10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ALOE VERA
By IAIN TAYLOR
The Egyptians referred to aloe vera as the “plant of immortality”. These days it can be found as an ingredient in everything from toothpaste to after-sun lotion, from yoghurt to tea. In fact, it has been used for therapeutic purposes by many cultures for literally thousands of years.
Here are some of the reasons it forms such a key ingredient in so many skincare products.
Aloe Barbedensis, more commonly referred to simply as Aloe Vera, is a gelatine-like plant food extracted from the leaves of the Aloe plant. It can be applied topically even in its rawest form and is effective in stimulating new cell production.
It has been found to block up to 30% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays when applied to skin. Its constituent aloin gives it this property. It is not used as a sun block but rather in after-sun lotion to counteract any sunburn.
It has anti-inflammatory effects and can be used to treat minor burns, grazes and to reduce the appearance of scars.
Applying aloe vera has been shown to stimulate enzyme action in skin tissue, which encourages the cells that produce collagen.
As a consequence, it is especially effective as a skin cleansing and detoxifying agent. It has been shown that it penetrates up to seven layers of the skin so the effects go deep.
It is an extremely beneficial moisturiser as it increases water retention in the skin.
Around 99% of the aloe vera plant consists of water but the remaining 1% is extremely powerful, containing close to 200 nutritional elements, including minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and other nutrients that work in synergy to nourish the skin and body.
Aloe vera has been shown in studies to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis. In one study, 83% of those patients who were treated with aloe vera gel showed significant improvement whilst fewer than 6% treated with a placebo showed any improvement at all.
It has even been shown that aloe vera successfully treats nappy rash, which demonstrates it is both gentle and effective.
Although you may think that digestive health is not linked to skin care, Aloe Vera is one of the best aids to digestion there is, which can also ensure more toxins are removed from the body, improving the skin from within!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Iain Taylor is from VitaBella. Their skincare products are made in Italy from aloe vera grown locally alongside ancient olive groves. See: www.myvitabella.co.uk