Belonging to the Liliaceae family, Aloe Vera is a succulent plant and has been used by mankind for thousands of years for its many beneficial properties, and there are many given that it contains over 200 active components. Therapeutic use aside, today we’ll discuss benefits of aloe vera for skin.
Though many products with the plant’s extracts are available in the market, one can also plant aloe vera at home and use it fresh! Available in the form of gel, oil, juice/pulp, creams, soaps, tablets and powders, aloe vera is traditional medicine’s cosmetic gift to modernity.
With great anti-inflammatory, healing and soothing properties, thanks to the hormones Auxin and Gibberellins, it has been used widely for treating blemishes, skin ulcers, skin rashes and acne, among a slew of other skin problems.
But the plant’s most popular cosmetic use remains as an anti-aging agent. Aloe vera makes skin soft by rejuvenating skin cells and removing dead ones. Full of antioxidants like beta carotene, vitamin C and E, aloe also delays visible signs of ageing, like wrinkles and spots by keeping it hydrated. It is for these properties that aloe vera is also used to treat stretch marks. Stretched to an unsightly level by factors like pregnancy and obesity, stretch marks can be made less visible with aloe, thanks to its rejuvenating properties!
The plant also has cooling properties. It gives instant relief from sunburns and is thus used widely in the summers.
There are two simple ways of embracing aging skin: defence and offence.
If you’re lucky, you’ve just started seeing your skin become dry, lifeless and fine lines appear on it. But if you’ve crossed the initial stage then your best bet is a good self image, great nutrition, facial exercises and peptides.
Let’s begin with defence. The best defence, and even offence, against aging is pumping collagen, the fountain of youth for your skin. Since collagen is a protein, eat it. Yes! Certainly buy jars of youthful protein for instant results, but here’s what’ll never fail you: Dark green vegetables for high nutritional content, red fruits and vegetables for lycopene, like tomatoes, foods rich in Omega-3 and soy, in moderation.
Slow and steady, they’ll hold you in good stead, but it’s never bad to go karate-chop on wrinkles. So, exercise. Flush out all the toxic sweets and fat with sweat and see your skin tighten and glow. Key here, is to moisturize regularly; wash your face, rid it of dead skin and choose a cream in accordance with your skin type. Simultaneously, drink green teas and tease those around you aplenty. The latter will bust stress and give you a much needed facial workout, important for retaining youthfulness.
For those on the offense, screening out the UV is top priority. After that, creams and lotions rich in retinoic acid are your best friends. Many also suggest hydroxyacids, but since these are found naturally in fruits and milk, use face packs and creams containing the at least one or both.
You can’t reverse time, but you can reverse the damage it does to your skin, at least to an extent. Anti-aging tips or reversing your beauty clock is nothing more than taking care of your body and mind, here and now.
First things first, make a routine. Yes, after a sleep, work, exercising and eating routine, you also need a beauty routine to look younger! But why a routine? Simply put, we have lived with the sun and its natural clock for centuries. So to return to the natural rate and state of aging, we must set a routine! Embracing the sun, however, does not mean we stop using sun screen (your skin’s best friend). The sun may be where it was, the UV reaching earth have certainly become overenthusiastic. So anti-aging tip number two, halve your skin exposure.
Among so of the hundreds of anti-aging tips and routines trolling the internet, here’s the most logical one: cleanse, use a dermatologist-recommended anti-aging serum, moisturize, use sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 and lastly, sleep well.
But skin care to beat aging isn’t as easy as using some creams. You’ve got to put your money where your mouth is, literally. So beware of that fast food, it also increases the pace at which you age.
Take a vitamin D supplement (1,000 IUs per day).
Eat plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from olive oil, ground flaxseed, and fish/fish-oil supplements.
Drink water — in all its forms — all day long. Count green tea and coffee in your daily total, but go easy on the alcohol.
Cut back and remove if possible, processed foods and sugars.