It's no secret that aloe vera, the original natural sunburn soother, has a variety of health benefits for your skin: You can use it as a primer before applying foundation, a makeup remover, moisturizer, even as a scalp treatment for irritated follicles. It only makes sense that aloe vera is the ultimate DIY face mask, both potent enough to target whatever skin issue you've got (be it irritated, discolored, or sun-damaged skin) and gentle enough to prevent dryness.
The only question that remains: Is there anything this plant can't do?
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a cactus that belongs to the Liliaceae family. It thrives in dry climates such as Africa and India. The leaves of the aloe plant secrete a clear gel that can be applied to the skin to heal wounds and provide a soothing effect to the skin.
Aloe Vera Benefits
Aloe vera can be found in some skin care products and has many benefits, including being a good treatment for wounds, burns, minor skin infections, diabetes, and cysts. Aloe vera has also been found to treat more serious health conditions, such as genital herpes, dandruff, psoriasis, canker sores, eczema, and skin ulcers.
The benefits of aloe vera include the following:
- Moisturizes the skin: If you don’t like the greasy feeling that most moisturizers provide, then aloe vera is calling your name. Aloe vera will leave the skin moisturized without giving it that greasy feeling, perfect for those with an oily complexion. Aloe vera is also a great way to prime your face prior to applying makeup.
- Treats sunburn: Probably the most common use for aloe vera is using its healing activity for sunburns. Aloe vera acts as a protective layer to the skin and helps replenish moisture that had been lost caused by the sunburn.
- Helps fight aging: Aloe vera contains antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E, along with beta carotene, which helps improve the skin’s elasticity and can help prevent fine lines.
- Treats acne: Aloe vera contains the hormones Auxin and Gibberellins, which provide healing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce skin inflammation. Additionally, aloe vera helps the skin heal quickly with minimal scarring.
- Promotes good health: Aloe vera contains over 75 vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and salicylic acid combined – perfect for ensuring your health is in tip top shape.
- Improves stretch marks: Stretch marks occur when the skin stretches too far, too fast. This can occur during pregnancy, rapid weight gain or weight loss and can cause the elasticity of the skin to be damaged. Due to the fact that aloe vera can heal wounds at a quick speed, they can help lessen the visibility of stretch marks.
- Helps digestion: Our skin absorbs over 50 percent of what we put on it. Aloe vera can improve digestion and relieve ulcers, as it can act as a laxative.
With all of the benefits of aloe vera, it’s no wonder why we have made it our base for our products. Aloe vera can improve your health and skin in a natural and organic way.
5 DIY Aloe Face Mask Benefits for Glowing Skin
While there's no shortage of ingredients that you can include and go great with aloe, there are a few add-ins of note to target specific skin concerns. These five recipes can target just about any skin issue you've got, from run-of-the-mill dryness, eczema, inflamed skin to oxidative stress.
1. Aloe vera and manuka honey mask for skin-soothing.
While regular honey is a good option, manuka honey offers remarkable calming benefits (and much more), making it a perfect addition to an aloe vera face mask. You may be familiar with the antibacterial effects of manuka honey and adding it to your aloe mix can calm redness, treat acne, reduce scarring, and moisturize the skin. You’ll be shocked to see how glowing and plump your skin will be too! Just be sure to add less honey than aloe (a 1:2 honey-to-aloe ratio might be best) or the mixture will be rather sticky.
2. Aloe vera and apple cider vinegar mask for gentle exfoliation.
Aloe is already naturally exfoliating (it contains beta-hydroxy acid and salicylic acid, which will help to gently exfoliate the skin). ACV is also naturally exfoliating, but it might be helpful to pair it with a soothing agent like aloe. It's great to pair apple cider vinegar with an anti-inflammatory such as aloe vera to help lessen potential skin irritation.
If you don't have ACV on hand, another great option is adding a physical exfoliator, like some sugar or coffee grounds, as these granules can gently remove debris and pair wonderfully with soothing aloe.
3. Aloe and turmeric mask for skin-brightening.
To target skin discoloration, you'll want to have this brightening turmeric mask at the ready. Curcumin, the main ingredient of turmeric, has a slew of skin benefits, from neutralizing free radicals to reducing hyperpigmentation. Because aloe is a dark spot remedy in and of itself, adding turmeric to the mix can give this mask quite the skin-brightening boost.
Don't have turmeric? Citrus fruits can do the trick! Lemons or oranges with their high vitamin C content might help to even skin tone.
4. Aloe and coconut oil mask for moisturizing.
For dry, flaking skin, coconut oil (or olive oil, if that's all you've got) is your go-to add. Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer for the skin, especially for those who suffer from eczema. When paired with aloe, it's a hydrating powerhouse of a mask. But proceed with caution if you're experiencing breakouts - coconut oil can sometimes lead to breakouts, so be careful if you have acne-prone skin.
5. Aloe vera and yogurt mask for even skin tone.
Got probiotics? While we've just only scratched the surface in terms of skin microbiome research, the science behind it looks promising for reducing acne and evening skin tone. For more of a hydrating boost, combine aloe with this common kitchen ingredient for some external health benefits for your skin, not just your gut!
How to Make an Aloe Vera Face Mask
While we’ve all been stuck indoors and so many ingredients becoming harder to find and keep in stock, a DIY face mask is your best bet to utilize what you already have in your cupboards. First things first: Find your aloe. If you can harvest your own aloe vera, that's stellar—you'll have your own supply of magic gel to use at your disposal.
If you don't have an aloe plant in your home, try your best to find it fresh: this is the best type of aloe vera for at-home face masks, as the medicinal properties deteriorate over time. Many commercial aloe vera gels and juices contain other ingredients such as preservatives and lessen the potency of its benefits.
To make the mask, you'll, of course, need some aloe, plus whatever additional ingredients you choose from the list above. The steps are fairly simple from there:
- Mix aloe and other ingredients together in a bowl until you get a spreadable consistency (make sure it's not too runny!)
- Apply the mask to your face and let sit for a few minutes. Five to 10 usually does the trick. Just don't let it sit for longer than 20 minutes, as it can lose its moisturizing effect and potentially cause irritation when sitting on the skin for too long.
- Rinse your face thoroughly and pat dry.
- Apply an occlusive cream or oil to keep all the moisture in.
The great thing about an all-natural aloe mask is that you can play around with the ratios and quantity pretty easily; if it feels tacky or sticky on your fingers, you can always add more aloe to thin it out and keep that jelly consistency.
The Takeaway of Aloe in Skin Care
If you're interested in trying out an aloe vera face mask, you'll likely have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen. You should always do a patch test before trying it out on your face; if you notice any signs of irritation, stop immediately and wash it off. Other than that, you're golden! Slather on the gel, and let it work its magic.
If you are a big fan of aloe vera, keeping it as a regular skin care ingredient is easier than you might think! Wild Naturals first ingredient in every product is aloe vera! Shop our full face, body, and hair care products at our online store here. We know the spectacular benefits of aloe vera and now you do too!