Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 11/14/2021
What can aloe vera do for you? That’s the big question in skincare. Women around the world see aloe vera listed on the ingredient label for creams and other skin health products, and are instantly drawn to the purchase.
Aloe fanaticism is so great that in some cases, people simply buy the plants from their local greenhouse and rub the stuff directly on a wound, cut or outbreak, and skip the products altogether.
Is aloe vera worth the hype? Is this miracle cactus-like plant really that sharp when it comes to skincare and skin health? Turns out the answer is yes, at least in short.
In the big picture, aloe vera delivers a lot of important elements for skin health. Let’s look at how.
It would be fair to say that as natural medications go, aloe vera is a low-grade miracle tool for your skin health.
Aloe vera has traditionally been used for skin injury treatments, which includes everything from burns and cuts to insect bites and eczema outbreaks.
It is also considered an effective anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial ingredient.
Aloe vera contains a lot of important and impactful ingredients for skin health. Research shows it contains more than 75 potentially active elements.
Vitamins, including C, A, B12, folic acid and vitamin E are all powerful antioxidants found in aloe vera.
Enzymes, including catalase, aliiase, amylase, bradykinase, lipase, alkaline phosphatase, carboxypeptidase, cellulase and peroxidase all fight inflammation and breakdown sugars and fats.
Minerals like calcium, chromium, selenium, copper, magnesium, potassium and zinc are all essential for healthy skin function.
Aloe vera also contains important sugars, fatty acids and even some anti-inflammatory hormones like auxins and gibberellins.
The collective weight of these compounds working together is like an infusion of powerful tools for your skin.
Think of them as much-needed reinforcement, and if it’s employed during a burn or cut, those reinforcements can be crucial to prevent scarring, speed up the healing process and prevent permanent damage.
Aloe vera products include aloe vera plant leaves themselves, as well as aloe vera gels and aloe vera juice — and are all great ways to go about getting those benefits we mentioned above.
What’s crucial, though, isn’t the delivery mechanism (which can vary based on your needs), but rather how it’s processed and which ingredients are highlighted by that processing.
Scientific evidence shows that salicylic acid found in aloe vera leaves can be beneficial for your skin’s clarity and brightness, while some of the antioxidants are better for ongoing protection from things like sun burns and insect bites.
In truth, your best bet is to look for the right balance of vitamins or amino acids or antioxidants within the product you’re considering, and see if they target what you’re worried about.
If you’re looking to stimulate the production of collagen, you’ll want to use a different delivery method and preparation than someone looking to treat minor burns.
Skin needs love, care, nutrition and protection, so a variety of treatments are needed to secure all of these vulnerabilities. Here are the things you can do to ward off premature aging of your skin:
Evidence shows that a higher water intake positively impacts the efficiency and quality of your skin cells, especially if you currently have a lower daily water intake.
No, a few extra glasses a day aren’t a cure-all, but your other treatments may work better, along with the rest of your body.
Your skincare routine should include a cleanser, which can help diminish the impact of environmental pollutants like smoke and other things, by getting them off your face before damage sets in.
A simple facial cream is a great way to add backup, as it can act as a barrier for those pollutants, and keep them from touching you at all.
Do this for your health, and your skin will benefit. There are resources for quitting support available to help you, so make this important decision for your skin’s health.
Vitamin C will lessen the impact of skin damage caused by the sun, but a glass of OJ at breakfast is not enough.
You need vitamin C every few days at least.
It’s a simple solution for warding off signs of premature aging. Dull and dead skin cells go away, and this will in turn expose newer cells at the surface, which reduces the appearance of fine lines.
A chemical exfoliant like retinol or a vitamin A compound (also called a retinoid) is also great for stimulating faster regrowth.
One retinoid — tretinoin — has been shown to help you improve the synthesis of collagen in your face.
Aloe vera is a beneficial compound for a variety of skin conditions, including sensitive skin, dry skin and skin with severe burns.
It’s called the “plant of immortality” for a reason: a combination of healing properties, medicinal properties beyond healing and regenerative properties that all come from a simple, gooey aloe leaf and the aloe vera juice that can be squeezed out of it.
Even with aloe, wrinkles, cuts and acne can’t stay away forever. You’ll eventually have lines, even if you’re submerged in aloe vera leaves for the next 20 years.
Changing up your skin care routine will help you address problems before they get out of hand, but if you really want to step up your skincare routine, take one leaf of wisdom from us: talk to a healthcare provider about what’s worrying you. They’ll be able to help you come up with a personalized skincare regimen including acne cream or anti aging cream specifically to help with what you’re having trouble with.