It’s better if we put it this way: what can’t this plant do?
Because of its well-known healing properties, aloe vera has been used to treat skin care concerns ranging from sunburn to dermatitis for decades.
Although we can all recall at least one time we’ve lathered this cool gel onto some irritated skin, this plant’s benefits don’t stop at soothing and calming. In fact, there are a myriad of ways beyond sun damage that we can use our summer skin care staple.
Since this popular plant contains an array of vitamins, enzymes, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Beth G. Goldstein, MD says “aloe also has the ability to capture ongoing skin damage in the form of antioxidants, and boasts both antibacterial and antiviral properties.”
When we think of aloe, we don’t necessarily think of a powerful antiviral and antibacterial go-to, but I think it’s time we re-evaluate this beauty cabinet staple. We found four ways aloe can further benefit our skin, hair and nails.
Below, we deep dive into how this super star ingredient can completely change your beauty routine. If you’re in need of some aloe product recommendations, we’re also sharing our five favorite products to stock up on before summer begins.
Moisturizing and Anti-Aging Benefits
Move over hyaluronic acid, aloe has notable moisturizing and anti-aging effects on the skin!
A 2008 review published in The Indian Journal of Dermatology found that mucopolysaccharides from the plant help bind moisture into the skin. Similarly, the study added that because aloe stimulates fibroblast (which produces collagen and elastin fibers) it makes the skin more elastic and less wrinkled.
Here at the Klog, we’ve tested aloe as a moisturizer and found that the gel smoothed the skin- and gave us quite the glow!
Aloe as an Anti-Inflammatory and Scar Treatment
While aloe often brings sunburn to mind, Dr. Goldstein tells The Klog that this plant can be used for treatment of inflammatory skin conditions and some forms of scarring.
“Hand dermatitis, seborrhea, and herpes have been shown to be improved with use of aloe vs. other treatments or a placebo,” she explains. In other scientific studies, aloe was shown to help reduce the look of C-section scars!
Aloe is also a promising acne treatment, says a 2004 study published in the International Journal of Aromatherapy. The study, which tested the effectiveness of an aloe vera gel and Ocimum gratissimum oil preparation, determined that the mixture was able to resolve inflammatory lesions faster than the standard product.
Similarly, a preparation of aloe, propolis, and tea tree oil ingredients was equally effective in reducing acne lesions. A 2018 study published in Clinical Pharmacology: Advances and Applications, for example, found the formulation to be more effective in reducing acne compared to the preparation of synthetic origin such as erythromycin.
Aloe treats acne similarly to the way it treats our sunburns, helping the pimple heal faster.
Aloe May Benefit Your Hair and Nails
Because of aloe’s anti-inflammatory properties, Dr.Goldstein explains that “it [aloe] may be helpful in reducing inflammation due to seborrhea. The moisturizing properties of the plant can also help attract moisture to dry hair follicles.” A healthy application of aloe to the scalp may help calm irritation and reduce dry, flaky patches to reveal a healthy, calm head of hair!
Aloe can also give brittle nails and cuticles a boost, says Memphis-based dermatologist Dr. Purvisha Patel, MD. “This plant can help with brittle nails and cuticles after trimming to decrease inflammation and encourage growth,” she explains.
Though, if you aren’t sure how your skin will tolerate this plant, Dr. Patel recommends consulting with your board certified dermatologist to make sure it’ll work for you.
“It’s better to check and make sure, than to use it and have your skin issue get worse before seeing a doctor,” she advises. We agree!
Aloe Products to Shop
If you are looking to beef up your medicine cabinet before summer comes knocking, ahead, our are five must-have essentials sure to give your hair and skin a boost.
This soothing moisturizer is sure to please, as it’s gel texture and pH-balanced formula absorbs easily into the skin without any hangups. Packed with both aloe and propolis, this gel formulation soothes while also fighting signs of any breakouts.
Rev up your sheet mask stash with this aloe and ceramide-rich mask, which feels even better on your skin after you chill it in the fridge. It’s particularly great for any skin barriers that are struggling and need a dose of nourishment.
If you are looking to give double-step cleansing a try this summer, trust that this aloe and coconut fruit cleansing water just may be the first-step cleanser you are looking for, as it gently removes dirt and impurities, while keeping the skin full of moisture.
Let this soothing gel mask come to your aid next time you spend the whole day at the beach, as its aloe, pomegranate, and cica extracts hydrate and repair damage, without leading to irritation.