Across cultures and centuries, aloe vera has been revered as a potent medicinal and healing ingredient. With its applications dating as far back as ancient Egypt, this tropical cactus originated in North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Canary Islands, and it is now grown in tropical climates all around the world. Thanks to their increasing popularity, many people even grow their own aloe vera plants indoors! (Note: while the gel of an aloe plant can be used to promote wound healing, it should not be ingested, as it may cause negative symptoms like nausea, indigestion, and even kidney damage.)
While it is widely known that aloe vera can powerfully treat sunburn and wounds, this superstar ingredient also boasts a number of other benefits for one’s health and appearance. Research suggests that aloe vera can lower blood sugar levels, treat acid reflux, and even potentially slow breast cancer growth. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can treat conditions like eczema and psoriasis, and its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties also enable it to effectively treat and prevent dandruff.
In addition to these impressive health benefits, aloe vera has been esteemed within Ayurvedic tradition for its ability to bring youthfulness and radiance to the skin. Its Sanskrit word, kumari, means “a beautiful young girl,” which reflects its powerful anti-aging properties. Not only can it heal wounded and damaged skin—it also reduces wrinkles and age spots, provides deep hydration, and combats acne, leaving the complexion glowing and clear. It’s the powerful anti-aging ingredient you didn’t know you needed. Here, we break down what makes aloe vera so potent and its numerous anti-aging benefits.
WHAT MAKES ALOE VERA SUCH A POTENT SKINCARE INGREDIENT?
As research demonstrates, aloe vera’s benefits for both natural skincare and health derive from factors like its antioxidant-rich composition and its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
It Has Remarkable Healing Properties
Research shows that aloe vera has the ability to increase collagen production and change collagen composition, thus speeding up wound contraction and healing. In addition, the presence of the compound aloin in aloe vera may also speed up the skin-healing process. Furthermore, the antioxidant protein metallothionein can protect skin from UV damage. Whether you’re dealing with wounds, burns, or sunburns, aloe vera offers a soothing healing solution for many ailments.
It’s Rich In Antioxidants
Aloe vera is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, calcium, and zinc. Many of these are powerful antioxidants, which neutralize the free radicals that lead to wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. These antioxidants can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots in addition to strengthening the skin providing a natural anti-aging treatment.
It Has An Antiseptic Effect
Aloe vera contains antiseptic agents like lupeol, salicylic acid, and sulfur. These agents give it efficacious antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, allowing it to treat conditions like psoriasis and eczema. These same properties also enable it to ameliorate dandruff.
Aloe vera has been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory effects thanks to its inhibition of the cyclooxygenase pathway. As a result, it can treat various types of inflammation, ranging from acne to wounds to damaged hair.
WHAT ARE THE ANTI AGING BENEFITS OF ALOE VERA?
Given the numerous healing, detoxifying, hydrating and exfoliating and nutrition-giving properties of aloe vera, it’s no wonder that it also makes a potent anti-aging ingredient for our skin.
It Increases Skin Elasticity
As research demonstrates, the presence of sterol molecules in aloe vera promotes collagen production. While this collagen production can help heal wounds, it can also increase skin elasticity, leading to a firm, tight complexion.
It Reduces Wrinkles And Fine Line
On the flipside of increasing skin elasticity, aloe vera’s ability to stimulate collagen production also enables it to decrease the appearance of wrinkles: as the skin firms and tightens, fine lines and wrinkles become less visible. Additionally, aloe vera’s abundance of antioxidants enables it to combat the free radical damage from factors like UV exposure and pollution that causes the skin to form wrinkles and age spots.
It Lightens Age Spots And Hyperpigmentation
Many factors can lead to the formation of age spots and hyperpigmentation, including acne, pollution, UV damage, and the natural processes of aging. As several studies demonstrate, the aloesin compound in aloe vera can effectively lighten and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, in part because it inhibits the over-production of melanin, which causes dark spots to form. When applied to the skin, aloe vera can thus decrease the appearance of imperfections and age spots, contributing to a bright, even complexion.
It Provides Deep Hydration
As we age, our skin tends to become more prone to dryness and dullness. Fortunately, aloe vera helps to combat these effects by aiding the skin in retaining moisture. As dermatologist Marisa Garshick, M.D, tells mindbodygreen, “The leaf of the aloe vera plant is rich in water, particularly in the innermost layer, so it helps to hydrate the skin and lock in moisture.” Furthermore, the presence of mucopolysaccharides also encourages moisture retention, leaving dry skin feeling hydrated, soft, and refreshed.
Curious about how to incorporate this anti-aging wonder into your regular skincare routine? While it can be applied as both an extract and a gel, we’ve harnessed the healing powers of aloe vera in conjunction with other luxurious, natural, skin-enhancing botanicals to maximize their anti-aging effects. We recommend our Deeply Clarifying Neem Charcoal Cleanser for soothing acne and inflammation and bringing a natural brightness and radiance to the skin. To reduce the appearance of dark spots and provide deep hydration and glow, we recommend our Ultimate Brightening Face Mask. For those who are looking for a purifying, hydrating toner that is both lightweight and efficacious, we recommend our Deeply Clarifying Aloe Alum Toner.