Aloe vera has been around for centuries and was used for medicinal purposes. It is widely known to treat skin burns and help heal wounds. But this plant is growing in popularity to have a myriad of benefits in the area of beauty.
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is harvested for its gel and juice. A mature plant that is a few years old has a higher concentration of active ingredients. It is abundant in vitamins, amino acids, polysaccharides, and phytosterols, so it has all these great properties providing many health benefits. Aloe vera leaf consists of three main components, the inner, middle, and outer layers. The leaf’s inner part is 99% water, with the rest being amino acids, glucomannans, sterols, lipids, and vitamins. The middle is known as latex, a yellow sap containing glycosides and anthraquinones. The outer layer is the rind, which protects the inner part and synthesizes proteins and carbohydrates.
Benefits of Aloe Vera for Skin
Soothes – Anti-inflammatory properties from phytosterols help to calm and soothe itchy or irritated skin.
Prevents Transepidermal Water Loss – When skin cannot retain water, it becomes dry, dehydrated, and inflamed. Phytosterols prevent transepidermal water loss and soothe irritation resulting from dryness.
Moisturizes – Aloe vera is 99.5% water, which makes it excellent for hydrating the skin. Polysaccharides have emollient properties to hydrate and create a protective barrier on the skin.
Treats Acne – The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera makes it useful in treating acne. It helps to kill acne-causing bacteria to minimize breakouts. Salicylic acid also naturally occurs in aloe vera, which gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells, help unclog pores, and prevent acne from developing.
Anti-aging – Vitamins A, C, and E are potent antioxidants that fight off and neutralize free radicals to protect the skin from premature aging. Glucosides encourage healthy cell regeneration to rebuild collagen to improve skin elasticity and minimize the appearance of wrinkles.