Aloe Vera is known for its healing and medicinal properties, but did you know that it also brings about multiple skincare benefits? Based on year-to-date Google search results, we have seen a 100% increase in searches for Aloe Vera which makes it one of the trending skincare ingredients. So, what exactly about it that is so amazing?
Before going into the benefits, let us look at the plant’s anatomy. Aloe Vera can be dissected into 3 layers – the outer rind which is the exterior green layer we see; the latex which is a layer of yellow sap just beneath the rind; the inner gel which is where all the nutrients originate from and most commonly used in skincare products.
Just like any succulent plant, Aloe Vera has a huge water storage capacity. Even though it consists of at least 99% water, the remaining 1% or less contains over 75 different active compounds which includes vitamins, minerals, and organic acids. Read on to find out what additional benefits does Aloe Vera potentially has.
It soothes and relieves skin irritation. We all know the good old remedy to sunburnt skin which was passed down through generations. Aloe Vera helps relieve redness and pain due to its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. However, do note that it does not prevent sunburn, SPF is still the way to go.
It moisturizes the skin. High water content in Aloe Vera makes it a great ingredient to moisturize the skin without a sticky or greasy feeling, which is perfect for oily skin. Glycosaminoglycans (a large class of ingredients that include Hyaluronic Acid) present in the plant also aids in increasing moisture due to its water-binding abilities.
It has anti-aging properties. No, Aloe Vera does not help in getting rid of wrinkles or reverse aging, but it helps in preventing deeper wrinkles or lines. Aloe Vera stimulates the production of collagen, making skin more elastic and less wrinkled. It also contains 19 Amino Acids, Vitamin A, C and E that helps neutralize free radicals which is a cause of aging.
It helps to lighten skin colour. Existing studies (though limited) have shown that the presence of Aloin and Aloesin aids in skin lightening. These ingredients inhibit tyrosinase activity, the enzyme responsible for production of melanin, hence useful in treatment of hyperpigmentation. Enzymes in Aloe Vera also acts as a natural exfoliator, which gets rid of dead skin cells to reveal smoother skin.
It could potentially work wonders for your hair. Aloe Vera’s anti-inflammatory property helps resolve scalp inflammation that dandruff causes. This ability to promote healthy scalp, which in turn promotes healthy hair growth, is one of the reasons why there are strong advocators for Aloe Vera’s effectiveness in hair care. Though till date, there are no concrete studies that prove so.
To reap the most benefits, the best way would be to use fresh Aloe Vera plant. For first timers, always conduct a patch test before applying on your face or in large amount. Of course, not everyone has a fresh plant at home. There is an abundance of products in the market that contains Aloe Vera. When purchasing, do take note of pure Aloe Vera content – the higher the percentage, the better it is. The benefit in using products that contains Aloe Vera is that it usually contains other ingredients that further helps in targeted treatment.