Aloe Vera Benefits: How the Miracle Plant Heals and Protects Your Skin

Aloe Vera Benefits: How the Miracle Plant Heals and Protects Your Skin

Aloe vera is often deemed the “miracle plant.” But what exactly makes the sticky green plant so special? Aloe vera benefits are plentiful and can aid skin quality, hair growth and overall health in the form of gels, topical creams, liquids to digest or straight from the plant.

To start off, using aloe vera is not a new treatment. Aloe is a succulent that has been used as an herbal alternative to medicine for over 2,000 years. Other evidence suggests aloe use extends as far back as 6,000 years. This stems from documentation of the plant found in ancient Egypt art and alongside dead pharaohs referring to it as the “plant of immortality.”

Aloe vera gel is best at improving the quality of skin because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Here at Royal Shave, we broke down all the reasons aloe vera benefits your skin and how you can best incorporate it into your shaving routine.

Aloe vera benefits for skin

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

Photo via Instagram / @ashtonnoel

While aloe vera gel is most commonly used to treat sunburns, its properties are also useful for other skin-related issues. Instead of just treating a temporary issue, aloe vera helps fight skin issues before they reappear in the future.

1. Aloe vera benefits you by helping you heal.

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

First, aloe vera is beneficial when treating mild to moderate first degree burns and sunburns that damage the first layer of skin. While this damage is less serious and treatable, it still causes redness and discomfort.

The clear gel in aloe vera steps in to repair tissues and increase blood flow with its enzymes. In addition, antibacterial properties in the gel help fight off infection. Moreover, aloe aids the regeneration of cells and hydrates the skin, increasing its elasticity during the healing process.

Some evidence like the 2009 research study published in “Surgery Today” shows that aloe vera gel is even effective in treating some second degree burns. In fact results showed participants healed three days faster than those using silver sulfadiazine cream.

2. Aloe vera benefits you by reducing acne.

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

Burns aren’t the only issue that aloe vera benefits help erase. Aloe vera’s antibacterial properties are also useful for cleaning the skin and removing irritants that clog pores and cause acne. In conjunction, ingredients like salicylic acid help to kill off the harmful bacteria.

In addition, aloe vera contains the hormones Auxin and Gibberellins that have anti-inflammatory characteristics that speed up the healing process and reduce scarring.

A 1998 research study shows that aloe vera helped to increase collagen development, which is useful when treating wounds or acne scarring.

3. Aloe vera benefits you by moisturizing your skin.

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

Aloe vera gel is also great for adding moisture to your skin. In fact, it may be so great that it wards off cancer. Specifically, studies linked the use of aloe vera gel to halting the progression of skin cancer. This is likely due to the increased production of melanin and extended skin protection that aloe provides.

In addition, when you use sun block or after sun products containing aloe, you are not only protecting yourself from the effects of a single burn but also from that burn later developing into skin cancer.

4. Aloe vera benefits you by slowing the effects of aging.

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

While moisture is beneficial against serious issues like cancer, it also benefits you aesthetically. In addition to it’s other properties, aloe vera contains Vitamins A, C and E. These vitamins work together to hydrate your skin and slow the effects of aging. What this means for your skin is less wrinkles.

Aloe vera is also especially helpful in the wintertime when your skin easily dries out. The added moisture will have your skin feeling soft and healthy again in no time.

5. Aloe vera benefits you by fighting skin irritation.

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

Some dry skin issues are related to more serious problems like eczema and psoriasis. Aloe vera is also useful in battling these ailments.

Due to the combination of fatty acids and the enzyme bradykinin, the skin irritation is able to subside more quickly. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties also help the healing process become less stressful.

In addition to reducing itch and infection, aloe is also used with medicine to fight eczema. For instance, some research suggests combining aloe with hydrocortisone to combat flare-ups.

Aloe vera benefits when shaving

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

Photo via Instagram / @royalshave

So, how does aloe vera apply to shaving? Aloe vera is useful for every step of the process. For instance, including aloe vera as an ingredient in your cleansers, oils and creams will maintain moisture and healthy skin before, throughout and after your shave.

Step One: washing your face

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

Washing your face is an important step because it helps remove any dirt and debris from your facial hair before shaving.

Using a softening conditioner like the Zeus Beard Conditioner (8 oz. / $16) provides moisture along with other aloe vera benefits.

In addition, this conditioner contains jojoba and avocado oils to further increase moisture and reduce breakage.

The added aloe vera ingredient will also work with Pro-Vitamin B5 to fight away dryness and dandruff.

 

Step Two: pre-shave prep

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

Pre-shave is particularly useful for men who suffer from razor burn, scars,  tough growth or shave bumps.

Using a product like the Castle Forbes Pre-Shave (5 oz. / $40) offers a water-based formula. This means it will not leave an oil residue that clogs your razor.

The combination of aloe vera, Vitamin E and chamomile extract gently pushes the hair away from your face. As a result, it is easier for your razor to glide over stubborn areas.

 

Step Three: the shave

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

When it comes down to the time to actually introduce your razor to your facial hair, using a shave gel instead of a foaming cream allows for a closer and more precise shave.

To further explain, gels are more likely to have a clear consistency. This makes it easier to see where you are trimming and helps avoid mistakes. Take for instance the product Zirh Shave Gel (100 ml / $15).

This gel combines aloe vera gel with glycerin, which is great for exfoliating the skin, shrinking pores and most notably adding moisture to combat dryness.

Step Four: after shave

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

After shave is not only great for leaving a pleasant scent after your shave, but also to help treat sensitive skin and tone redness.

That’s where aloe vera steps in. For example, the Musgo Real After Shave (100 ml / $49.95) uses aloe to soothe the skin while hamamelis tones it.

Hamamelis, also referred to as “witch hazel” is great for fighting inflammation and viruses. In addition, it helps tighten the skin while still maintaining moisture and providing sun protection.

Step Five: further care

Royal Shave shares aloe vera benefits

Caring for your skin and your beard does not stop with after shave. It is important to maintain moisture and protection in your weekly routine.

Adding a beard balm to your routine will help maintain moisture and help protect the skin underneath your beard.

Zeus Beard Balm (2 oz. / $22) helps fight dreaded beard itch, protects the skin from free radicals and offers light hold for styling.

 

FOR MORE BEARD TIPS CHECK OUT: “How to Grow Your Beard Faster and Fuller Than Your Friends.”

Grooming Artist News Roundup: January 2018

Refreshing the calendar at the stroke of midnight naturally gets most of us thinking about new goals. Rather than setting a lofty resolution (say, running a 5K when the flight of stairs at work already has you working up a sweat), let’s start with some basics. If getting in shape is among your New Year’s resolutions, Ask Men has an easy-to-follow guide for building a routine that you’ll actually stick to.

If you resolve to get a more comfortable, cleaner shave this year, you’re in luck: we’ve found several helpful articles on everything from eliminating razor bumps to trying alternative methods to literally smooth out the edges of your shave. Did you know lathering your shaving brush upside down preserves your shaving soap?

And there’s no improving your shave without attention to skincare. The New York Times offers a totally painless article on winter skincare. Simple changes like using a humidifier and applying sunscreen send dry, flaky skin packing.

Here’s to a fabulous, well-groomed new year!

-All of us at RoyalShave

6 ways to combat razor bumps. (GQ)

13 grooming resolutions for the new year. (GQ)

We spy the Merkur 34C: Telegraph UK has unveiled its list of the 10 best wet shave razors for men. (Telegraph UK)

5 easy winter skincare tips to protect your skin from the elements. (The New York Times)

Do you shave before or after you shower? We argue the pros and cons of both. (Grooming Artist)

Sharpologist suggests several methods for smoothing out your shave, including some you may not have thought of before. (Sharpologist)

Getting in shape for the new year doesn’t have to be a chore. Ask Men lays down how to build a weekly workout routine that fits your schedule and goals. (AskMen)

Holiday Gift Guide 2017: 7 Gifts That Last a Lifetime

Here’s an idea: this Christmas, instead of buying the man in your life something flashy, seek out an heirloom that’ll get use over many years – even a lifetime. Each piece is crafted intentionally by artisans preserving tradition. And while the prices reflect the old world craftsmanship and quality, remember: these are timeless investments with sentimental value.

And with that, here are 7 tokens deserving a look.

Moore and GIles Attache

Moore & Giles Standard Attaché

Globetrotters and businessmen on the go will delight in Moore & Giles’ Standard Attaché, a smooth leather briefcase made from titan-milled leather that combines chrome and vegetable tanning for a vibrant, burnished surface similar to that of high-end dress shoes.

But don’t let its sleek exterior fool you – the briefcase boasts serious substance, with functional design elements like a small padded computer compartment and a large compartment with an expandable gusset for document storage. Classic styling means the briefcase pairs well with any outfit, regardless of season.

SHOP: Moore & Giles Standard Attaché, $860

Junghans

Junghans Meister Handaufzug 38mm Stainless Steel and Leather Watch

A exemplum of masterly German watch-making, Junghans Meister Handaufzug is based on a design first built in the 1930s. This handwinding watch combines vintage aesthetic with contemporary technology (including a 42-hour power reserve). A luminous navy dial, slender calf leather strap, and lightweight design make the timepiece a staple suitable for daily wear. The stainless steel case and plexiglass dome ensure durability.

SHOP: Junghans Meister Handaufzug 38mm Stainless Steel and Leather Watch, $1280

Sandro Wool Blend Overcoat

 

Sandro Wool-Blend Overcoat

Add a bit of Parisian cool to his wardrobe with Sandro’s Wool-Blend Overcoat. Crisp tailoring and a streamlined fit – signatures of the Parisian fashion house – make the camel overcoat flattering no matter the occasion. He can dress it up with a shirt and slacks, or throw it over a sweater for weekend errands.

SHOP: Sandro Wool-Blend Overcoat, $645

ceramic

Terre Étoilée Ceramic Cocotte

This Christmas, give him – and your family – the gift of a lifetime of great meals.

Terre Étoilée cookware has been made by artisans in France since 1830. The cook in your life will appreciate the heavy ceramic of this cocotte, which maintains temperature to cook food evenly, and the bosses on the interior of the lid, which capture and redistribute moisture and flavor evenly. This cocotte is a mealtime lifesaver with a simple yet charming design.

SHOP: Terre Étoilée Ceramic Cocotte, $189

liliput

Kaweco Liliput Copper Fountain Pen, Medium Nib

The Kaweco Liliput Copper Fountain Pen (Medium Nib) is for the gentleman who appreciates the art of physically writing down thoughts and notations. The Liliput pen originally debuted in 1910 in Germany, and was re-released over a century later, in 2011. A smaller version of Kaweco’s Sport Fountain Pen, the Liliput Copper Fountain Pen transforms into full-size length once the cap is screwed on to the end of the barrel.

The raw copper body, which has an elegant silhouette, transforms beautifully over time. Frequent use will give the penny red pen a reddish brown patina that will protect it from daily wear.

SHOP: Kaweco Liliput Copper Fountain Pen, Medium Nib, $109


cashmere scarf

Johnstons of Elgin Fringed Cashmere Scarf

Treat your loved one to a luxurious cashmere scarf from a company that holds a Royal Warrant.

Johnstons of Elgin crafts time-honored knitwear he’ll treasure for a lifetime. Founded by Mr. Alexander Johnston over two centuries ago on the banks of the river Lossie in Scotland, the company continues to create knitwear in the same factory where it was founded, using traditional methods. Each scarf goes through 30 painstaking processes before it is delivered to stores.

This understated cashmere does a good job of keeping him warm while looking masculine.

SHOP: Johnstons of Elgin Fringed Cashmere Scarf, $175

hr_401-158-00_muhle-purist-safety-razor-briarwood

Muhle Purist Double Edge Safety Razor, Briarwood

Does he appreciate fine craftsmanship in his grooming tools? Then Muhle Purist Double Edge Safety Razor in Briarwood is a gift he’ll treasure for years to come. A collector’s piece with sinkside appeal, Muhle Purist Double Edge Safety Razor in Briarwood features a stunning briarwood handle, with reddish graining unique to each razor. Briarwood is prized for its aesthetic appeal and durability – it’s the same type of wood used to make high-end tobacco pipes.

This is a gift that keeps on giving day in and day out, as he’ll enjoy smooth, non-irritating shaves from the closed comb construction.

SHOP: Muhle Purist Double Edge Safety Razor, Briarwood, $195

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Should You Shave Before or After You Shower?

Should You Shave Before or After You Shower?

When’s the last time you took a step back and looked at when you shave? It’s easy to fall into a routine of shaving at a specific time every day, especially when you have a packed schedule. But just because your shaving ritual fits neatly between a quick shower and morning coffee doesn’t mean it’s the best time for you to shave.

While shaving post-shower has been touted to deliver the most efficient, enjoyable shave, Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV). Check the shaving forums and you’ll see just as many men exalting a post-shower shave as loathing it, with the latter claiming it sensitizes their skin.

If you find yourself stuck in a shaving rut and experience redness and irritation post shave, reevaluate your timing and take an honest look at what works and what doesn’t. A few changes can turn a monotonous shave into an enlightening one.

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of shaving after you shower and shaving before you shower.

Shaving after you shower

The ideal (i.e. most painless) shave involves removing everything that gets in the way of a clean, slick razor glide. Thus, many men shave after they shower, when their skin is soft and pores are open.

When your hair follicles are dry, they have the cutting density of copper wire, so you should never go at them before first reducing the cutting strength by wetting your beard. Steam from the shower softens hair, making it easier to cut with fewer passes. And an easier cut means less tugging and pulling your skin. Meanwhile, the steam opens pores, allowing you to get in closer to the follicle. Think about it: the tighter the pore, the harder it is to rip hair out of it.

Then there is the bacteria factor: shaving after you shower ensures you’ve let hot water wash away traces of pollutants, dirt, and grime so they can’t be caught in your razor and spread around your face.  This bacteria can easily seep into microtears in your face, causing irritation and razor burn.

Shaving before you shower

While shaving after your shower has a hefty list of benefits, some men say doing so actually causes more irritation and makes their skin sensitive. Indeed, depending on how you like your shower, there is some truth in the matter. If you prefer hot showers, the water may over plump your skin, predisposing you to weepers and nicks. Super hot water actually dries out your skin by removing skin’s natural oils, leaving you with a dry feeling when you shave afterwards.

While the solution is to switch to warm water and perhaps apply pre-shave oil to remedy the dryness, it may not remedy the situation for everyone.

Also, not all of us have time to devote to a luxurious shaving ritual after we shower. Shaving before you shower saves time and the effort of extra clean up at the end.

should you shave before or after your shower?

So which is better?

Although the hair-softening, pore-opening steam of a warm shower is fabulous prep for your shave, your skin has its own needs. Try both methods to see which one gives you less irritation and fewer nicks. You may have been successfully shaving after your shower until now, but as your skin changes (due to age or varying climates) you may find that shaving before your shower works better.

Or pick the routine that suits your daily demands.

If you’re simply short on time and can’t afford to progress slowly through the shaving ritual, save time by shaving before you shower – but with one caveat: complete a hot towel treatment before you shave.

A good alternative: A hot towel treatment

A classic barbershop tool, a hot towel treatment is the mid ground between shaving before you shower and shaving after you shower. If you’re planning to shave before you shower, this treatment will warm and soften skin and hair. While a hot towel isn’t as effective at softening hair as a shower, it does make whiskers swell up. A hot towel won’t remove environmental pollutants and grime.

How to do a hot towel treatment:

  1. Wash your face.
  2. Soak a washcloth in warm water and hold it up to your face for at least 3 minutes, the amount of time it takes to significantly reduce cutting resistance.
  3. If you don’t have a towel on hand, you can also wash your face with warm water for a few minutes before applying shaving cream.
  4. Shave your face.

Tips:

-For extra softening, use moisturizing conditioner on your beard in the shower. Look for one with softening properties, like Dreadnought Concentrated Conditioner.

-Test out your pre-shave shower method: use conditioner before you shave for a week, and then no conditioner for a week. Repeat.

-Beginners can benefit for a post-shower shave in the evening, when they can take their time to perfect their method. 

-Option: exfoliate in the shower to achieve a closer shave. Exfoliation removes dead skin and debris that would otherwise get in the way of a clean shave. However, if you are a novice do not exfoliate until your skin acclimates to daily shaving. If you do exfoliate, do so on the days you’re not shaving.

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