Did You Know?
Aloe vera was believed to be used by the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, as part of her beauty regimen.
Aloe vera, also known as medicinal aloe, is a type of succulent plant that can store water in its leaves, stems, or roots. This in turn, gives it the characteristic swollen and fleshy appearance. Aloe is actually the name of a genus that contains more than 500 species of succulent flowering plants, out of which the most common species is the aloe vera plant, also known as true vera and Aloe barbadensis miller. The plant is believed to have originated in Northern Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian peninsula.
History of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has been used for centuries as an essential ingredient in alternative medicine. It was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for treating wounds. The Egyptians called it the 'plant of immortality'. This herb was used to cure skin infections, burns, and reducing hair fall. Mesopotamian clay tablets dating back to 1750 BC have been discovered regarding the medicinal properties of aloe vera. In the 1930s, aloe vera was first used to treat dermatitis caused by radiation.
Aloe Vera for Acne Treatment
Nowadays, aloe vera has become a subject of many studies and research, mainly to unveil the possibilities of using this herb to treat various ailments, particularly those related to the skin and hair. Let's find out how this herb can help heal acne and pimples, and remove those unsightly scars left behind by them.
Reduces Redness and Inflammation
Acne develops when the sebaceous glands become clogged by an overproduction of sebum (oil). It is common during puberty, due to hormonal fluctuations. Though aloe vera cannot cure acne, it can reduce the redness due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also prevent the bacteria from infecting the wounds, accelerating the entire process of healing. Magnesium lactate, an itch inhibitor present in aloe vera, can help treat acne, sunburns, and skin rash.
Promotes Skin Regeneration
Aloe vera is well-known for its soothing, healing, moisturizing, and regenerative properties. Due to its regenerative properties, aloe vera can help the skin repair and renew its outermost layer. This can prove immensely helpful in removing acne scars. The regular use of aloe vera can, therefore, make your skin more radiant by removing spots, blackheads, and pimples.
Lightens Skin Pigmentation
Aloe has been found to lighten skin pigmentation, reducing the appearance of scars and spots caused by acne. In addition, this herb can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. These are fibrous proteins that are responsible for connecting, as well as supporting other tissues in the body. By facilitating the production of these proteins, aloe vera can help accelerate wound healing, and remove scars, besides delaying the development of wrinkles and fine lines.
How to Use Aloe Vera for Treating Acne
Aloe Vera Gel Acne Treatment
For acne and scars, be sure to wash your face and pat it dry before applying the gel. Cut a leaf of the plant, and keep it on a plate for 15 to 20 minutes. You will see a yellow fluid oozing out. This is the sap of the plant, which you should wash out with water. Once the sap is removed completely, cut the edges of the leaf, and take out the clear gel using a spoon. Apply this gel directly on the affected area, and allow it to dry out completely. Now, you can wash it off with clean water.
Aloe Vera Gel Acne Facemask
Aloe vera gel can also be used as a facial mask by mixing it with honey and rose water. Blend all the ingredients in a grinder to make a paste. Apply this on your face and other acne-prone areas of the body. Let it stay for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash it off with clean water. This mask can be used once a week. Along with honey and rose water, you can also mix turmeric powder with aloe vera gel to make a face mask. It can help improve your complexion, besides treating acne and scars.
Aloe vera has been a part of traditional medicine to treat skin problems. Today, a wide range of aloe products, such as moisturizers, soaps, sunscreens, creams, shampoos, and aloe juice are available in the market. So far, no major side effect of aloe vera has been reported. But the compound aloin found in it, can cause some side effects when taken in excess. However, aloin is usually removed during processing. Rarely, topical preparations can also produce a few side effects, like redness, and a burning or stinging sensation in some individuals. So, it is better to apply aloe vera gel and other aloe products first on a small area, before applying them on your face and other acne-prone areas of your body.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.