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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.”