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From long lashes to glowing skin, here’s how you can use aloe vera gel

Beauty Healthshots

Everybody swears by the benefits of aloe vera gel for the skin. Here, beauty expert Shahnaz Husain tells you four fresh ways to use this wondrous ingredient.
'Among the many plant-based ingredients that are used today for skincare products, aloe vera is by far the most versatile. Aloe vera’s starring quality is its ability to heal wounds, burns, and eruptions. Aloe vera gel is a powerful natural moisturizer and prevents moisture loss. In fact, it improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture. It also softens dead skin cells and helps their removal, leaving the skin smoother and brighter. Being a powerful antioxidant, it also delays visible signs of ageing on the skin. Oh, did we mention that aloe vera has shown remarkable results on sun-damaged skin–moisturizing, soothing, and healing it? It can also be used to control acne and minimize acne scars. No wonder that many skincare products including cleansers, moisturisers, serums, gels, and masks make use of this superb ingredient. But just because you don’t want to invest in fancy products, doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of aloe vera. It can be easily grown in the smallest of gardens and incorporated in your skincare routine. Here are four ways to use the humble plant: 1. Use aloe vera gel as a serum Serums are typically water-based formulas. Since, aloe vera also has high water content, and is naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants, it can rejuvenate the skin and improve skin texture. Regular use of aloe vera as a serum can make your skin radiant and youthful. Moreover, it can also protect your skin from sun damage. How to apply? Well, slather on aloe vera juice on your skin twice daily after cleansing. Wash it off with plain water after half an hour. 2. Aloe vera can give you healthier lashes and brows Aloe vera gel is said to nourish eyelashes and eyebrows, and enhance their growth. You can apply aloe vera gel on your eyebrows and eyelashes using a cotton bud. Or, you can use a clean mascara wand and use it to apply aloe vera gel on the eyelashes. While you can leave the gel on your eyebrows overnight, it is better not to follow suit for your eyelashes as it can lead to puffy eyes the next morning. Add a few drops of olive oil to the aloe vera gel, and apply the mixture on your eyelashes. Wipe it off gently with moist cotton wool after 15 minutes. 3. Aloe vera is a useful addition to face masques Mix one tablespoon of gram flour ( besan ), two teaspoons of yogurt, and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. When well combined, apply this mixture to your face and wash it off after 30 minutes. 4. Make a DIY anti-acne spray with aloe vera Take 40 ml of mineral water, three teaspoons of aloe vera gel, and two drops of tea tree oil. Combine the ingredients in a small spray bottle and shake well. Spray generously on the areas with acne and avoid the eyes. Note: While aloe vera plants are an inexpensive source of aloe gel and juice, please wash the leaf well and ensure total hygiene before using the pulp .'