Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sticky Icky and Gooey: Homemade Aloe Vera Gel!

On my last post, about home made sanitizer, one of the ingredients for the recipe is aloe vera gel. As always, the more natural the better! So this post is a quick rundown on how to harvest your own aloe and using it to create awesome stuff for yourself, your friends and other awesome people in your life. It is very easy to do and like most good things in life, it is best when shared with others.


Some interesting facts about Aloe Vera!!! YEIIIII!!!:

*Aloe is a disinfectant, it is great for cuts, bites and scrapes.

*Aloe has been used forever! Well, at least since 1550 B.C, it was used in Egyptian medicine and Ancient Austronaut Theorists say... ( or at least I hope they would say...) it was brought as ancient alien medicinal technology.

*Aloe is a cactus, hence the prickly leaves, and there are around 200 different types of it!

*Aloe is a great moisturizer!

*Aloe is under investigation in the medical community for many different uses, from fighting gingivitis, having compounds that could work against diabetes and having anti-inflammatory characteristics.

* I used to drink it with some honey and lime for bad colds... it worked!

*Aloe makes my friend Luis sick, since he is allergic to it. (A strange allergy indeed.)

So, here  is my rendition of
"Making Aloe Gel on a Sunday Afternoon" represented in pictures, accompanied by my little sis.

Step #1:

Get your hands on an Aloe Vera plant!

My mom recently cut a bunch of her own plants, so this one in the picture is a full grown plant with it's roots. Looks like a cactus octopus hybrid... don't it?

Step #2:

Cut as many leaves as you want. Then make two incisions down the leave, one on each side. Cut the yellow area where the aloe sap has been dripping, you don't want that in your gel. You want it as clear as possible! Separate the leaves.

Step #3:

  Get your little sister to scrape the gooey sticky-icky clear gel with a spoon.  Repeat! She is having FUN.

Step #4:

Save your awesome gooey aloe gel in a bowl in the fridge. Use as soon as possible! Find recipes! Make them! Share them! Hit me up with new ideas!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Homemade Hand Sanitizer: I hate smelly hands.

Have you ever had a sub-sandwich and then had to type all day? Eew. I don't mind being dirty. I'm not a stickler about hygiene (sometimes I accept I'm the smelly kid in the room, and it's ok) or "smells", but something I dislike very much is having my hands smell like food after a meal. It's just something that bothers me. I don't need my hands to be a reminder of what I ate some minutes ago, and certainly not hours ago.

 (Piglet Mosh Pit = Swine Flu Extravaganza)

When the ¨Swine Flu¨ became the top story for every news media, the hand sanitizer industry´s stock probably went up the roof, probably. At the moment I was visiting some friends in Washington D.C. and my mom called me to say: ¨BUY AS MUCH HAND SANITIZER AS YOU CAN! THE ENTIRE COUNTRY HAS RAN OUT OF HAND SANITIZER!¨ Obviously she was exaggerating. When I came back to P. Rico, I realized we hadn't ran out of Purell, but instead we were buying intensely huge quantities and in bulk! The entire island went sanitizer crazy. The media was hysterical about the A-H1N1 virus and we believed them. ¨Don't go where there are big crowds! Don't touch anything! Run if you see someone coughing! Get the vaccine or you'll die! But above all... ALWAYS USE HAND SANITIZER.¨

After that scare, the cleansing product became an everyday staple and part of our daily life and hygiene rituals. I even grew to miss having sanitizer after a meal. Not even for a moment did I sit down to think about what this product was made of, or what it could do to our bodies. I just liked my hands fresh and clean.

So, as part of my chemical and toxin detox, I stopped using hand sanitizer, but I missed it. In order to live with a healthy conscience and nice smelling hands, I decided to create my own homemade version! It came out great, I'm pretty in love with it and I now share it with you.

Toxin Free Homemade Hand Sanitizer!

You will need just 3 ingredients:

- Aloe Vera gel (as natural as possible, I made my own, which I'll later show how to do in another entry. It is very simple and actually, really fun.)

 - Isopropyl Alcohol

 -Essential Oils

I specifically used Thieves and Peppermint, but I would love to know what other combinations other people come up with.

1. Because I like the smell
2. They are antivirals.

Mix 1/3 of Aloe Vera gel, with 2/3 of alcohol. Add as many drops of oils as you would like.

Enjoy your nice smelling, moisturized, clean and completely pthalates and parabens free. (I explained what these chemicals do to our bodies in a previous entry, click in the link to check it out.) . 

Try it out, share it with others and let me know how it came out!