Health and Beauty

Hair Care Methi

5 DIY haircare and skincare masks you can make with aloe vera

Whether you’re dealing with a sunburn or a sudden spate of acne breakouts, aloe vera gel can be the antidote for all your summer skin woes. A member of the succulent plant family, the super moisturising aloe vera is not just evergreen in form but also versatile in its uses. With anti-inflammatory , antibacterial, astringent and antiseptic properties, it’s a very effective ingredient for skincare and haircare, especially during the summer. But before you head out to pluck a stem and extract its juice, here’s a word of caution: “Aloe vera has anthraquinone in the latex-like material in the outer part of the leaf, which is known to cause allergic reactions. So if you do choose to use aloe vera straight from the plant, it is best to apply it to a small area first to test for possible allergic reaction,” says Arush Chopra, CEO and co-founder of Just Herbs, an Ayurvedic skincare brand.

Shubhika Jain, founder, Ras Luxury Oils, and a crusader for all things naturals, shares pro tips on how to prepare your own gel at home too. “The first step is to cut the leaf, as close as possible to the stem. Using a knife, ensure that the outer skin is peeled off and the jelly-like inside is cut into smaller pieces. This can then be put in a blender and cooled. You can also use this fresh or store it in the refrigerator for a couple of days.” Make sure that the leaf isn’t too dusty or near too much soil to prevent any infection, advises Sharmeen Fathima, founder, Chennai Soap Company, and a self-confessed DIY beauty junkie. Remember to soak the cut piece of aloe vera in water (which should be discarded later) for half an hour before you peel and remove the gel inside. Though this aloe vera can be applied directly to the face, it’s best to add other key ingredients to make even more potent face and hair masks and scrubs.