10 Aloe Vera Uses You Might Not Know
Crack open the plant’s thick leaves to reveal a jelly filled with vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties that can do everything from treat insect bites to condition your hair.
Treat insect bites
Covered in itchy, bumpy mosquito bites after a summer night? Rub aloe vera gel or juice—from the plant or a bottle from the drugstore—on the bites. Its anti-inflammatory properties could to relieve the itch, keep you from scratching, and ease swelling, according to Healthline. It can also be used as a natural remedy for poison ivy. Check out these other 12 home remedies for bug bites that actually work.
If you’re looking for a natural makeup remover that’s cheap and won’t irritate skin, try Michelle Phan’s recipe of extra virgin olive oil and aloe vera water (available at most grocery or drug stores). It lets you gently wipe away makeup while hydrating and rejuvenating skin.
Rub aloe vera gel on a full blister—it’ll make the redness and swelling go down, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Once it pops on its own, continue applying to keep skin moist for speedy healing, suggests dermatologist Jessica Wu, MD. You’ll want to memorize these other 18 home remedies that actually work.
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Slathering the soothing gel on sunburnt skin might be one of the most famous aloe vera uses. Other traditional moisturizers containing petrolatum, lidocaine, or benzocaine trap heat, making your burn worst—but not so with aloe vera, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Its cooling properties will soothe the burn, and its moisturizing powers will prevent peeling and speed up healing. You might want to consider these other 11 home remedies for sunburn.
Aloe vera is a great moisturizer for the whole body, but it’s especially pleasant on your face because it doesn’t leave skin feeling greasy. But be careful not to overuse it—it’s also a natural exfoliator, so using it too often could actually irritate your skin and make it look drier, aesthetician Kim Chang tells Baylor College of Medicine.
Instead of your regular conditioner, squeeze some aloe vera gel into your hands and massage it into your hair, then let it sit for about five minutes before rinsing. Your hair will be naturally soft and smooth. Aloe vera helps add moisture and nutrients to your hair, plus promote growth, integrative dermatologist Vindhya Veerula, MD, FAAD, tells StyleCraze. Learn about these other 16 classic home remedies with new benefits.
Since aloe vera is incredibly hydrating, it makes a great natural alternative to traditional shaving gels. Razors glide smoothly, cutting back on razor burn or nicks, and as an added bonus the aloe vera’s natural moisturizing properties also prevent skin from drying out, according to a skincare.com test of common aloe vera uses.
Sounds almost too good to be true, but aloe vera can help you get rid of breakouts. It banishes inflammation to reduce redness, while its anti-bacterial properties fight the bacteria that gave you acne in the first places, board-certified dermatologist Lauren Fine, MD, tells Women’s Health. Try it as a face mask, she suggests, spot-testing on another area first in case your skin is sensitive to the gel. Check out these other 10 healing benefits of aloe vera.
Get rid of dandruff
Instead of shelling out for a special dandruff shampoo, dig aloe vera gel out of your medicine cabinet. A review of medicinal aloe vera uses found that the plant shows promise in easing seborrheic dermatitis—a common condition that causes dandruff. Dermatologist Michelle Green, MD, recommends applying it directly on the scalp, according to WebMD.
Ease a burn
Sun damage isn’t the only type of burn that this miracle gel can heal. A 2013 study of 50 patients found that aloe vera was cheaper and more effective than a 1 percent silver sulfadiazine cream for pain relief and quick healing of a first- or second-degree burn. Try these other 56 old-time home remedies that need to make a comeback.