Discover aloe vera treatment for acne. Find out what makes this herb a great natural remedy.


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Soothing away acne with aloe vera

Aloe vera's many benefits for skin care go back thousands of years


Since ancient Egypt, people have been using the sap extracted from the aloe vera plant to treat skin wounds and infections. Its benefits include properties that make for a great natural acne treatment. It's no surprise then that this herb has become a popular ingredient in many modern acne products. 


With all the harsh chemicals used in the leading treatment systems, aloe vera is often included as a moisturizing agent to help curb the abrasive effects of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. However, while it's commonly used as an additive, aloe vera can also be effective as a stand-alone remedy.


What are the ways aloe vera can help acne sufferers?


Aloe vera's traditional uses include the treatment of sunburns, insect bites, itchiness, dryness, rashes and irritation. What makes this herb so effective in these cases is its ability to naturally soothe and renew the skin. Aloe vera is best known for its ability to cool painful inflammatory conditions. Living in Florida, I've used it myself to take away the redness and repair raw, damaged skin after spending too much time in the sun. This same property allows it to speed recovery from acne blemishes by visibly reducing inflammation in pustules and cysts, sometimes as quickly as overnight.


While diminishing the appearance of pimples, aloe vera also stimulates healing. It enhances collagen production, providing more of the raw material needed for strengthening and repairing your skin cells, and the polysaccharides it provides have potent moisture binding properties to keep those cells properly hydrated. Oddly enough, aloe vera is touted as both a moisturizer and an astringent, hydrating your skin while simultaneously sapping away excess oil. On top of these benefits, it's also an antioxidant with antibacterial and antimicrobial effects.


How to apply aloe vera for best results


Aloe vera extract can be purchased at many drug stores, and is safe to apply directly to your skin. Try to get 100% pure aloe vera gel, rather than aloe-based lotions or creams, as the later often contain other chemicals that can clog your pores and work against you. If you really want to go all-natural, consider buying some aloe vera plants. These herbs are native to arid climates and are fairly easy to care for, requiring little water. They're not too expensive either, and breaking off only a small piece of a leaf will usually provide enough gel to treat your whole face.


You'll want to apply the gel twice per day, once in the morning and once at night. Aloe vera actually penetrates your skin 4X better than water, but it's still best to leave it on for at least 15 minutes to get the full effect (in fact, you don't have to wash it off at all - a light application will seep in and nourish your skin). If using the raw plant, take care not to scrape yourself with the outer edge of the leaf. Only apply the inner fiber with the gel.


As so many products indicate, aloe vera is also a great ingredient when added to your favorite home remedies. A popular combination is to mix aloe with jojoba oil for enhanced moisturizing properties. You can also combine it with honey, oatmeal, clay or fruit for use in acne treatment masks.


What about internal uses?


This awesome herb isn't just effective on the outside. Many people drink aloe vera juice or take it as a supplement for additional health benefits. Considering that aloe is rich in vitamins C & E, as well as the minerals magnesium & zinc, internal use actually makes sense for promoting clear skin. It also stimulates healthy blood circulation and is packed with amino acids that assist in detoxifying the liver and kidneys. Aloe vera has a history of use in treating digestive problems (including bowel inflammation and stomach ulcers), as it can aid in repairing the lining of your digestive tract just as it aids in skin repair.


All this adds up for an internal treatment that can make a real, if indirect impact on acne. Taking aloe vera orally is best if combined with a supplement that targets oil regulation (such as vitamin B5 or vitamin A), and be sure to avoid lots of sugar and additives if you're drinking the juice.


While it may sound like it does everything, it's smart to be realistic and remember that some of aloe vera's properties are stronger than others. It can help decrease redness and swelling, but acne blemishes may still take several days to heal, and these effects are most noticeable in mild cases of acne. As an antibacterial agent, aloe alone may not be strong enough to combat more serious breakouts. And although it will help with repairing recent skin wounds, don't expect old, deep scars or discoloration to vanish so easily.


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