If you skim through some of the top-rated natural beauty products, organic juices, and diet supplements available today, you will notice a common thread among a majority of them: Aloe vera! This spikey, short-stemmed plant not only resembles a cactus but also shares the same succulent lineage.
Succulents fare best in dry, arid climates and require very little water to grow. No wonder then that this therapeutic find is also popularly termed as lily of the desert, given its ability to flourish in the sandiest terrains of the world, including the tropical parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and southern and western United States.
There are about 500 species of flowering plants within the aloe genus with short, prickly, dark-green or greyish leaves that enclose within them a clear, viscous gel. Enriched with a wide array of beauty-enhancing nutrients and enzymes, there is nothing quite like this gooey aloe nectar to fix a whole gamut of cosmetic concerns.
Other than its topical application, aloe gel is safe for consumption as well. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, you must know that it comes with a bitter taste, much like any other medicine.
However, don’t let that deter you from getting your regular fill of aloe vera juice. Just chug it down like a tonic and wait for the magic to unfold. If you still find yourself gagging at the very thought of it, there are aloe vera supplements available on the market that you can take.
The buzz around the astounding health and beauty perks of aloe vera is nothing new and has been established across centuries of verified use. Almost every ancient school of medicine has upheld and optimized the wide-ranging pharmacological properties of this wonder plant.
It was hailed as the “plant of immortality” by the ancient Egyptians. Aloe vera’s therapeutic caliber has indeed stood the test of time and has proven quite immortal.
Even today, the ever-growing use of aloe vera sustains a wide and extensive section of the beauty industry. You will be spoiled for choice if you go looking for pharmaceutical and beauty products with high levels of aloe vera extracts. While that is one way to upgrade and revolutionize your daily beauty regime, you can consider harvesting pure aloe vera gel straight from the source.
Here are some beauty benefits of aloe vera.
Aloe vera can help reverse signs of premature aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin to a considerable degree. Much of this skin damage is caused by free radicals.
Aloe vera is one of the best safeguards against the oxidative stress induced by these unstable molecules, given its abundant reserve of antioxidants that scavenge free radicals.
Aloe vera gel penetrates deep into the skin to keep it moisturized. Being a rich source of skin-friendly vitamin A, B, C, and E, it also helps enliven dull and worn-out skin. Also, the gel contains polysaccharides that stimulate skin regeneration.
A 2013 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that fresh aloe vera gel in varied concentrations showed improvement of the skin’s viscoelastic and hydration properties, which are important in fighting premature aging signs.
The study sheds light on the synergistic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and ultraviolet (UV) protective properties of the herbal plant.
To keep your skin young, it is important to exfoliate on a weekly basis. To make an exfoliating mask:
Aloe gel is composed of 96% water, qualifying it as a natural humectant. Needless to say, incorporating aloe gel in your personal care regimen can greatly restore the skin’s moisture and give it a smooth, glowing finish over time. Thus, aloe gel is a godsend for people grappling with parched, flaky skin.
Not just that, you oily-faced beauties can also take a piece of this action. Unlike regular moisturizers that often add to the greasiness of your skin, aloe gel easily penetrates into the skin and helps restore its pH level.
Being a great natural moisturizer, aloe vera keeps the skin well hydrated and enhances its elasticity. Well-hydrated and moisturized skin looks healthy and smooth.
A 2006 study published in Skin Research and Technology reports that freeze-dried aloe vera extract is effective at improving skin hydration, possibly through a humectant mechanism. Consequently, it may be used in cosmetic products for the treatment of dry skin.
Aloe vera works as an effective antibacterial agent that helps fight the bacteria responsible for acne. It also stimulates the growth of new cells.
Plus, it has healing and anti-inflammatory properties that help the skin heal quickly and reduce skin inflammation.
Another feather in aloe vera’s cap is the fact that it is non-comedogenic, which means that it won’t clog your pores. This is a particularly helpful attribute for acne-prone skin because clogged pores are at the base of most acne flare-ups.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found aloe vera to be very effective for the treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris.
Along with treating acne, this natural herb is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis and eczema.
Prolonged sun exposure leaves your skin painfully burned, irritated, and red due to a breach in the skin’s barrier. A generous coat of aloe gel on your aggravated skin can serve as a protective cover for your sensitive skin.
The cooling and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera help alleviate much of the discomfort associated with sunburned skin. Plus, the gel helps retain the skin’s moisture level, which facilitates the speedy healing of the burned epithelial layer of the skin.
A 2008 study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology notes that aloe vera gel displayed anti-inflammatory effects, which justify its use in the topical treatment of inflammatory skin conditions, such as UV-induced erythema.
Ugly stretch marks can steal away the beauty of your skin. Although it is difficult to get rid of stretch marks completely, you can minimize their visibility to a great extent with aloe vera due to its potential of increasing skin elasticity.
Aloe vera can help reduce the visibility of stretch marks by restoring the skin’s elasticity and repairing skin damage.
In addition to the skin, aloe vera gel is also good for your hair health.
Besides helping your manes grow long and strong, it also removes dead cells from your scalp that can clog your hair follicles, and reduces dandruff. Plus, aloe vera can help maintain the pH balance of your scalp, which is essential for keeping your locks healthy.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research reports that the enzyme content of aloe vera prevents hair loss by protecting the scalp against many diseases. It also aids in the reduction of dandruff.
The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic nature of aloe vera makes it an effective healing agent for minor wounds, small cuts, bruises, and insect bites.
A 2007 study published in Burns expounded upon the skin repair effect of aloe vera and proposed it as an effective intervention for treating first-to second-degree burns.
A recent 2016 study published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery reports that topical application of aloe vera improved the biochemical, morphological, and biomechanical characteristics of the healing cutaneous wounds in rats.
This treatment option may also prove to be valuable in clinical practice, although further studies are warranted to conclusively establish this claim.
Cracked feet can take away the beauty of your feet. To bring that beauty back, you can always rely on aloe vera.
Aloe vera has moisturizing and antibacterial properties, which make it an excellent treatment for dry and cracked heels. Plus, it helps get rid of dead skin cells and aids in skin cell regeneration.
The following benefits are neither backed by scientific evidence nor are they reviewed by our health experts. Nonetheless, a number of general users have reported an improvement in their condition using these anecdotal remedies
Aloe vera can also be used to lighten your lips and make them soft and supple. It helps to exfoliate the layers of dead skin cells to reveal fresh, new layers of rejuvenated soft skin. Moreover, it works to moisturize chapped lips, making them appear lighter than before.
Commercial makeup removers can be full of harmful chemicals that can strip your skin of its natural oils.
As important as it is to take your make up off before calling it a day, the dearth of nontoxic cleansers in the market often leaves one in a dilemma. This is where aloe gel steps in, which, along with a whole list of other beauty benefits, also scores highly as a natural makeup remover.
The slippery nature of the gel can easily collect makeup residue and leave your skin squeaky clean. What’s more is that it even renders a naturally luminous hue to your skin.
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