The healing power of Aloe Vera.

April 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

In the past week and a half, I’ve regressed to early adolescence and have experienced my worst skin breakout in recent memory. Ugh, ack, grrr and boooooooo! This unprecedented episode of facial disfigurement (that APPEARS to be clearing now, touch sustainably-farmed, eco-friendly wood) left me feeling completely at a loss as to what had triggered such an angry outburst from my body, and I didn’t want to leave the house for days.

As with everything in life, I feel like you can either dissolve into a puddle of self-pity, or take it as an opportunity to learn something, and appreciate the gesture from the powers that be!

So first of all, why did I have this breakout?

It might sound a bit hippie-trippy, but sometimes I think we are genuinely being taught lessons through things that occur in our lives. I chose to look at the horrible, mountainous terrain of my face as just this – the feelings of hopelessness, embarrassment and depression that accompanied the breakout reminded me of just how debilitating acne is for people. It reinforced the fact that we can say ‘oh, it’s not noticable, stop being so vain!’ to people who experience it without a second thought, but until you are there, with big, painful spots on your face, you can’t really understand what they are going through. So lesson #1, empathy, baby!

Secondly, acne for me is usually caused by stress, so the magnitude of this breakout made me think…maybe I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself with work (babysitting in particular – I’ve been getting so upset with the little girl’s behaviour and really letting it affect me) and also things like money, uni and even eating perfectly? Even the stress of having pimples can perpetuate the cycle, because I know when we are happy, content little beans, we tend to experience better bodily functions in all areas.

Can you identify things in your life that are causing undue stress? What can you do to chillllll?

I started by taking a bath (which I haven’t done in years!) with some awesome music, candles and a ton of fluffy bubbles.

Ignoring the fact that our little old student-friendly bathtub had a very slow leak, and I suddenly found myself sitting in the dregs of the bubbebath after 20 minutes, this was such a nice time out that made me realise how much trouble I have relaxing and doing nothing. I find it so hard! But forcing some zone-out time upon yourself is well worth it!

As well as maintaining a diet that is acne friendly (less sugar, greasy food and even inflammatory things like garlic & chilli please!) what can you do to topically treat the acne?

I found something that I will use all the time now in the event of another Mt Etna style eruption…aloe vera!

The gel that comes out of the succulent leaves is what you want to place topically on your skin – it is mostly comprised of water but also has compounds such as polysaccharides and glycoproteins that are believed to speed up the healing process and possess anti-inflammatory properties. I won’t go in to all the reported benefits of this plant, including the exceptional results people have had from ingesting it, but it certainly made a noticable different to my skin when I started using it locally on my spots.

To speed up healing I have been grabbing a leaf from my plant every few days and keeping it in the fridge until it is used up. I cut off a small portion, and after cleansing and moisturising, extract a big dollop of jelly jelly goo and try to form a kind of sealed-in blob over the pimple. The thicker you can get it, the better. You can also use a store-bought aloe gel for this if you don’t have a plant. I have found that doing this at night dramatically reduces the inflammation, as well as cutting the healing time significantly down. I’m in love! Plants heal all 🙂


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