Don't Underestimate Aloe - It's Way More Than You Think


We’re used to seeing aloe as a skincare ingredient. Aloe seems to pop up in everything – from skincare to dish soap and even paper products. We may tend to take its abilities for granted – but don’t underestimate the humble aloe plant! When used properly (and using a quality product) in skincare, aloe is a powerhouse ingredient that can greatly benefit the skin.


Aloe has been used as medicine for centuries by people all over the world, as far back as 2100 BCE. Historical documents show aloe used for treatment of burns, wounds, infections and to moisturize. The Greek philosopher Aristotle called it “the potted physician”.


Recent research studies have shown aloe’s clinical effectiveness treating many conditions, including mild skin abrasions, frostbite, psoriasis, burns, periodontal disease, peptic ulcers, herpes, and asthma. According to Dr. Ahmed Abdullah, (MD, FACS, FICS), author of Simple Skincare, Beautiful Skin: A Back-to-Basics Approach, who has led several research studies that demonstrated aloe’s abilities in wound healing, “It is one of the few natural substances scientifically proven to heal the body.”

Aloe’s healing strength is found in its greenish-yellow gel. If you’ve ever “grown your own”, you know that you can break off a stalk, the gel oozes out, and you rub it on the irritated area. There are more than two hundred active components in aloe including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and fatty acids.


So how does that translate to skincare?


Aloe penetrates tissue. Unlike water, aloe is absorbed by the skin and can penetrate deep into the skin layers. This is due to the presence of lignin which allows the active components of the plant to be delivered to area of healing. It also helps delivery of other active ingredients in a skincare formulation which is aloe-based.


Aloe is an anesthetic. With its high magnesium content, aloe is used to alleviate burn and wound pain. This is the component we commonly associate with aloe – and use for treatment of sunburn.

Aloe is antibacterial and antimicrobial. This makes it very beneficial in treating conditions like blemish prone skin which is aggravated by p.acnes bacteria.


Aloe is an anti-inflammatory. Aloe contains beta hydroxy acid, sterols, and enzymes which makes it an excellent healer for all skin conditions that stem from inflammation (like acne and signs of aging).


Aloe is wound healing. Research shows components in aloe can help regenerate cells, including gibberellin, a substance that increases protein synthesis, and lectin, a protein that increases collagen activity. This helps improve the health and structure of the skin.