Most are familiar with the succulent plant, Aloe Vera. An evergreen perennial, Aloe Vera originated from the Arabian Peninsula but now grows wild in tropical climates around the world, but is also cultivated for its many medicinal and therapeutic applications. Throughout history, the plant’s healing properties have been recognized. Nicknamed the ‘plant of immortality,’ Aloe vera’s earliest recorded used is found in a stone carving from 6,000 years ago in Egypt.
Why Aloe Vera?
What makes Aloe Vera so special can be found in its leaves. There, within the inner layer of the leaves, a clear, watery gel will be found. That gel consists of 99% water and contains approximately 75 active compounds loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids. Research has shown that the gel offers beneficial and soothing relief for a variety of skin conditions ranging from minor burns, abrasions, and cold sores to frostbite, dandruff, and eczema. A daily application of Aloe Vera can reduce inflammation and redness caused by most skin conditions.
These vitamins and minerals in Aloe Vera can leave the skin with a healthy glow, which makes it ideal for facial care. Application of Aloe Vera for face not only helps soften the skin, but keeps it hydrated without a greasy feeling that accompanies most skin moisturizers. The gel smoothes and softens the outermost layer of skin cells by capturing the moisture in it and then bonding the cells together. In this way, the application of Aloe Vera gel can provide a number of benefits for the face, such as:
Is the ‘Plant of Immortality’ also the ‘Fountain of Youth?’ Well, not exactly, but it does slow signs of aging by stimulating fibroblast activity that consequently increases collagen production and elastin fibers which, respectively, reduces wrinkles and gives the skin more elasticity. Zinc found in Aloe Vera acts as an astringent that tightens pores. Vitamins C and E, important antioxidants, keep skin cells healthy. In total, these important compounds act to give skin a youthful appearance. One study of women over age 45 found that daily topical application of the gel increased collagen production and improve skin elasticity which had the effect of reducing wrinkles.
Learn more about Aloe Vera for Wrinkles
Helps to Fight Acne
Aloe Vera’s antioxidant compounds have natural antibacterial properties. The salicylic acid found in Aloe Vera gel is an exfoliant that can aid in unclogging pores that could otherwise result in blackheads and pimples. Aloe Vera gel also has saponins, chemical compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that act on the oil glands that cause acne.
Learn more about Aloe Vera for Acne
While lotions can help moisturize the skin on your body, the same lotions should not be used as a moisturizer for facial treatment. Use Aloe Vera in place of lotion as a skin moisturizer for your face. It’s a natural and organic cleanser that will keep your skin soft and keep pores unclogged. Men and women can benefit from using Aloe Vera as a moisturizer.
Prevents Dark Spots
The enzyme tyrosinase is the culprit for the skin discoloration we know as dark spots. Dark spots are UV-induced hyper-pigmentation which is one of the results from the skin-damaging effects of sunburns. Application of Aloe Vera gel prevents the enzyme responsible for skin discoloration from acting, in effect, suppressing UV-induced hyper-pigmentation. The various antioxidants in the gel like glutathione peroxide, may actually lighten the sun damaged spots that have already formed, too.
The same salicylic acid in Aloe Vera gel that helps fight acne also acts to gently exfoliate dead skin cells from your face. Lignin is another component of Aloe Vera. An organic polymer, lignin has a fibrous binding structure and penetrative properties that allows Aloe Vera to saturate and cleanse the skin as much as seven layers deep.
How to Use Aloe Vera on Your Face
Whether using whole leaf Aloe Vera or a purified Aloe Vera gel product, gently apply as you would any moisturizer. Do not slather on or deeply massage into your face. Dabbing it on is recommended. Leave it there for ten minutes, then rinse and dry. Longer application can result in drying your skin.