Every summer growing up, my family would bring out a massive bottle of green, goopy aloe vera for the inevitable sunburn we would get at the beach.
Turns out, aloe vera has been used for centuries in skincare and beauty routines. It’s a super diverse ingredient that’s gaining popularity in the world of K-Beauty, but it’s always been a fan favourite for natural beauty enthusiasts.
If you’ve only been using aloe for burns, you’ve seriously underestimated the power of this effective ingredient.
What else can aloe vera do? Read on for a comprehensive guide to the wonders of aloe vera.
What Is Aloe Vera Exactly?
Before we dive into all the reasons you should incorporate aloe vera into your beauty routine, let’s talk about what it is. Aloe vera is a spiny plant with leaves filled with a gel-like substance. This gel has been extracted and used as an herbal remedy since ancient Egypt. It’s been used to heal skin, treat illnesses and boost beauty.
Today, aloe vera is more often used topically than used internally. There are dozens of aloe vera benefits, but we’re going over the best ways to incorporate aloe into your life.
6 Ways Aloe Vera Can Help Your Hair, Skin, and Beauty Routine
1. Heal eczema and dry skin
Aloe vera is a fast-absorbing, soothing gel that can seriously moisturize dry skin. If you deal with stubborn eczema or dryness in the colder months, aloe vera could be the perfect solution for you. Aloe vera is safe to use as a substitute for your normal body moisturizer, so layer the gel all over for relief from flaking, irritation, and even inflammation.
2. Fight and reduce acne
I know, this one surprised me, too. As it turns out, aloe vera gel is both antibacterial and it contains salicylic acid. This means that aloe can kill harmful bacteria that could lead to breakouts, as well as gently exfoliate your skin to keep pores clear and remove dead skin cells. Because it’s anti-inflammatory and hydrating, too, your acne will heal faster and your moisture barrier could become stronger. (What more could you ask for?)
3. Hydrate and smooth hair
You thought aloe was just for your skin? Think again. Aloe vera is the perfect ingredient for a hair mask because it hydrates and protects the hair and scalp. Using aloe vera as a gentle hair cleanser will remove excess oils, condition your thirsty strands, and ensure your scalp is soothed and flake-free.
Because of its sticky texture, hair professionals recommend working aloe through your hair and scalp, letting it work its magic, then washing it all out.
4. Speed up burn recovery
Aloe vera is packed with antioxidants and vitamins, which is why it’s so effective at healing burns and other minor skin wounds. The FDA has been recommending aloe vera gel as a healing ointment since 1959, and it’s been used to accelerate the healing process of burns and sunburns for years.
Aloe vera is so powerful, that in some studies, it’s worked better than conventional medications at healing skin. This is one ingredient you don’t want to forget for your summer vacation.
5. Heal you from the inside out
While the research on aloe vera use internally isn’t plentiful, there are still studies out there that rave about the ways aloe vera can boost your health. Aloe vera extract has been used as a natural diabetes remedy to lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin sensitivity. People have also used aloe vera to heal canker sores and reduce dental plaque (if you’re looking for a natural mouthwash alternative).
Aloe vera has even been used in cleanse diets to clear the body of toxins and lose weight fast. The nutrients in aloe vera have been linked to better digestive health, so adding in this supplement could help you reach your fitness goals!
6. Prevent dark spots
Aloe vera gel works against an enzyme in your skin called tyrosinase, which is the enzyme that produces discoloration after spending time in the sun. Regular use of aloe vera might actually help to prevent and fade existing dark spots on your skin, so your complexion stays smooth. That is, even if you’re a beach junkie.
With all the healing powers aloe vera contains, it’s no wonder that it’s blowing up in the beauty world. Aloe vera skin and beauty products even have an annual market value of around $13 billion.
You can rest easy that you’re using natural products without heavy chemicals when you pick up a bottle of pure aloe.
If you’ve been looking for a hydrating, anti-inflammatory, healing solution for exhausted locks and skin, (I mean, who hasn’t?) look no further than your kitchen cabinet.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go sacrifice my aloe plant for a hair mask.