Benefits of Aloe Vera for Skin

The plant world is a rich source of natural beneficial ingredients that can be used in both quality skincare preparations and in modern medicine - indeed most modern medicines have their origin in plant materials.

Aloe leaf on skin

Aloe Vera is one of the most interesting of these beneficial plants and has one of the longest histories of use by man.

There are over 300 species of Aloe but only a specific few are used for their known benefits to skin. The best Aloe skincare products contain the most potent form of Aloe - Aloe Vera (Barbadensis Millar).

Aloe Vera Benefits for Skin

As well as medicinal benefits, Aloe Vera provides a number of benefits for the skin. The natural ingredients are gentle and beneficial for those with very dry and sensitive skin.

Some of the skin benefits of Aloe Vera include:

  • Hydrates and moisturises the skin
  • Soothes sore, inflamed or damaged skin
  • Softens skin
  • Promotes skin renewal

Known by many names around the world, including Medicine Plant, Burn Plant, Plant of Life and the Potted Physician, the extraordinary benefits of Aloe Vera were well known to our ancestors and have been harnessed for use in skin care and medicinal use by many cultures.

The juice from the inner gel of Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Millar) is one of the most fascinating of all the botanical plant extracts. Modern science has only recently started to unlock the secrets of this wondrous plant and although not all of them are yet known, the ability of Aloe Vera to maintain healthy skin and preserve its beauty has been harnessed by humans for thousands of years.

 

The chart below lists the important constituent ingredients of the inner leaf gel and the reported Aloe Vera benefits for skin. (This list has been compiled from the reference sources listed at the bottom of the page).




Provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids & 7 of the 8 essential ones.

Provides the basic building blocks of proteins in the production of muscle tissue etc.

The 8 essential amino acids are those the human body cannot manufacture.

 

Provides 12 anthraquinones: Aloe emodin, Aloetic Acid, Aloin, Anthracine, Antranol, Barbaloin, Chrysophanic Acid, Emodin, Ethereal Oil, Ester of Cinnamonic Acid, Isobarbaloin, Resistannol.

In relatively small concentrations together with the Gel fraction, they provide Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antifungal & Antiviral activity. In high concentration on their own they can be toxic.

Traditionally known as laxatives.The antraquinones are found in the sap. The anthraquinone derivatives (anthrones & chromones) comprise the phenolic fraction of the sap. The primary sap component is Aloin/Barbaloin anthrone derivative.

 

Provides 8 enzymes: Aliiase, Alkaline Phosphatase, Amylase, Carboxypeptidase, Catalase, Cellulase, Lipase, Peroxidase.

Helps breakdown of food sugars and fats aiding digestion & enhancing nutrient absorbtion.

 

Auxins & Gibberellins

Wound Healing & Anti-inflammatory.

 

Cellulose based substance.

Thought to provide penetrating power in Aloe vera skin preparations and may act as a carrier for other components.

 

Provides 9 minerals: Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc.

Essential for good health and is known to work in certain combination with each other, vitamins and other trace elements.

 

Aspirin like compound.

Analgesic

 

Glycosides

Soapy substance both cleansing and antiseptic.

 

Provides 4 main plant steroids: Cholesterol, Campesterol, Lupeol, ss Sitosterol.

Anti-inflammatory agents. Lupeol also possesses antiseptic and analgesic properties.

 

Monosaccharides: glucose & fructose.

Polysaccarides: gluco-mannans / polymannose.

Anti-inflammatory action.

Anti-viral, immune modulating activity of Acemannan.

The long chain gluco-mannans are absorbed intact by the pinocytotic process of certain cells lining the digestive tract.

 

A, C, E, B, Choline, B12, Folic Acid.

Antioxidant(A,C,E): neutralises free radicals.

B's & Choline involved in amino acid metabolism, B12 required for production of red blood cells, Folic Acid in the development of blood cells.

 

 

References:

The Essential Aloe Vera, The Actions And The Evidence, by Dr Peter Atherton, 2nd Edition, 1997

The Health and Medical Use of Aloe Vera by Lawrence G Plaskett, PhD, FRSC, 1998 {ISBN:0-943685-21-4}

Aloe Vera: A Scientific Approach by Robert H Davis, PhD, 1997 {ISBN:0-533-12137-X}

The Silent Healer A Modern Study of Aloe Vera, by Bill C Coates, R.Ph., C.C.N. with Robert Ahola, 3rd Edition, 1996

Aloe Vera: Nature's Soothing Healer by Diane Gage, 1996 {ISBN:0-89281-627-9}