5 Amazing Beauty Uses For The Humble Aloe Plant

Aloe benefits hair, skin, and nails in so many ways.

Would you believe me if I told you that there’s a totally natural, affordable beauty product that can wipe out tons of the space-crowders in your medicine cabinet? I wouldn’t have either, but I’m amazed to say: I’ve found it.

One night this past summer, I was ironing shirts when I decided to take a break and do God knows what--probably Pinterest. A couple hours later, I stood up while talking on the phone, and entirely forgot that my iron was still plugged in. I leaned against my bookshelf, placed an elbow on top of the iron, and… SIZZLE. The worst burn of my life.

Thankfully, one of my roomies had an aloe plant, and, as I had researched, I snipped off one of the leaves and rubbed its juice on my burn. Instant relief, and it healed much faster than any other burn I’ve ever gotten--I’m a little clumsy, can you tell? Since then, I’ve purchased my own aloe plant and, me being me, I’ve experimented with it in every which way you can fathom.

It’s been one of the best beauty investments I’ve ever made--but at $6.50, could you even call it that? Pick up one of these epic multi-taskers, and you’ll find that it replaces your…

Post-Shave Lotion

The expense of shaving frustrates me to no end. Between the razor, replacement blades, shaving cream, and cream to soothe irritated skin post-shave, keeping smooth really adds up. Thankfully, my aloe plant has axed the last product on that list. Whenever I exit the shower with irritation or razor burn, I slather on a shot of aloe vera and my ailments feel instantly better and are typically largely reduced within just a few hours. Not only that, but aloe can be used to soothe bruises, bug bites, and rashes as well.

Makeup Remover

Ahh, makeup remover: one of those dull beauty products that you have to consistently buy because you need it, not because it’s fun and you want it. Guess what? There's a plant for that. I spread the juice on a cotton pad to swipe off all my makeup, especially on days when I’m wearing a little extra. It’s that effective!

Multi-Tasking Moisturizer

Got acne but still need a little hydration? Cue pure aloe vera, nature’s means of making your life a little easier. I use the stuff in the morning because it absorbs insanely fast--I’m not about walking around looking like an oil slick. Plus, by the end of the day, any blemishes I’ve had tend to be reduced in size. Perfect for my combination skin! And, pssst: it even helps reduce wrinkles.

Hair Growth Enhancer

As I’ve mentioned before, my bleached-to-death hair needs all the lovin’ it can get, especially since I’m trying to grow it out a little. Applying aloe to the scalp and letting it sit for 30 minutes as a weekly treatment is ridiculously effective. I’ve found that my hair feels stronger and is growing faster. Oh, and this treatment will help combat dandruff as well. Crazy, right?

Cuticle Treatment

My nails are super dry and brittle, making them prone to some pretty ugly breakage. My aloe plant is on a table next to my bed, so I conveniently roll over before I fall asleep each night and cut off a piece to rub on my cuticles. Holy soothing! Even better, I wake up to moisturized nails--and they’ve gradually become much stronger. Anything that gives me a better mani is gold, in my book.

Since I know you’re practically jumping out of your chair to get to your nearest nursery, here are some care and harvesting tips:

  • You can get to the juice in a few ways, depending on your use. If you need a small amount for a one-time issue like a burn, simply snip off a portion of a leaf and rub the stuff on skin.
  • If you’re looking to harvest a heftier amount, the process is a lot like preparing a fish: cut off a leaf close to the soil and place it on a cutting board. Use a knife to slice off the skin on the top and sides of the leaf. The gel will now be sitting on top of the bottom piece. Slice it away from the bottom piece of skin. Use what you need, and store the rest in your refrigerator. Don’t worry about the plant--its skin will heal itself and seal in the next few hours.
  • Aloe loves a warm climate. Keep it either outside or next to a well-lit window.
  • Remember that aloe is basically a moody teenager--it likes a little neglect. Watering or feeding it too little is much better than too much. Your aloe plant is very susceptible to over-watering. Only water it when the soil is completely dry; this might mean only watering it once every week or two.
  • If you want to spoil your plant, you can feed it plant food every once in awhile.
  • Repot the plant when it becomes too top-heavy in its current home. Make sure the new container has holes in the bottom!

Are you as amazed by this power plant as I am? Do you have one, or think you’ll snatch one up? If you’ve got other uses for aloe vera, give me a heads up!