Are Aloe Vera Products Good for the Skin?
If you’ve ever held a chunky aloe vera leaf, you know all about the amazing benefits that the classic gooey, transparent extract can bring to the skin. It’s no wonder aloe vera extract is present in so many beauty products! Its refreshing and healing properties, combined with a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, help with issues ranging from dry skin to sunburn.
In this article, we’ll cover what makes aloe vera extract so great for the skin. As a bonus, we’ll mention five must-have products with aloe vera in their composition.
The main benefits of aloe vera for skin
It may have anti-inflammatory properties
Aloe vera extract naturally contains two compounds called aloin and aloe-emodin, both of which are anti-inflammatory agents. In a study comparing the anti-inflammatory effects of aloin and aloe-emodin with other polyphenols, it was discovered that “aloin and aloe-emodin possibly suppress the inflammatory responses”.
The study also pointed out that the compound aloe-emodin is a potential key constituent of aloe, which makes it responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of the plant. Interestingly, the effect of aloe against inflammation is among one of the main reasons for its use: not only does it provide immediate relief, but it hydrates and treats damaged skin in the long term.
It helps heal sunburns
When we get sunburned, our skin becomes depleted of moisture – hence it dries out, itches, and becomes flaky. The secret is to restore the moisture in the area while still alleviating the symptoms on the sunburned area. Because aloe vera extract is mostly water, it hydrates the area while shielding the area from further damage.
This is the exact reason why so many post-sun gels count on aloe vera extract: to promote a cooling and calming feeling to the skin. Because of its jelly-like and non-greasy consistency, it won’t feel uncomfortable if applied before sleep. The anti-inflammatory compounds we’ve mentioned – aloin and aloe-emodin – will help keep the irritation at bay.
It moisturises the skin (and scalp!)
You already know aloe vera is mostly water. Thanks to its hydrating properties, its extract is highly emollient and humectant, lubricating the skin and locking that moisture in place. Aloe vera-based moisturisers are ideal options for those with oily skin, as the extract doesn’t leave a greasy feeling on the skin after application. That’s why it’s common to see aloe-based products in a gel-like consistency rather than a creamy consistency.
The non-greasy moisture of aloe is great for the scalp, as it doesn’t leave a greasy feeling after washes. That makes it the perfect main ingredient for moisturising shampoos, which give the right amount of hydration, don't weigh down the hair, and keep the scalp healthy.
It may delay signs of aging
There’s so much speculation around the anti-ageing cosmetic realm. What really works? Will a product really prevent ageing? If so, what product will work for me?
One thing’s for sure: there’s no way to prevent ageing. Everyone will show irreversible signs of ageing sooner or later. As we age, our natural collagen production slows down a little bit each year, which causes our skin to become thinner and more flaccid. That’s completely normal, and it’s not something we should fight against.
There is, however, a way to slow down the ageing process. The way to do it is to properly moisturise the skin. According to WebMD, using aloe vera extract as a moisturiser can help stimulate both collagen and elastin fibres, which in turn boosts the elasticity of your skin. Not to mention, it’ll bring you an instant refreshing feeling.
It cleanses and soothes the skin of your scalp
The skin of your head (yes, even when protected by a lot of hair) is constantly exposed to a lot of impurities throughout the day: pollution, oil, debris, bacteria, dirt…you’d be surprised at how dirty your scalp can get!
Thankfully, aloe vera also has an antiseptic effect: it contains 6 antiseptic agents named lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamic acid, phenols and sulphur. They all have protective action on bacteria, viruses, and fungi – all of which your scalp and face are exposed to every single day.
So, if it cleans the scalp…you guessed it: it’s also a powerful ingredient in deep-cleaning yet hydrating facial cleansers. As just mentioned, aloe vera has naturally occurring salicylic acid, which is present in a lot of facial cleansers aimed at clearing acne. So, if you’re looking for a facial cleanser that will simultaneously keep your skin clean and moisturised, aloe vera is the way to go.
5 aloe vera-packed skin products you should try
Fresh With Sol all-natural deodorants
This Singaporean brand makes 100% natural, paraben-free, and aluminium-free natural deodorants. But don’t be fooled by the word “natural”: the super-strength formulas are heavy-hitting against sweat, yet extra-gentle on the sensitive underarm skin.
Plus, all of the deodorants are enhanced with aloe vera extract, which, as you know, has calming and anti-inflammatory properties. While it protects your underarms, it’ll moisturise the skin while acting as a natural pH balancer.
You can choose scents like sandalwood, lavender, citrus, eucalyptus, and rose at the official Fresh With Sol website.
Esfolio Moisture Soothing Gel
This product is made of 100% aloe vera gel. It’s like the virgin gel you extract from the leaf itself, without the hassle of having to cut it and remove the product yourself.
This pulp-like gel moisturises skin, without the sticky and oily feeling so many creams can leave on the skin afterwards. It has a refreshing effect on red, irritated, or dry skin.
You can either use it as a moisturiser after your daily, basic skin care, or apply an adequate amount to your face like you would a mask pack.
Banana Boat After Sun Gel
After a whole day basking in the sun, you may return home with peeling, red, and burning skin. While even the thought of touching any surface may feel uncomfortable, you can refresh and renew your skin with this aloe vera-based after sun gel.
This will replenish moisture and calm your skin. The cooling feeling of aloe on the sunburned area will not only provide an immediate feeling of relief, but keep your skin moisturised and speed up the healing process.
Get it at Watsons.
BIOAQUA Natural Face Mask
Aloe vera gel absorbs easily and fast into the skin, making it ideal for oilier complexions.
This natural face mask is made with 92% aloe extract. It can be used as a weekly part of your skincare routine, for an after sun cooling effect, or as a moisturiser that’s oily skin-friendly. For dry skin, it also provides a non-greasy hydrating effect.
Get it at Shopee Singapore.
Himalaya Moisturising Face Wash
A lot of face washes tend to strip the moisture from our skin, leaving it with an unpleasant dry feeling that only goes away with a thick layer of moisturiser.
This Himalaya moisturising face wash does double duty of cleansing and moisturising the face at the same time. Some people may prefer to apply moisturiser afterwards, but they won’t need a lot of it to leave the skin soft and smooth after cleansing.
Because of its soap-free formula, the product leaves no squeaky or stretchy feeling afterwards. Besides aloe vera, this face wash is also enriched with cucumber extract.
Get it at Watsons Singapore.
Key advice for choosing aloe vera products
Ideally, you should use products that have above 90% of aloe vera in their composition. After all, you’re here for the hydrating and fast-absorbing qualities of aloe. Choosing products that have aloe in their composition but count on several ingredients at a time may overpower the natural benefits of the plant.
On the other hand, if a skin product has mostly aloe vera in it, you can expect a cooling, softening, and fresh feeling right after application. What’s more, you’ll enjoy numerous skin benefits in the long term.