Aloe vera is well known as a popular home remedy. The fleshy insides of the thick aloe vera leaf are supposed to have healing properties. Some apply aloe vera in their hair, some use it for cuts and burns, and use it to bathe. It’s also widely available in drink or even dessert form.
Since aloe very is readily available in the supermarkets here, one option is to use raw gel directly from the leaf. A thick leaf from the local supermarket – NTUC Fairprice sells a large leaf for about SGD2.
Above: Aloe vera leaf for SGD 1.10 from NTUC FairPrice
Preparing the aloe vera gel
Cut a cross section of the leaf and use the blunt edge of the knife to scrape the cloudy gel carefully into a container. Be careful you don’t scrape too hard, as the latex under the green aloe skin can be an irritant.
The remainder of the leaf can be kept in the fridge to keep it from spoiling. A big leaf about 40cm in length generally lasts me for 6 days.
Applying the aloe vera gel
Simply apply the gel directly, preferable after a shower. You would think that it would feel sticky and cling to your clothings, but it will surprise you as it is cooling. and after a few minutes, it absorbed completely into the skin.
The aloe vera takes effect quite quickly, and most people notice a reduction in the redness of the skin. It’s also supposed to help to heal scars but that might take a couple of weeks for any noticeable difference.
Too busy to buy and prepare your own aloe leaf?
Not a problem too! Generally home made aloe vera gel would be a bit sticky and does not absorb into the skin that fast. Sometimes, if you do not scrape off the outer layer carefully and only extract the middle section, it may irritate your skin further. There’s a good commercially available natural gel in a tube called Lily of the Forest – Aloe Vera Gelly that works pretty well. When allow to cool in the fridge, it can give your skin a cooling effect which reduces scratching as it calms the skin.
Why is Lily of the Forest brand above better than others?
In Watson, Guardian, there are many sports relief aloe vera lotion which are not suitable for sensitive skin. For example the Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel contained perfume and many other chemicals, very little aloe vera itself. On the other hand, some health stores do carry aloe vera gel, but quite pricey. At Unity, a very small tube of 40ml already costs ~$10.
Thus, both economically and quality ingredient factor, Lily of the Forest – Aloe Vera Gelly win hands down. It is sold in Nature’s Farm for $16.90(as of March 2017), available NOW at Skinshare Singapore at a better price!
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