Many people keep aloe vera plants at home and use the thick, clear gel inside the leaves to help soothe burns and heal wounds. Health-care practitioners use aloe vera to treat skin disorders, wounds, sunburn, radiation burns and dermatitis, according to Deanne Tenney and Rita Elkins, authors of “Aloe Vera.” Regularly applying aloe vera gel to your face can help make your complexion clearer and smoother and reduce inflammation. Many health food stores and pharmacies sell aloe vera gel, but gel extracted from the plant is both fresh and economical.
Remove an aloe vera leaf from an aloe plant by cutting it at the base with a pair of scissors or a kitchen knife. Clean off any dirt from the leaf by gently scrubbing it with a wet toothbrush or nailbrush. Rinse the leaf under running water.
Slice the spines off the sides of the leaf with a sharp kitchen knife. Cut the leaf in half vertically and extract the gel inside with a spoon.
Apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel over your face and allow it to dry for at least one hour. Remove the gel with warm water and a clean washcloth.