Aloe vera changed my skin
Review

Aloe vera changed my skin

Natalie Hemengül
Zurich, on 11.03.2019
Have you noticed that more and more cosmetic products contain aloe vera? Now I know why. I smeared the gel of this plant on my face every day for a week and was pleasantly surprised.

Want to benefit from the beautifying properties of aloe vera without spending too much money? The most economical way is to do what I did and buy yourself an aloe vera plant. Tap into the pure power of the plant and use it for your hair, face and body. Online, I found countless ways of using aloe vera: as a hair mask, a make-up remover, a depuffer for swollen eyes, scar treatment, a miracle cure against hyperpigmentation. I could go on.

But first and foremost, I would like to know how the plant’s gel fares as a daily moisturiser and whether it can replace conventional creams. So far, argan oil, coconut oil and Shea butter have proved their worth. Now, I want to expand my portfolio of natural alternatives. That's why I ordered this succulent from our shop. According to the description, the plant doesn't seem to have any special requirements. My not-so-green fingers are happy about that. I still manage to knock the poor plant over twice during the first few minutes after its arrival. My fingers are no longer that happy. And while the chances of survival of my new roommate plummet from «low» to practically «non-existent», I start my self-experiment.

And cut

First, I cut a large outer leaf from the trunk. A yellowy liquid, which smells a little unpleasant, seeps from the cut. I let it bleed for a good two hours by sticking the leaf upright in a glass, the cut facing down. Don’t skip this step as the bitter juice can cause allergic reactions.

That’s my second (baby) aloe vera you can see in the background. The leaf on the chopping board is from a larger plant.
That’s my second (baby) aloe vera you can see in the background. The leaf on the chopping board is from a larger plant.

Next, I cut off the spines on the sides of the leaf and halve them lengthwise. To make the long leaves easier to apply to my face later on, I chop them into little pad-shaped bits. Alternatively, you can separate the flesh from the leaf and pop it in the blender before pouring it into a container. Store it in a cool place and it should keep up to two weeks. Personally, I find my small, square pads easier to manage. So I pre-cut the long leaves, place them in a food storage container and place them in the fridge.

First, I remove the spines on the sides...
First, I remove the spines on the sides...
...next, I cut open the leaf lengthwise.
...next, I cut open the leaf lengthwise.

Slime face

The slimy texture makes me gag a little. But I soon get a grip and glide the pre-cut pieces of aloe vera over my clean skin. I let the gel set until it slightly tightens like a face mask. The cooling effect of the gel lasts about 30 minutes. Next, I wash my face and am surprised at how refreshed it looks.

My little face pads.
My little face pads.

My complexion is radiant and my pores seem to have shrunk. I repeat this procedure daily during the next four days and get the impression that my skin has changed. It looks smooth; minor impurities have disappeared. All in all, my face looks more replenished, firmer and fresher. Even my two colleagues on the editorial team notice. Despite the good results, I won’t be doing this on a daily basis. Not least, because I’d have to buy a new plant every few weeks. However, the gel is definitely worth applying as an occasional treat for your skin.

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Natalie Hemengül
Natalie Hemengül
Editor, Zurich
As a massive Disney fan, I see the world through rose-tinted glasses. I worship series from the 90s and consider mermaids a religion. When I’m not dancing in glitter rain, I’m either hanging out at pyjama parties or sitting at my make-up table. P.S. I love you, bacon, garlic and onions.

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