6 Reasons Aloe Vera Is The Only Self-Care Plant You Need

This multi-purpose plant is the truth.


Honey, I don't know about you, but I love a good plant aesthetic. Yes, I'm that girl. Living in New York City, aka the concrete jungle, plants have been a great way of bringing nature into my home. My plants get me back to center; they listen to my problems and are always there to brighten up my day. Now, I must admit although my plants have been good to me, I haven't always been the best to them.

I believe the key to growth is being honest about your strengths and weaknesses, so here it is. My name is Celeste, and I am not a responsible plant mom. I have forgotten to water my plants, put them in the sun, and feed them plant food at times. Please don't cancel me. Finding the perfect plant for me felt more like dating. I swiped right on plenty of beautiful plants, read their profile, and brought them home after a few dates at my local plant store.

Everything was good in the beginning until a few of them showed their asses. Bringing flies into the house, smelling funky, and dying on the relationship altogether. I almost lost all hope until I met the aloe vera plant. Ever since I've been with aloe vera, life has been bliss. He only needs to be water about every 2-3 weeks and always cares for me. I'm in love! Here are 10 ways my aloe vera plant amplifies my self-care routine and my life.

Using Aloe Vera on the Skin

It's no secret the aloe vera plant can work miracles on your skin! I suffer from having acne-prone skin, and let me tell you, it is a struggle sometimes. When I have breakouts, I almost always have acne scarring. I have tried multiple acne products, but most of them are harsh on the skin. My skin is usually very irritated and dehydrated after using acne solution products. After numerous attempts, I decided to go the all-natural route, and that's when my aloe vera plant came in clutch.

Aloe vera is a natural treatment for multiple skin issues, including acne. The plant is anti-inflammatory and is excellent for safely clearing away any mild to moderate acne. Aloe vera has been a skin healer in many cultures. The aloe vera plant is perfect for combating both inflammatory acne and scarring. The remedy is simple, place the aloe vera gel on the problematic area before going to bed. Over time, the skin will become clearer and brighter.

Using Aloe Vera for Hair Growth

I was very against putting the aloe vera plant on my hair at first. In my opinion, the plant has a musky smell, and placing that on my hair frightened me. However, I couldn't help but run into everyone and their mama that swore on using aloe vera for hair growth. My mom always told me beauty is pain--if that pain meant me putting up with smelly aloe vera for a few inches, then I figured sacrificing my nose would be worth it. As a disclaimer: no research shows an aloe vera plant can contribute to hair growth.

I simply experimented from word of mouth, and I must say the rumors are true. Aloe vera naturally has intense hydration capabilities, and I believe this is what contributed to the rapid hair growth. The plant is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. I would highly suggest anyone suffering from dry scalp give the aloe vera plant a try! Simply use it as a pre-poo, leaving the gel (find a quick how-to here) in for about 30 minutes, and rinse when finished.

Using Aloe Vera for Oral Health

I am all about improving my oral health. My worst fear is catching the dragon, aka having bad breath. So any remedy to keep my teeth and breath in check, I am taking! At first, trying out aloe vera as a primary dental source was a bit of a nerve-racking experience. I didn't feel comfortable only using aloe vera to brush my teeth, rinse, and head out the door. Instead, I used my aloe vera plant as a pre-rinse and continued with my oral hygiene routine.

Aloe vera is highly effective in controlling bacteria that can eventually lead to oral issues. The most well-known prevention is cavities. Aloe vera has a natural way of removing toxic microorganisms. This factor can contribute to avoiding gum disease. In fact, according to Medical News Today, rinsing with 100 percent pure aloe vera gel can be more effective than using chlorhexidine, which is an ingredient found in mouth wash. I would suggest rinsing for about 30 seconds to one-minute a day.

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Aloe Vera Juice for Gut Health

It's funny how quickly your gut can switch up on you...or not. I miss the good ol' days when I could eat whatever I wanted with no consequences. Unfortunately, dairy had different plans for me. It took me a while to adjust to new eating habits. I ate cleaner, drank more water, but ultimately my gut needed an overall cleanse. I began drinking aloe juice, and it took some time, but the results finally kicked in.

Aloe vera is an effective and gentle way to keep your gut health in check. The plant contains enzymes, which helps in breaking down sugars and fats. Aloe can also help ease irritation in the intestines and the stomach. The best way to consume aloe vera is by blending the gel and straining the foam. Feel free to add a hint of lemon or mint for a more refreshing flavor.

Using Aloe Vera for Burns and Sores

Fun fact: your girl is clumsy! I am constantly bumping and bruising myself around my home. I swear one day I will get it together, but I will be healing myself with aloe vera until then. As I mentioned in my acne journey, aloe is the perfect skin healer. Not only for pimples, but cuts, sores, and burns. Growing up, I was taught to put butter on my burns (I know, I know). Truthfully, the butter wasn't very effective. Today, I use aloe vera whenever I hurt myself, and I find it much more calming.

Aloe vera is an excellent cooling resource for burns. The soothing properties of the aloe vera gel make it a calming aid for most skin abrasions. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce swelling and reduce pain. It's essential, however, to know never to use aloe vera on open wounds. Only use it for burns and minor skin irritations. Using aloe vera to heal the skin is easy. Just apply the aloe gel directly to the injury. Please remember to wash the plant before using it.

Using Aloe Vera for Shaving

Now, I know what you're thinking? Aloe vera dries so fast on the skin, how could it be used for shaving? I know, I thought the same thing until I ran out of shaving cream. Aloe vera has a lot of lip to it and holds up well in the shower, but the real key is to mix it with other natural ingredients. You can mix it with almond or coconut oil, castile soap, Vitamin E oil, eucalyptus oil, and warm water. If you want a more detailed how-to for making your own DIY aloe vera shaving gel, find that here.

Place your homemade shaving gel in a small bottle with a pointed tip, and boom! Be prepared for the softest legs of your life.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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