Aloe vera is one of the most popular ingredients for natural body and bath products, and cosmetics because it has so many beneficial qualities, especially for the skin. It has been used for its medicinal and cosmetic effects since the days of the early Egyptians thousands of years ago.

Although the aloe vera plant originated in the Mediterranean climate of North Africa, it has since made its way around the world and can be grown outdoors just about anywhere that the climate is warm enough. And for people living in colder climates, aloe vera makes a great house plant.

Which part of the aloe vera plant to use
When you cut open a leaf, there are actually two different kinds of get. The rubbery yellow-green sap that is closest to the leaf itself is called ‘aloin’ and should not be used since it can actually cause irritation. It’s the clear fluid, or gel, that drips from the inside of the leaf that you should use. The gel can be applied to the skin or even added to beverages or yogurt for additional healing effects.

What are the benefits of aloe vera?
The major benefits are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal abilities. When the gel is used on the skin, it can help heal burns as well as soothe psoriasis and other skin irritations. When it’s taken internally, is has been shown to be helpful in lowering blood glucose levels and soothing colitis. In fact, there are so many applications that it is really useful to do some reading on the subject in order to find out exactly how to use it for your own situation.

What to look for when buying aloe vera products
Many natural beauty products contain aloe vera. But make sure that the label indicates that the product contains aloe vera gel rather than aloin (the plant sap). You will find aloe vera in all kinds of body, bath and beauty products from moisturizing lotions to shampoos and hair conditioners.

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