Wrinkles are considered to be signs of a life well-lived. While this is certainly a favorable light for fine lines, many people wish wrinkles would stay in the dark. To show-off your wisdom in your spirit (rather than your skin), there are a variety of natural products that can help maintain a smooth, youthful-looking complexion—one of which is aloe vera.
That’s right. The same aloe vera your mother used to slather over your sunburn might also help you minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Here's how aloe vera may help with healthy aging skin and how you can use it in your skincare routine.
What is Aloe Vera?
You’ve probably seen aloe vera in gels and lotions, but have you ever seen it in its natural form?
Aloe comes from a plant that resembles a cactus. The aloe vera plant can be found in dry, hot climates where it’s both farmed and grown naturally. The thick leaves are harvested for the gel they contain. This gel is what is found in the products you use and consume.
Aloe vera has been used in various medicinal forms for over 5,000 years. You can find references to it in writing and even depicted in drawings dating back to the ancient Egyptians.
Aloe was used for many medicinal purposes, including the treatment of:
- Insect bites and stings
- Eye conditions
- Skin care
Modern research has delved further into aloe vera’s ability to treat these conditions. While some evidence has been gathered about the benefits of aloe, there’s still a lot to explore. But research doesn't stop at burns and wound healing. One area that is being studied is its impact on wrinkles.
Wrinkles 101: How Do Wrinkles Form?
To understand how aloe may help in the prevention or smoothing of wrinkles, you first need to know how wrinkles are formed. Several factors can contribute to the development of fine lines and crow’s feet. These include:
- Aging – As you get older, your skin becomes less adept at absorbing and retaining moisture. Your skin cells also divide and replenish dead cells more slowly, leaving the middle layer thinner. This middle layer (dermis) also loses its elasticity which causes wrinkles to appear. With skin elasticity loss and lower collagen production, you start to see wrinkles and fine lines.
- Movement of your facial muscles – While your mother wasn’t quite right about your face getting stuck when you made a silly face, your repetitive facial movements do have lasting effects as you get older. Smiling, frowning, and other movements you repeat frequently result from muscle contractions. As you age, those muscles don’t relax as well, leaving you with wrinkles.
- Sun damage – While the sun provides a healthy dose of vitamin D through your skin, it can quickly become your skin’s devious rival. Too much sun exposure can cause photoaging and, with prolonged exposure, can lead to more serious consequences like skin cancer. UVA and UVB rays damage collagen which in turn prevents your skin from properly repairing itself. This can lead to wrinkles. This is also why sunscreen is so important to protect against UV rays damage.
- Free radical exposure – The free radicals your skin is exposed to via air pollution or from smoking also break down collagen. The chemicals in cigarette smoke aren’t just harmful for your lungs—they can prevent your skin cells from properly regenerating, leading to wrinkles.
What Form of Aloe Vera Helps Soften Wrinkles?
Before you add aloe vera to your anti aging skin care routine, let's look at the different forms. Although researchers are still working to fully unravel the connection between aloe and smoother, more youthful skin, evidence indicates that aloe vera can be used in two ways:
- Oral supplementation – A study conducted with 58 female subjects who had significant skin dryness found that those who took a capsule containing aloe vera gel powder for eight weeks showed significant improvement in skin moisture levels. Those in the same study who were given a placebo showed no improvement.
- Topical application – When skin can retain moisture more effectively, it is less likely to give in to the pull of gravity. More moisture retention might also help prevent wrinkling caused by dry skin. When aloe vera for skin tightening is used as a topical application, it may help moisturize and tighten the skin, softening the fine lines of wrinkles.
Although most studies have focused on oral ingestion of aloe for wrinkle care, some signs point to topical aloe also helping to improve the overall health and appearance of the skin. The nice thing is that fresh aloe vera gel from the plant can also be directly applied to your face. While you're at it, you can apply some to your hair as well.
What Other Skin Benefits Does Aloe Vera Have?
Aloe vera may offer other benefits for your skin, outside of lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Some benefits that have been studied include:
- Might help relieve itchy skin – If you suffer from extremely dry or itchy skin, aloe may help relieve some of the discomfort. It also might help alleviate the symptoms of conditions such as psoriasis, which can cause painful, itchy rashes. Aloe can also be applied to insect bites to relieve redness and itching.
- Can soothe sunburns – Perhaps one of the most widely known uses of aloe is sunburn relief. Rubbing an aloe-based gel, with or without lidocaine, can help soothe the pain from too much sun exposure.
- May stimulate collagen production – As you age, collagen production slows down and the collagen proteins you have can become damaged. This can result in slower healing from skin damage, including burns and wounds. Aloe vera might help stimulate the production of collagen needed for faster healing.
- Might help fight acne – Aloe vera may also contain some antimicrobial or antibacterial properties. It might help detox acne by preventing the growth of the bacteria that cause acne breakouts to appear. Aloe also might help protect skin from the over-drying effect of many acne-fighting medications.
Along with these skin-boosting benefits, studies have examined the potential of aloe vera to help with digestive problems. It’s believed that the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties could be used to ease some common digestive troubles, although more research is needed to determine how and where aloe vera is effective in this capacity.
Is Aloe Vera Safe for Skin?
Aloe vera is generally considered safe for use on the skin. Most people can tolerate the topical application of aloe without any issues. The most commonly reported adverse reactions people experience with the use of topical aloe are:
- Slight burning sensation
- Skin irritation
Generally, these reactions are mild. However, if you notice your skin reacting negatively to aloe vera, you should stop using the product and consult your doctor. You can test your skin’s reaction to aloe by simply applying a small amount to one area of your skin first to see if there is any response.
In general, it’s always a good practice to speak with your doctor before taking any oral supplements, aloe vera included. This is especially true if you are on any medications.
What Kind of Aloe Vera Products Can You Use For Your Skin?
Aloe vera skin care covers a wide range of products. The type of product that’ll be best suited to your needs depends on what you want to use it for. If your goal is to use aloe vera for wrinkles, you’ll want a product that improves the skin’s moisture levels.
Some commonly used aloe products include:
- Moisturizers – Moisturizers come in a host of formulas. They’re typically more lightweight than creams and can be infused with oils and other ingredients. They work by trapping water in your skin, preventing it from drying out. You should always carefully read the ingredients before applying a new moisturizer to your skin as many contain dubious additives.
- Creams – Creams are a heavier form of moisturizer designed to protect your skin from drying and other environmental harm. Similar to moisturizers, creams can contain some questionable ingredients so be aware of what’s in your skincare products.
- Gels – You can buy gels that have aloe vera in them and you can buy pure aloe vera gel. If you purchase gels with aloe vera, you risk dulling the benefits of pure aloe vera with other less beneficial ingredients.
- Masks – Aloe vera can also be used as a face mask. Look for masks that contain aloe and other natural moisturizers such as honey and vitamin E for maximum effectiveness. Avoid masks with drying or other harmful ingredients.
With all of its natural benefits, aloe vera is only one of the natural and plant-based ingredients for skin care. Papaya benefits for skin are also significant when it comes to using natural ingredients for dark spots and healthy aging. Another ingredient is Bakuchiol, and if you're asking what is bakuchiol, it is a natural plant-based ingredient that can have similar properties are retinoids. At the end of the day, there are many natural ingredients that can work as alternatives to harsh skincare ingredients.
Put Your Best Face Forward with Natural, Aloe-Infused HPPY Skin
Aging can sap your skin of moisture and cause wrinkles to form. While you can’t turn back the clock, you can help your skin look younger. Adding aloe vera to your skincare routine is one way to ensure your skin is getting the nourishing moisture it craves. However, many skin care products contain some scary ingredients.
Enter HPPY Skin to save the day. Our products are made from natural, plant-based ingredients. You can feel good about our anti-aging and hydrating masks which can help reveal healthy, youthful skin without harsh chemicals. Check out our products today and love your skin.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Aloe Vera. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/aloe-vera
Journal of Humanities and Social Science. History of Aloe Vera. https://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jhss/papers/Vol.%2022%20Issue8/Version-16/D2208162124.pdf
Scientific Reports. Defining Skin Aging and Its Risk Factors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8586245/
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology. Effect of Plant Sterols Derived from Aloe Vera Gel On Human Dermal Fibroblasts. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4345938/
Molecules. Pharmacological Update Properties of Aloe Vera and its Major Active Constituents. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7144722/
Indian Journal of Dermatology. Aloe Vera: A Short Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/