When you skimp on the sunscreen (unintentionally, of course) and end up with a monster sunburn, chances are you turn to aloe vera to soothe your scorched skin. Because it brings so much relief during the healing process—almost like a gooey superhero—you’ve probably wondered what else aloe vera is capable of! Well, you’ve come to the right place to read about all the marvelous benefits of this natural skin care ingredient!
Why Aloe Vera Works Wonders
Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant known for its healing and medicinal properties. Its stems store water, creating a clear, gel-like substance in the leaves, which contains vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids. The gel from aloe has been used throughout history to treat a variety of skin conditions, such as burns, frostbite, psoriasis, and cold sores.
So does all the hype surrounding aloe vera mean you should make it a permanent fixture in your skin care routine? The benefits of aloe vera follow from the many vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C and E, that may offer an assist to the products already in your arsenal.
Curious about its uses? Read on to discover all of the skin-saving benefits of aloe vera!
Each triangular leaf of the aloe vera plant is composed of three layers, with the innermost layer containing a clear gel that’s made up of 99 percent water and roughly 75 potentially active ingredients, according to a review published in the International Journal of Research and Medical Sciences. The inner leaf juice is removed from the rind, either by machine or hand, and is cold-pressed to keep the active ingredients, well, active.
When it comes to solving specific skin issues, there’s not a lot of conclusive evidence on aloe vera’s efficacy, but the biochemistry of aloe vera does have some anti-viral, anti-fungal, and cell-regenerative properties, so applying it to the skin in addition to other medications or remedies may prove to be helpful.
What makes aloe vera gel so tricky to study is the fact that it contains oodles of promising ingredients that can improve the skin—so many, that it’s hard to hone in on the exact compounds and mechanisms involved. Plus, each study uses its own aloe vera composition, making it difficult to compare and contrast the research that’s completed.
But even though aloe vera gel won’t correct your skin issues on its own, when used in conjunction with other products, it may help speed the process along.
Benefits of Aloe Vera For the Skin
- Soothes Sunburn
Aloe vera contains compounds called polysaccharides that encourage skin repair and new skin cells to set up shop. The gel also contains a pain reliever called carboxypeptidase, which may be why aloe vera is so soothing.
- Relieves Skin Irritation
Inflammation underlies many skin conditions (think: psoriasis, eczema, and lichen planus). Aloe vera contains compounds, such as acemannan, that suppress inflammation by showing the enzymes that trigger it who’s boss. (Make sure to do a patch test before putting it on inflamed skin, as aloe vera can cause allergic contact dermatitis in some people.)
- Add Moisture
Because aloe vera is mostly water, it helps to hydrate the skin without that post-application greasy feeling. It helps lock moisture into the skin, while also acting as a glue that makes the top layer of skin cells stick together, ultimately smoothing and softening your skin.
- Fight Acne
Besides having serious antibacterial skills, aloe vera contains salicylic acid, which is an exfoliant that helps to unclog pores, making it especially helpful if you deal with pimples and blackheads. Bonus: It also acts as an anti-inflammatory on the oil glands that cause acne.
- Treats Cold Sores
Aloe vera is an antiseptic, containing six agents known to help inhibit fungi, bacteria, and viruses, including salicylic acid, phenols, and sulfur. It may help speed up the healing process too, by creating antibodies the immune system can use to fight the cold sore virus.
- Slows Signs of Aging
Aloe stimulates fibroblast activity, which creates an uptick in collagen production and elastin fibers that make the skin less wrinkled and more elastic. Meanwhile, zinc acts as an astringent to tighten pores, and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, help prevent the formation of free radicals (aka, molecules that can do a number on your cells).
- Prevents (and maybe even fades) Dark Spots
Aloe vera prevents tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for skin discoloration, from doing its thing, essentially suppressing UV-induced hyperpigmentation and the skin-damaging effects of sunburns. This mechanism may also help in the prevention of dark spots, while the various antioxidants it contains (such as glutathione peroxide) may fade sun damage that’s already formed.
- Lightly Exfoliates
The salicylic acid aloe vera contains acts as an exfoliator, helping to gently slough off dead skin cells. It also contains lignin, a substance which can enhance the penetrative effect of other ingredients into the skin.
Choosing Natural for your Skin Care
When it comes to finding the right potent elixir for aloe vera, shop Wild Naturals! Aloe vera is the first ingredient on the list and replaces water, which most every other skin care brand lists at the top to dilute the product. With a plethora of other beneficial natural ingredients, Wild Naturals face, body, and hair products will transform your skin form head to toe! Shop the online store today to discover the amazing results of aloe vera and natural skin care!