Aloe vera has been used in skincare for centuries, loved for its nourishing and healing properties, not to mention as an all-out superstar for soothing sunburns. But aloe vera's skin benefits don’t end there. Discover everything there is to know about this skin superfood, and how adding aloe vera to your skincare could be a real game-changer.
Aloe vera is derived from the aloe plant—a succulent which typically thrives in dry conditions, including India, Africa, South America, Mexico, and parts of North America. It gets its scientific name, Aloe Barbadensis, from Barbados where it was grown and harvested for its yellow sap. It’s also known as the “plant of immortality” because it can live and bloom without soil. Aloe vera is just one out of 400 species of aloe plant.
The leaf of the aloe vera plant is made up of 99% water—as it stores up moisture reserves in order to live in such arid environments. The rest of the plant is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and polysaccharides. A potent anti-inflammatory, it settles sensitivities and reactive moments, cooling and calming skin, while boosting hydration.
Not only highly effective in skincare and makeup products, aloe vera can also be eaten too for its multitude of health properties. It can be taken as a gel or as a juice, offering soothing, anti-inflammatory properties for the gut and helping improve digestion.
Aloe vera is a soothing anti-inflammatory which helps to heal and hydrate inflamed skin. It exhibits the ability to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis and aid in the removal of dead skin cells. That’s why it’s often used to treat cuts, grazes, burns, and insect bites, offering instant relief.
While the jury is out on whether or not aloe vera heals burns faster, it does address the inflammation in sunburned skin, providing much needed hydration, and repairing damage to epidermal cells, with cooling, calming effects.
As the leaf of the aloe plant is so rich in nutrient-filled water, it helps to boost skin’s hydration and lock in moisture. It also contains natural sugars or polysaccharides, to help retain that moisture and prevent transdermal water loss. This is why aloe vera is so good for dry skin types and sensitive skin too. Try using aloe vera in a serum such as Phyto-Calm Aloe Drops, and then follow with an aloe-enriched moisturizer like Phyto-Calm Aloe Hydrator to seal that hydration in.
Hydrated skin is healthy skin and helps it function at optimal levels. High levels of moisture and a strong moisture barrier helps reduce signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity or sagging. Aloe vera also helps to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin within the skin, boosting suppleness, plumpness, and firmness. It also aids in the removal of dead skin cells too, for a more even complexion.
As well as anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera is considered to have antimicrobial properties which can help with breakouts. These antibacterial benefits can help reduce acne-causing bacteria, while also soothing any redness and inflammation. If your skin isn’t too sensitive, try combining aloe vera with other more potent acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid.
While not traditionally associated with skin brightening, aloe vera can help fade dark spots and other hyperpigmentation issues over time. It contains a compound called aloesin which can be effective in preventing hyperpigmented skin from producing more melanin. For hyperpigmentation, try combining it with more robust brighteners like alpha arbutin.
Whether you’re looking for a full aloe vera skincare ritual or just want to try a few products, here are our top aloe vera recommendations.
Phyto-Active Enzyme Cream Cleanser: A gentle, refining and repairing creamy cleanser, it’s powered by plant stem cells, aloe vera, and peptides, for a firming and smoothing start to your skincare ritual.
Phyto-Calm Aloe Drops: This ultra soothing serum restores calm, strengthens skin, and promotes a more even complexion.
Phyto-Active Eye Cream or Serum: Depending on which strength of eye cream or serum you prefer, both eye treatments are enriched with the cooling, hydrating, and firming properties of aloe vera. Use twice daily to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles.
Phyto-Calm Aloe Hydrator: The key ingredient in this moisturizer is, you guessed it, aloe vera. Designed for sensitive skin, this moisturizer will soothe, hydrate, balance the complexion, reduce redness, and create a shield on the skin against environmental damage.
Gentle Eye Makeup Remover: This gentle and effective eye makeup remover is clinically tested to be non-irritating for the eyes. Infused with aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and lavender, it cuts through makeup and other debris to leave the skin soothed and hydrated.