You don’t have to be a skincare expert to know that aloe vera is good for your skin. You may not understand exactly why, but you’re probably familiar with the use of aloe vera gel to soothe sunburn and moisturize dry skin. What you may not know is that the benefits of aloe vera don’t stop there.
Read on to learn more about what aloe vera is and what it can do for your skin. You’ll also receive some helpful tips for including this hydrating ingredient in your skincare regimen and learn which popular Yon-Ka Paris products contain aloe vera.
What is Aloe Vera?
There are over three hundred species of aloe, but Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) is the most well-known. A type of stemless succulent, aloe vera grows naturally in dry, tropical areas like Asia, Africa, and Europe as well as the southern and western parts of the U.S.
The aloe vera plant typically produces thick, pointed, fleshy green leaves that grow 12 to 19 inches long. The outside of these leaves is smooth on the surface with spiked borders and inside you’ll find a slimy gel-like tissue that stores water. In the summer, the plant produces yellow pendulous flowers on long spikes that grow up to 35 inches tall.
Centuries ago, people realized the benefits of the juice and gel found inside the aloe plant and started using it as a natural remedy to treat everything from digestive issues to skin problems. In ancient Egypt, aloe vera was known as a plant of immortality and was given to pharaohs as a funeral gift. Aloe vera came to be used in herbal remedies in Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and Native American cultures as well.
Though you may only think of aloe vera as an ingredient in sunburn remedies, this plant is used extensively in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food industries. In fact, aloe vera has a global estimated annual market value of $13 billion.
The Benefits of Aloe Vera for Skin
There are two parts of the aloe plant that are medicinally useful – the gel and the latex. The gel is easily extracted from the leaves and contains most of the beneficial bioactive components including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. The aloe latex is the yellow pulp found just under the leaf’s outer surface – it is most commonly used for its laxative properties.
When it comes to health benefits, aloe vera has been shown to provide digestive benefits including heartburn relief and relief of constipation. Ingesting aloe vera juice has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in type II diabetics and may enhance insulin sensitivity. Most of the benefits associated with aloe vera, however, are skin-related.
In terms of skin benefits, aloe vera is known for keeping the skin hydrated and for providing soothing and cooling benefits. Aloe vera is rich in several antioxidants including vitamins A, C, and E – it also contains seven of the eight essential amino acids. This powerful plant has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and, when applied to skin, acts as a natural exfoliant and may even help boost collagen production.
Here are some of the additional skin-related benefits of aloe vera:
- It helps reduce irritation and may help with mild to moderate acne.
- It can help fade acne scars and dark spots by stimulating collagen production in the skin.
- Its cooling and soothing properties may help relieve sunburn pain and speed healing.
- It contains natural hydrating properties which moisturize dry skin.
- The natural antiviral benefits may help with the treatment of cold sores.
- The soothing and moisturizing effects may help relieve symptoms of psoriasis and eczema.
- It reduces inflammation and helps with the production of new skin cells to reduce puffiness.
- The salicylic acid content acts as a natural exfoliant to remove bad bacteria and dead skin cells.
- It may help increase the elasticity of skin over time, helping slow the visible signs of aging.
- It is completely natural and gentle for people with sensitive skin and allergies.
The good news about aloe vera is that it’s easy to come by. You can grow the plant yourself and use the leaves directly by breaking them apart to extract the gel. In many cases, however, it’s easier to purchase over-the-counter aloe vera gel and skincare products that include aloe vera as an ingredient.
Tips for Using Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is safe and gentle on all skin types which makes it an excellent ingredient to incorporate in your skincare routine. Due to its cooling and hydrating properties, it is a particularly beneficial addition to summer skincare – especially after-sun care.
Here are some simple tips for including aloe vera in your skincare routine:
- Always test new skincare ingredients before proceeding with a full application – wait 24 hours for signs of a negative reaction.
- Look for a daily moisturizer or after-sun lotion that includes aloe vera for its hydrating and moisturizing benefits.
- Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel directly to minor burns up to three times daily to relieve pain and soothe inflammation.
- When using fresh aloe vera gel, leave it on for no more than 10 minutes at a time to avoid clogging pores – you can gradually work your way up to longer applications.
To make your own aloe vera gel at home, all you need to do is keep a small aloe vera plant. These plants do best with slightly sandy soil, and they require plenty of drainage and proper lighting. To use fresh aloe vera, simply cut open a leaf with a clean knife and separate the gel from the stalk. Store fresh gel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and use as needed.
Try These Yon-Ka Products with Aloe Vera
At Yon-Ka Paris, we have a history of producing luxurious skincare regimens using the best ingredients nature has to offer. Our products are French-made, featuring our proprietary essential oil complex, Quintessence, and other plant cell active ingredients. Each and every one of our products is backed by research and expertise in phyto-aromatic therapy, designed to deliver a tailored skincare experience.
Here are some of Yon-Ka’s most popular products featuring aloe vera:
- Hydra No. 1 Serum – This long-lasting hydration serum is the key to comforting dry, dehydrated skin. Enriched with a double dose of hyaluronic acid and infused with aloe vera, its creamy gel is ultra-refreshing and quick absorbing. Apply morning and evening as a remedy for dry skin. Follow with Hydra No. 1 Crème or Fluide.
- Hydra No. 1 Crème – This reparative hydration cream moisturizer reinforces your skin’s natural moisture barrier, infusing the skin with age-fighting and restoring ingredients to prevent the visible signs of aging. Enriched with vitamins and formulated for sensitive skin, this cream delivers renewed health and radiance to even the driest
- Hydra No. 1 Fluide – Enriched with hyaluronic acid and hydrating aloe vera, this quick-absorbing fluid moisturizer offers superior age-prevention benefits. With its light texture, this fluid is ideal for normal to oily skin types, designed to hydrate the skin to its deepest layers.
- Hydra No. 1 Masque – Give your skin the gift of intense hydration with this anti-aging, repairing skin mask. Infused with aloe vera and a collection of essential oils, this creamy gel delivers long-lasting hydration while soothing damaged skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines.
- Alpha-Peel – Enjoy complete rejuvenation with this anti-wrinkle renewing night concentrate. This exfoliating gel moisturizes the skin while renewing its outer layers thanks to an intensive blend of alpha hydroxy acids and a boost of aloe vera.
- Men’s Barber Shave – Experience a clean, smooth shave with this luxurious shaving cream enriched with aloe vera, sweet almond oil and Yon-Ka Quintessence. Designed to prevent skin irritation and razor burn, this cream softens hair to deliver a close, comfortable shave.
- Phyto-Contour – Bring back the light in your eyes with this anti-fatigue contour cream. This 4-in-1 cream combats puffiness and dark circles while toning and plumping the skin, smoothing away the visible signs of fatigue. Plus, the minty-fresh aroma of rosemary gives you a burst of energy.
- Phyto 52 – Restore skin firmness and invigorate your complexion with this anti-aging cream. Formulated with a refined blend of rosemary, hazelnut oil, and aloe vera, this firming cream oxygenates the skin while delivering phyto-aromatic benefits to the whole body.
- Phyto 152 – Enjoy a burst of refreshing energy and revitalization with this firming, vivifying body cream. Made with the power of rosemary, the restructuring benefits of beech bud peptides, and the hydration of aloe vera, this body cream helps your skin maintain its firm tone and shape.