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Aloe Vera gel is typically used when you get a little too much sun and need some relief. However, an expert at Baylor College of Medicine says Aloe Vera has multiple benefits for your skin. ¹

“Aloe Vera has lots of uses,” said Kim Chang, aesthetician with the Baylor Aesthetics Studio. “It contains antioxidants, enzymes, Vitamins A and C, and it is highly anti-inflammatory. It can help treat burns, acne and dry skin.” ¹

Active components with its properties: Aloe vera contains 75 potentially active constituents: vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids ²

  1. Vitamins: It contains vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, which are antioxidants. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. Antioxidant neutralizes free radicals.
  2. Enzymes: It contains 8 enzymes: aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. Bradykinase helps to reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically, while others help in the breakdown of sugars and fats.
  3. Minerals: It provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. They are essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in different metabolic pathways and few are antioxidants.
  4. Sugars: It provides monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) and polysaccharides: (glucomannans/polymannose). These are derived from the mucilage layer of the plant and are known as mucopolysaccharides. The most prominent monosaccharide is mannose-6-phosphate, and the most common polysaccharides are called glucomannans [beta-(1,4)-acetylated mannan]. Acemannan, a prominent glucomannan has also been found. Recently, a glycoprotein with antiallergic properties, called alprogen and novel anti-inflammatory compound, C-glucosyl chromone, has been isolated from Aloe vera gel.
  5. Anthraquinones: It provides 12 anthraquinones, which are phenolic compounds traditionally known as laxatives. Aloin and emodin act as analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals.
  6. Fatty acids: It provides 4 plant steroids; cholesterol, campesterol, β-sisosterol and lupeol. All these have anti-inflammatory action and lupeol also possesses antiseptic and analgesic properties.
  7. Hormones: Auxins and gibberellins that help in wound healing and have anti-inflammatory action.
  8. Others: It provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. It also contains salicylic acid that possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Lignin, an inert substance, when included in topical preparations, enhances penetrative effect of the other ingredients into the skin. Saponins that are the soapy substances form about 3% of the gel and have cleansing and antiseptic properties.

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Chang added that when it comes to acne, Aloe Vera works best on superficial surface acne rather than cystic or deeper acne.

“The enzymes in it can also help exfoliate the skin to make it smoother, but if you are looking for something stronger I would recommend using a grainy exfoliator paired with a pure moisturizer,” she said.

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Although Aloe Vera can help moisturize, Chang said when overused, it can dry out the skin. She says that the enzymes in the plant act like an exfoliator and any time you exfoliate the skin too much it will begin to become too oily or too dry depending on your skin type.

Another benefit to Aloe Vera is that it can help with future lines and wrinkles. “One popular question is, can it help get rid of my wrinkles, and the simple answer is no. A big thing to differentiate is that it doesn’t reverse your skin from aging, but helps prevent you from getting deeper wrinkles and lines,” Chang added.

Aloe Vera can also be used on the hair to treat dandruff by rubbing it into your hair and scalp.

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Due to its moisturizing properties and nourishing vitamins, aloe vera has gained popularity as a treatment for dry hair and skin. Research has shown that it may help with dandruff relief, and that the plant compounds may also help promote healthier hair. ³

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Chang says the best way to use Aloe Vera is to carefully cut open a plant’s leaf, scoop out the gel-like insides and apply that to the affected area. If you don’t have a plant at home, Chang says that products containing Aloe work just as well. The benefit of using products containing aloe is that the product will typically contain other ingredients that will help with what you are trying to treat.

If you are looking to go the extra mile, Chang says you can even find drinks that contain Aloe Vera. “Some people believe that Aloe Vera drinks might help support collagen in your skin which prevents the signs of aging” she said.

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REFERENCES

  1. https://www.bcm.edu/news/benefits-using-aloe-vera
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/aloe-vera-hair-mask