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Aloe vera. It’s a sunburn healer, a hot “healthy” beverage, and...a skincare savior? Maybe, but we weren’t convinced. After all, that green stuff that we slathered on after major sunburns as kids didn’t exactly leave us feeling like supermodels.
That’s why we did some research to find out what the real deal is with aloe vera.
Here, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about aloe vera and using it for your skin today.
Aloe vera comes from the meat of the aloe plant and it has been used for centuries for its health benefits. In fact, ancient Chinese and Egyptians used it to treat burns and reduce fever - and legend goes that Alexander the Great even used it to treat his wounded soldiers.
It turns out that aloe vera is packed with healthy skin nutrients that can help you maintain clear, hydrated skin. In particular, aloe vera is rich in:
All of these potent ingredients translate to big-time skincare benefits.
The polysaccharides and phytosterols in aloe vera make it a great ingredient to maintain moisture. At the same time, antioxidants in the plant make it effective at fighting free radicals and preventing damage to the skin. This, of course, will help maintain skin moisture and health over time.
When you burn yourself - whether it’s a sunburn or a burn from the stove or the curling iron - you’re increasing heat, irritation, water evaporation, and tightness in the skin. Plus you’re compromising your natural barrier.
Applying aloe directly to these burns can help reverse this damage, repairing your barrier and replenishing skin with much-needed vitamins and moisturizing nutrients. This can, according to one study, reduce the healing time of even second or third degree burns to 9 days!
Generally speaking, if you have a cut or a healing acne mark, you’re also dealing with irritation and skin dryness. Fresh aloe can add moisture and nutrients to those cells, which can ultimately decrease discomfort, make the mark less noticeable, and cut down healing time.
These anti-inflammatory effects make it an effective ingredient against larger inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and even inflammatory forms of acne.
Aloe vera is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means that the companies using it don’t have to test for safety and effectiveness, and you could find a lot of products with overall poor quality - or even with toxins!
Do your homework, and avoid things like:
Also, be careful if you want to buy a whole leaf yourself! Aloe latex - a yellow juice found just under the rind - can actually be really harmful over time.
That said, it can be found in highest concentrations in our Daydreamer moisturizer, our Cloud Whip day cream, and our Bright Side AHA face wash. In fact, it’s the first ingredient in Daydreamer - available in even higher concentrations than water - along with other great moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, organic shea butter, and jojoba oil.