We all probably know Aloe Vera, especially its leaf extract. Some of us might have even used the tacky green substance for cooling sunburnt skin or to heal skin inflammation.
For centuries it’s been used for its health, beauty and skin care benefits. This a succulent plant has bright yellow tubular flowers and thick green leaves with spikey edges. It has adapted well to dry desert conditions by storing water in its leaves as a gel-like sap.
Aloe contains 75 – yes 75! active phytochemicals that help the plant survive in harsh conditions and many of them are beneficial for our skin. When applied to the skin:
- it helps to reduce excessive inflammation
- protects the skin from the damage of free radicals such as pollution and UV exposure as it can block up to 30% of the UV rays thanks to vitamins C and E
So far so good.
- Vitamin C is also very important in synthesis of collagen, to make your skin firmer and smoother
- it is also a source of beta-carotene - precursor to vitamin A, which is another powerful antioxidant
- last but not least, aloe contains certain sugar molecules (with a difficult name of glycosaminoglycans), that play active role in binding moisture to support collagen and elastin in the skin.