Aloe vera is an ingredient found in many skincare products due to its bioactive compounds and anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and wound-healing properties. But what exactly is aloe vera, and how does it work? Let’s discuss!
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a plant with thick leaves with a fleshy, slime-like interior. This substance, often called gel, is the part of the plant with antioxidants, vitamins, and amino acids. The gel is integrated into many beauty products because of its healing, moisturizing, and skin-softening properties.
The Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has been shown to have many benefits for the body, especially concerning skincare. If you have a skin condition, it is best to consult your dermatologist before using any product to ensure it is safe.
Aloe vera is especially beneficial for dry skin because of its moisturizing properties. According to a 2006 clinical trial, aloe vera extract increases the water retention of the skin’s outer layer.
Topical aloe vera helps reduce redness, itching, irritation, and scaling. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, aloe vera can soothe sunburned skin. While it does not cure conditions like psoriasis or eczema, it can provide relief. It also reduces inflammation in the body when ingested.
Because aloe vera is antiviral, it can help heal cold sores. A 2016 assessment of aloe vera gel showed it stopped the growth of herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) in lab cultures. It may be a safe and effective treatment for oral HSV-1 infections in or around the mouth.
A 2007 study found that aloe vera has substantial antimicrobial properties when used topically or orally. Its shoot liquid extracts significantly inhibited the growth and production of biomass in three tested fungi.
Using Fresh vs. Bottled Aloe Vera
There are many ways to use aloe vera. You can use fresh aloe vera from a plant; topical creams, gels, and toners; and aloe vera juices and supplements. If you are not using fresh aloe vera, look for skincare products that use it as a primary ingredient. Bottled aloe vera will be combined with preservatives. Natural aloe vera is sticky and can be difficult to wash off. However, both are fantastic choices, and it is up to you how you prefer to use this wonderful ingredient.