The ancient Egyptians called the aloe vera the “plant of immortality” so that should already clue you in on the various benefits that you can get from this humble cactus. The clear gel that comes from its leaves is used as a primary ingredient in sunburn treatment creams and gels, as well as hair products that prevent hair fall and dandruff.
But more than those, there are other health and beauty benefits of aloe vera. Here are just a few.
It can moisturize Your Skin
Because it’s a common remedy for sunburns, most people don’t appreciate the moisturizer properties of aloe vera. However, this is actually one of the reasons why it’s an excellent treatment for sunburns — it heals and protects the epidermis, replenishing and locking in moisture. Aloe vera is also rich in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, which work together to nourish the skin and keep it looking young. What’s more, since products that contain aloe vera can come in either gel or cream forms, you can easily find an aloe vera moisturizer that will suit your skin type. Try COSRX’s aloe vera oil-free moisture cream, which can be used for both the face and the body.
An added bonus: aloe vera gels and creams can be also be used as an aftershave to soothe and moisturize the skin. If you also happen to nick your skin while shaving, the components of aloe vera can also help heal the wound faster.
It Improves Skin Elasticity
Aloe vera in the form of topical gel and health supplements have been found to increase the body’s formation of collagen and elastin, making your skin supple and less prone to developing wrinkles and fine lines. The compounds present in aloe vera also act as an astringent, tightening your skin and making your pores less visible for an overall smoother appearance.
It can Help Treat Acne
Aloe vera gel has auxin and gibberellin, two hormones that contain anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties, which are definitely helpful in treating acne. Gibberellin also contributes to skin recovery, since it can stimulate cell growth. Aloe vera can also relieve itchiness and reduce scarring. The anti-inflammatory and restorative properties of aloe vera, however, are valuable in soothing and treating skin problems like psoriasis and eczema.
It can Help Minimize Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can technically be considered as wounds since they are caused by minor tears in the skin when it stretches rapidly and excessively. Often, this is caused by pregnancy although it can also be brought about by sudden weight gain or loss, and the skin doesn’t have enough time to adapt. Aloe vera gel can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks by healing the skin and lightening scars.
It Improves Your Dental Health
The antiseptic properties of aloe vera make it an effective oral rinse; just dilute the gel from the leaves with some warm water and use it like any other mouthwash. You can also add some salt to make the taste more tolerable. Meanwhile, its antifungal capabilities may help speed up the healing of mouth ulcers and prevent further infections. Aloe vera is also helpful in treating mouth and gum diseases like ulcers, gingivitis, and stomatitis, reducing inflammation and bleeding and disinfecting wounds in the process.
It Makes Your Hair and Scalp Healthier
The chemical structure of aloe vera is very similar to keratin, the protein that makes up the majority of human hair. That’s why aloe vera can rejuvenate the hair, and make it thicker, stronger, smoother, and shinier. Aloe vera also has proteolytic enzymes or proteases, which help restore the health of your scalp and, in turn, your hair.
So the next time you see an aloe vera plant sitting humbly in a pot by the kitchen window, remember that it has a lot more potential than you give it credit for!