The antiviral and anti-bacterial properties of aloe vera gel offer many benefits for your skin especially the delicate skin on your face and neck. While aloe vera is an ingredient in many beauty products, you can also use pure aloe vera gel directly on your face. Applied properly, the gel helps moisturize your skin to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. It can also be used to reduce the appearance of acne breakouts.[1]

EditMoisturizing Your Skin

  1. Apply aloe vera gel gently with your fingertips. To get the full benefit of aloe vera gel on your face, dab it lightly. There's no need to deeply massage it into your face. If the gel is absorbed too deeply, it could have the opposite effect and cause your face to dry out.[2]

    • Only use a thin layer of the gel. There's no need to slather it on. An extra thick layer won't provide any added benefits.
    • For best results, leave the aloe vera gel on your face for about 10 minutes, then rinse your face with cool water and pat dry. Pure aloe vera gel may have a drying effect if you leave it on your skin for too long.

  2. Cleanse your face with aloe vera gel twice a day. Aloe vera gel can take the place of both facial cleansers and moisturizers when used correctly. In the morning and the evening, apply a thin layer to your skin. Rinse off with cool water and pat your face dry.[3]

    • Avoid rubbing the skin on your face, especially the delicate skin around your eyes. This can damage and weaken your skin.

  3. Create a moisturizing facial scrub to moisturize oily skin. If your skin is oily and acne-prone, you may find that traditional moisturizers only worsen your skin's tendency to break out. Combine brown sugar and aloe vera gel for a potent scrub that gently removes dead skin cells that can clog your pores, while also giving your skin healthy moisture.[4]

    • To make this scrub, pour a small amount of brown sugar into the palm of your hand. Add aloe vera gel into all of the sugar is well-moistened.
    • Spread the mixture evenly over your whole face, avoiding the delicate skin directly around your eyes. Massage gently for 1 to 2 minutes, then rinse off with cool water and pat your skin dry.
    • Use this scrub at least twice a week, or as needed. Discontinue if your skin becomes excessively oily.

  4. Use aloe vera gel in moderation to get the most benefit. Aloe vera gel can help moisturize your skin and improve your skin's overall tone. However, because the enzymes in the gel act as exfoliators, frequent use can actually dry out your skin.[5]

    • Skin produces oil when it gets too dry. If you use aloe vera gel too frequently, you can send your oil production into overdrive. This can lead to clogged pores, inflammation, and acne breakouts.
    • If you're just starting to use aloe vera gel on your skin, rinse it off immediately or leave it on for no longer than 10 minutes.

EditTreating Inflammation

  1. Use pure aloe vera gel to prevent acne breakouts. Pure aloe vera gel has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, so it can be used instead of a traditional facial cleanser. Because it also has anti-inflammatory properties, it is gentle and safe for sensitive skin. Trade your regular facial cleanser for aloe vera gel for at least a week to see if you notice any difference.[6]

    • The enzymes in aloe vera gel also gently exfoliate your skin, removing dead skin cells that can clog your pores, leading to additional breakouts. This can brighten your skin, giving you a healthy glow.

  2. Make a face mask with aloe vera, cinnamon, and honey. Mix 2 tablespoons (43 grams) of honey, 1 tablespoon (21.5 grams) of aloe vera gel, and 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of cinnamon in a small bowl. Apply the mixture to your face, avoiding the delicate skin around your eyes. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes, then rinse.[7]

    • Because both honey and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties similar to aloe vera, the mask may have increased benefits compared to using aloe vera gel alone.

  3. Rub aloe vera gel into skin after shaving. If you shave your face, you may be left with tiny cuts in your skin that can burn and itch. Instead of using a commercial aftershave that can excessively dry out your skin, apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel.[8]

    • Scratching tiny cuts can introduce bacteria into your skin, leading to additional inflammation. Aloe vera gel soothes your skin and makes it less itchy, so you'll be less prone to scratching.

  4. Apply aloe vera gel to existing breakouts to reduce inflammation. Because aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties, it can reduce redness and swelling, making breakouts less noticeable. Its moisturizing properties also make it beneficial for many skin conditions, including eczema and rosacea.[9]

    • If you are currently using a prescription medication to treat a skin condition such as acne or eczema, talk to your dermatologist before you start using aloe vera gel or stop using any prescribed treatments.

  5. Combine aloe vera gel with tea tree oil to increase acne-fighting benefits. Mix 6 to 12 drops of tea tree oil for every of aloe vera gel. Start with 6 drops, and gradually increase as long as the mixture doesn't cause redness or irritation. Use this mixture as a spot treatment after washing and drying your face to heal smaller pimples.[10]

    • You can buy tea tree oil online or in a local health and beauty store. The amount of tea tree oil you can use depends on how diluted the tea tree oil is that you buy.
    • Store any unused mixture in an amber-colored, air-tight glass container. Keep the container in a cool, dark place.
    • If you spread it over your entire face, the treatment may help prevent new pimples from forming. However, you shouldn't use it as a substitute for other treatments without first consulting a dermatologist.

EditHarvesting Aloe Vera Gel

  1. Choose the correct aloe species. There are many different species of aloe plants, only one of which is called aloe vera. Other species are frequently grown as ornamentals because they are relatively easy to care for. However, you can only harvest aloe vera gel from an aloe vera plant, not from any of the other varieties. In a nursery, check the tag to determine the species of the plant.[11]

    • True aloe vera plants are not particularly ornamental compared to other aloe plants, and seldom bloom when housed indoors.
    • An aloe vera plant has thin leaves that are pale green and heavily spotted.

  2. Use cactus soil potting mix in a medium to large planter. A medium or large planter will give your aloe vera plant enough room to grow since they like to spread out. Choose a planter with good drainage so the soil will stay appropriately dry.[12]

    • Look for a planter with a single large hole in the bottom to drain moisture. If there is standing water in the planter, your aloe vera won't grow.

  3. Place your plant where it will get plenty of light. Aloe vera plants can be tricky about sunlight. While they need plenty of sun, if they get too much, they'll dry out. Continual indirect sunlight typically provides ideal growing conditions.[13]

    • In the northern hemisphere, place an indoor plant in a window that faces either south or west.
    • If the leaves of your aloe vera turn dry and brittle, this may be a sign that the plant is getting too much direct sunlight. Try relocating it and see if the plant's health improves.

  4. Avoid overwatering your plant to keep it healthy. The potting soil should be damp to the touch, but not wet. Examine the leaves of your plant to determine if it's getting enough water. As long as the leaves are cool and moist to the touch, your aloe vera is getting enough water.[14]

    • Generally, you shouldn't water your aloe vera until the soil actually feels dry to the touch. These plants typically don't need to be watered more than once a week. During colder months, they don't need as much water.
    • If your aloe vera leaves are dry and brittle, consider how much sunlight the plant is getting before you give it more water especially if the soil is still moist. Too much sunlight can cause the leaves to dry out.

  5. Cut thick, long leaves from the bottom of the plant. Using a sharp, clean knife or pair of scissors, snip off the leaves as close to the trunk of the plant as possible. Thicker leaves will have more aloe vera gel inside them.[15]

    • Do not attempt to harvest aloe vera gel from a plant that has dry, brittle leaves. Relocate the plant and wait until it has regained its health.
    • You can harvest aloe vera gel from a healthy plant once every 6 to 8 weeks by removing 3 to 4 leaves from the plant.[16]

  6. Set the leaves upright to let them drain. Place the leaves with the cut side down in a glass or small bowl. After a few minutes, a red or yellowish liquid will begin to drain from the leaves. Allow the leaves to drain for 10 to 15 minutes.[17]

    • This liquid is toxic and can cause stomach pain if ingested. Even if you're only planning on using the aloe vera gel topically on your face, it's still a good idea to let this liquid drain.

  7. Peel the outer layer of the aloe leaf. Using a clean, sharp knife, carefully slice away the spiky edges of the leaf. Then cut and lift the green part of the leaf away from the clear gel inside. It may take some practice, but you should be able to peel it away in a clean, smooth strip.[18]

    • Wash your hands before you begin this process. Work on a clean cutting surface to prevent contamination of your aloe vera gel.

  8. Sc**** the gel out of the inside of the leaf. Once you have the gel exposed, slip your knife underneath the gel to separate it from the other side of the leaf. Go slowly, taking care not to knick into the leaf as you go.[19]

    • With practice, you may be able to harvest all the gel from a leaf in a smooth strip. However, it isn't necessary for the gel to be in a single piece. Multiple pieces work just as well and may be easier to handle.

  9. Refrigerate unused gel promptly. You can use harvested aloe vera gel on your face immediately. If you're harvesting it for later use, refrigerate it in an air-tight container. This will keep your aloe vera gel fresh.[20]

    • Aloe vera gel degrades over time. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days up to a week. If you need to keep it any longer than that, freeze it.


  • If you're buying aloe vera gel online or in a store, check the ingredients carefully. To get the full benefits of the product, do not buy aloe vera gel with any chemical additives.
  • To keep your fresh aloe vera gel from going bad, always store it in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place.


EditQuick Summary

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