I do spend a lot on beauty products, but one of my all time favourites is actually one of the cheapest and easy to get hold of products on the market, Holland & Barratt Aloe Vera Gel. This gel is 99.9% pure aloe vera, and is as natural as you can get unless you take your gel directly from the plant!
This gel costs £3.55 for 100ml but is currently on offer for £2.55. It is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Some of the main uses I personally have for aloe vera gel are:
1. As a toner
2. Treatment for eczema
3. Treatment for sunburn
4. Treatment for prickly heat
5. Curl definer
6. Acne / Acne scar treatment
7. Makeup primer
8. On top of moisturiser to 'lock in' the product
I'm no science expert, and I haven't looked into how this product works too much. What I've gathered is that Aloe Vera Gel is very similar in genetic makeup to human skin (gross!). But this is the reason why it is so effective in healing any skin complaints.
I use the gel every morning and evening in between cleansing and moisturising. I apply a generous blob all over my face, neck and chest. When the moisture from the gel dries, your skin will feel verrrry tight! So you'll definitely want to moisturise after, even if you have oily skin!
I've recently started to suffer from adult acne, and this gel has been a blessing. 9 times out of 10, it'll stop a spot forming in it's tracks. If you've already got the spot, a blob directly covering it, should greatly reduce it over night. It'll reduce it to the point where it's visible, but flat, enough to cover it with makeup basically!
It's also great (but admittedly slow working) with healing scars from older spots. You won't see results straight away like you would with some harsher peel type products, but if you keep this treatment up, you will notice the difference over a month or so.
Unlike acne treatments in general, Aloe Vera is also good as an anti-ageing product, so when I use this, I don't have to worry about premature ageing.
The reason why I love this the most, and the reason why I tried it on my face in the first place is because of an allergic reaction I had to the acne treatment Benzyl Peroxide (BP). I'd been using BP for about a week and although drying had occurred, I was loving how quickly it dried up my blemishes! Then all of a sudden, I had the worse eczema like rash all over my neck. It was so painful, hot and itchy! I tried the usual eczema creams purchased from the chemist but they really stung when applied and didn't help at all. Hay fever tablets helped a lot, but didn't provide any soothing qualities.
It was only when I remembered how Aloe Vera Gel helped my sunburn and prickly heat that I thought to try it on my neck. It helped immediately and it two days I was totally healed without any peeling or drying! I'd usually expect crazy peeling / drying after a reaction like that!
So I researched it a bit online and discovered that a lot of people swear by aloe as an acne treatment. Since I wasn't going back to BP I thought I'd give it a try. I was at a bit of a loss as to what to try next since anything too harsh seemed to be a no-no.
So I've been keeping up the treatment twice a day for the last month and have definitely seen an improvement. Unfortunately new spots do form, since this is hormonal acne I'm dealing with, and there's not a lot I can do without taking prescription medications (which I'm not willing to do). However, the aloe does seem to stop the spots in their tracks for the most part, and any that do creep up, it heals so much quicker than any other product. It also takes all the redness away almost immediately.
Aloe alone isn't the answer to my skin problems, but it definitely is one of the main contenders! I'd highly recommend this product to anyone with the same / similar skin issues as me!