Benefits and Uses of Aloe

 

Benefits and Uses of Aloe (The Power of Aloe)

You may know that aloe is good for sunburn and kitchen burns, but did you also know that aloe has many benefits for your skin and hair beyond healing burns? Aloe has been used for years as a folk remedy for conditions ranging from psoriasis to cold sores to constipation. Aloe is also an amazing ingredient in skin and hair care products, because of its antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant benefits.

What is aloe?

Aloe is a succulent plant with thick, flat leaves. The clear gel from the aloe leaf is what we call aloe vera gel, and it has been proven to have numerous health and wellness benefits.

If you look around in health food stores today, you can find aloe in everything from facial cleanser to vitamin water.  Let`s take a few minutes today to focus on your skin and your hair, and examine 5 benefits of using an aloe-based product.

5 Reasons to Use Aloe on Your Skin and Hair

  1. Aloe has natural antibacterial properties (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3729540/). Because of this, aloe can help to clear up and prevent acne. Its astringent properties can help to reduce pore size and keep out excess sebum, dirt, and microbes (https://www.naturallivingideas.com/aloe-vera-for-face-skin-hair), and it can help to soothe sensitive skin after breakouts.

  2. Aloe can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. One study (examining 30 women over the age of 45, over a 90-day period) found that topical application of aloe vera gel increased collagen production and improved skin elasticity.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2883372/) Because aloe has natural antioxidant properties, it can also help to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals, and thus help to prevent signs of premature aging. (FYI, free radicals have also been linked to cancer.)

  3. Aloe can be used to help treat psoriasis. Aloe is naturally moisturizing, and it doesn’t have the damaging effects of many synthetic moisturizers that contain cetyl alcohol and other irritants that can actually dry out the skin. Aloe has also been shown, in one study, to help clear areas of psoriasis. In a randomized, double-blind study that included 60 patients with chronic psoriasis, 83% of participants showed a significant clearing of psoriatic plaques, with no relapses reported at the 12-month follow up (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765459).

  4. Aloe can help to lessen the appearance of stretch marks and other cosmetic blemishes.  This may be because aloe speeds up skin cell reproduction by as much as eight times, allowing your body to regenerate skin cells. It can also help to fight inflammation and reduce redness. (https://www.naturallivingideas.com/aloe-vera-for-face-skin-hair/).

  5. Aloe can be used to treat dandruff and relieve an itchy scalp.  Because aloe has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can help to get rid of dandruff and stop the itching associated with dandruff of a too-dry scalp.  The enzymes in aloe vera gel can also help the scalp to get rid of dead skin cells and promote the regeneration of skin tissue around the hair follicles.

How to Use Aloe for Skin and Hair

There are many ways that you can use aloe on your skin and hair. You can make your own DIY aloe-based products, such as an aloe and honey face mask (1 tablespoon of raw honey + 3 inches of aloe vera leaf). You can use aloe straight from the plant as a compliment to your personal care routine. Or you can choose a high-quality product made from aloe. It is always important to examine the ingredients in a store bought product, and avoid products that have cheap fillers (like water) as the first ingredient, or synthetic chemicals like artificial fragrance (listed as fragrance/perfume/parfum), phthalates, and PEG-compounds (to name a few) that may do you more harm than good.

 

*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.  I am not claiming that aloe, or aloe-based products, can cure any conditions, but merely that the beneficial properties of aloe may make it one piece in establishing a healthier personal care regime.

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