What is Aloe Vera used for in skincare? - Neutriherbs SA

What is Aloe Vera used for in skincare?

If you've ever suffered through a sunburn, then you're probably no stranger to the soothing effects that Aloe Vera Gel provides. What you may not know, however, is just how many other benefits there are associated with this incredible succulent!


What is Aloe Vera?

The botanical name of Aloe Vera is Aloe barbadensis miller. It belongs to the Asphodelaceae (Liliaceae) family and is a shrubby succulent plant known for its healing and medicinal properties. Aloe Vera thrives in the dry regions of Asia, Europe, America and Africa. Locally, it is found growing abundantly along the Western and Eastern Cape coastlines of South Africa.

Each leaf is composed of three layers:
1) An inner clear gel that contains 99% water and rest is made of glucomannans, amino acids, lipids, sterols and vitamins.  The gel contains most of the bioactive compounds in the plant, including minerals and antioxidants.
2) The middle layer of latex which is the bitter yellow sap and contains anthraquinones and glycosides.
3) The outer thick layer of 15–20 cells called as rind which has protective function and synthesizes carbohydrates and proteins.

What is Aloe Vera Gel good for and why?

  • Soothe sunburn:
    Aloe Vera gel contains compounds called polysaccharides that encourage skin repair and new skin cells to set up shop, says Kenneth Mark, MD, New York-based board-certified dermatologist, and Mohs skin cancer surgeon.
  •  Relieve skin irritation:
    Inflammation underlies many skin conditions (think: psoriasis, eczema, and lichen planus), says Jennifer Gordon, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas. Aloe Vera gel contains compounds, such as acemannan, that suppress inflammation by showing the enzymes that trigger it who’s boss. (Tip: 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 gel is mostly water, it helps to hydrate the skin without that post-application greasy feeling, says Dr. Schlessinger. 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 gel contains salicylic acid, which is an exfoliant that helps to unclog pores, making it especially helpful if you deal with pimples and blackheads.
  • Slow signs of ageing:
    Aloe stimulates fibroblast activity, says Dr. Mark, 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).
How is Aloe Vera Gel used?
Apply an appropriate amount and rub gently on the face or body until the gel has been fully absorbed by the skin. The gel should be used twice daily; in the morning and evening.
You could use it in the following ways:
  1. Use with your daily face and body moisturiser for deeper, long-lasting hydration.
  2. When you get a sunburn, redness and other skin irritations, use it to soothe your scorched skin.
  3. Use with your daily face help to unclog pores and deal with pimples and blackheads.
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