If you take a look at the ingredients list for any given product, you’ll notice one ingredient that seems to be in everything. Aloe Vera 😉
Aloe Vera is a cactus plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family and it's one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain. I swear my Aloe’s thrive when I forget to water them or set them outside during #hotgirlsummer. But aloe is more than just a pretty face. Aloe Vera has been used for centuries by people in Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan, and China for its purported wellness perks.
Years ago when I first started making soap, one of my favorite soap recipes involved Aloe Vera. I had an Aloe Vera plant on hand and was able to use fresh aloe. Since then my use of Aloe Vera has evolved a little, and my plants have grown. In fact, I’ve got so many Aloe babies that have sprung from my now monster Aloe mama plant that we can barely can find the room to keep up with them! 😬 And of course I continue to use aloe everything I make.
Here’s Why I Use Aloe Vera in Everything:
Moisturizing & Cleansing
- Aloe Vera has a high number of mucopolysaccharides, a hydrating molecule that keeps moisture in the skin. (Hyaluronic acid, a popular skin-care ingredient noted for its hydrating and anti-aging properties, is another mucopolysaccharide.)
- Aloe is able to moisturize your skin without giving it a greasy feel, which is super helpful for those of us with oily, acne-prone skin. Not that you’d want greasy skin regardless of your skin type. 🙃
- Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that may help fight against acne-causing bacteria.
- In a review of prior research, aloe also activated fibroblasts (a type of cell found in connective tissue), which ramp up production collagen and elastin fibers. The result may be tighter-looking skin and fewer wrinkles, yet this has not been conclusively studied.
Soothing & Nourishing
- You’re probably familiar with the concept of using Aloe Vera gel to soothe sunburnt skin. This benefit can be attributed to the plant’s ability to fight inflammation and the fact that aloe vera contains glucomannan, a compound with regenerative properties.
- Aloe Vera contains numerous antioxidants that include beta-carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve the skin's natural firmness and further keep it hydrated.
- Aloe Vera gel’s anti-inflammatory effects have also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema. An article published on the website of the National Eczema Association suggests that anecdotally aloe vera gel may help to ease eczema flare-ups, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
What do you think of Aloe Vera? Have you used it before? Do you have an Aloe plant at home? I'd love to more hear about your experience, comment below!