Aloe Vera is a popular medicinal and cosmetic plant that helps in treating many skin conditions like frostbite, psoriasis, and cold sores.
This clear gel-like substance inside the leaves of the plant, popularly known as Aloe Vera gel, contains approx 75 potentially active constituents - vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids, and amino acids.
Let's get to know the aloe vera benefits for skin:
1. Soothes sunburn
Being naturally moisturizing, and subsequently healing properties, research has shown that aloe vera may help heal first- and second-degree burns on the skin, probably because it is a combination of factors.
Aloe vera is full of antioxidants, and one particular antioxidant protein, called metallothionein, has been found to have a protective effect on skin that's been damaged by UV rays. The plant is also extremely hydrating, which could help combat the skin peeling which usually takes effect post-sunburn.
2. Helps fade dark spots
Dark spots on the skin, known as hyperpigmentation, can leave their mark due to sun exposure, acne, or ageing. All dark spots are usually stubborn. However, a compound called aloesin, found in the aloe vera plant, could help you lighten the dark spots.
According to one study, when aloe vera gel is applied four times per day for 15 days, aloesin was found to be effective in treating UV-induced and post-acne hyperpigmentation.
3. Moisturizes skin
Aloe vera plant is very hydrating, particularly the innermost layer, so the use of alow vera for Face helps to hydrate the skin and lock in the moisture.
Mucopolysaccharides, as found in the aloe plant, help keep moisture in the skin. When applied topically, aloe vera has been shown to increase the water content of the outermost layer of skin (called the stratum corneum), making it a good choice for dry skin types.
4. Restorative scalp mask
All of the plant's beneficial properties for the skin—namely, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial—also lend themselves to the scalp (which is also skin, after all).
Applying it as a scalp mask can help soothe irritation, exfoliate, and even strengthen and smooth hair follicles. It can be used to keep hair smooth and shiny and also help eliminate dead skin cells from the scalp.
5. Healthy ageing benefits for skin
Hydrated skin is happy, healthy skin, and as we know, sufficient moisture also helps ward off the visible signs of ageing.
In addition to its ability to help replenish and retain moisture in the skin, aloe also stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen and elastin fibres in the skin—all of which are required to keep skin hydrated, firm, and supple. Using aloe vera gel for the face regularly has been shown to help restore skin elasticity and decrease the appearance of fine lines.
6. Help clear up acne
Aloe vera may have antimicrobial properties and may help acne-prone skin. It should not take the place of your traditional acne medications but it can be used alongside them.
A source of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera is also a natural source of salicylic acids, which can also help with breakouts such as blackheads and whiteheads. One study found that the regular use of aloe vera cream or gel in combination with tretinoin cream was found to be very effective in treating inflammatory and noninflammatory acne.
7. Soothes psoriasis and eczema
Skin with a broken barrier is very much prone to fungal and bacterial infections, and aloe vera is considered antiseptic acting against fungi, bacteria, and viruses. So using aloe vera cream on psoriasis may also help reduce the redness, scaling, and irritation.
8. Treats and prevents dandruff
Dandruff is a form of seborrheic dermatitis, and aloe vera is an effective treatment for scalp irritation, scaliness, and flakiness caused by seborrheic dermatitis. According to research, the antibacterial and antifungal properties of the plant may help prevent and treat dandruff altogether.
9. Help fade stretch marks
According to research, the regular usage of aloe vera has been very effective in reducing the appearance and preventing the spread of stretch marks. Aloe Vera's ability to help fade stretch marks is due to its skin-restoring and anti-inflammatory properties which help in promoting the production of hyaluronic acid, elastin, and collagen.
How to use aloe vera for skin?
When buying any aloe vera product, avoid products with added ingredients, like alcohol or other chemicals. They can cause harmful effects on the skin.
The easiest way for a person to obtain fresh aloe vera gel is to have a plant in the house.
Some ways to use aloe vera:
After washing the hands, apply a small amount of the gel to the face using fingertips in a circular motion. Wash your face with cold water.
To make an aloe vera skin toner, mix 2 parts of water with 1 part of aloe vera gel. Pour into a clean airtight bottle or jar and store it in the refrigerator. After cleansing your face apply the toner to the face using a fresh cotton ball.
Risks Associated with Aloe Vera for Skin
Applying aloe vera gel to the face is not linked with any serious health risks. Some people may feel an initial stinging or burning feeling after using the gel on dry or sensitive skin.
Leaving aloe vera gel on the face may cause it to dry out so it is preferred to rinse the gel off after a few minutes to avoid this effect.
Some people might feel allergic so always do a patch test first to check for sensitivity before using it on the face.
Aloe vera is a popular plant that has skin healing properties. Aloe vera is safe to be used on the face and the body for many skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea, or minor wounds.
You can get the gel directly from an aloe vera house plant or buy it pre-prepared which is chemically free.