- Aloe vera can help with conditions like dry skin and eczema because it is a powerful moisturizer.
- It also has the ability to help with skin discolorations from scarring or hyperpigmentation.
- Aloe can also help acne by calming inflammation, clearing out pores, and moisturizing skin.
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Aloe vera is a succulent plant whose gel-like insides have long been used as a remedy to soothe irritated skin.
It’s typically most famous for soothing sunburn, but aloe vera offers many other skin benefits including fighting dandruff, treating eczema, and combating aging.
Here are nine benefits aloe vera can have for your skin.
1. It’s a great moisturizer
Aloe works well as a moisturizer because pure aloe gel contains about 99% water, so it provides plenty of moisture for dry skin.
It also “helps prevent transepidermal water loss, which is when you lose moisture through your skin, making it more likely to become irritated, itchy, and dry,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a board certified cosmetic dermatologist at the Shafer Clinic, NYC.
Plus, once absorbed, it seals in moisture, which makes it a powerful ingredient in moisturizers for both dry and oily skin types, Engelman says.
2. It can help soothe eczema
“Aloe is a great ingredient for people who have dry skin or conditions like eczema,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Eczema is a common skin condition in which itchy, uncomfortable dry patches form on the skin, sometimes causing cracks and small wounds.
Aloe can help eczema by:
- Reducing inflammation: Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm irritation caused by eczema.
- Soothing the skin: “Aloe has also been proven to help soothe and heal patches of broken, wounded skin,” Engelman says.
- Preventing infection: It also has antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infections that sometimes arise in cracked skin, Engelman says.
Most of the research showing that aloe vera works well for eczema has been in animals. But a small 2020 trial found that eczema patients who used a combination of aloe and olive oil cream for 6 weeks had better results than those who used a standard steroid cream treatment.
3. It can help heal sunburn
It contains compounds called anthraquinones that can help reduce redness and swelling.
4. It can help fight hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation occurs when certain areas of your skin overproduce the pigment melanin, creating dark spots. This can be caused by sun damage or other skin injuries.
“Aloe contains a compound called aloesin which diminishes the overproduction of melanin” and can help even out your skin tone, Engelman says.
5. It can help fade scars
Aloe can help smooth out the texture of scars by boosting the production of collagen, a protein that helps with wound healing, says Engelman.
Aloe can also make scars less visible by reducing the excess melanin that makes them stand out from the rest of your skin, Engelman says.
6. It can help calm scalp itching
Dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of yeast on your scalp, which causes dry and flaky skin.
Aloe vera can help moisturize your scalp and soothe the itchiness that often comes with dandruff.
Aloe may also help to reduce the amount of dandruff-causing yeast on your scalp because it has antifungal properties.
7. It can help acne
Aloe can help acne in a number of ways:
- It can help calm areas of inflamed skin and bring down redness and swelling. “Aloe is useful in acne prone skin for its soothing benefits,” Zeichner says.
- “Aloe vera also contains salicylic acid,” Engelman says, which helps clear out pores and is often used to treat acne.
- The plant is also great for moisturizing skin. “Keeping skin hydrated is crucial for helping acne heal faster and preventing scarring,” says Engelman.
8. It can help heal cold sores
This is because aloe can help bring down inflammation, relieve pain, and boost your skin’s production of new cells, which then replace infected cells.
9. It can help improve fine lines and wrinkles
“Aloe vera works to prevent skin aging through molecules called sterols,” Engelman says. These molecules promote the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen, which can both reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in your skin.
Aloe may also help your skin tolerate other anti-aging products that can cause redness and peeling. “It can be used alongside your traditional anti-aging ingredients like retinol or hydroxy acid to help minimize potential irritation,” Zeichner says.
Aloe vera has powerful moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties that work together to treat various skin conditions, including acne, scarring, and cold sores.
Aloe can be a great at-home remedy, “however, if a skin condition is very serious or persistent, contact your doctor to come up with a treatment plan,” Engelman says.