Got Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) for Summer Skin Health?
Summer officially started on June 20th this year. For many of us that means more time outside.
Summer sun is certainly beneficial. It helps us create vitamin D and getting morning sun can even help support a good night sleep. Even if you never get overexposed to summer sun it can still be tough on the skin. And if you do by chance get too much sun it can be down right painful. Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is one of my favorite carriers to have on hand for summer to protect and soothe and support skin health.
Aloe contains aloin which offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits and may also protect the skin from UV radiation (1). Research suggests aloe is helpful at treating burns (2). Aloe can also be helpful at soothing bug bites. In addition to aloin, aloe also contains salicylic acid and magnesium (in addition to some 70+ compounds), which helps ease the pain of burns or bites.
Aloe has long been revered as far back as queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti, who used aloe to "preserve their beauty" and many cultures have long used aloe to soothe and support the skin.
Aloe is useful in hydrating, protecting, and soothing the skin and hair. While aloe is considered highly vulnerary (helpful in healing wounds) it is not recommended in cases where staph infection may be present or for deep, vertical wounds.
Aloe is quite beneficial for soothing minor burns, sunburn, or simply to soothe and moisture the skin. One can use the plant directly or look for a bottled gel.
Essential oils won't dissolved in aloe since it is aqueous and essential oils are hydrophobic. You can however use a solubulizer or shake the mixture prior to use. An alternative is to combine aloe with hydrosols, which are aqueous plant distillates.
Try combining 2 parts aloe vera gel with 1 part peppermint and 1 part lavender hydrosol in a spray bottle and keep in the refrigerator as a cooling and soothing after sun spray or to calm the skin if you do get too much sun. This blend is gentle enough for children ages 3 and up.
Fresh aloe gel is prone to bacterial or fungal contamination so if you fancy creating you own stash you'll need to use a preservative or use within a day or two even if its refrigerated.
I use aloe vera in many of my skin, hair, and body care formulations. Due to the sheer volume of aloe I use I actually use an aloe powder that I rehydrate and add directly to my recipes -- but it still offers the same amazing benefits.
Aloe offers so many wonderful benefits and I love using both in skincare and therapeutically. Do you reach for aloe vera often?
If you have questions about aloe vera or are looking for custom therapeutic soothing aloe blends or skincare blends that contain soothing aloe, contact Tricia, schedule a consult, or check out our handcrafted products.
aromatic blessings my friends,
1: The Herbarium Website, Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis), accessed from: https://herbarium.theherbalacademy.com/monographs/#/monograph/5085
2: WebMD website, "What to Know about Aloe Vera and Burns", accessed from: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/what-to-know-about-aloe-vera-sunburns