight container and voilà! Your fresh aloe vera gel is ready to use.
Method 2: Scraping
If you like your aloe vera gel thick and gooey, skip the blender part. Simply scrape out the aloe vera pulp and use it. This is an incredibly simple way to make your own pure and fresh aloe vera gel at home.Did you know that aloe vera also acts as a wonderful conditioner for your hair?
Things you’ll need:
- Aloe vera leaf
- Chopping board
Single-Step Method: Scoop out aloe vera gel directly from the leaf
- Clean the leaf with water and chop off the serrated ends with a knife.
- Peel off the upper skin of the leaf.
- Place the leaf over a bowl and using multiple short strokes, scrape out the gel. The stroking process will break the pulp and allow the gel to flow out easily. Continue to scrape the pulp until all the gel is extracted.
- Transfer the collected aloe vera gel into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until needed.
- You can add the contents of 1 vitamin E capsule to the aloe vera gel to enhance its effects on your skin. It also acts as a preservative.
- You can add some rose water to enhance the scent, as pure gel has a grassy and slightly unpleasant smell.
- Aloe vera gel should only be used to heal irritation on the surface of the skin, since it can prevent deep cuts from healing properly.
- Oral consumption of aloe vera is not recommended during pregnancy, as it can lead to uterine contractions.
Summary of How to Make Fresh Aloe Vera Gel
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