Best known as a gel used for cooling sunburns, aloe has countless benefits for the skin. Due to its protective, healing, moisturizing, and even antibacterial properties, aloe has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes — it’s truly nature’s healer. There are so many benefits of this skincare super star, you might find yourself wondering why you’re not using it every day!
What is aloe vera?
The aloe used in skincare comes from the aloe vera plant, which is a member of the cactus family. Aloe vera grows in dry climates, like other cacti and succulents. When broken open, the spiny, pointed leaves secrete a clear gel, which can be applied directly onto the skin. You can grow an aloe vera plant at home, or buy numerous gels, lotions, facial cleansers, and toners containing aloe.
What makes aloe such a powerful skincare ingredient?
Aloe contains a whopping 75 active ingredients (we told you it’s a superstar!) including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, hormones, and vitamins A,C,E, and B12. All of these combine for potent anti-inflammatory, free radical neutralizing, and anti-oxidant properties.
What does aloe do in skincare?
Maybe a better question is, “What doesn’t aloe do in skin care?”
As the go-to skin soother, aloe treats multiple skin ailments, such as minor burns, rashes, and wounds. The healing power of aloe comes from a combination of its ability to calming the inflammation and aid in the regeneration of new, healthy skin cells. Along the same line, studies have shown the benefits of aloe for people with eczema, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Generally speaking, aloe is one of the best moisturizing agents available, and it’s a favorite because it hydrates the skin without added greasiness. This makes it a common ingredient in acne and anti-aging products. You can also use aloe to heal dry, cracked skin and to prevent and lighten stretch marks.
A lesser known benefit of aloe is solving that pesky dandruff problem. The antibacterial ingredients in aloe treat the bacteria that cause dandruff, while moisturizing the scalp to prevent further flakes.
Who benefits from aloe in skincare?
While people with oily skin tend to avoid heavy moisturizers, aloe works on all skin types. It’s one of the few moisturizing ingredients that won’t clog pores, making it ideal for people with acne-prone skin. It has one of the lowest ratings on the comedogenic rating scale, which measures how likely an ingredient is to cause comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). It’s not only a safe moisturizer for people with acne, it also treats breakouts. Aloe’s antibacterial properties clear up acne, while the hormones in aloe reduce inflammation, calming the skin to prevent future pimples.
Aloe stimulates collagen production, which is why it’s a great anti-aging ingredient, because collagen helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Aloe also protects the skin from damage and then repairs skin over time.