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I'm going through a bit of an Aloe Vera phase at the moment and rather than struggle to keep a plant alive and mess about using the juice from within the leaves I opted for the gel version. This gel is organic, suitable for vegans and not tested on animals. It contains 99% of the inner juice of the plant and sells for about £3.50 for a 200ml tube so very reasonably priced too. It is well known that Aloe Vera is good for burns, sunburn, stretch marks, scars, dry skin and itchy skin. I wanted to try it just because I kept coming across people reporting such good results with it so bought a tube from an ebay seller.
The tube is a simple clear tube with a flip top lid that the product rests on, to use you just squeeze some out. The gel is clear and has no real odour I can detect and it feels kind of slimy if I'm honest but not in a bad way. Something I didn't know about Aloe Vera is it absorbs extremely well into the skin and anything mixed with it gets taken along for the ride too, in fact I stumbled onto a forum where someone had had a bad reaction using Aloe Vera along with retinol for acne because it caused her skin to absorb too much retinol so while it can be a good thing it can also be a bad thing if you're not careful or aware of this feature.
When I got my tube I wasn't exactly sure what I intended to use it on, I was just going to see what kind of uses I could get from it and I have to say it's now a constant feature in my bathroom because of how useful it is. I use it on my legs after shaving and it immediately cools and takes away the itching I get on my super sensitive shins. I also suffer from chronic urticaria (hives) for reasons known only to my strange system and although I take anti-histamines daily sometimes I get patches in the night that normally would have me splashing my skin with cold water for a while and trying to avoid scratching but now I just slap on some gel and it instantly cools and stops the burning itch. Some days my skin feels like it doesn't really need soap to wash with and on those days I use this gel, it makes a really good facial wash for days when I haven't worn any foundation and just want a freshen up.
I've also used it as a shaving gel on my legs and underarms and it works fine for that. On dry skin it does hydrate the skin but if the skin is very dry I mix the gel with a moisturiser and take advantage of the gel helping the moisturiser to absorb better. I also use it with a tiny bit of hydrocortisone cream when needed to help that absorb better, and it does too. As a facial moisturiser it works brilliantly when mixed with a bit of a plain cream, not one with retinol folks remember what I said above! For insect bites it cools them right off, I've burnt my hand while cooking and this really helps. I don't sunbathe as I have a sun allergy so I can't comment on sunburn and I haven't used it on stretch marks or scars either.
I came across studies online where Aloe Vera had been tried in place of steroids with very good results and there's also a toothpaste made with this wonder plant that's very good for gum disease. Check the label on lots of natural creams and it's often an ingredient. Surprisingly for a gel it mixes with creams and ointments very well. I've also used it along with a dab of vaseline for very dry lips and it works well, especially overnight. And I developed a crack at the corner of my mouth that wouldn't heal because it reopened every time I opened my mouth and Aloe Vera finally did the trick on that too.
As you can see it has numerous uses, I'm sure I'll find even more as I go along and keep trying it but even the things I already use it for make it a truly astounding product. With all those uses a tube still lasts absolutely ages and it's a real bargain buy at just £3.50 for all of the above. The only thing to be careful about is either being allergic to it which is very unlikely but possible and mixing it with something that will irritate if it's absorbed more fully.
I can't recommend this product highly enough and intend to always have some to hand for the various uses I get from it. Shop around though and don't pay over the odds because this is a very inexpensive product that will just keep going for months. A full 5 star rating from me and I can't wait to read more reviews about it and the uses others have got from it!