As an aesthetician for the last eight years, Mary Ford has rarely done a facial treatment without the Aloe Vera plant.
So whenever she does her clients' faces, no matter the difference in their skin types, the 27-year-old always incorporates the herbal plant in her routine.
Known for its exceptional healing properties, the Aloe has the amazing ability to rejuvenate and rebuild the skin by helping the process of cell division and discarding dead cell tissue. Aloe can aid in keeping the skin supple, and has been used in the control of acne and eczema.
Additionally, it is excellent as a moisturising agent in the skin.
All of this, Ford knows well.
Since graduating from the Heart School of Cosmetology, and working under the tutelage of Janice Barnaby of Janice's Total Care, a sophisticated and comprehensive beauty shop in Savannah Plaza, Kingston, Ford's aim is to give her clients the results they would want every time.
And Aloe Vera, popularly called 'Single Bible' in Jamaica, is the guarantee.
"I use it primarily to help with the discoloration found in our skin types and textures, and to remove pimples. It is also good as a moisturiser, mask and eye treatment for tired eyes, an alternative to the cucumber," says Ford, while using a gentle, circular motion to apply the medicinal plant.
Darnley Thomas, a four-year client of the spa, agreed.
Today, she is getting the treatment done and the time couldn't be sooner.
"It's really just amazing how my face looks.I don't get pimples but I do have oily skin and I've seen improvement in my skin texture over the years. The facials have kept the oils at bay and the moisture level moderate, even after a week," Thomas told all woman.
Aloe's healing power comes from increasing the availability of oxygen to the skin, and by increasing the synthesis and strength of tissues.
As for Barnaby, it's something she had learnt some 35 years ago when a friend told her the plant had actually helped tremendously in healing her husband, who was sick from lead poisoning. That piqued her interest and the rest is history, she says.
"The Aloe Vera is a remarkable plant which is prized internationally as a natural skin healer and moisturiser.
There is hardly a skin or hair product on the market right now that doesn't have the Aloe Vera listed as an ingredient," says Barnaby, an aesthetician herself. She runs the 26-year-old establishment, which specialises in skin, hair and nail care as well as body treatments, such as reflexology, massages and body scrubs. During visits clients are also served an assortment of herbal teas.