Aloe vera is a well-known ingredient in the cosmetics industry for its moisturizing and soothing properties. This succulent plant has a long history of use in various cultures, including the Egyptians, Greeks and Native Americans, for its many skin health benefits. It has been used for thousands of years. Egyptian hieroglyphs from 6,000 years ago mention the plant as a healer of many ailments. They called it the plant of immortality and it is believed that it was part of Cleopatra’s beauty routine. In this blog, we take a closer look at the benefits of aloe vera as a cosmetic ingredient and why it is so popular in the beauty industry.
Moisturizing power Aloe vera has a high water content and also contains polysaccharides that retain moisture. This makes it an excellent ingredient for skin hydration. When applied to the skin, aloe vera forms a film that traps moisture and prevents it from evaporating. This helps skin stay hydrated and prevents dryness, making it a popular ingredient in moisturizers, lotions, face masks and serums. It is also popular as an ingredient in shampoos and conditioners because of its moisturizing properties. Listen along on Spotify about Aloe Vera, starting at 7.39 min Dr. Francis Wu tells more about it.
Anti-inflammatory properties Aloe vera also contains substances that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as anthraquinones and glycosides. These substances can help reduce inflammation and redness of the skin, making it an effective ingredient in treating irritated skin, eczema and acne.
Aloe vera contains 6 antiseptic substances: Lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamic acid, phenols and sulfur. They all have an inhibitory effect on fungi, bacteria and viruses.
It can also help reduce swelling and soothe the skin after sun exposure. Aloe vera gel has a protective effect against damage to the skin by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It is not exactly known how this works, but after applying aloe vera gel an antioxidant protein called metallothionein is produced in the skin. This protein neutralizes hydroxyl radicals and prevents superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase from being suppressed in the skin. This reduces the production and release of immunosuppressive cytokines (signal molecule in your body), such as interleukin-10 (IL-10), and prevents UV-induced suppression of type IV hypersensitivity.
Antioxidant properties Aloe vera also contains several antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E, as well as flavonoids and carotenoids. These antioxidants help protect the skin from free radicals and UV rays, which can lead to premature aging and skin damage. Using aloe vera in cosmetics can help protect and repair the skin, making it look healthier and younger.
Aloe vera contains several enzymes that can help reduce pigmentation on the skin. One of these enzymes is tyrosinase, which is involved in the production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that determines our skin color and overproduction of it can lead to hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
By applying aloe vera to the skin, the enzymes in the plant can help break down dead skin cells and reduce the production of melanin. This can lead to a reduced visibility of dark spots on the skin, and can make the skin brighter and more even. It is important to note that the use of aloe vera alone is not enough to completely remove pigmentation spots. However, it can help reduce the appearance of these blemishes and improve the overall appearance of the skin. More about pigments
Aloe vera and skin firmness
Collagen and elastin are important structural proteins in our skin that are responsible for its firmness, elasticity and resilience. As we age, the production of these proteins slows down, leading to a loss of firmness and elasticity and the development of wrinkles and fine lines. Aloe vera contains compounds such as polysaccharides and glycoproteins that can help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. Polysaccharides are complex sugar molecules that contribute to skin hydration and barrier function, while glycoproteins are proteins involved in tissue repair and growth. By using products with aloe vera, the skin can be helped to maintain and stimulate collagen and elastin, which can make the skin firmer and smoother.
In other words
Aloe vera is a natural ingredient that has many benefits for the skin and hair. It has moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, pigmentation-reducing and elasticity-enhancing properties. It is also sustainable and renewable and can be easily grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. Plus, it can be harvested without killing the plant, meaning it can be reused for future harvests. If you’re looking for skincare products with aloe vera as an ingredient, make sure you read the labels and check that the product doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients.
Now that you are here
Another plant with medicinal properties is the marshmallow root, popularly known as marshmallow leaf, white mallow, Spanish mallow or tooth root. The official name is Althaea officinalis L. Althaea comes from the Greek ‘Althaia’. This means: healer, healthy. ‘Officinalis’ means: from the pharmacist’s workshop and refers to its occurrence on the official list of medicinal plants. This points to its traditional use as a medicinal herb. More about: Marshmallow root