Aloe vera is without a doubt nature's gift to the skincare world. You'd be hard-pressed to come across another plant or herbal formulation that has been used for millennia to treat all kinds of skin care-related problems such as abrasions, cuts, hyperpigmentation, burns, etc. But does aloe vera help with acne? That is the big question that troubles many when shopping for products to spruce up their grooming regimen. Actually, the exact question that folks ask themselves is, does aloe vera clear skin? Some go as far as drinking the juice extracted from its succulent leaves believing that its internal cleansing properties can give them a clear complexion. But as far as acne goes, we are mostly interested in its effect when used topically.
Is Aloe Vera Good for Pimples?
Here's the thing: aloe vera has been observed to be beneficial to the skin when deployed alongside traditional medications for pimples. Experts believe the basis for its potency against pimples harks back to its ability to accelerate healing of acne lesions and wounds. But exactly does aloe vera help pimples? Here is a quick primer.
Aloe Vera is a Potent Antibacterial Agent
Aloe vera is believed to possess potent antibacterial properties that can be employed against acne-causing p.acnes bacteria to either slow down their multiplication and proliferation or simply kill them off. Remember that it takes a combination of these acne-causing bacteria, sebum, grime and dirt to precipitate pimples. Remove or slow down the activity of the catalyst bacteria and the zits magically disappear and lesions start to heal. Thus, worry no more if questions like, 'Is aloe vera good for pimples?' are keeping you at night. We can confirm, indeed, that aloe vera is more than good for your pimples and complexion, in general.
Aloe Vera is a Rash Remedy
Aloe vera has been proven to contain significant traces of natural magnesium lactate. It's a naturally occurring chemical that has demonstrated to be an effective rash remedy and itch reducer, both of which accompany acne breakouts. You see, getting rid of the characteristic itching that comes with a nasty breakout is critical if at all you are to resist the urge to burst the pimples or scratch them out. In a way, this keeps you from worsening your acne situation and improves your chances of surviving the breakout without angry-looking scars forming in the aftermath.
Aloe Vera is a Reliable Natural Astringent
Even if you don't have acne or pimples (yet), you can always use aloe vera's natural astringent properties to improve the state of your complexion. And if you're prone to pimples, then aloe vera's ability to extract grime, dirt, sebum and other environmental aggressors from your skin will really go a long way in helping you stave off a breakout. What's more, its renowned astringent properties have been proven to be helpful in stopping the progression of inflamed pimples to full blown cystic lesions. If not for anything else, this alone is key to preventing the formation of those unsightly acne scars that we love to hate later on.
Aloe Vera can Unclog Blocked/Clogged Skin Pores
Aloe vera contains saponin; a polysaccharide that is responsible for the formidable acne-combating properties of aloe vera gels, soaps and tinctures. But as much as saponin (which is a naturally occurring chemical) plays a role in the elimination of acne-causing bacteria and viruses, it is its ability to unclog blocked and clogged pores that really puts it in the map. As you may already know, blackheads and whiteheads will have a hard time forming if your pores are always clear and free from debris.
Moreover, aloe vera's generous hit of salicylic acid is a natural exfoliator. In other words, it sloughs off dead skin cells to keep them from blocking your pores further reducing the chances of pimples and blackheads showing up unannounced.
Tightens Your Skin Pores
Application of aloe vera triggers a chain of events that ultimately results in the shrinking and tightening of one's skin pores. Which, as you would imagine, keeps out all manner of impurities such as grime and bacteria-laden dirt from colonising these sensitive parts of the skin's dermal profile. Besides, the fewer the bacteria or germs that can enter your skin, the better it is for your complexion overall.
Balances out the Skin's pH
One of the most understated benefits of regular aloe vera application is its pH-leveling properties. Maintenance of normal skin pH levels is critical to having a complexion that is free from papules and acne lesions. The combination of salicylic acid and saponins in aloe vera's composition is believed to be behind the gel's pH-balancing capabilities. Besides, aloe vera's can aid in the lessening of the severity of redness and inflammation that shadows periodic acne breakouts.
Aloe Vera for Acne Scars
Acne scars the bane of skin breakouts. They are almost like a stark reminder of an embarrassing, debilitating and humbling phase of our lives that we would rather forget sooner than later. Fortunately though, aloe vera appears to pack a decent dose of acne scars reducing capabilities that could really come in handy if you're looking to diminish marks associated with past or present breakouts. Speaking of which, here are some of the main pointers of aloe vera for acne scars application.
Studies Show that Aloe Vera is Key to Lessening Acne Scar Formation
They say prevention is miles better than cure, and nowhere else does this adage ring truer than in the treatment of acne scars. You'd be better served forestalling the formation of acne scar tissue than attempting to fade the marks and blemishes after they have settled in. Speaking of scarring, aloe vera lessens the probability of discolourations by;
- Improving your skin's immune response: Inflammation sits at the heart of every breakout episode. Hence, in a way, if your skin is rugged and sturdy enough to resist crumbling into inflammation, then the chances of scarring are significantly reduced. So many questions such as, 'Does aloe vera help with acne scars?' become a no-brainer.
- Boosts elastin and collagen fibre production: Collagen fibres are key to repairing damaged and scarred tissue. Application of aloe vera (or skincare products containing aloe vera) can stimulate the production of collagen compounds going by a recent study conducted by the Iranian Journal of Medical & Dermatological Sciences . Besides, increased collagen means that you're less likely to age faster than normal. Having said that, as much as aloe vera has decent anti-aging properties, it's really no match to the combination of retinol and collagen. This Collagen and Retinol Cream, for example, has been shown to shave off as many 10 years from your complexion if regularly applied. A retinol and collagen duo when applied topically is actually one of the most revered combinations of stimulating the production of natural collagen.
- Reduces the severity of inflammation by acne breakouts: There's plenty of anecdotal and observation evidence that aloe vera has demonstrated a remarkable ability to lessen acne scarring by reducing the severity of skin breakouts.
Aloe Vera Can Lighten Scars
Apparently, aloe vera can diminish the conspicuousness of acne scarring in two ways. For starters, it contains a chemical with a queer-sounding name known as anthraquinone. This naturally-forming chemical agent does an incredible job of diminishing the visibility of scar tissue by triggering the regeneration of skin cells. According to experts, this kick starts a chain of events that eventually leads to the restoration of the epidermis accompanied by a glowing and invigorated look.
Secondly, aloe vera has been determined to contain aloesin, another chemical compound associated with the lessening of acne scars hyperpigmentation. Moreover, aloesin inhibits the overproduction of the dark-coloured pigment known as melanin that makes your scars look more noticeable. The combination of these two active ingredients has earned aloe vera the nickname 'scar vanisher' due its ability to make acne marks magically disappear.
Nonetheless, as much as aloe vera for acne marks has some decent scar-reducing properties, it is hardly as effective as treatments that are specifically formulated to be unleashed against acne marks. Therefore, if you are looking specifically to lighten your scars and rejuvenate your complexion, you'd find a preparation like Papaya Kojic Acid Glutathione miles better than aloe vera.
How to Use Aloe Vera for Acne Scars
Now that we have listed the numerous aloe vera benefits for acne, the next natural step would be to list the various ways that you can use aloe vera plant for acne scars. At this juncture, it's crucial to point out from the outset that aloe vera is a form of an alternative treatment. As such, there aren't any approved guidelines about dosage or strength when it comes down to adding it to your skin care regimen. Therefore, the following suggestions should not be considered as set-in-stone instructions. You can tweak them a bit (with the guidance of your dermatologist) to suit your lifestyle.
Aloe Vera in its Purest Form
Aloe vera is an antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent all rolled into one. This makes pure aloe vera the ideal replacement for traditional cleansers and moisturizers when you're battling an acne episode or trying to prevent one from ruining your complexion. And this should work considering that the antibacterial properties of aloe vera are quite effective in getting rid of acne-causing bacteria.
Treating acne using pure aloe vera gel is as straightforward as it sounds. Apply the gel extracted from the leaves to the affected parts and leave it to stay on overnight. Be sure, however, to wash it off in the morning before proceeding with your normal skincare routine.
Lemon Juice and Aloe Vera
A combination of aloe vera and citric acid found in lemons is a formidable anti-acne remedy that has been used for generations now. Aloe vera, apparently, helps to temper the highly acidic nature of lemon juice and keeps it from irritating the inflamed skin while at the same time infusing it's highly beneficial skin healing properties.
You can use the combination in the form of a face mask by mixing aloe vera and lemon juice in a 8:1 ratio then spreading the mixture evenly on your face. It's necessary to add that you should be careful to avoid contact with the eyes and be sure to wash it off thoroughly after leaving it on for not more than 10 minutes.
Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera
Tea tree oil and aloe vera is a known combination that can be utilized to treat moderate to mild acne. In fact, tea tree oil makes for a great cleanser when it is combined with aloe vera as the plant's neutralizing properties aids in modulating its otherwise abrasive nature. Ensure, nevertheless, to wash off the solution after a few minutes, especially if you are sensitive to tea tree oil.
Aloe Vera, Cinnamon, Honey
Cooking up a face mask of honey, cinnamon and aloe vera is yet another way you can use to soothe an inflamed acne-hit face. Honey and cinnamon have almost identical anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that come in really handy when you're trying to accelerate the healing of acne scars.
Sugar, Coconut oil and Aloe Vera Scrub
You can make your own chemical-free scrub using a combination of sugar, coconut oil and aloe vera in equal parts. While the sugar grains slough off the skin to exfoliate the dead cells, the lauric acid from coconut is working overtime to inhibit the activity of acne-causing bacteria. Aloe vera, on the other hand, works to rejuvenate, restore and refresh the epidermis. Having said that, avoid exfoliating too many times a week. It's also important to consult your dermatologist before using a scrub on an ongoing acne episode.
How Long Does it Take for Aloe Vera to Work?
One of the biggest concerns that arises when discussing aloe vera's action on acne scars is usually, does aloe vera help acne scars and how long will it take for me to see a visible improvement in the symptoms? Well, it's important to bear in mind that the topical application of aloe vera against acne marks is an alternative medicine. As such, the absence of a set/recommended dosage makes it extremely hard to give a definite time frame of exactly how long it takes to work. The same aloe vera formulation that takes two weeks to clear pimples in one person could take just a few days in the next.
Having said that, as much as the results and expected timeline of events are highly subjective, it should not take ages before you see a notable improvement of your complexion.
There's no shortage of evidence that aloe vera is effective against acne and can even be used alongside regular pimple medications. In fact, a combination of traditional retinol creams with aloe vera can help clear mild to moderate breakouts. That aside, ensure you get a go-ahead from your physician or dermatologist before starting to use aloe vera on your inflamed acne lesions.