As the summer months bronze our skin, some people seem to be looking a little pinker than usual!
There are many creams and potions to counteract this but nature may have the answer.
The aloe vera cactus may not seem like the obvious beauty treatment but this succulent green plant has an unprecedented healing effect on skin and body.
Aloe vera is a bona fide super ingredient, with a long list of health benefits and a celebrity following that dates back to Egyptian times. Cleopatra used the plant in her beauty regime, selecting it to treat everything from burns to infections and parasites.
Jennifer Aniston, a self-confessed sun-worshipper, is also a huge fan. Apparently, the Hollywood star grows it in her back garden in California and applies it after a session in the sun to cool down her skin and calm any sunburn.
But it’s not just the rich and famous who reap the benefits of aloe vera for damaged skin. It’s well known among health and beauty experts, who seem to be seeking out the medicinal wonder ingredient in everything from food supplements, drinks and smoothies to cleansers, masks and after-sun care products.
Why? The jelly-like substance found inside the thick spiky leaves of the aloe vera cactus is laden with an impressive list of nutrients, including 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids and 200 active plant compounds or phytonutrients.
There’s a whole host of health benefits attributed to this amazing plant. As well as being a potent antioxidant, aloe vera is said to boost immune function, reduce high blood pressure and aid digestion. Applied topically, the gel has multiple benefits for skin health. The high-water content (99.5%) means it’s very hydrating, soothing and cooling (that’s why it’s a common ingredient in after sun products).
It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory and can treat skin conditions including psoriasis, sunburn, acne, dry skin and frostbite. Plus, it makes a very effective makeup remover.
Aloe vera has a slightly bitter flavour so it is not the most pleasant tasting plant! But, blended into a smoothie with other ingredients such as berries, coconut milk and green vegetables like cucumber and spinach, it provides a nutrient-rich super drink that will cleanse your system and benefit your skin.
So, whether you’re ingesting it or applying it to your skin, harvesting it from a plant or buying it in products, this natural plant ingredient will soothe, hydrate and repair stressed skin, for a newly radiant look.