ALOE VERA - THE PLANT OF IMMORTALITY
ALOE VERA FOR SKIN AND HAIR CARE
Aloe vera is one of the oldest plants in history known for its healing properties. Egyptians and Chinese used to treat war injuries, burns, fever, and wounds with aloe vera. The importance of aloe vera can be evaluated by the fact that Alexander the Great conquered an island just to secure aloe vera supplies. (1) This evergreen plant originated from Arab and can be found in almost all regions of world, be it dry or tropical climate. Aloe vera is one of the best companions for your skin and hair. It repairs damaged skin as well as hydrates damaged skin and hair. Loaded with many active ingredients, aloe vera is a one stop solution for many hair and skin conditions.
Treats Itchy Scalp
An inflammatory skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis is responsible for causing dandruff, itchy scalp, scaly patches, and redness of scalp skin. Fatty acids and enzymes found in aloe vera reduce this inflammation. Aloe vera hydrates the scalp which decreases dandruff and dryness, having a soothing effect. You can use aloe vera gel directly to turn your irritated scalp to a calmer one. (2)
Promotes Hair Growth
Aloe vera boosts hair growth by cleansing and conditioning the hair. Vitamins, amino acids, minerals, fatty acids, and steroids in aloe vera provide sufficient nourishment to hair follicles to promote hair growth. Aloe vera gel contains a chemical called aloenin, which is considered the main factor responsible for hair growth. Aloe vera can be used to enhance hair growth in alopecia patients who suffer from massive hair loss. Healthy strong hair tends to break and fall off less, hence giving more volume to hair. (3)
Aloe vera is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and B12, all of which are known for promoting hair growth and making hair shinier and stronger. It cleanses pores in scalp skin and removes sebum and oil accumulation in hair follicles. It repairs the hair damaged by ultraviolet radiation of the sun and provides adequate nutrition to the growing hair. With regular use of aloe vera, your hair will not only become voluminous, but you also don’t have to worry about dry and brittle hair. (4)
Cleopatra’s Secret to Smooth Flawless Skin
Roman historians describe Cleopatra as a woman of surpassing beauty. The plant idealized in ancient times was a routine product in Cleopatra’s skincare regime which helped her achieve flawless smooth skin. 90-95% water, aloe vera gel helps adhere the skin cells together and locks moisture in the skin. It also contains enzymes which exfoliate the skin giving a smoother skin texture and radiant appearance. (5)
Protects From Sun Damage
Harmful UV radiation of the sun damages the DNA, and the cells ultimately die. Cell death initiate a chain of other processes which make the skin red, painful, and itchy. Sunburns are also known as first-degree-burns which damage the outer layer of skin. Aloe vera was known for treating burns in the past and can also be utilized for sunburns. The soothing and moisturizing effect of this plant calms the skin and prevents irritation. Aloin, a chemical in aloe vera which has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces pain and redness. (6)
Pimples and severe acne can arise due to several causes including bacterial infections, blocked gland ducts, etc. Antibacterial action of aloe vera eradicates bacterial infection and reduces pimples. Moreover, aloe vera contains salicylic acid, a natural exfoliant which unclogs and cleans the pores by removing any accumulated dirt, oil, and sebum. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties which helps it reduce inflammation and maintain the chemical balance of skin. (5,7)
Slows Down Aging Process
Studies have shown that aloe vera reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity. Our whole existence is determined by our genetic makeup and how we age depends on this too. Aloe vera gel increases the activity of gene responsible for signaling to production of collagen. Increased production of collagen and hyaluronic acid tightens the facial skin and fades the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Antioxidants in aloe vera protect the skin against damage caused by free radicals. (8,9)
Aloe vera lives up to its fame, treating skin, hair, digestive, and numerous other ailments. This plant and its derived products are used for over 5000 years benefiting mankind in all aspects. You can grow your own aloe vera plant and appreciate what this gem has to offer.
- The History of Aloe Vera [Internet]. Atalayabio.com. 2021 [cited 30 November 2021]. Available from: https://www.atalayabio.com/en/the-history-of-aloe-vera/#:~:text=Aloe%20vera%20appears%20in%20Chinese,inflammatory%20and%20pain%20relieving%20effects.
- Raypole, C., 2019. Aloe Vera for Dandruff: Does It Work?. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/aloe-vera-for-dandruff#benefits [Accessed 30 November 2021].
- Benefits of Aloe Vera for Your Hair [Internet]. WebMD. 2021 [cited 30 November 2021]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/benefits-of-aloe-vera-for-your-hair#1.
- Watson K. Aloe Vera for Hair: Benefits for Hair Growth [Internet]. Healthline. 2020 [cited 30 November 2021]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/aloe-vera-for-hair#benefits-for-hair.
- Brady K. Dermatologists Say Aloe Vera Gel Works Wonders on Annoying Signs of Aging [Internet]. Prevention. 2020 [cited 30 November 2021]. Available from: https://www.prevention.com/beauty/skin-care/a25995450/aloe-vera-benefits-for-skin/.
- Cafasso J. Aloe Vera for Sunburn: Does It Work, When to Use It, and How to Apply [Internet]. Healthline. 2019 [cited 30 November 2021]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/skin/aloe-vera-for-sunburn.
- Fletcher J. Aloe vera for acne: 7 ways to use aloe vera for pimples [Internet]. Medicalnewstoday.com. 2018 [cited 30 November 2021]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321273#seven-ways-to-use-aloe-vera.
- Nunez K. Aloe Vera for Wrinkles: Can It Help Get Rid of Fine Lines? [Internet]. Healthline. 2019 [cited 30 November 2021]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/aloe-vera-for-wrinkles.
- Cho S, Lee S, Lee MJ, et al. Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo. Ann Dermatol. 2009;21(1):6-11. doi:10.5021/ad.2009.21.1.6
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