Aloe vera is one of the most wonderful gifts of nature. This prickly plant, famous for its ‘magical’ properties, has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy to heal skin, hair, and health issues. Ancient Egyptians considered Aloe vera the plant of immortality, while the Greek scientists regarded it as the universal panacea (1). But today’s post is not about the wonder plant itself or the gel extracted from its leaves. Instead, it is about the oil prepared by using this perennial plant. Yes, we are talking about aloe vera oil, which has gained immense popularity as an equally beneficial treatment for our health, skin, and hair.
What Is Aloe Vera Oil?
Don’t get confused, folks! Aloe vera oil is not an oil extract of the aloe vera plant. Instead, aloe vera oil is prepared by mixing aloe vera extracts or gel with a carrier oil. Any carrier oil can create this infusion, but the most popular choices are coconut and olive oil.
TRIVIA: The word Aloe Vera comes from an Arabic word ‘Alloeh’. ‘Alloeh’ refers to ‘shining bitter substance’ and ‘vera’ in Latin means ‘true’.
How is Aloe Vera Oil Created?
Aloe vera oil is obtained through a process called ‘maceration extraction’ in which the stems and fleshy leaves of a fresh aloe vera plant are macerated and dipped in a carrier oil. This blend is supposed to be infused for several days and then heated until the outer layers of the soaked aloe vera are ruptured, and the hot oil absorbs its essence and all nutrients. Finally, the infused oil is filtered, and the plant parts are discarded.
Also Read – DIY Aloe Vera Eye Mask
Homemade Aloe Vera Oil Recipe
Aloe vera oil can be purchased in almost every supermarket under various brand names. However, if you want to skip the store-bought products, you can easily create your version of the oil at home.
- Aloe vera leaf – 1 (medium to large)
- Coconut oil – (1/2 cup or 120 ml) – Preferably organic
- Essential oil – 2 to 3 drops (coconut oil/jasmine essential oil/olive oil)
- Pot/mixing bowl
- A dark-colored bottle
Steps To Follow:
- Clean a fresh aloe vera leaf under running water. Remove the thorns from the edges with the help of a sharp knife.
- Remove the slimy gel-like substance that is stored inside the leaf. To do so, you can either cut the leaf into small pieces and carefully eliminate the outer layer of skin or remove the skin on the top of the leaf and scrape the transparent gel off the bottom layer of the skin.
- Transfer this fresh aloe vera gel to the mixing bowl and mash it thoroughly with your hand (using a fork will also do) to ensure that no lumps remain. You should create around 1/2 cup of aloe gel for the recipe.
- Pour organic coconut oil into the bowl and give it a good mix. The aloe gel should be completely immersed in the coconut oil.
- Add essential oil to the bowl and mix everything once again.
- Pour the entire blend into the medium-sized pot, cover it with a lid, and allow it to sit for 2-3 days.
- Place the pot on low to medium flame for at least 15 minutes and heat the mixture. Keep stirring until you hear the popping sound.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool down.
- Once the oil infusion reaches room temperature, strain it into the dark-colored bottle and discard the aloe plant components.
- Store the bottle in the refrigerator for 10 days to 2 months.
DIY aloe vera oil might be a time-consuming project, but it is worth the effort. Just give it a try, and your skin and hair will thank you for sure.
TRIVIA: In the ancient Ayurveda, Aloe vera is refered as “Kumari” – A sanskrit word representing beautiful young girl (2). It is beleived that aloe vera has the power to rejuvenate body, mind and health.
How to Use Aloe Vera Oil?
Aloe Vera oil is safe for topical application, and you can use it as a skin moisturizer or massage oil due to its healing and rejuvenating properties. The best way to use it is right after your shower, as your damp skin will absorb the oil more effectively. Moreover, you may also add aloe vera oil to personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, balsams, lip balms, and body lotions.
TRIVIA: Aloe vera can effectively deal with dental plaque when used as mouthwash (3). Studies have confirmed that aloe vera mouth wash can be used to treat gum diseases (4). It has no side effects unlike chlorhexidine (disinfectant and antiseptic) present in OTC mouthwashes.
Skin And Hair Benefits Of Aloe Vera Oil
The beauty benefits of aloe vera are quite well-known, and the plant is commonly used by the cosmetic, food, and beverage industry. In addition, because aloe vera oil keeps the health properties of the original aloe vera plant, it possesses many medicinal properties for skin and hair health. These benefits are further enhanced by the properties of the carrier oil it is mixed with.
- Aloe Vera Oil works as an excellent skin and hair massage oil.
- It is widely used in skin care products and other cosmetics.
- Aloe Vera oil is known to hydrate, moisturize and nourish the skin. It is a good natural replacement for chemical moisturizers and can be used on all skin types, including super dry, oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin.
- It may help treat the inflammatory form of acne.
- It may promote cell renewal and prevent the appearance of signs of aging, namely fine lines, wrinkles, and stretch marks.
- Since it contains moisturizing and soothing properties, it soothes tired and inflamed skin while treating issues like blisters, rashes, bug bites, infections, allergies, and sunburns.
- The oil is used to treat dry, itchy scalp and cure dandruff. Moreover, it nourishes the scalp, promotes hair growth, and keeps your locks healthy and strong.
Aloe vera oil is a mixture of the natural aloe vera gel with any carrier oil. This combination usually has enhanced rejuvenating and nourishing properties. The oil is completely safe to use when applied topically and it has a range of therapeutic properties, especially as an ointment for the skin and hair. It is believed to heal infections, allergies, rashes, burns, skin problems, and excessive sweating. Moreover, Aloe Vera Oil can exfoliate, treat, and restore skin nutrition while using it on your hair and scalp may give you healthy, strong, and dandruff-free hair.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which oils can you use to create aloe vera oil?
You can use olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, soybean oil, and jojoba oil – so pretty much any fatty carrier oil of your choice.
What is the shelf life of aloe vera oil?
If prepared and stored properly, the shelf life of aloe vera oil is eight to ten months.
How to save money when creating aloe vera oil?
The best way to save money when creating aloe vera oil is to use sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is cheap and an excellent anti-inflammatory agent that may help treat acne and blemishes on the skin.
Are there any risks associated with using aloe vera oil?
There is usually little cause for concern; however, some people are allergic to aloe vera. That’s why it is important to do a patch test before using aloe vera oil. To avoid unwanted skin reactions, do a patch test by applying a small amount of oil to your wrist. If you don’t experience any rashes, allergy or redness, you are good to go.
How to use aloe vera oil on hair?
Part your hair in smaller parts and start applying the aloe vera oil. Make sure to massage it well on the scalp and then gently put it on the rest of your hair. Keep the oil on your hair for 30 minutes so your hair can soak in all the goodness of the oil. Then, wash it well with your favorite shampoo and conditioner.
How many drops of essential oil can I add to Aloe Vera oil?
For every 3,5 fluid ounces of base aloe vera oil, you can add 15 to 20 drops of essential oil of your choice. However, the amount of essential oil you use depends on the intended purpose of the oil. If you want to use aloe vera oil as a massage oil or for treating congested breathing passages during a cold, you should increase the amount of essential oil and add 30 to 35 drops. But if you want to use it on your face, only a few drops are needed (5).
- “Aloe vera: A short review” – e-ijd.org
- “A review on Aloe vera-the wonder medicinal plant” – 1library.net
- “Preliminary Antiplaque Efficacy of Aloe Vera Mouthwash on 4 Day Plaque Re-Growth Model: Randomized Control Trial”– pubmed.gov
- “Effect of Aloe vera mouthwash on periodontal health: triple blind randomized control trial”– pubmed.gov
- “Complete Aromatherapy handbook” – books.google.com