Here at CV Skinlabs, we’re big fans of Aloe vera. Instead of padding our products with water, we use Aloe leaf juice in every one of them, so you get health-promoting benefits from every single ingredient inside our bottles!
Below, we explain why Aloe vera is so good for the skin.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant, which means that it can retain water in arid climates and soil conditions. The word “succulent” means juice or sap, and if you’ve ever cut a leaf off an Aloe vera plant, you know that this description fits perfectly. The plant oozes a cooling, gel-like substance from any opening.
An evergreen perennial, Aloe grows wild in tropical climates around the world. It’s also regularly cultivated for medicinal purposes, and if you want to raise one of your own, it works well as an indoor potted plant.
Look at an Aloe plant and you may think “cactus.” The leaves are thick and fleshy, with small white teeth that can prick you if you touch them just right, though the Aloe is usually much more approachable than other succulent plants.
The plant itself doesn’t grow very tall, and isn’t particularly fancy, as the leaves simply spread out one after the other like little spears. It does produce flowers in the summer. They develop on spikes that grow up to 35 inches tall, and are tubular in shape.
The part of the plant that we use for skin care is that gel-like sap or juice that comes out of the leaves. It’s made up of about 99 percent water, but it also contains many active compounds that help heal and repair skin, including minerals, sugars, enzymes, vitamins, fatty acids, and hormones. It’s clear in color and feels soothing to the touch, sort of like a cooling lotion, but it’s not greasy, making it perfect for any complexion.
7 Reasons Why Aloe is So Good for the Skin
1. Aloe Helps Soothe a Sunburn
You may have noticed that your sunburn soothing lotion or cream contains Aloe. That’s because the gel contains compounds called polysaccharides that aid in skin repair and regeneration, along with “glycoprotein,” which reduces inflammation, easing pain.
Because Aloe has so much water in it, it also hydrates moisture-depleted skin. With all these elements working on the skin at once, the overall effect is one that’s soothing, cooling, and calming.
2. Aloe Helps Soothes Irritated Skin
Whether your skin is irritated from shaving, a rash, insect bite, scrape, or allergic reaction, Aloe can help. It begins by hydrating the skin, then employs unique plant ingredients called auxin and gibberellin to help tame inflammation and heal.
Gibberellin is a plant growth hormone that interacts with growth factors in the skin, stimulating collagen synthesis and skin regeneration. Auxin is another plant hormone that may have anti-inflammatory action on skin. Together they help make irritated skin feel better, while speeding healing.
3. Aloe Reduces Acne Breakouts
If you’re looking for something to help you control your acne breakouts, Aloe is a good option. The gel is naturally anti-microbial, which means it reduces the presence of bacteria that causes infections and inflammation. Therefore, applying it to skin can help to reduce the bacteria that cause acne.
In particular, Aloe has 6 antiseptic ingredients, including salicylic acid and cinnamonic acid, that inhibit the growth of not only bacteria, but fungi and viruses, too.
Aloe also contains glycoproteins that reduce inflammation and redness, which is a necessary second part to the process. Inflammation makes acne worse, so preventing it can limit breakouts.
4. Aloe Eases Symptoms of Eczema
Eczema is a condition that creates patches of dry, itchy, irritated skin. Allergies, irritants, or genetics can cause it, and there is no standard cure, but a variety of treatments can help.
Aloe’s numerous beneficial compounds attack eczema from many directions. Since eczema often makes skin crack and bleed, it creates a higher risk for skin infections. Aloe’s anti-microbial action helps prevent those infections. Aloe’s healing properties can help heal patches of dry and broken skin, while its antioxidant activity protects.
Some research has found that Aloe can help soothe symptoms of eczema. In one study, researchers randomly divided children with dermatitis into three groups. One received routine treatment, another was treated with chamomile ointment, and a third with Aloe vera ointment. Results showed that the severity of dermatitis improved in all three groups, with the researchers noting that herbs like Aloe have a lower risk of side effects.
5. Aloe Moisturizes and Softens Skin
Because Aloe has so much water in it, it naturally helps hydrate and moisturize skin without that greasy feeling. The polysaccharides bind that moisture to skin, locking it down to create a smoother, softer appearance.
The enzymes in Aloe also slightly exfoliate skin, sloughing off old dead skin cells, which helps increase smoothness.
6. Aloe Helps Delay Premature Aging
Aloe hydrates and protects, which can help delay premature aging, but it also has compounds in it that can improve firmness in skin. It stimulates fibroblasts that produce collagen and elastin fibers, shoring up the structure of skin so it doesn’t sag, and making skin more elastic and less wrinkled.
The moisturizing effects of Aloe have also been found to improve skin integrity and decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while the natural zinc helps tighten pores.
7. Aloe Helps Protect from Environmental Assaults
Every day the skin is under assault from damaging molecules called free radicals. These are naturally generated in the skin and also develop because of air pollution, UV rays, and even a poor diet.
Aloe naturally contains antioxidants like vitamin C and E and glutathione peroxide that neutralize these free radicals and stop them from damaging skin.
Have you used Aloe to soothe your skin?
Amar Surjushe, et al., “Aloe Vera: A Short Review,” Indian J. Dermatol., 2008; 53(4):163-166.
Sima Ghanipour Badelbuu, et al., “Evaluation of the Effect of Aloe Vera Ointment with Chamomile Ointment in Severity of Children’s Diaper Dermatitis: A randomized, double-blind clinical trial,” Middle East Journal of Family Medicine, March 2018; 16(3): 47-51.