Aloe vera may not have the regular appearance of an outstanding skincare ingredient, but nesting in between the luscious green stems lays a supercharged hydrating jelly-like substance that has been a beauty secret dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. What is it about aloe vera that has beauty experts and fans completely besotted and what it’s skincare benefits? Let’s jump right in and investigate.
What benefits do aloe vera have?
Aloe vera has been praised for many years for benefiting the body inside and out, with many taking to drinking aloe vera water to help hydrate their bodies a lot quicker than regular water. This also leads to a benefiting effect on the appearance of the complexion too with it looking plumped and less likely to suffer from dehydration. It can also aid digestion, reduce high blood pressure and give your immunity a boost.
With its intensely hydrating and cooling properties, you can expect to see aloe vera in a lot of after-sun care products as applying aloe vera gel to the skin after a day in the sun is known to soothe and cool, reducing the chances of the skin from overheating and causing any lasting sun damage to the skin. The sticky gel is also laden with an impressive amount of skin-benefiting nutrients, such as mineral, over 10 different vitamins, amino acids and active plant compounds. Not to mention the fact it is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory making it great at conditioning your skin if you suffer from any dryness, sunburn or other skin concerns like psoriasis. Blemish-prone skin types will also find that large, red and swollen spots will appear reduced.
What does aloe vera do to your face?
When used correctly there are plenty of benefits for your face when using aloe vera, bearing in mind there is an estimated 420 different species of aloe vera out there not all of them are as high performing as others. You will find that the aloe vera found in over the counter (OTC) skin and body care products are derived from the plant species that is best for applying topically onto the skin. It is also worth remembering that OTC aloe vera gels are formulated with other moisturising factors and skin-benefiting ingredients such as calendula and echinacea.
Here are some of the top skin benefits you can expect to see when using aloe vera, much like all skincare ingredients it is always best to check with a dermatologist before applying it all over the face.
Skin benefits of aloe vera are:
If you have found your skin to feel burnt from too much sun exposure, gently applying aloe vera to the affected areas will soothe any burns and feel wonderfully cooling. Aloe vera does not, however, protect the skin from any UV rays and so always ensure you use a broad-spectrum sun cream of SPF 30 and above before heading out for a day in the sunshine.
- Burns and small abrasions
Minor burns, scuffs or bumps, applying aloe vera to the areas will give quick relief to the pain and burning sensation and if applied about three times a day will help treat and repair in rapid time.
- Dry skin
The high levels of water found in the thick spikey leaves are immensely hydrating to the skin making it fast working at moisturising dry skin. To get the optimal results swap out your regular body moisturiser with aloe vera gel and apply it to the skin whilst still wet to lock in every last drop of hydration to the skin.
- Eczema and Psoriasis
Itchy and uncomfortable skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis are alleviated with the help of the extremely hydrating moisturising factors of aloe vera. For the best results apply aloe vera to the affected areas twice a day.
- Inflammatory acne
By this I mean active blemishes that are inflamed forms of spots, such as pustules that are swollen, red and tender to the touch. Applying aloe vera gel using a clean cotton bud directly onto the pimple about three times a day will reduce the size and redness of the spot.
Can we apply aloe vera on face daily?
You can use aloe vera on the face daily if it works for you and benefits the skin. Though there are many who feel using the aloe vera directly from the leaves is the most powerful and worthwhile application to really reap the rewards. But not everyone has aloe vera plants knocking around their homes so opting for the over the counter products will be the next best thing.
Some skincare experts believe that skincare products formulated with other skin-nourishing ingredients that help to hydrate and lock in moisture will help the face appear plumper and younger with signs of ageing diminished more than using pure aloe vera from the plant.
What are the side effects of aloe vera?
Aloe vera is considered safe to use topically many skin and beauty experts there are no regulations to the use of aloe vera and so it falls to you as the user to determine if it is the best ingredient to use on your skin. There are known skin reactions such as burning, itching and rashes when applying aloe vera to the skin and so seeking the advice from a doctor or dermatologist and perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying it all over the skin.
It is also best to steer clear of using aloe vera on any severe and open wounds as there is evidence of aloe vera interfering with the natural ability of the skin to heal after surgery and recovering from deep wounds.
The bottom line is that aloe vera has a great number of benefits to the skin and it isn’t a surprise to find it in a vast selection of sun care products and body moisturisers. There is, however, still an air of mystery behind this ingredient and it is wise to do the most research you can before slathering it onto the skin, remembering to keeping an eye for any improvements. With that bit of extra effort, you may find you discover a secret ingredient in your routine!