“Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant known for its healing and medicinal properties,” says Joe; Schlessinger M.D, Omaha-based board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon. “Its stems store water, creating a clear, gel-like substance in the leaves, which contains vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids.” The gel from aloe has been used throughout history to treat a variety of skin conditions, such as burns, frostbite, psoriasis, and cold sores, research shows.
So does all the hype surrounding aloe vera gel mean you should make it a permanent fixture in your skin care routine? While research is currently limited on the benefits of aloe vera gel specifically, it does contain many well-studied vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C and E.
Why leading experts believe that this product should already be in your arsenal.
- For starters, it's an antioxidant powerhouse! This is a must have for all skin care routine. They defend the skin from free radicals and your sunscreen booster!
- Vitamins found in aloe increases your collagen production and encourages healthy cell reproduction.
- Protects the skin against infection.
- Reduces infammation from sunburns, soothes and disinfects skin for certain wounds, making it ideal for anyone experiencing discomfort or sensitivity.
- Aloe’s antibacterial properties also help disinfect minor skin conditions such as acne, small shaving nicks and minor burns.
- Aloe extract cream seems to help some people with the dry, scaly, itchy, or painful skin that comes with psoriasis.
- Some research shows aloe might help slow the growth of the virus that cause cold sores.
- Aloe may help ease these symptoms along with those of seborrheic dermatitis, which often affects oily areas like your face, back, and chest.
- Herpes simplex that causes cold sores around your mouth can cause blistering sores on your private parts. A couple of research studies found men who used aloe cream on these sores healed faster than those who used aloe gel or a placebo cream. Part of the reason for this may be that aloe appears to slow the reproduction of the virus.
- Some research found that aloe gel help clear up acne when used twice daily along with the prescription acne cream. When aloe was added to a post acne treated face such as dermabrasion to a group of people, the cream on one side of the face that was applied with aloe /healed much more quickly.
In general, the creams and gels are recommended. But the oral form can change how some of your medication works, especially diuretics, digoxin for heart issues, blood thinners like warfarin and diabetes meds. And remember that aloe vera is a dietary supplement, not a regulated drug. That means it’s hard to know exactly what’s in any aloe product. Tell your doctor about all supplements and medications you take, including aloe.