Aloe vera is one of the most well known, widely used, natural skincare ingredients. Most of us associate aloe vera with cooling formulas used to ease discomfort for simple skin conditions like sunburns.
Yet aloe vera is much more than that. This miracle compound can be used for a litany of skin and overall health reasons. While most are familiar with aloe, few of us truly understand the power behind this incredible plant!
Today, we will be defining aloe vera, the ways in which aloe vera can effectively soothe burns, and some of the other healing properties of aloe vera gel.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe is a genus of succulents with over 500 unique species. Aloe vera is the most well known species within the aloe genus. Also sometimes known as the "true aloe", aloe vera is native to Arabian Peninsula countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.
The plant aloe vera has long, tough leaves with a thick rind and spikes lining the edges. A gel-like substance is contained within this hard exterior. This clear gel is also commonly referred to simply as "aloe vera".
To put it simply, aloe vera can be used to describe the plant or the gel within! Aloe vera gel is often used as a topical or as a dietary supplement and is highly safe and effective for a number of medical purposes.
Aloe Vera Soothes Burns and Irritated Skin
Perhaps the most well-known usage for aloe vera gel is for mild burns. A number of scientific studies have concluded that aloe vera can effectively treat first or second degree burns! This is not to say that aloe vera will completely eliminate burn symptoms, but aloe vera may effectively reduce overall healing periods.
Aloe vera is also effective at reducing the immediate discomfort from minor burns. For example, many sunburn treatment products use aloe vera gel as their active ingredient. Those of us who have spent too much time in the sun know, sunburn can be extremely uncomfortable!
Aloe vera cools the affected area, offering immediate, though temporary relief. It is important to understand that many of these products contain aloe vera in small amounts. We recommend selecting products with high aloe vera concentrations for minor burn treatment.
Antioxidant and Antibacterial Power of Aloe Vera
While aloe vera has traditionally been used as a topical gel for burns, this powerful ingredient is hiding much more up its proverbial sleeves. Aloe vera gel contains a form of polyphenols which act as potent antioxidants! Antioxidants play a key role in fighting free radicals which can damage your skin.
Aloe vera has also been shown to have some antibacterial properties. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine concluded that high concentrations of aloe vera gel did in fact have similar antibacterial potency when compared to prescription medications such as Oflaxacin and Ciprofloxacin.
It is very important to understand that aloe vera gel should not replace prescribed antibiotics or antibacterial prescriptions. While aloe vera can do amazing things, it cannot do everything! Always listen to your doctor to treat serious medical conditions.
Other Reasons to Use Aloe Vera Gel on Skin
So far we have covered reasons why aloe vera gel is effective in treating minor burns, sunburn, fighting free radicals and combating certain bacteria. But about those of us with healthy skin. Is there any reason to use aloe vera as a topical?
Absolutely! Here are some other reasons why aloe vera gel is perfect for every day skincare:
- Aloe vera gel is simple to use. Aloe vera gel is one of the few natural skincare ingredients which comes ready to apply directly to your skin! Because aloe vera is in fact a gel, some individuals take the substance directly from the plant and apply it to their skin.
- Aloe is packed with vitamins and minerals. Aloe vera contains minerals such as zinc, potassium, magnesium, plus vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. This is all a bonus on top of the active ingredients found naturally in aloe plants.
- Aloe vera is a natural moisturizer. Because of its natural composition, aloe is able to keep skin hydrated and moisturized without any oily residue. Aloe vera gel itself is comprised of mostly water.
- Aloe may prevent signs of skin aging. The combination of antioxidant power, a wide profile of vitamins, and the ability to naturally stimulate skin's collagen production all means that aloe vera can reduce the visible appearance of wrinkles and dark spots on your skin!
Aloe Vera as a Skincare Ingredient
Aloe vera has been used to soothe skin for hundreds if not thousands of years. This simple, natural, and powerful ingredient is nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory, and even can ease the pain of minor burns. Consider looking for skincare products which harness the natural power of aloe vera to hydrate and protect your skin!