Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller) is a cactus plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family. It grows in dry climates, such as in parts of Africa and India, and has been used medicinally for centuries. (1)
I remember taking a trip to Avalon, Catalina Island, California back in 2013 with a social group, and one day I had a pretty bad sunburn. A number of Aloe Vera plants grow on that island. One day I decided to break off a piece of a plant, and spread some of the gel on my burns. It worked quite well. My sunburns were less painful and healed faster.
1) Aloe Vera is Well-Known for its Sunburn-Healing Qualities
You probably know someone who buys it from the drugstore. Trouble is, oftentimes store-bought Aloe Vera isn’t 100 percent pure – even if the label says “Aloe Vera 100% Gel” – it may contain other substances such as Triethanolamine, Diazolidinyl Urea, Carbomer, SD Alcohol 40, Tetrasodium EDTA, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, and DMDM Hydantoin. (2)
Keep this in mind before purchasing Aloe Vera. Your best bet is either a health food store such as Sprouts or Whole Foods, or if you go online, buy through companies that are skincare-oriented, such as Bulk Apothecary or Mountain Rose Herbs.
That being said, people often rush to their local drugstore to buy some “aloe vera” for their sunburn. This is because this plant does remarkably well at healing sunburns. Aloe Vera helps relieve sunburn through its powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin, acts as a protective layer on the skin, and helps replenish its moisture. Because of its nutritional qualities and antioxidant properties, your skin will heal faster. (3)
2) It’s A Fantastic Skin Moisturizer
Aloe Vera moisturizes the skin without giving it a greasy feel, which is good for people with oily skin. Aloe Vera gel can be used as an aftershave because its healing properties can treat small cuts and irritation caused by shaving. (4) The gel will moisturize and hydrate your skin without clogging your pores (noncomedonic). (5)
3) Acne Treatment
The Aloe plant is great for treating acne, owing to the presence of two hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins. These hormones provide wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation. Giberellin acts as a growth hormone and stimulates the growth of new cells, thus allowing the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring. Aloe can also heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis and eczema. (6)
4) Anti-Aging Qualities
Aloe Vera is rich in vitamins A, C and E and beta carotene, which are antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, an ability to lighten blemishes, and keeps the skin firm and hydrated, thus reducing the effects of aging on the skin, and improving its natural elasticity. (7)
5) It Lessens The Appearance of Stretch Marks
The Aloe Vera plant gel heals minor tears in the layers of the skin caused by the sudden and excessive stretching that accompanies significant weight gain or loss. (8)
6) Aloe Vera is Nutrient-Rich
The plant contains 75 naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals and amino acids including vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, calcium, sodium, iron, magnesium, potassium and copper, and 20 amino acids, seven of which are essential. (9) Aloe Vera also includes enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones or phenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, and salicylic acid. (10)
7) It Helps Aid the Digestive Process
Aloe Vera helps regulate digestion and relieves ulcers. The antioxidants promote a strong immune system and the polysaccharides also have anti-inflammatory qualities, which helps the body deal with ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (11)
There you have it, the versatile Aloe Vera plant. There are many more uses and benefits offered by this plant that are not introduced here. I want to hear from you, the reader, about your stories and experiences. What have you used Aloe Vera for? Do you use it for healing skin injuries or is it an ingredient you use on a regular basis? Feel free to leave a comment in the form below.
(1) (3) (4) (6) (8) (10) The Benefits Of Using Aloe Vera For Skin Care And More
(2) (9) (11) Aloe Vera: The Ultimate Guide