How to use aloe vera for skin and hair: Know from a Dermatologist

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 19/09/18

"Doctor, can I use aloe vera on face daily? Does it helps in skin whitening?"

Yes, you can use aloe vera on your face twice daily in morning and night for skin whitening, degreasing oily skin, curing pimples, moisturising the dry skin, reducing wrinkles, soothing the irritated skin, calming sunburn etc. However, make sure that you either extract pure aloe vera at home or buy brands (listed at the end of article) that are free of harmful chemicals. Read further to know how to use aloe vera either alone or in combination with other natural ingredients for best possible benefits!

 


How to make aloe vera at home?

You can extract pure aloe vera gel at home, but, remember to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator immediately to avoid oxidation. The method of extracting aloe vera is as follows:

  • Aloe vera gel gets spoiled on exposure to air and sunlight, therefore, the whole process of extraction should be performed quickly.
  • Cut one or two mature leaves from Aloe vera plant and clean it thoroughly. 
  • Split the aloe leaf into two halves with the knife and scoop out the clear, translucent, inner gel from the split leaf. 
  • It is very important to wash the yellow residue(rich in anthraquinones) that oozes out of the transparent aloe vera gel to reduce chances of skin reaction.
  • Remember to store this freshly extracted aloe vera gel in an air-tight glass container in the refrigerator, that too immediately.
  • The advantage of homemade aloe vera is that it is 100% pure, and disadvantage is that you have to store it in the refrigerator. If you are disciplined enough to fetch and apply cold aloe vera gel from refrigerator twice a day, then stick to this one.

Alternatively, you can buy one of these chemical free pure organic aloe vera gels available in India, US, UK and Canada. I want to bring to your notice that many popular brands of aloe vera gel (especially in India) have harmful preservatives, colours and additives.

 

How to use aloe vera for face daily?

Aloe vera is one of the most powerful skin repairing herbs, It is rich in minerals (zinc, magnesium, and selenium), enzymes (catalase and superoxide dismutase), amino acids (cysteine, anthraquinones) and vitamins (B2, B6, E and C). No wonders this single natural product has a composition as rich as an anti-wrinkle cream. Therefore, you can massage aloe vera gel extracted at home or from market on your face twice a day for repairing, lightening and soothing your skin.

However, it is not a good moisturiser and you might need an extra layer of moisturising cream if you have dry skin type. You can also combine it with other natural ingredients to make home remedies listed below to address specific skin concerns.

 

1. Aloe vera for skin whitening

Aloe vera helps in reducing dark patches by aggregation of skin pigment called melanin according to this study. Aloesin, a compound isolated from the Aloe vera, has been proven to competitively inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme involved in the formation of skin pigment, according to this study.

You can either apply aloe vera gel containing skin lightening cream on your skin at night or try one of these face pack, customised for your skin type:

 

2. Aloe vera for oily skin

Aloe vera can be used as an excellent moisturiser for oily skin because it can reduce acne and yet not clog your pores. You can apply aloe vera jelly on your face overnight alone or make this aloe vera and tea tree oil anti-acne moisturiser. In addition, you can scrub the dead skin cells clogging your pores with the help of this homemade aloe vera and brown sugar scrub for oily skin.

 

3. Aloe vera for pimples

Aloe vera gel heals red pimples by reducing inflammation and fighting against bacteria. You can combine aloe vera with tea tree oil to make this homemade anti-acne moisturiser. It takes less than a minute to make as shown in this video.

 

4. Aloe vera for ageing skin:

Aloe vera showed improvement of the viscoelastic and hydration properties of the skin in one of the study. Another study quoted that aloe vera stimulates fibroblast which produces the collagen and elastin fibers making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled.

Thus, aloe vera protects and repairs the damage caused by the sun, dust, pollution, harsh chemicals, etc. and retards wrinkle formation. Similar to aloe vera, my research revealed that these best Vitamin C serum in India, US and UK might be effective in reducing signs of ageing in 3 months duration.

 

5. Aloe vera for sensitive skin

Aloe vera has a steroid-like calming action on the red and irritated skin. However, there are few reports of sensitivity reaction with aloe vera as well.

Therefore, to minimise the chances of reaction, you should remove the yellow liquid that oozes out during extraction of aloe vera at home. I highly recommend you to make this soothing cream for sensitive skin by combining the 3 most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients, namely; aloe vera, rose water, and calendula.

 

6. Aloe vera for sunburn:

Application of aloe vera not only helps in reducing pain and redness but also helps in healing of the sunburnt skin. No wonders aloe vera is part of these top sunburn relief creams. You can also make your own aloe vera soothing cream for relieving and preventing sunburn.

 

7. Aloe vera for hair growth: 

The natural ingredients in aloe vera help in nourishing hair roots and reducing hair fall. Aloe vera jelly can be massaged to scalp around 1 hour before washing your hair.

 

8. Aloe vera for dandruff: 

Aloe vera helps in reducing dandruff owing to its anti-septic action. Add 5-10 drops of lemon to 3 tablespoon aloe vera jelly and massage the mixture into scalp around 1 hour before hair wash. You can also try these effective anti-dandruff products.

 

10. Aloe vera for other skin concerns

  • Cuts and boils: Aloe vera aids healing and prevent infection when applied to minor cuts and boils because of anti-bacterial and antiseptic action. You can use this aloe vera neem basil gel as a natural antiseptic.
  • Skin cancer: Anti-tumour activity of aloe vera is attributed to skin repairing and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera.
  • Minor burns: This use of aloe vera in burns is supported by this study that shows aloe vera leads to much rapid skin epithelisation and accelerated healing as compared to commonly used antiseptic cream silver sulphadiazine.
  • Lichen planus: Lichen planus is a common skin disorder characterised by an itchy purple coloured rash. It has shown regression with an application of aloe vera.
  • Psoriasis: Both application and intake of aloe vera reduce psoriasis lesions because of anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory action. One study concluded that aloe vera cream may be more effective than 0.1% steroid cream in reducing the clinical symptoms of psoriasis.
  • Scabies: Aloe vera gel might be as effective as benzyl benzoate in the treatment of scabies.

 

Will drinking aloe vera help my skin as well?

Yes, of course. In fact, one study has shown improvement in the wrinkles with intake of aloe vera daily for three months.  You should start with two tablespoons of Aloe vera gel mixed with lemonade or any juice and increase to 4 tablespoons maximum.  It is not advisable to consume undiluted aloe vera.

 

What are side effects of using Aloe vera?

The Cosmetic ingredient review expert panel labels aloe vera preparations as safe. However, several case reports of the development of hypersensitivity reactions and contact dermatitis in response to aloe vera preparations have been published. Oral intake of aloe vera might cause diarrhoea especially at higher doses and may lower blood glucose levels. Rare cases of kidney damage with chronic intake of aloe vera have been reported. The above-mentioned side effects are more common if the yellow liquid (rich in anthraquinone) is not removed during extraction.

 

In the end, I hope you have understood how to use aloe vera for your skin and hair, make sure that you either extract aloe vera gel at home or buy these chemical free aloe vera gel available in India, US, UK and Canada.


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