Herbs and plants have long been used for medicinal purposes. Many of them possess fantastic healing properties that can cure a wide range of illnesses. Some of the popular herbs and plants used as home remedies for acne are aloe vera, garlic, sweet fennel, tea, witch hazel and fenugreek leaves etc. Aloe vera possesses many skin healing properties.
Aloe vera is a plant that originated in Africa. These days, it is part of most home kitchen gardens and can be found in garden stores too. This succulent herb has spiny green leaves and yellow flowers from which a thin clear gel is extracted and used both externally and internally to heal skin disorders. There are 2 products derived from aloe vera that possess medicinal properties. One is aloe juice that is a laxative and the other is aloe vera mucilage (gel) that has anti-inflammatory properties, which can benefit skin problems. It also acts as an astringent to heal inflammatory conditions of the skin such as acne.
Why is Aloe Vera good for Acne Treatment?
Aloe vera is amazing for treating skin disorders, acne is one of them. One of the key reasons for acne is malfunctioning of skin glands as a result of the follicles being blocked. These glands then produce excess of sebum and the skin is prone to infections. Due to infections the skin gets inflamed resulting in acne.
Aloe vera is great for acne because it is great for skin
- It is great skin soother – it eases itching and inflammation
- It lightens skin tone
- Hydrates the skin
- Open skin pores naturally so that the skin can breathe
- Rich in vitamins and minerals essential for health skin
Specifically in case of acne, aloe vera is helpful because:
- Aloe vera gel and aloe vera juice both have anti bacterial and anti-microbial properties. Thus fighting skin infection
- Nourishes and regenerates the skin.
- Provides nutrients necessary for making skin healthy again
Aloe vera is also used as an Ayurvedic cure for acne. It has been suggested that ½ cup of aloe vera juice taken twice a day can ease acne symptoms.
It is a favorite ingredient in many skin care lotions as it has moisturizing qualities. Immune cells that fight P.acnes bacteria get activated by aloe vera mucilage. It helps improve blood flow to the surface of the skin and increases oxygen, therefore improving skin’s complexion and reducing acne eruptions. It also helps to stimulate growth of new skin cells.
Another benefit of aloe vera is its cooling, soothing effect. This helps to ease the irritations of acne. Pus-filled pimples are usually swollen and painful. Aloe vera has antifungal, anesthetic properties and contains enzymes that relieve these symptoms.
While aloe vera cannot cure acne, it can boost the immune system and help to treat acne symptoms such as swelling, redness and dry flaky skin. It is rich in vitamin E, A, C and B12 apart from being a rich source of essential fatty acids, amino acids, calcium, zinc and magnesium. All these essential vitamins and minerals present in aloe vera ensure that it can work internally to restore cells and regenerate skin growth.
Since aloe vera contains six antiseptic agents, it can quickly penetrate the skin. Apply aloe vera as you would a moisturizer – at least twice a day to accelerate healing of acne and acne scars.
Aloe Vera for Acne : Benefits
Thus, in case of acne the root issue is skin cleansing and fighting infection. Aloe vera based treatments can help people suffering from acne in multiple ways:
Reducing the outbreak of acne:
- Aloe vera gel has positive effects on acne skin. Direct application of pure aloe vera gel (free from impurities, drying agents, etc.) improves acne condition. With constant applications, but redness and swelling passes away.
- Aloe vera based soap and face wash can be used to cleanse the face to ensure that your skin can breathe
- Aloe vera lotion is a great natural moisturizing agent. Unlike other lotions aloe vera based lotions do not clog skin pores (which invariably lead to aggravating acne problem) but instead helps skin regain its natural properties. It reduces the over production of oil by skin glands.
- Aloe vera juice: Applying aloe vera juice on pimples also helps in reducing redness and inflammation. It also stops growth of acne.
- Removes acne scars: Aloe vera gel is very helpful in healing acne scars. It naturally regenerates the skins and thus scars are gradually removed.
- End result – glowing skin: As a natural hydrator of skin aloe vera gel removes wrinkles, scars and adds flexibility to skin.
How to use Aloe Vera for Acne Treatment
Apart from commercial cosmetics and moisturizers that contain aloe vera, you can even use it as a home remedy. The leaf of the aloe vera plant must be cut near the stem. Then slice the thick leaf open. Out of this will ooze a gel. This gel must be applied on the acne.
Aloe vera gel applied directly on various skin conditions is more effective than expensive skin care products. Aloe vera juice also soothes the skin and improves its health. It is said to help purify the blood, unclog acne pores and prevent further attacks of acne.
Here are some simple recipes to make at home using aloe vera. These moisturizers and face masks can soothe your acne outbreaks and improve overall skin health.
Fresh gel can be used directly on acne. So, to extract fresh gel, cut the older leaves at the bottom of the plant and wash the stalks. Cut along the leaf’s length and expose the gel. Extract the clear gel by scraping it out. Then strain using a fine gauze or muslin cloth to remove lumps.
For the aloe vera facial moisturizer, you need
- 2 tablespoons fresh aloe gel
- ½ teaspoon of vegetable glycerin or wheat germ oil
- 3 drops coconut or jojoba or any other carrier oil
- 6-7 drops of your favorite essential oil (make sure it can be used on the skin)
- Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight jar.
- Use after cleaning the face with a mild cleanser
The following is a face mask for oily skin
- 1 teaspoon of aloe vera
- 1 teaspoon of green clay
- 1 teaspoon of witch hazel
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Add water to make a paste, and then spread on face and neck. Leave for at least 30 minutes till the mask dries and then wash with lukewarm water.
- Since this is meant for oily skin, it helps to improve acne symptoms. If you have acne, dampen a cotton pad with aloe vera and use it as a cleanser before applying the aloe vera mask or moisturizer.
Precautions while using Aloe Vera for Acne
Pregnant women, children and nursing mothers should not use oral aloe vera. Aloe vera latex can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea if used for long periods. For those with very sensitive skin, aloe vera gel can cause a skin rash.
Do not consume aloe vera juice if you suffer from ulcers, hemorrhoids or Crohn’s disease. Long term use can also cause kidney problems, muscle weakness, heart problems, blood in urine and weight loss. Aloe vera juice can trigger uterine contractions in pregnant women, leading to miscarriages. 1g of aloe vera juice taken every day for many days can be fatal.
Check your allergy status. For, if you are allergic to garlic, tulips, onions or other Lillaceae family plants, you could be allergic to aloe vera too.
Aloe vera is an effective way to treat acne without any side effects. Do ensure that while you are using aloe vera gel or aloe vera juice for acne treatment you maintain proper diet and avoid fried and oily food and eat more fruits and vegetables.