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When it comes to looking after your skin, there are so many ingredients out there that can be beneficial; one of these is aloe vera!
But just what can this spiky succulent do for your skin, and how should you use it?
Read on to find out more!
In this article:
Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant that grows mainly in hot, dry climates – often referred to as the “lily of the desert”.
Historically, aloe vera has been used in many ways for hundreds and thousands of years, going as far back as Ancient Egypt as a natural plant remedy.1
Aloe vera has two parts that are usually used: the clear gel inside the leaves and the aloe latex, which is the yellow pulp just under the outer part of the leaves.
Generally, it’s the clear, sticky gel that is used topically on the skin, whilst the aloe latex is taken orally as a supplement or juice for other benefits like aiding digestion.2
You might be thinking, is aloe vera good for skin? And how?
Aloe vera is thought to be full of vitamins, minerals and other compounds that can be great for your skin.3
But it does need to be used in the right way.
Here are just a few reasons why aloe vera deserves a spot in your skincare routine:
You can apply aloe vera gel to delicate skin up to three times a day.
The gel has a cooling and calming effect and moisturises the area, helping keep the skin supple in the process.
Thanks to the cooling properties of aloe vera gel, it can help cool down skin exposed to the sun and replenish some of the lost moisture.
That’s why you’ll likely spot aloe vera as an ingredient in many after-sun care products to keep your skin soft, supple, and smooth after being in the sun.
However, it’s important to flag here that it cannot prevent sunburn; only an SPF can do that by providing a protective barrier from the sun’s rays.4
We’ve briefly touched on aloe vera’s moisturising abilities in the above points.
But it doesn’t just have to be used as a moisturiser for burnt skin. You can also use aloe vera as a normal, day-to-day moisturiser in your skincare routine.
Especially if your skin is dry, or if you experience eczema, aloe vera is thought to be really helpful in keeping your skin hydrated. After all, hydrated skin is healthy skin!
Apply it to your skin after bathing to help lock in its moisture.5
For more hydration, you can use aloe vera gels and moisturisers overnight. The benefits of aloe vera on the face overnight can result in intense hydration and help to soothe your skin while you sleep.
Additionally, there’s another benefit associated with aloe vera’s moisturising qualities... it also acts as a great skincare product to care for ageing skin.
Some research has found that aloe vera gel may help reduce the signs of fine lines and wrinkles by helping the skin retain moisture and boosting overall skin appearance.
This, in turn, can help slow the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.6
It is also thought that aloe vera is a great, natural source of salicylic acids and plant hormones like gibberellins, which can help with breakouts, blemishes, and blackheads.
In fact, one study found that combining aloe vera with the topical treatment of tretinoin resulted in less redness and fewer blemishes than those who just applied tretinoin.7
In some cases, blemishes can be caused by dirt on your skin. It is thought that aloe vera can play a part in reducing these spot-causing bacteria, thus helping to prevent blemishes from forming.8
But aloe vera won’t cure blemishes on its own. So, if you have any concerns about your skin, it’s best to talk to a doctor who can provide effective treatment to suit your concerns.
When using aloe vera, always be cautious.
If you’ve never used aloe vera before, always patch test on a small area (like your wrist) and wait for at least 24 hours to make sure you are not allergic in any way.
Once you know you’re not allergic, there are many ways you can incorporate aloe vera into your skincare regime.
From moisturisers and gels to toners and face washes, there are so many aloe vera skincare products on the market that harness the powers of this plant.
You can even use aloe vera gel for face and body concerns, so adding this to your basket means it will never go to waste.
These products make it easy to reap aloe vera’s many benefits without the mess of purchasing an aloe vera plant yourself – and the pressure of trying not to kill it!
It’s important not to forget to look after the skin on your body, too!
Aloe vera gels and body butters are not just great for sunburn but will help keep your skin hydrated and soft all year round.
When shaving, you could even try an aloe vera shaving gel to help prevent razor burns and keep your skin supple.
Boost your beauty from within with a delicious, nutrient-packed aloe vera smoothie!
To make the most of all the great benefits aloe vera offers, you could try taking aloe vera internally.
Why not try our aloe vera, kale and blueberry skin super-smoothie?
You could even swap out pure aloe vera for aloe vera juice, which even makes a tasty drink on its own.
Before drinking aloe vera, always check with a doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to do so.
While aloe vera has many benefits, there are some things to consider before introducing it into your routine.
Aloe vera is generally considered safe to use when you apply it topically. Still, some of the side effects of aloe vera on your face and body can include itchiness or burning.
If, when you do your patch test, you experience any discomfort or notice any changes to the skin, like itchiness or a rash, you could have an allergy, and it is best to avoid aloe vera.
Sometimes, your patch test might be completely fine, but when using aloe vera, you might experience some burning or itching, depending on your skin type. If this happens, rinse off the product immediately.
The wonder product that is aloe vera has many uses in the health and beauty world, and there is definitely a reason why it has been treasured for so many years.
From supplements to skincare, aloe vera has been shown to have some fantastic benefits.
But like with any new product or supplement, it is important to patch test or check with a doctor first to ensure you are completely safe in using it.
For most people, aloe vera is completely safe to use topically on the skin. So, why not shop our great selection of aloe vera skincare products today?
Joined Holland & Barrett: August 2005
Michelle joined Holland and Barrett in 2005 as a Customer Services Advisor where she worked for a total of 6 years.
She left H&B to pursue a career within the public sector and later returned in 2013 where she continued to support the Customer Services department and further developed by qualifying as an advanced product advisor working alongside a team of nutritionists.
She then moved to buying as a FNSS Raw Materials Coordinator before joining the Regulatory Affairs Department in 2017 as a Regulatory Affairs Associate. After 3 years in this role, she then moved to the Beauty team where she expanded her knowledge to focus on the beauty industry.
Michelle is now working on both own-label and branded beauty lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU, UK and International Cosmetics Regulations.
Michelle has 3 children who take up a lot of her time, but when she has a few spare minutes she enjoys walking, fitness and cooking.