Skin-Care Tips

I Rubbed Frozen Aloe on My Face Every Morning for a Week, and It Gave My Pricey Skin-Care Products Some Serious Competition

Photo: Stocksy / Vera Lair
TikTok will have you putting some wild stuff on your body. From conditioning your hair with onion water to using lube as a makeup primer, the possibilities are seemingly endless... and often very unappealing. But when I saw beauty influencer Jaclyn Hill share that she rubs homemade frozen aloe vera on her face every day, I thought to myself, "that's a DIY hack I'd actually be willing to try." Aloe is a tried-and-true skin-care ingredient, so I knew that this wouldn't hurt. And according to Ivy Lee, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Pasadena, California, it could actually be beneficial.

"It's probably incredibly hydrating, and, especially when you have it cool, incredibly soothing," says Dr. Lee. "That's why we've used aloe for eons for post-sunburn relief. So I can see the chilled aspect and the aloe vera being a hydrating, relaxing addition to your morning routine."

So I decided to give it a try. For one week, I committed to rubbing frozen aloe vera on my face every morning to kickstart my day. Here's how it went.

How to make frozen aloe vera

To make frozen aloe vera, I followed the steps Hill demonstrates in this video.

@jacattack Easy peasy guys! #fyp #aloevera #beauty #skincare #skincareroutine #MadewithKAContest ♬ original sound - Jaclynhill

1. Secure an aloe leaf

This hack works best with fresh aloe, which means you need a leaf. I picked up a big leaf at my local grocery store, but you can also use cuttings from an aloe vera plant.

2. Cut the leaf

To get to the goo on the inside of the leaf, start by trimming off all the pointy edges. Then, once the sides are off, you can see the aloe gel inside. To get that off, lay the leaf flat on the table, and apply a bit of pressure to the top of it. Keep your knife parallel to the table, and slice the leaf in half longways (or, in elementary school terms, "hotdog style"). This will leave you with two sides that each have a hard green shell and a soft gooey inside.

3. Scrape out the gel

Using a big metal spoon, scrape out every last bit of gel from the leaf into a pile.

4. Place the gel in a blender

Next, pick up the goo and place it in the blender. For me, this was the worst step—it felt like the world's largest pile of mucus. But I tried to think of it as nature's skin-hydrating mucus, which made this part of the process slightly less terrible.

5. Add water and blend

Add a splash of cold water to the aloe and then blend it until mixed. It should get super foamy.

6. Let it sit for 20 minutes

To give the foam a chance to settle down, take the top off of your blender and let the mixture settle for about 20 minutes.

8. Pour it into your mold

For this step, Hill used plastic ice pop molds ($15). This is, undoubtedly, the best option because it gives you a handle to hold on to while you swipe the frozen aloe vera across your face. If you're like me and don't want to commit to getting the molds, you can make freeze your aloe in a regular ice cube tray. Just know that your fingers will be very cold when you apply the gel.

What it was like rubbing frozen aloe vera cubes on my face every morning

Hill rubs frozen aloe on her face at night, and at first, that's what I also wanted to do. It seemed like a soothing step to take before bed, but I couldn't commit. My morning skin-care routine is where I put most of my energy, and hyping myself up to rub cold aloe on my face when I was sleepy was just not happening. Once I switched to a.m. application, though, it clicked—I finally understood why Hill and so many others on TikTok love this hack. It feels so, so, so good, and is the perfect way to wake up my skin.

Hill's method involves rubbing the aloe on her face until the popsicle fully melts, dabbing with a towel when the aloe gets too drippy. I tried this and my skin was not into it. Layering on so much aloe made my skin a bit itchy. The sensation went away, but I still didn't enjoy it. Next time, I kept it light, rubbing the ice cube on my face for about a minute, enjoying the cool sensation all over my face. Even with less aloe, there was just so much left on my face. I didn't want to just dab it away, so I reached for my reusable silicone mask ($19) from Experiment Beauty to use the aloe like a sheet mask.

I stuck with this method for the rest of the week, wearing my DIY sheet mask for 10 to 20 minutes while I made my latte, styled my hair, and puttered around. Once I took off the mask and rinsed it off, I sat down at my vanity and was able to pat the aloe into my skin. With my skin still damp, I continued with the rest of my skin-care routine.

The verdict: although making frozen aloe vera and rubbing it on my face felt extremely extra, I came to love it. It helped to perk me up and made my skin look dewy and radiant. If you also have dry skin, are looking to calm an irritated complexion, or just want to play with a new beauty hack, try this out ASAP.

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