Whether you’re an expert in the skincare world or new to it, you’ve probably heard at least one person praise aloe vera, which you may only know as the gooey gel your mom would recommend you slather your skin in after a long sun-filled day. But this green substance goes way beyond soothing burns. Many have reaped the benefits of aloe vera for years, so we’re here to share why products formulated with this naturally derived ingredient need to be showcased on your beauty shelves.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant with short stems that grows in tropical climates worldwide but not to worry, you don’t have to travel to Cancún or the Canary Islands to get your hands on one of these skin-saving shrubs, as many local garden centers and large home improvement retailers carry them.
The gel found in the leaves of the aloe vera plant is abundant in amino acids, vitamins A, C, D, and E, and contains minerals like zinc, potassium, and magnesium. It’s also known for it’s hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties. And if you’d like to know more in-depth info on how aloe vera has earned the title of “miracle plant,” keep reading for some key skin benefits!
Benefits of Aloe Vera for Skin
Hydrates + Moisturizes Skin
Did you know that the clear gel inside the leaves of an aloe vera plant contain 99% water?! It also contains monosaccharides and polysaccharides, which are known as mucopolysaccharides (AKA long chains of sugar molecules) that help bind moisture to skin. These molecules also help flaking surface skin cells stick together like PB and J, which in turn helps to soften skin. Aloe vera’s moisturizing effects also work wonders for treating dry skin and common conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, which are often associated with intense itching and inflammation.
Reduces Puffiness + Dark Circles
one likes waking up to raccoon eyes or ones that look as if you got into a hefty bar fight the night before…
If you didn’t already know, the tissue around our eyes naturally weakens as we age, and as the collagen in our skin begins to breakdown, fat cells slowly start to make their way to our lower eyelids, creating puffy, dark circles. The solution? Treat with aloe! When applied, aloe vera stimulates collagen production and helps to reduce the appearance of swollen, discolored under-eyes. The result? Radiant, youthful-looking skin.
Treats Cold Sores + Soothes Sunburns
One of the most well-known benefits of aloe vera is its ability to soothe sunburns and even treat cold sores. Not only do its cooling and soothing properties make aloe vera an effective treatment for burnt skin, but also its ability to replenish skin with vitamins and minerals and repair the skin’s damaged moisture barrier. When applied, aloe also helps prevent trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), which can occur when the skin has been injured in some way and becomes itchy, dehydrated, and/or inflamed. And the benefits don’t stop there. The antiseptic properties of aloe vera can also help fight against bacteria and fungi, making this shrub an impressive skin-saver when it comes to healing cold sores.
Combats Breakouts + Treats Acne Scarring
Ever look at breakouts and scars and think…
Yeah, we’ve all been there. But the good news is that if you have mild to moderate acne and/or acne scarring, applying aloe vera topically to affected areas can certainly help! And while it does contain salicylic acid, it’s the moisturizing properties of aloe vera that makes it beneficial to acne sufferers, as a moist environment provides the optimal condition for healing (as mentioned in our previous benefit). However, it’s best to apply aloe vera to inactive acne that’s now dried out and scabbed over and not newly found breakouts. And just like aloe vera reduces puffiness and dark circles thanks to its ability to stimulate collagen production, it does the same to help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, too.
Can Anyone Use Aloe Vera?
When you start ingesting aloe vera, that’s when issues can arise and unwanted side effects can occur. But when applied topically, aloe vera is generally safe for all skin types. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. When it comes to wound care, never pour any form of aloe directly onto a major lesion. Aloe vera is only suitable for treating minor cuts, burns, and skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. And although it’s a natural ingredient, aloe vera can still irritate your skin and create an allergic reaction, especially if you’re already sensitive to garlic, onions, or tulips.
Fresh VS. Bottled Aloe Vera: What’s the Difference?
You may be thinking… Do I run out and purchase a gallon of bottled aloe gel? Grab an actual plant or two and remove the gel myself? Research the best beauty products that contain the ingredient?
All those options can in fact work and determining which route to take is dependent on what exactly you need aloe for. Is it to treat a nasty stovetop burn you got while frying some eggs? Then purchasing an aloe plant and applying the gel from the leaves will be the most effective, as it’s the only way to get the purest form of this substance, which is what you want when treating burns and even minor cuts and other wounds. Bottled aloe vera gel is also a suitable option but do keep in mind that drugstore formulas often contain other additives and is never 100% pure. When it comes to treating other skin conditions and concerns such as puffiness, acne, and dryness, DIY face masks that contain pure aloe gel is again, always the best option. BUT skincare products such as sprays, lotions, or creams that contain the ingredient are great alternatives and at times can be more effective because they often contain other skin nourishing ingredients such as calendula, green tea, cucumber, and acids like citric or hyaluronic, which brings us to…
The Best MOZ Product with Aloe Vera
Our Retinol Cream is formulated with aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and other natural ingredients to help keep your skin healthy, hydrated, and smooth. Our formula not only adds moisture and provides essential nutrients to your skin, but can also help treat and prevent unwanted acne, wrinkles, fine lines, and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and scarring. If you have normal to oily skin, feel free to use our cream in the morning and at night but if you have a complexion that’s dry or light-sensitive, only apply this product at night. For more in-depth information on application, features, and ingredients, click here!
The Bottom Line
Aloe is one heck of a nourishing skin nutrient and we love it vera much. Whether in a mask, treatment, or moisturizer, aloe vera is one of the most common and well-known natural remedies to help fight common skin concerns and conditions. With that said, we hope you enjoyed learning all the benefits of aloe vera and are eager to start incorporating it into your skincare regimen. Join us next time when we cover all the ins and outs of another impressive ingredient: retinol!