Originally from South Africa, and only growing in hot and dry climates, aloe vera is an oily plant that resembles a cactus. It has been used for thousands of years for its dermatological properties; even Cleopatra used it; and is a shining star in today's beauty products. The reason? Its precious gel, extracted from the leaves, is rich in vitamins A, B, C and E; minerals including calcium, phosphorous, potassium and zinc; enzymes; and amino acids.
Aloe vera gel contains 85% mineral- and vitamin-rich water and has exceptional hydrating power, strengthened by its poly- and monosaccharide content (sugars that are capable of retaining water). Try making a homemade mask with one tablespoon of aloe vera gel, one teaspoon of yoghurt and one teaspoon of honey. Apply in a thick layer and leave for 10-15 minutes. Soft skin is yours!
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, aloe vera is a powerful healing remedy and is used in products like deodorant, for example, to regenerate the skin. It can help skin recover from minor burns, irritations and grazes and is a brilliant sunburn rescue remedy. Simply let the product dry to form a thin transparent protective film.
Aloe vera is also an ally of oily skin, as it is non-comodegenic (it won't clog pores) and astringent, making it effective at combating acne.
Aloe vera gel promotes the production of fibroblasts; the cells that participate in cellular renewal. Which means it can protect against the signs of ageing and helps the skin to have a smoother and more youthful appearance for longer. If it's good enough for Cleopatra...
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