You may know Aloe vera as the gel that soothes your scorched skin after spending too much time at the beach. As healing as aloe vera gel is, this plant offers a plethora of other skincare benefits besides its sunburn-easing properties.
Over 2000 years ago, the aloe plant was known as "the plant of immortality" by Egyptians. While it may not ward off death, aloe vera is a natural healing agent with a myriad of antioxidants and enzymes, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C.
Aloe gel can treat a variety of skin conditions, such as frostbite, psoriasis, dry skin, and cold sores. It also speeds up wound healing. Let's take a deeper look into the effects of aloe vera for the skin.
Derived from the Arabic word "Alloeh," aloe vera originates in the Arabian Peninsula and has long been used for medicinal purposes.
In order for the aloe vera plant to survive the harsh climate of the area, the plant stores water in its leaves. Precisely because it thrives in dry climates, using aloe topically helps promote clear and hydrated skin.
There's actually more than one type of aloe with approximately 420 different species. The most well-known form for skin conditions is the aloe vera plant called aloe barbadensis Miller.
In conventional medicine, aloe is used as a topical gel, which is made from the clear gel inside the succulent plant’s leaves. You can also use the aloe leaves directly by breaking them apart and squeezing out the gel.
The use of aloe vera offers a number of beauty benefits, as well as therapeutic benefits. In addition to drinking aloe vera juice or using it as a mouthwash, you can also use the gel for topical use. Best of all, it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
While aloe vera is commonly known for its slew of health benefits including reduced blood sugar levels, prevention of type 2 diabetes, a hemorrhoids treatment, and potential breast cancer treatment, oral use of aloe isn't the only method that yields results. Topical use of aloe vera products offers a number of skincare benefits that you'll definitely want to take advantage of. Let's take a look at what they are.
Aloe vera is an effective face moisturizer thanks to its water-dense leaves and complex carbohydrates that make it very hydrating. You'll see this ingredient listed in a lot of "soothing" and "moisturizing" products. It's also ideal for skin during the summer thanks to its lightweight consistency.
Aloe vera gel also absorbs easily, making it ideal for oily skin. On the other hand, it can help treat dry skin, too. Use it as you would your ordinary lotion - preferably after bathing to lock in moisture.
For example, once you've cleansed and moisturized your skin in the evening, use coconut oil over the top to keep all that moisture inside.
Aloe vera can also treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis which are caused by defects in the skin's moisture barrier. Owing to aloe's hydrating abilities, it can be helpful in treating either.
Due to aloe vera's potent anti-inflammatory effects, the gel may help treat minor burns, cuts, small abrasions, and even inflammatory forms of acne.
Apply the gel directly to burns, cuts, or acne up to three times daily. In the case of burns, protect the area with gauze.
According to clinical trials, aloe vera can also help treat acne. Aloe products work best on superficial surface acne, like whiteheads and blackheads. Unfortunately, it won't be as effective on cystic or deeper acne.
If you have any blackheads or whiteheads, try dabbing on some of the whole leaf extract gel to bring some of the inflammation down.
Do you always seem to wake up with puffy under eyes? You don't need expensive serums or eye creams to clear that problem up. There's something totally natural that works just as well, if not better.
Thanks to aloe's anti-inflammatory effects and potent antioxidant properties, it's an excellent treatment for puffy under eyes. It also provides the deep hydration needed to prevent swelling and puffiness.
Apply a small amount of the gel under your eyes to enhance circulation and reduce swelling. For best results, keep it in the fridge - especially before using.
Removing your eye makeup shouldn't cause a sting. And yet, many of the eye makeup removers out there feel way too strong for your peepers. Then there are the oil-based makeup removers that just feel ... ugh.
Aloe vera is a great alternative to these makeup removers. And because the skin around our eyes is especially delicate, it's important to use a product that soothes rather than stings. Thanks to its soothing and moisturizing capabilities, aloe vera is able to gently, yet effectively remove makeup.
You can apply it on its own or mix one tablespoon of aloe vera with one tablespoon of olive oil to make it go further.
Aloe vera is an FDA-approved ingredient - as is aloe juice. That means you can buy it over-the-counter easily and without any issues. In terms of side effects, aloe vera is considered a safe product with few adverse effects.
Some users may experience itching as the aloe vera goes to work in your skin. If you experience a rash or hives, stop using it immediately. You can learn more about potential adverse effects on the Mayo Clinic website.
Overall, aloe vera is a safe and effective skincare product that is much more than just an anti-burn plant.
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Apply a generous amount on freshly cleansed skin. Leave the mask to work its magic for around 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water to close pores and seal in moisture. For an intensive anti-acne treatment, apply a thin layer over your skin and leave on overnight. For best results, use three to four times a week.
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