The benefits of aloe vera for the skin are actually far more extensive than most people realise. As much as this plant has been used for easing sunburn, it has a lot more going for it than just that. Aloe vera is actually packed full of beneficial nutrients that include many amino acids, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin E, making it quite the powerhouse especially when it comes to skin care.
Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant that is a member of the lily family and it can be found in many hot climates throughout the world. It has been used for centuries for its skin benefiting and healing properties and was even called the ‘plant of immortality’ by the Egyptians. It is the gel substance from inside the plant that is used to treat an array of skin issues when applied topically.
Probably the most well-known use of aloe vera is to help treat sunburn. I’m sure I’m not the only one who needs a daily dose (or in my case, numerous daily doses) of aloe vera after overdoing it in the sun and roasting themselves like a rotisserie chicken. Aloe vera is often the first thing people reach for and as such, it has become a common addition to many after sun products.
It is full of soothing, cooling and healing properties that can help ease the burning and stinging sensation of sunburn and bring down the inflammation associated with it. It can also help to moisturise the skin and because it is full of antioxidants, it also helps the skin to heal faster.
Psoriasis and Eczema
Aloe vera has become quite a popular choice for helping to relieve the symptoms of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema because of it’s soothing and healing properties. Applying aloe vera to the affected area may help to bring down the inflammation and ease the symptoms such as itching and flakiness. The hydrating and moisturising properties of aloe vera may also help to tackle the issue of dryness as well.
Another beneficial aspect of aloe vera is its antibacterial properties and when you combine that with all its other skin-benefiting properties, this has made it a popular option for acne sufferers.
Although it won’t cure acne as such, it may help with the surface symptoms. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties may help bring down the redness and inflammation associated with acne and help to improve the skin’s surface appearance.
However, one thing that has been noticed is its ability to improve and fade the appearance of acne scars. This is said to be down to its skin healing ability and applying aloe vera to the affected area on a daily basis is said to help improve their appearance significantly.
Much like acne scars, aloe vera has been said to help improve the appearance of stretch marks too (yippee, I’ll be adding that to my Palmers Cocoa Butter, thank you very much). Its healing properties can help to improve and fade the appearance of stretch marks by frequently applying it directly to the affected area. This may also help with other forms of scars and marks too and it’s soothing and cooling properties are also an effective way to help relieve the itchiness associated with stretch marks.
Aloe vera is full of moisturising and hydrating properties making it an excellent choice for a moisturiser. The fact that it’s packed full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals make it even more beneficial for the skin. Being that it’s a gel, this also means that it won’t leave a greasy feel behind on the skin afterward so even those with an oily complexion can use it.
Aloe vera actually has quite a few different benefits when used on the hair including helping to reduce dandruff, improving scalp dryness, acting as a great hair conditioner and my overall favourite, promoting hair growth.
Aloe vera contains an array of nutrients that are extremely beneficial to the hair and scalp and because of this, it is now found in many hair care products.
Many claim that using aloe vera as a hair treatment has resulted in healthier, shinier and stronger hair that has actually grown much faster than it did prior to using the treatment. It is often combined with coconut oil which is also very beneficial and also believed to improve hair growth and left in overnight once a week or fortnight to get the most out of its benefits.
This natural plant seems to have a lot going for it and if you’re lucky enough to live in a hotter climate where aloe vera grows in abundance then you’ll have no shortage of this multi-use plant and be able to use it for its many skin and hair benefiting properties.
What do you think about aloe vera and have you found it effective for any other skin treatments? Please feel free to share your stories in the comment section below.