Aloe Vera, aka lily of the desert, is a succulent plant known to the mankind since the 4th century B.C. It is considered to be a native plant of the Arabian Peninsula but is also found in Asia, Mediterranean regions, and in North America [1,2]. The word aloe is derived from Arabic word “alloeh” meaning “shining bitter substance” which refers to leaf parenchyma (gel). The word “vera” in Latin means “true”.
Indeed, aloe vera is a true natural healer which has traditionally been used for treating burns, wounds and even fever . At present, aloe vera is used not only for reliving the symptoms of dermatological disorders but also for healing from daily wear and tear of skin. Although the use of aloe vera in cosmetics and other products is increasing, some wonder why. The reasons to include aloe vera in skin care routine are not widely discussed. Here we share three scientific reasons to include aloe vera in skin care routine:
Anti-tumor activity: Aloe vera is known for its anti-tumor or anti-cancer properties. Aloe vera has been used for treating liver cancer-related symptoms in Peru . In animal studies done on rat models, aloe extract has shown to prevent the formation of potentially cancer-initiating chemicals . In humans, aloe vera has been used in tissue engineering applications to develop treatments for breast cancer and lung cancer .
Various studies have also observed that the use of aloe vera is beneficial in during cancer treatments. When individuals who suffered from radiation proctitis used aloe ointments, their symptoms were significantly reduced within four weeks . Similar positive results were observed in individuals who received curative radiotherapy or had peri-stomal skin complications [5,6]
Healing properties: Healing properties of aloe make it a popular choice in the treatment of wounds, burns caused by radiation or sun exposure, and ulcers. Aloe contains gibberellin, a growth hormone that stimulates fibroblasts, cells that produce collagen. Hence, aloe gel significantly increases collagen synthesis after application on skin. Furthermore, the composition of collagen is also changed to collagen type III, which plays a crucial role in the development of the skin and blood vessels. Due to these properties, the process of skin healing is enhanced .
Moisturizing and anti-aging effects: Aloe helps in improving skin integrity and softness. Aloe contains mucopolysaccharides molecules. These molecules trap moisture within the skin, stimulate fibroblasts to produce more collagen and thereby make skin more elastic. The trapped moisture also helps in binding superficial epidermal cells of the skin to reduce skin flaking. It decreases appearance of fine wrinkles and thus has anti-aging effects on the skin .
These natural healing properties have compelled chemists to develop aloe vera skin care products. Several clinical trials have proven the effectiveness of aloe vera in dermatological disorders and many doctors recommend aloe vera products to their patients. Discuss with your doctor or your beauty specialist which aloe vera skin care products need to be included in your daily routine.
You may also find our Aloe vera for hair-care blog useful. Get connected with us to find out more about medicinal herbs and products.