When it comes to aloe vera, few understand just how beneficial this little succulent can be to their overall health. Most simply look at this pointy green plant as a quick remedy for sunburn, but there are so many additional uses for it you could practically fill a book with them. From an acne cure to even diabetes relief, these genius uses for aloe vera will have you racing to pick up a plant for yourself
1. Clear Skin
There are many products that promise to relieve skin conditions, but most of them are either watered down or filled with harmful chemicals. Next time you visit your esthetician or dermatologist, bring up aloe vera juice. Many bothersome skin conditions can be treated with this juice. For instance?
Researchers have found that the antioxidants and vitamins in aloe vera work wonders in treating conditions like acne, cold sores, burning mouth syndrome, and even psoriasis. After the serious conditions are taken care of, you can use that same juice for help in other beauty departments.
2. Beauty Hacks
Most makeup wearers find that while products on shelves today are effective at creating that perfect look, they're often pore-clogging and terrible for your skin. Instead of reaching for harmful chemicals, aloe vera gel is a must for any beauty routine.
Natural Makeup Tool
You can safely replace both store-bought makeup primer and makeup remover with aloe vera gel. With just a small amount, you can start and end the day with your skin feeling light and refreshed, even with a full face of makeup.
3. Scalp Treatment
This suggestion might leave you scratching your head (or, hopefully not), but people suffering from inflammation of the scalp or dandruff can find natural relief with aloe vera gel. If you want the most natural treatment, try harvesting the gel from your own plant.
No More Chemicals
Make sure you've spoken to your doctor about what works best for you: some need the aloe to sit for 30 minutes, others an hour. But after applying and letting it soak in, you can simply rinse out the gel with a mild shampoo. No more expensive, chemical-laced scalp treatments for you!
4. Mouthwash Alternative
Another great way to refresh yourself is through dental care. Now, we're not going to say you have to start brushing your teeth with aloe gel — believe it or not, that could prove to pretty dangerous — but rather than gargle with alcohol-based mouthwashes, you can safely rinse your mouth with aloe vera extract.
Great For Gums
One 2014 study found aloe vera extract to be as safe and effective as a mouth rinse. Its nutrients, including vitamin C, are ideal for fighting plaque and gingivitis as well as for building strong gums. It's a great way to wake your mouth up in the morning and prevent bad breath during the long day ahead.
As mentioned before, aloe vera is great for hydration — though not just for the skin. If you drink it as juice, you're actually hydrating your entire body. Aloe juice also provides essential antioxidants and vitamins, and its heavy water content can give a much-needed boost to your bodily functions.
Bye Bye, Bland Water
According to Healthline, "Staying hydrated helps your body detox by providing a way for you to purge and flush out impurities." So if drinking straight water doesn't appeal to you, a few glasses of aloe juice a day are perfect for keeping your body in tip-top shape.
6. Organ Function
It's crucial for the body to flush out impurities, which is where the kidneys and liver reign supreme. These organs are responsible for cleaning our blood and making urine, and one of the best ways to care for them is with — you guessed it — aloe vera juice.
Expel Those Toxins
The liver and kidneys work best when the body is hydrated, and if neglected, our bodies would have a much harder time expelling toxins and ultimately lead us to get sick more often. That's why drinking aloe vera is a great way to give these vital organs the care they deserve.
7. Lowering Blood Sugar
One of the most impressive benefits of aloe vera juice is how it can help with blood sugar levels. In one study, drinking aloe juice proved effective at the task, especially in those suffering with diabetes.
If you're someone with diabetes, you know how troubling it is to have your blood sugar rise to dangerous levels, and dealing with expensive medications and restrictive diets can be challenging. While drinking aloe vera juice won't cure the underlying causes of diabetes, it can be a great way to help manage the condition.
8. Digestive Benefits
People with diabetes aren't the only ones who may find relief from drinking aloe vera juice. If you struggle with digestive issues like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, or acid reflux, aloe vera juice can be a powerful ally.
Taking Care of Tummy Troubles
For starters, aloe vera's enzymes help to break down sugars and fats, keeping your digestive system running smoothly. The juice can also help reduce irritation in your stomach and intestines, which is common in IBS. On top of all that, the extra hydration can not only relieve constipation, but it also helps to naturally maintain the healthy bacteria in your gut.
9. Nutrient Boost
We know that the nutrients in aloe vera are great at keeping our organs running smoothly, but just how packed this plant is with these chemical building blocks is truly impressive. In fact, many of the vitamins and minerals in aloe vera are ones you're probably paying extra for at the grocery store.
So Long, Supplements
Just a few of the nutrients you can find in aloe vera are vitamins B and E, folic acid, calcium, potassium, and zinc. These vitamins and minerals are great for vision, appetite, strong bones, and your immune system and can even help to reduce the risk of stroke and cancer.
10. Fresh Produce
Aside from improving body health both inside and out, one 2014 study explored the idea of using aloe vera to keep fruits and vegetables fresh. By coating produce with aloe gel, researchers made a groundbreaking discovery that may very well change the way we get our food.
No Need For Pesticides
The study showed that the aloe gel coating was more than enough to protect produce from growing harmful bacteria, meaning we'd no longer need to spray our crops with harmful pesticides. However, only tomatoes and apples were used in the study, though who's to say the gel wouldn't work on all produce?
11. Clean Skin
Like aloe vera, most people believe Vaseline is just a one-hit wonder — it's just for covering cuts, right? Well, you can actually use Vaseline to remove blackheads on your nose by applying a generous layer, then covering the area with plastic wrap and letting it sit overnight. In the morning, run a Q-tip down your nose and the blackheads will melt away!
12. Yummy Lips
Vaseline's a great substitute for Chap-Stick or your favorite boutique lip balm, but sometimes it’s a bit bland. Jazz it up by mixing it with a youthful ingredient — Kool-Aid powder! — to add color and a little flavor. Just try to resist eating it!
13. Pucker Up
You can also exfoliate your lips with a refreshing lip scrub. Blend 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt with 1 tablespoon of Vaseline until the mixture is smooth; then, apply to your lips and gently massage it in. Once done, remove with a damp cloth.
14. Natural Definition
Want to emphasize your eyelashes without make them darker? Dip a clean mascara wand into the Vaseline tub and apply to your lashes as normal. Not only will they look longer, but they’ll be moisturized, too. Then there's the other lash trick...
15. Lash Glue Helper
For those times when you’ve REALLY vamped up your look with false lashes, Vaseline can help at the end of the night. Rub it along your lids to soften the lash glue, and boom — no more tugging and ripping your real lashes out.
16. Overnight Fix
Dry feet giving you grief? Can’t seem to exfoliate enough? Just smear your soles with Vaseline and put on a pair of thick, fuzzy socks before you tuck in for the night. You’ll wake up to brand new, baby-soft feet.
17. Summery Legs
You can give your legs a healthy glow with Vaseline, too. Get some of your favorite liquid bronzer and mix it with the petroleum jelly; then, rub it all over your legs. You might try it with powder bronzer, too, but we haven’t tested this.
18. Dye Protection
Dying your hair at home is more affordable than going to a salon, but it has its risks, including staining your skin with the hair color! To avoid this, spread a layer of Vaseline along your hairline before you dye.
19. Spa Treatment
Dry cuticles are almost as frustrating as chapped lips, but fret no more. Take an old electric toothbrush — safely disinfected, of course — and use it to massage Vaseline around your nails, moisturizing and stimulating blood flow.
20. Polish With Panache
You can use Vaseline on your nail polish, too. Keep the necks of your polish bottles from drying out and crusting up by applying Vaseline around the threads of the cap and bottleneck. Use enough to lubricate, but not enough to gunk up the polish itself.
21. DIY Lotion
A popular lotion recipe within the home beauty blogger community involves Vaseline. Using a mixer, combine 27oz of baby lotion, 8oz of vitamin E cream, and between 7.5oz and 13oz of Vaseline. The result is light, fluffy, and moisturizing!
22. Prolonged Perfume
Does your perfume seem to evaporate too fast? Rub a little sheen of Vaseline on your pulse points, or wherever you normally spray perfume, to use as a base coat. The petroleum jelly keeps the perfume from drying too quickly.
23. Fix CDs
Vaseline isn’t just good for beauty secrets — it’s also good for handy fixes around the house. If you have scratched CDs or DVDs, you can fix them with a tiny bit of Vaseline, and it’s less messy than the toothpaste often recommended for this sort of thing.
24. Fix Electronics
Additionally, Vaseline is good for fixing scratches on phone, computer, LCD TV, or tablet screens. Buff it out with a microfiber cloth after application, and the screen should appear good as new.
25. Home Improvement
Want to repaint your doors, but don’t want to get paint on the doorknobs or hinges? Protect them with a layer of Vaseline before you begin painting. Just don’t forget to wipe off the Vaseline when you’re done…or you’re going to have a hard time.
26. Painting Trick
Vaseline’s also great for creating a distressed paint look. Spread it on the wood you want to paint, taking care to only apply it over the areas you DON’T want paint on. Then paint as normal. When the paint’s slightly dry, wipe the Vaseline away with a damp rag.
27. Shoe Repair
Leather can be a pain to keep clean, and it’s a real bummer when a new pair of kicks gets scuffed. Luckily, you can smooth scratches out of patent leather by buffing with a Q-tip and Vaseline.
28. Slick Zips
Winter coats keep us nice and warm, but wrangling with their zippers is a pain. Fix stuck zippers by dipping a Q-tip into Vaseline and then applying it to the zipper teeth, both above and below the zipper pull.
29. Save Your Earlobes
Have a new ear piercing, or just have sensitive ears? Try dipping your earring posts into Vaseline before you thread them through your lobes. The slipperiness should help keep the posts from irritating you or poking through nearby skin.
30. Halloween Approved
Late autumn weather can rot pumpkins quickly, but if you smear the inside of a jack-o-lantern with Vaseline, it’ll stay grinning for much longer — adding enhanced spookiness to your front porch!