The ingredients we use on our skin every day have a big responsibility. They need to be gentle enough to circumvent irritation or drying, but powerful enough to deal with everyday exposure and damage. The happy medium we’re forever obsessed with is the humble aloe vera plant, a classic mainstay when it comes to sunburns, but also versatile enough for a variety of skin irritations and woes.
When you think of aloe vera, chances are you associate it with sunburn aftercare, and it’s true that the naturally occuring aloe gel is excellent for burns and heat related irritation. Often touted as the ‘burn plant,’ studies have shown aloe vera to be effective at treating first and second degree burns, thanks to its cooling and soothing properties. Its natural ability to increase circulation also means that topical application of this succulent’s flesh produces better blood flow and more rapid healing in areas of damaged skin. This makes it a perfect sunburn tonic, but these same properties also mean it’s a superb healing ingredient for a variety of other skin concerns.Nature’s Answer to Inflammation
Aloe is an ideal restorative ingredient for skin dealing with inflammation and dryness. Inflammation in the skin can be the result of a variety of factors, but can occur when your immune system detects foreign invaders (like an allergen, a toxic chemical, or infectious microbes). When this happens, your skin might get involved in the inflammatory response: producing redness, scaling, burning, or easily irritated skin.
On a cellular level, inflammation consists of blood vessels widening and expanding (accounting for the red and inflamed appearance). Whether or not your inflammation is caused by exposure to potentially harmful chemicals in conventional makeup products or household items – or from a pre-existing condition like dermatitis or eczema – aloe vera is an excellent remedy. Its localized anti-inflammatory properties enhance your body’s natural ability to soothe pain and swelling in affected areas, and encourage tissue healing and regeneration. This can be attributed to the fact that aloe is a rich source of plant steroids like campesterol and lupeol, and has a natural propensity to block irritation-causing histamines.Creating an Aloe-Based Skin Care Routine
Whether you prefer an aloe vera face wash or a DIY post-sun treatment, it’s easy to add this super succulent into your routine. Check out our top recommendations below!
Try Aloe Vera in a Serum
If inflammation is a daily problem for you, opt for a soothing nighttime serum that contains aloe vera in its formula. Puristry’s Vine Therapy Serum works hard to tackle inflammation, with a formula that combines an organic aloe water base with replenishing algae and fatty acid packed shea butter. Often chronic inflammation is the result of a compromised lipid barrier, so it’s important to be opting for plant chemistry that focuses on strengthening and rebuilding your lipid barrier at the cellular level.
Implement an Aloe Vera Face Wash
Shopping for a non-irritating daily cleanser can prove to be a tricky task for those of us dealing with easily inflamed skin. It’s absolutely key to find a cleanser without added fragrances or sulfates, or irritating essential oils that might provoke skin redness or stinging. Opt for a cleanser with a hydrosol base (rose water is great for maintaining a happy pH balance), or simply look for an aloe vera face wash that’s rich in protective antioxidants and safe for even the most sensitive skin types.
Our Nopal Cactus Cleanser is a gently clarifying formula that combines aloe water with nopal cactus, a super ingredient packed with antioxidant rich belatins. Note that the first ingredient in this ultra luscious cleanser isn’t plain water but aloe water – at Puristry, we never dilute our formulas, so that every drop goes a long way towards nourishing your complexion.
Make Aloe the Star of Your Moisturizing Routine
Aloe Vera is a skin savior for chronically dry skin, which often (unfortunately) goes hand in hand with inflammation. Dryness is also the result of a compromised natural barrier, resulting in increased H2O loss through the skin and subsequent flaking, cracking, and rough texture. A key point to keep in mind: when your skin is unable to trap moisture, it’s a double pronged problem. It points to there being a lack of hydration in your deeper epidermal layers, as well as a lack of vital lipids (oil) on the surface of your skin which usually keep moisture trapped.
Aloe vera impresses when it comes to replenishing your skin’s hydration levels: it provides a healthy drink of water amped with a rich storehouse of vitamins and minerals – like vitamins A, C, E, B, iron, copper, zinc, and calcium. But in order to properly address dry skin, aloe needs to be combined with a source of plant based lipids (so that you can lock hydration in and protect it from evaporation). Cue Puristry’s Seaberry Moisturizer, which combines an organic aloe water base with deeply nourishing lipids from organic shea butter and coconut oil. Used over time it can battle dryness, both on the H2O front and the lipid front.
Aloe is an absolutely essential ingredient for daily preventative care, so you should be finding formulas that feature its healing goodness – but just keep pure organic aloe gel and water on hand for DIY plant based beauty. For a full breakdown of aloe vera and all of its glorious benefits (hint, go for the gel and the water) peep our full feature on the benefits of aloe vera.
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