If you’re battling acne, it’s important to take a multi-pronged approach to the problem. It’s essential to pair prevention, with gentle treatment, with aftercare, with more prevention – and so on and so forth. Acne tends to be an ongoing skin issue, meaning that you need to establish habits that are sustainable, low-maintenance, and feasible for the long run. This idea of sustainable long term treatment means finding humble, accessible plant-based ingredients that are reliable and proven to work.
What’s one of our favorite humble ingredient allstars? A: the soothing aloe vera plant, a classic staple with tried-and-true benefits for every stage of acne. Aloe is typically thought of as a post-sunburn ointment, and can conjure up old school memories of being slathered in the cooling gel after getting fried at the beach. But increasingly, this remarkable succulent (yes, it’s a succulent) is generating buzz for its anti-acne profile and its long resume of post-blemish benefits. So what’s the buzz on aloe vera for acne? Keep reading to find out!
Aloe is antimicrobial and antibacterial, and because of that has been used for centuries to clean wounds, banish germs, and kill infective microorganisms. Used as a spot treatment for acne, it effectively destroys the acne causing bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, and treats the associated inflammation caused by this strain of bacteria. Leave a spot of pure aloe vera gel on your blemish overnight, and you’ll wake up in the morning with reduced swelling and redness.
With this benefit in mind, we’ve included aloe vera for acne and dryness in our Vine Therapy Serum. This PM treatment combines the blemish-targeting power of aloe vera with fatty acid packed shea butter and antioxidant packed grape seed extract. You can also find aloe amping up our Seaberry Moisturizer formula, an amazing product for combination skin types dealing with acne plus dryness. Aloe clarifies pores and kills bacteria, while sea buckthorn fruit oil strengthens the skin’s epidermal layer, helping it to lock in moisture and protect against external stressors.
Aloe also contains an abundance of well-studied vitamins and minerals, all of which are absolutely essential for battling acne. The cooling gel contains vitamin C, known to strengthen capillaries and reduce acne redness. Vitamin C also comes in big for fading post-acne scars, thanks to its antioxidant action. Applied topically, it will promote elastin and collagen production, speeding up scar healing and post-mark fading.
In addition to C, aloe contains vitamin E, a vitamin which is absorbed into the skin super efficiently, helping your dermis to produce new collagen at the cellular level. This means better elasticity, hydration, and speedy blemish recovery. In addition to C and E, aloe contains one of the most powerful anti-acne vitamins out there: the famously potent vitamin A. It works to decrease inflammation and rapidly increase skin cell turnover, meaning fewer clogged pores and a brighter, more luminous complexion. In short, vitamin A is the enemy of skin congestion.
That’s not all: aloe boasts 18 amino acids and 200 active enzymes. Given that its nutrient profile trumps pure H20 on it’s own, we’ve opted to incorporate organic aloe water as the base ingredient in our Nopal Cactus Cleanser Formula. This means there’s no ‘fluffing’ or ‘filling’ ingredients: even the base is super nourishing, and works synergistically with organic vegetable glycerin, a natural humectant that draws H20 into your pores, plus organic nopal cactus, packed with antioxidants and Vitamin K. It’s an ideal product for sensitive and acneic skin, and can be used AM and PM for a noticeably brighter dermis.
The great thing about aloe is that it’s absolutely ideal as a base for all kinds of DIY skin care treatments. Keep it in the fridge for an extra cool and soothing quick fix if you wake up with puffy eyes, or make your own facial mist by mixing purified water with aloe in a glass spray bottle. Keep in the fridge and mist your face after makeup application for a super dewy glow. And of course, you can also use aloe vera for acne in these easy to whip up DIY treatments!
For an acne-banishing scrub, try mixing ½ cup aloe vera with:
½ tsp ground cinnamon - known for its antibacterial benefits
1 tbsp lemon juice - known as a brightening tonic
2 tbsp pulsed organic oats - for a gentle exfoliant
1 tsp raw honey - for anti-inflammatory action and redness reduction
In a small bowl, gently blend the ingredients with a wooden tongue depressor or small spatula. With this same spatula, apply mixture to cheeks, forehead, and chin. Using clean fingers, very gently buff the mixture into skin, avoiding the eye area. Allow to sit for up to one minute before rinsing with warm water and wiping away debris with a damp towel. Remove any leftover debris and sloughed away skin with your Flower Water Toner.
For a super soothing face mask, try mixing aloe vera with rose water. This ingredient duo is super effective when it comes to shrinking live blemishes, restoring skin post-discoloration, and fighting off dullness and congestion. Try amping the formula up with cucumber for a boost of vitamin C and Caffeic acid. Make your mask by:
Pureeing ½ peeled cucumber
Adding 1 tbsp rose water
Adding 3 tbsp aloe vera gel
Apply the mixture to your face and cover it with a damp paper towel to keep the mixture from evaporating. Wait fifteen minutes, rinse, and go forth with your new glow!
These wise and time-tested aloe hacks will help get acne under control and soothe redness, without having to resort to expensive and harsh chemical treatments or antibiotics. So this summer, keep a bottle of aloe vera in the fridge – and show acne who’s boss!