We aren’t exaggerating
Yes, Kelsey Merritt is the first Filipina model to have walked down the Victoria’s Secret runway, but she may very well be the first person to ever pull out a wholeass plant on Vogue’s Beauty Secrets video series, too.
Kelsey’s beloved aloe vera plant’s onscreen debut came at the perfect time: right as I personally started falling in love with the magic that is aloe vera. I have a handful of skincare products I love, but hands down: aloe, in whatever packaging or formulation it may come in, is what I would bring with me to a hypothetical deserted island. If I had an actual plant like Kelsey does, it would likely be one of the things I rescue from my household in case of a fire.
This plant and the ooey, gooey gel within it can do damn near-everything, hence I’m reiterating a statement I’m sure many a beauty aficionado has put out into the universe before me: aloe vera is a fucking godsend.
Wait, you might think: a godsend? Isn’t that too generous a title… We need receipts!
Well, I’ll give you receipts then––in the form of a comprehensive list of aloe vera’s best beauty functions. If you’re ready for skincare success stories, a few shopping suggestions and lots more impassioned beauty speak, soldier on ahead!
Skincare & Makeup
Makeup remover: A conundrum many an eye makeup lover knows too well, when you commit to a particularly dark or intricate eye look, you really commit to it––which essentially means that some evidence of your makeup remains even after cleansing. Aloe vera is particularly good at removing makeup that just won’t budge in the face of gentler cleansing waters and wipes. Even better: it does so without drying out the sensitive under-eye area. Simply take a small amount of aloe vera gel, apply onto the skin and carefully wipe off with a cotton pad.
Moisturizer: Arguably a favorite among the oily-skinned faction of the world, aloe vera gel makes for a brilliant moisturizer stand-in. While the product itself is thick and wet, it dries on lightweight and matte, ultimately helping to keep the sebum and icky oily gunk that the face just loves to generate at bay.
Pore tightener: One of the reasons pores enlarge is due to heat triggering excessive sebum production. As someone who has long battled with pores punctuating select patches of my face, I’ve found that YouTuber Una’s solution is my favorite quick fix:
Apply a thick layer of cold aloe gel all over the face, going in with more product on areas that dry up faster than the rest. Stick a cold compress or an ice pack behind your neck to further facilitate the cooling of the skin. The best part: you can expect instant results.
Sunburn soother: One of aloe’s more common uses, the stuff does a good job at treating sunburn and soothing skin that is flaring up or breaking out.
In case you haven’t come across Twitter user @Karinaa410’s beauty success story, you can read all about it here. Thanks again, aloe!
Brow gel: We hear ya: some brows absolutely require budge-proof gel to stay in place. However, if your eyebrow hairs are on the cooperative side of the spectrum, you can swap out your typical brow gel for aloe vera. Simply coat a spoolie in a thin layer of the stuff before brushing out your brows. Allow the product to dry before going in with the rest of your routine!
Hair mask: Among one of aloe vera’s best and most well-known qualities is its ability to stimulate hair growth and soften even the driest, most bleached-to-death locks. Apply it all over the hair and massage onto the scalp before shampooing, or lock the product in with saran wrap overnight.
Anti-frizz fix: An all-natural alternative to hair gel and mists, applying a little aloe vera gel along the hair part can help keep your locks from fraying and frizzing in the heat.
Convinced? Me and my aloe vera praise-singing self sure hope so, but in case you need a further persuasion, here are some recommended aloe products you can shop from the convenience of home. Nothing beats freshly extracted aloe gel from the plant, but these definitely make for a favorable compromise.
Banner Image via youtube.com/watch?v=yH64Nlwk_Vs&t=161s
Art Alexandra Lara