Find out why this multipurpose skin soother deserves a place in your skin care routine.
What is Aloe Vera?
You’ve likely seen aloe growing indoors as a spiky, cactus-like house plant—these succulents are easy to grow and are low-maintenance, even for those of us without a green thumb.
Aloe vera is just one of around 500 varieties of aloe plants growing in the wild in hot, dry climates all over the world. Sometimes referred to as the “burn plant,” “lily of the desert” or the “wonder plant,” aloe vera likely originated in Sudan.
Aloe has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries in countries like Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan and China. Egyptian queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra even factored it into their beauty routines!
What are the Benefits of Aloe Vera for Skin?
People who keep aloe as a houseplant often keep it in the kitchen for easy access after an unexpected run-in with a hot pot or pan. That’s because aloe—or, more specifically, the watery gel inside its leaves—has been clinically shown to reduce the pain and speed the healing of burns.
Aloe contains antioxidants, which are known to fight free radicals. Aloe is a well-known sunburn soother, thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits—this is likely why it’s also been shown to improve acne when applied to affected skin.
If you have sensitive skin, incorporating aloe into your skin care routine can help with inflammation, redness and swelling—even applying a piece of cut aloe leaf directly to a sensitive spot can be soothing.
Aloe Vera in Skin Care
There are plenty of ways to work aloe into your skin care regimen, even if you don’t keep an aloe plant nearby. Aloe is very hydrating, and when paired with other skin-soothing ingredients it can bring relief to stressed skin.
Aloe vera contains 75 active compounds, including vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars and fatty acids, which can deliver big benefits to your skin: