Aloe Vera

One of the great things about aloe vera is how little amount you need to produce positive effects. This substance contains a number of ingredients that boost the action of one another. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as a synergetic effect. 

Here are the actions of aloe vera in a quick summary:

The immune system

Aloe vera modifies the action of the immune system by targeting immune cells. We call this immune modeling. (1)

Burns and leg ulcers

Aloe vera seems to accelerate the healing process in ulcers. (2)

This is mediated by 4 mechanisms:

  • Providing the cells with essential nutrients
  • Exerting an anti-inflammatory effect that limits cellular damage
  • Preventing infections due to its antimicrobial properties
  • Stimulating fibroblasts to start the healing process

Cleanser and Antiseptic

Aloe vera is an excellent natural cleanser and antiseptic that easily penetrates the skin. Moreover, it helps with the regeneration of all the skin’s layers, making it an excellent healing agent. (3)

Other properties of aloe vera include:

  • Helping with muscle and joint pain
  • Dilating blood vessels to accelerate healing processes
  • Delivering vitamins and minerals to the site of injury

As for burn wounds, aloe vera can be useful due to its tissue regeneration effects. Consequently, the scars will be less obvious and skin sensitivity will be reserved. There is some evidence that treating minor second-degree burns with aloe vera within 48 hours of the incidence leaves hardly any scars. (4)

As a dermatological treatment, aloe vera is ideal in the form of soaps and other cleansers.

Cosmetic use

Aloe vera gets into the three layers of the skin (i.e., epidermis, dermis, hypodermis). As a result, it can help with regenerating skin cells and getting rid of waste products. These properties make aloe vera one of the best antiaging substances on the market. (5)

Optimally, you would use a moisturizing cream after applying aloe vera to keep all your skin’s layers well hydrated.

Let’s talk science!

Several studies investigated the effects of Aloe Vera. We now have a bulk of scientific evidence that supports the positive effects of aloe vera on psoriasis, eczema, and other skin diseases. (6)

Aloe vera is composed of polysaccharides, which are complex sugars that help with skin hydration. These sugars comprise 20% of aloe vera’s solid mass. Additionally, proteins have a big role in aloe vera’s effects, with around 20 types from different classes. The end result is a powerful combination that aids cell proliferation and dampens inflammation. (7)

In one study, researchers found that aloe vera-based soap can actually prevent skin rashes after exposure to radiation. (8)

Aloe vera also helps in preventing skin complications in stoma patients. (9)

Finally, a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial concluded that aloe vera can significantly accelerate the process of wound healing in patients who received skin graft. (10)

Aloe Vera’s role in Psoriasis 

Aloe vera contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, and folic acid. It is also rich in minerals, essential amino acids, and polysaccharides that stimulate tissue growth and cell regeneration. (11)

For patients with psoriasis, applying aloe vera can be very beneficial. This is due to the plant’s emollient effect. (12)

Scientists believe that psoriasis is a multifactorial disease that is the result of nature and nurture factors. In other words, you have to carry the genes that predispose you to this disease and get exposed to external factors that trigger it (e.g., stress, trauma, infections, drugs). 

Nevertheless, the pathogenesis of psoriasis boils down to two processes:

  • Epidermal hyperplasia (i.e., rapid production of cells)
  • Inflammation infiltrating the deeper layers of the skin

Aloe vera may interfere with these processes to prevent psoriasis flare-ups. (13)

The ingredients of aloe vera stimulate the growth of fibroblasts, which regulates cell proliferation. As a result, the rate of epidermal hyperplasia may be slowed down. (14)

Additionally, aloe vera exerts anti-inflammatory effects on the skin, addressing the second process that causes psoriasis.

Aloe Vera’s role in different types of eczema 

  • Seborrheic dermatitis

To combat Seborrheic dermatitis, there are many natural treatments and remedies, including aloe vera. In one study, researchers found that aloe vera may help with the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. This is due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antimicrobial, and immune-modulating properties. (15)

As you may know, seborrheic dermatitis is triggered by a fungus named Malassezia furfur. Therefore, the antifungal properties of aloe vera can play a major role in addressing this issue.

  • Atopic dermatitis

Pure aloe vera products can calm the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. This made aloe vera very popular among patients with eczema. (16)

If you’ve been diagnosed with eczema, you surely know that the best way to prevent outbreaks is by taking good care of your skin. That includes using soaps and cleansers that have natural ingredients with specific effects on eczema. One of these ingredients is aloe vera.

Conclusion

Multiple studies proved that aloe vera is one of the most beneficial plants for skincare. More specifically, this plant aids with psoriasis, eczema, and skin dehydration.

Aloe vera might be the missing ingredient in your skincare routine to alleviate the anguish caused by the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. Fortunately, many skincare products started including aloe vera in their formula.

Aloe vera helps with cell regeneration, the aging process, and inflammation. When included in a form of soap, it can dramatically aid with burns and wound healing. It also has antiseptic properties that prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Some would even argue that these properties can help with chronic acne.

One of the most important aspects to keep in mind when thinking about skincare is to look for the ingredients of your products. For this reason, we recommend that you only purchase products that contain naturally-extracted ingredients.

References

1-Hekmatpou, D., Mehrabi, F., Rahzani, K., & Aminiyan, A. (2019). The Effect of Aloe Vera Clinical Trials on Prevention and Healing of Skin Wound: A Systematic Review. Iranian journal of medical sciences44(1), 1–9.

2-Avijgan, M., Kamran, A., & Abedini, A. (2016). Effectiveness of Aloe Vera Gel in Chronic Ulcers in Comparison with Conventional Treatments. Iranian journal of medical sciences41(3 Suppl), S30.

3-Athiban, P. P., Borthakur, B. J., Ganesan, S., & Swathika, B. (2012). Evaluation of antimicrobial efficacy of Aloe vera and its effectiveness in decontaminating gutta percha cones. Journal of conservative dentistry : JCD15(3), 246–248. https://doi.org/10.4103/0972-0707.97949

4-Maenthaisong, R., Chaiyakunapruk, N., Niruntraporn, S., & Kongkaew, C. (2007). The efficacy of aloe vera used for burn wound healing: a systematic review. burns33(6), 713-718.

5-Cho, S., Lee, S., Lee, M. J., Lee, D. H., Won, C. H., Kim, S. M., & Chung, J. H. (2009). Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo. Annals of dermatology21(1), 6–11. https://doi.org/10.5021/ad.2009.21.1.6

6-Feily, A., & Namazi, M. R. (2009). Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2009 February; 144 (1): 85-91. Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia144.

7-Hamman J. H. (2008). Composition and applications of Aloe vera leaf gel. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)13(8), 1599–1616. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules13081599

8-Olsen, D. L., Raub, W., Jr, Bradley, C., Johnson, M., Macias, J. L., Love, V., & Markoe, A. (2001). The effect of aloe vera gel/mild soap versus mild soap alone in preventing skin reactions in patients undergoing radiation therapy. Oncology nursing forum28(3), 543–547.

9-Rippon, M., Perrin, A., Darwood, R., & Ousey, K. (2017). The potential benefits of using aloe vera in stoma patient skin care. British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing)26(5), S12–S19. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2017.26.5.S12

10-Burusapat, C., Supawan, M., Pruksapong, C., Pitiseree, A., & Suwantemee, C. (2018). Topical Aloe Vera Gel for Accelerated Wound Healing of Split-Thickness Skin Graft Donor Sites: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial and Systematic Review. Plastic and reconstructive surgery142(1), 217–226. https://doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0000000000004515

11-Sánchez, M., González-Burgos, E., Iglesias, I., & Gómez-Serranillos, M. P. (2020). Pharmacological Update Properties of Aloe Vera and its Major Active Constituents. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)25(6), 1324. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061324

12- Fox, L. T., du Plessis, J., Gerber, M., van Zyl, S., Boneschans, B., & Hamman, J. H. (2014). In Vivo skin hydration and anti-erythema effects of Aloe vera, Aloe ferox and Aloe marlothii gel materials after single and multiple applications. Pharmacognosy magazine10(Suppl 2), S392–S403. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-1296.133291

13- Syed, T. A., Ahmad, S. A., Holt, A. H., Ahmad, S. A., Ahmad, S. H., & Afzal, M. (1996). Management of psoriasis with Aloe vera extract in a hydrophilic cream: a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH1(4), 505–509. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3156.1996.d01-91.x

14- Nowak-Perlak, M., Szpadel, K., Jabłońska, I., Pizon, M., & Woźniak, M. (2022). Promising Strategies in Plant-Derived Treatments of Psoriasis-Update of In Vitro, In Vivo, and Clinical Trials Studies. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)27(3), 591. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27030591

15- Barak-Shinar, D., Del Río, R., & Green, L. J. (2017). Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis Using a Novel Herbal-based Cream. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 10(4), 17–23.

16- Panahi, Y., Rastgar, N., Zamani, A., & Sahebkar, A. (2020). Comparing the Therapeutic Effects of Aloe vera and Olive Oil Combination Cream versus Topical Betamethasone for Atopic Dermatitis: A Randomized Double-blind Clinical Trial. Journal of pharmacopuncture23(3), 173–178. https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2020.23.3.173

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