If I were to ask you what Aloe Vera was used for, the answer you’ll very likely give is, ‘It’s used for the skin’. This is the commonly known use of Aloe Vera in the 4,000 years it’s been known, till today. Indeed Aloe Vera has the ability to heal, nourish and beautify the skin. Its use is also indispensable in anti-aging regimens. How Aloe Vera heals and beautifies the skin, including its anti-aging ability is an extensive topic, which is why i’m going to break it down in parts. This is the first post.
First, let’s talk briefly about the skin, so we can get a better idea of how Aloe Vera works on it. As the largest organ of the body the skin is about 16% of your total body weight and it measures some 3,000 square inches. It is made up of 3 layers, the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. Cells divide constantly in the inner layers of the epidermis; these cells are pushed to the skin surface where they replace the old ones. These surface cells rub and flake off constantly and new epidermal cells are constantly produced to replace them. This process is called sloughing, and all epidermal cells are replaced every 28-30 days.
In the dermal layer we have blood vessels, lymph vessels, collagen fibers, elastic fibers, and nerves. The hair follicle, the oily sebaceous gland, and the sweat glands all go from the dermal to the epidermal layers. The dermis and hypodermis provide the real support for the skin because of the strong collagen and elastic fibers which help to keep the skin taut and firm. The epidermis serves as the protective covering for the body protecting the inner skin cells from dehydration, infection and damage.
Any opening on the skin from a cut, wound, insect bite, pimple, abrasion, or burn distresses the body causing fluid and blood loss and the possibility of infection. The body’s mechanism quickly attempts to heal the opening but most times help is needed in order for the skin to heal faster. And this is where Aloe Vera comes into play. The plant’s effectiveness in healing skin tissue is legendary. From ancient times the gel from inside the leaf was cut and applied directly on the skin, but nowadays Aloe Vera which has been properly stabilized to retain the natural properties of the plant is available for use in the form of the pure gel or juice, or incorporated into cleansers, exfoliates, soaps, lotions, creams and moisturizers, and these are more commonly used.
Aloe Vera helps with most skin disorders, ranging from sunburn, scalding, radiation burn, turf burns, razor burn, insect bites, rashes from allergic skin reaction, chicken pox and measles; chapped lips, scaly skin, eczema, acne, psoriasis, rosecea, bed sores, body odor, sore or cracked nipples, skin cancer, cuts, boils and abscesses, liver spots, cold sores, athlete’s foot, bruises, swelling, and itching.
Aloe Vera is now regarded as ‘the first best skin treatment’ and a necessary inclusion in first aid boxes in homes, schools and offices. It is also one of the most widely-used ingredients in high-grade skin care products. The reason for this is, it possesses properties that are just ideal in healing and improving the skin. Aloe Vera possesses proteolytic enzymes which help to slough off dead epidermal skin cells thereby providing faster healing and leaving the skin brighter and smoother. This also helps with Aloe Vera’s ability to remove and reduce scar tissue. It possesses compounds which give a soothing feeling when Aloe Vera is applied on the skin. When it is used on traumatized skin, especially on burn patients, the first thing you notice is that they become calmer as the Aloe Vera soothes.
Aloe Vera is 90% water and the body has an average of 60% water of which the skin contains much of this. Therefore there’s compatibility. Aloe Vera helps to hydrate and moisturize the skin cells making it easier for healing enzymatic reactions to take place. The moisturized cells fill out reducing the appearance of fine lines on the skin. Also, there are compounds in Aloe Vera which create a barrier in preventing the skin from losing moisture. Aloe Vera contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids which provide nourishment your skin needs for it to heal faster and accelerate the growth of new skin tissues.
The skin is the protective covering of the body. One of the most important things it protects the body from are germs which are found on its surface. Aloe Vera is antibacterial and anti-fungal, so when it is applied to the skin it will rid your skin of a broad spectrum of germs. This ability is an important consideration when a traumatized skin is healing, or after a surgical operation and you want to prevent complications from infection.
While most people are only familiar with using Aloe Vera externally by rubbing it on the skin, it also enhances your skin health from the inside out when you take it internally. When you drink Aloe Vera gel regularly, your body gains a host of benefits, one of which is a healthy, youthful, radiant skin. Drink Aloe and watch your skin glow!