Acne is a skin problem that results from clogged hair follicles; when they are blocked by oil or dead skin cells, pimples form. While the bumps that appear on your face are inconvenient, the side-effects of these breakouts may be worse:
Remember that there is no cure for acne or its symptoms–not even the miraculous aloe vera plant. But aloe vera gel, which comes from the inside of the plant’s leaves, is one of the many treatments for acne, helping to naturally reduce the inflammation, redness, swelling and pain sometimes associated with this bothersome skin disease.
Aloe Vera and Acne
Here are the components of aloe vera that fight acne symptoms:
1. Salicylic acid and Vitamin E gives aloe vera its anti-inflammatory properties. A beta hydroxyl acid, saliculic acid is found in aloe and is responsible for decreasing inflammation– which is the root of most skin problems including acne. Sterols can also be found in aloe; they inhibit acute inflammation. Vitamin E improves the body in a variety of ways, such as by improving circulation, repairing damaged tissues and including decreasing inflammation.
2. Redness and swelling is minimized by aloe’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Many of the fatty acids in aloe, such as campesterol and beta-Sitosterol, as well as its enzymes, like bradykinase, also account for aloe vera’s ability to decrease inflammation–and therefore fight acne redness and swelling as well. Saponin and barbaloin are two antimicrobial compound found in aloe. The former reduces the growth of harmful microorganisms and therefore wards off infection, acting as an antisepsis, and the latter works against a family of bacteria, Mycobaterium. In high concentrations of aloe (more than 60%), these two compounds can fight against the bacteria that causes a pimple to become red and swell.
3. Both aloe’s high magnesium content and fatty acids aid pain relief by acting as an anesthetic. Aloe vera is commonly used to relieve burn pain due to its high magnesium content–and can therefore work to reduce the pain of pimples. In addition, lupeol is one of the fatty acids in aloe, which works as an analgesic pain killer.
Aloe Vera and Acne: What if my Acne Symptoms Worsen?
Chances are the aloe vera is not making your acne worse. You may be having an allergic reaction to the aloe vera gel. Although an adverse reaction to aloe is rare, some may experience itching and redness of the skin as a result. Do not confuse this with aloe as an acne fueler.
To avoid a skin reaction: Test a little aloe vera gel on a small patch of skin, preferably your arm or leg–just avoid highly sensitive areas like the face. If redness or itching occurs, stop use immediately, and do not apply to the face as acne treatment.