- Can aloe vera help with the treatment of acne?
Aloe vera has been a skincare staple in households for hundreds of years and even in modern times aloe vera is still the go-to treatment for sunburns and kitchen burns, but how is it useful for the treatment of acne?
Aloe vera contains around 75 different antioxidants, beneficial enzymes, Vitamins A and C, and it is highly anti-inflammatory. It's been used in clinical and home environments to treat the following conditions: seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis vulgaris, genital herpes, skin burns, skin cancer, ulcerative colitis, wounds, certain ulcers, mucosistis, acne vulgaris, lichen planus, frostbite, stomatitis and even constipation.
For mild to moderate acne, aloe vera can help sooth the symptoms, heal the damage caused by acne and help prevent future breakouts. Aloe contains naturally occurring salicylic acid which provides anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
- How is aloe vera beneficial to treating acne?
Aloe vera contains 75 potentially active constituents: vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids.
Vitamins: Vitamins A , C and E, B12, folic acid, and choline. The value of these vitamins on skin is that their antioxidant properties neutralize free radicals.
Enzymes: Aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. Bradykinase helps to reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically, while others help in the breakdown of sugars and fats.
Minerals: Calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. They are essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in different metabolic pathways as well as containing antioxidant properties.
Anthraquinones: Aloin and emodin are anthraquinones that act as analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals.
Fatty acids: It provides 4 plant steroids; cholesterol, campesterol, β-sisosterol and lupeol. All these have anti-inflammatory action and lupeol also possesses antiseptic and analgesic properties.
Hormones: Auxins and gibberellins that help in wound healing and have anti-inflammatory action.
Others: It provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. It also contains salicylic acid that possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Lignin, an inert substance, when included in topical preparations, enhances penetrative effect of the other ingredients into the skin. Saponins that are the soapy substances form about 3% of the gel and have cleansing and antiseptic properties.