As a little girl, I enjoyed discovering the plants on my grandma’s windowsills. Budding flowers, garden vegetable seedlings, leaf cuttings, and wildly long green vines all soaked in the afternoon sun. The most intriguing of all was the overgrown aloe vera plant—whose long pointy-tipped stalks were my grandma’s go-to for several home remedies.
Lately I’ve wanted to learn more about aloe uses, so I turned to healthcare professionals to get the inside scoop. Dr. Scott Schreiber, a chiropractic physician, certified nutrition specialist, and licensed dietitian and nutritionist, was more than happy to share some interesting facts about topical aloe uses that can get overlooked:
Sunburns and Skin Irritations
Topically, aloe can be applied to burns, skin abrasions, and sun damage to soothe your skin. Aloe also reduces inflammation and cleanses your skin, since it’s a natural antiseptic. And similarly, you can ease discomfort from frostbite with aloe. You can use pure aloe from the plant or a bottle product from the pharmacy.
Aside from soothing your burnt skin, aloe vera provides you with vitamins and minerals not found in every lotion. “Aloe vera is full of over seventy-five active compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. These are vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, potassium, and copper,” says Dr. Schreiber.
Of course, some natural products companies have long included aloe leaf juice in their topical formulations. For Tom’s of Maine, the ingredient is used for its moisturizing effect and soothing feel.
Treat Acne and Keep Your Skin Glowing
Instead of purchasing endless cosmetic products for that coveted, dewy look, you can use aloe vera gel or extract to get the glowing skin you desire. According to Lifehack, it has minerals your skin needs to look healthy and fresh, including zinc and iron. When looking for beauty products, lotions, and cleansers, try products with aloe vera for an extra boost.
You can also use aloe topically to fight acne and decrease the appearance of pimples and acne scars. This can include applying aloe directly to your blemishes and using to it to reduce redness and inflammation. If you have a specific skin problem you want to address, you can make an aloe vera mask to combat it. Check out one of Home Remedy Hacks‘ many recipes. Of course, if you are trying to add aloe benefits to your skin care routine for the first time you may want to check in with your dermatologist for advice.
Ease Discomfort from Cancer Treatment
Besides just helping you look radiant, aloe vera can soothe some painful and annoying side effects of chemotherapy and radiation during cancer treatment. If you’re going through treatment yourself or find yourself in the caregiver role, you may be able to use aloe topically to ease the rashes and dry skin that comes with chemotherapy and surgery. It’s not a complete fix to the discomfort of cancer treatment by any means, but you may be able to experience some relief. Talk to your treatment team before adding anything to your regimen, and make sure to avoid using it if you have an aloe allergy.
Do you use aloe vera for any beauty or skin purposes? Share how on Twitter.
Image source: Flickr
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.