At Nine Naturals, we’re on a mission to make beauty simple, smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. Integral to that is understanding our ingredients’ science and benefits. Today’s Nine Naturals Ingredient Story, featuring Aloe Leaf Extract, is part of an ongoing series featuring the natural, plant-based ingredients behind our high performance beauty products.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Aloe), is best known for its use as a topical treatment, but its healing powers go far beyond its popular role as a medicinal ointment. With its cactus-like spikes, the aloe plant may look fierce, but the gel found on the inside is gentle and revitalizing. Aloe extract boasts a long history as a multipurpose remedy, as far back as 2000 BC Mesopotamia. Aloe is commonly used worldwide and across cultures, with roots that trace back to ancient times. Legend has it that Cleopatra fondly used aloe leaf extract to keep her skin smooth and soft.
The Aloe Plant
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract comes from the green leaves of the aloe plant. The genus of aloe contains approximately 500 plants, and “true aloe,” or aloe vera, is the most well-known and cultivated. The succulent plant is often grown ornamentally, but many keep aloe plants for their verdant beauty as well as their at-home healing properties. Aloe leaf extract is a breeze to remove from the plant. Simply clip one of its leaves and gently squeeze out the gel. Aloe leaves grow from the inside, creating a layered effect. When clipping, choose the leaves on the very outside of the plant to harvest, as these are the most mature. The gel can be applied to the skin, straight from the frond. If your hectic mother-to-be schedule keeps you up and running, you can also save gel from an aloe plant for future use in an airtight container for up to one week at room temperature, or slightly cooler.
The Science of Aloe Leaf Extract
Aloe Leaf Extract consists primary of water - in fact, 99% water. But the other 1% is where the powerhouse healing properties reside. The transparent gel is made up of many active components, including necessary vitamins, minerals, sugars, enzymes, lignins, amino acids, anthraquinones, saponins, fatty acids, and salicylic acid. All of these components work to make aloe a highly restorative extract, with each ingredient performing different functions. For example, glycoproteins speed the healing process by stopping pain. Polysaccharides stimulate skin growth and repair. Amino acids and uronic acids detox cells. Fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. Aloe leaf extract has many uses for personal care.
Aloe Leaf Extract’s Benefits for Skin and Hair Care
For mild burns and abrasions, aloe leaf extract is one the most-used natural remedies. But, the gel has so many other benefits beyond the healing variety. Aloe contains aloin, which can help protect skin from UV damage. It’s extensive array of vitamins - including A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, E, choline and folic acid - rejuvenates aged tissue, purifies pores, and promotes healthy skin. Aloe gel also acts as a moisturizing agent, restoring suppleness to the skin. With an ever-changing pregnant body, retaining moisture and elasticity is key, and aloe leaf extract will help your skin feeling soft and smooth. Aloe leaf extract can also be used directly on the skin as a shave gel or a makeup remover.
Why Nine Naturals Loves Aloe Leaf Extract
Pregnancy is a time when we moms-to-be need all the self-care we can get, which is why we love using the ultra-soothing aloe leaf extract in our products. What better way to find calm than a peaceful bump massage with our Vanilla & Geranium Replenishing Belly Butter, with aloe leaf extract? While these luxurious moments of tranquility are imperative while you’re expecting, aloe’s comforting properties can relax and restore us in our every-day routines too, with our Citrus & Mint Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner, and Citrus & Geranium Body Wash.
Celebrity Moms Who Know The Struggle Is Real (Vogue): “Air travel without a toddler is a goddamn spa day.” - Olivia Wilde
No, Dressers Don't Need To Be Anchored To A Wall (Fast Co.Design): Design students' solutions to the freestanding dresser safety issue
Millions Of Women Are Injured During Childbirth. Why Aren't Doctors Diagnosing Them? (Cosmopolitan): "Childbirth is a well-studied traumatic experience for women's bodies, yet modern medicine still leaves far too many mothers debilitated, sometimes for the rest of their lives."
13 Comics That Nail The Reality Of Parenting In Summer (Huff Post): From beach disasters to the fear of pee-filled swimming pools, the joys of summer.
A Pediatrician's View On Gun Violence And Children (NY Times): Guns as a public health issue and the need to protect children
The Pressure To Have A Perfect Pregnant Body (Huff Post): One expecting mom's thoughts on societal judgment of the pregnant body.
Mila Kunis Has Been Shamed For Breastfeeding In Public (Vanity Fair): "If it’s not for you, don’t look.”
Letting Your Kids Bite Nails And Suck Thumbs Turns Them Into Allergy-Resistant Adults (Fast Company): "A dose of dirt for babies is just what the doctor ordered."
When A Child Thinks Life Is Unfair, Use Game Theory (NY Times): Find words that acknowledge the child's perspective and try adopting these strategies.
Korea Has A Clever Way To Make Sure Pregnant Women Get Seats On The Subway (Tech Insider): The Pink Light Campaign and the power of technology to remind commuters to give their seats to pregnant women...do you think this will work well in your city?
More Hospitals Get Rid Of Nurseries In "Baby Friendly" Move (Today): This objective is to encourage moms to breastfeed and bond with their newborns, but might drive other new parents to the point of exhaustion.
Pokémon Has Kids On The Move -- And On Their Phones (NY Times): On the move, but do regular screen time limits apply?
Talking To Kids About Racial Violence (NY Times): Educate and ask. It's OK not to have answers.
Sun's Out, Bump's Out (Vogue): Beautiful summer baby bumps.
You've gotten the news that someone you know and love is expecting a baby and now you’re in charge of throwing a baby shower. Traditionally, baby showers are not hosted by the mother-to-be, but by a friend or family member. There is some etiquette involved, as well as tried-and-true conventions, but the most important thing to remember is that the celebration is all about the new mom and her little bundle of joy.
A baby shower should be fun and congratulatory, which is usually best accomplished with some proper planning. Here is our guide on how to throw the best baby shower:
Assembling the guests. As for the guest list, close family members and friends are a given, but a sure bet is to consult with the guest of honor before sending out invitations. Traditionally, baby showers attendees are solely female, but that norm is shifting. It's up to you and the mom-to-be if the guest list should be mixed. Keep in mind, though, that an all-female party usually has a different dynamic than a party with both men and women, so decide on the kind of party chemistry you're trying to attain.
Sending out the invitations: Baby showers are typically held 4-6 weeks before the baby's due date, so get invitations out with enough time for guests to RSVP. Two weeks before the party date should be fine.
Bring it in with a theme. Once you’ve finalized the guest list, decide on a theme (or not). Since the shower is about the mom-to-be, deeply consider her preferences. For a traditional theme, choose the season of the baby’s birth, “frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails” for a baby boy, “sugar and spice” for a baby girl, or baby animals. For a trendier theme ideap, consider “children’s bedtime stories,” “pickles and ice cream (a craving shower),” or music-centered “rock-a-bye baby.”
Where to go? Decide where the shower will take place. It can be at your or someone else's home. Throwing the shower at a home is a nice option because it’s comfortable and allows for more control over the flow of the party. Of course, a restaurant, cafe, or other venue with a party room is a good option too, especially if you're going for a formal feel. A new trend is the “destination” baby shower, such as at a spa day, garden, or another adventure.
Showering the mother-to-be Guests will want to know what gifts to present the honoree. It's perfectly acceptable for a mother-to-be to create a baby registry and then have that information passed along to guests via you. Gifts are typically opened at the baby shower so that everyone can “ooh” and “aah” over the adorable sundries. For a baby shower, people tend to shop for just the baby, which is essential, but don't forget to pamper the mother, too! The Nine Naturals bundles are the perfect baby shower gift for the mom-to-be to enjoy as she enters the final weeks of pregnancy.Eat, drink ... If you are hosting the baby shower at a restaurant, food and drink will be covered! Otherwise, you'll want to serve refreshments that are aligned with your theme. But refreshments do not need to be elaborate. Tea sandwiches, fruit and vegetable platters, and cupcakes are fantastic mainstays. Design a custom cocktail, or mocktail for the mom-to-be and other teetotaler. Don't forget to ask for information on dietary restrictions, especially if the mother-to-be has any that need to be considered.
… and be merry! Like choosing a theme, it's up to you to include games or not. Just remember, the best baby shower games are easy for all ages to play and are not overly embarrassing to the expectant mother. A few cute ideas are: a trivia challenge of animal baby names, a who's who guessing game of guests personal baby photos (supplied by each guest), or an egg race.
Although a baby shower can feel like your own party, remember that the main focus is the mother-to-be. Run your ideas about theme, food, games, and any ceremonies by her first. Unless, of course, the guest of honor loves surprises! The point is, remember that the event is for her. No matter where the baby shower is held, be sure that there will be comfortable seating for the expectant mother and easy bathroom access. Happy planning!
For U.S. Parents, A Troubling Happiness Gap (NY Times): A greater happiness penalty because of differences in family-friendly social policies
Why Is The New York Times Hair-Shaming Moms? (Refinery29): "Here's the things about 'mom hair.' The New York Times was trolling us. It doesn't really exist."
Postpartum Anxiety Might Be Even More Common Than PPD (Huff Post): Anxiety may affect new mothers greater than they or their healthcare providers realize
Why Aren't We Managing Children's Pain? (NY Times): "Pain in children has long been misunderstood and medical training in pain management is scant."
The Adorable Reason This Toddler Loves His Diaper Packaging So Much (Huff Post): Representation in packaging in this adorable attachment
Navigating Fertility Clinics With A Click (NY Times): FertilityIQ provides extensive assessments of doctors, clinics and treatment protocols to help patients navigate and make those important decisions.
The End Of Maternity Leave As We Know It (Huff Post): The rise of equal parental leave policy for both new moms and dads.