Aloe Vera skin care creams are promoted for a wide range of uses. It has been used as a traditional medicine since, at least, 16th century BC. While some of the promoted uses are supported by scientific evaluations, others are not. Here are some examples of each.
What It Is Good For?
Some of the extracts have antibacterial and antifungal activity. It may be effective against ringworm, staph, strep, psoriasis and shingles.
The benefits vary according to the concentration included in the product. It is hard to evaluate a product, because the labels of aloe vera skin care creams manufactured in the US cannot reflect the antibacterial activity or if it was tested.
Although it is heavily promoted for healing burns and wounds, the results of studies concerning that benefit vary greatly. In some cases, benefits are seen, but in others, wounds are actually slower to heal.
There is no benefit for healing sunburn or preventing sunburn. Numerous studies have focused on that aspect; because of the number of “after sun” aloe vera skin care gels on the market. Volunteers did not find the gels soothing.
For some reason, it has become a popular ingredient in anti-aging creams and lotions. There are much better choices.
One of the primary causes of an aged appearance is free radical damage or oxidation. Antioxidants are the body’s defense system against oxidation.
While all plant extracts contain some antioxidants, which can help prevent and (in some cases) reverse free radical damage, the ones found in aloe vera are not that potent and have never been studied as anti-aging ingredients. In other words, while aloe vera skin care creams might be beneficial for some purposes, the area of anti-aging is not one of them.
Many plant extracts have natural antibacterial and antioxidant activity. Some varieties of honey do, too, because of the flowers from which the bees gather their pollen.
One of the most “active” varieties of honey is manuka, a product of New Zealand. For blemishes, wounds, eczema, psoriasis and infections of all kinds, active manuka honey is a choice ingredient.
When it comes to antioxidants and anti-aging solutions, coenzyme Q10 has the most proven benefits. Found in all of the cells of the human body, coenzyme Q10 is known to prevent free radical damage like all antioxidants do, but it will also reverse damage that has already been done. That’s not something that aloe vera skin care creams can do.
Clinical trials have shown that coenzyme Q10 reverses sun damage and wrinkles. Lotions containing it soften and moisturize. Basically, it replenishes coenzyme Q10 levels, which normally decrease with age and due to sun exposure.
Another good alternative for anti-aging is avocado extract. It has been shown to increase the amount of collagen in the skin’s layers. Collagen is an important structural protein primarily responsible for the skin’s strength and firmness.
Aloe vera skin care products will not increase the skin’s collagen content. In fact, there are only uncertainties about what it “might” do. You always have better choices.
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