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.”

Why You Should Use Algae on Your Face

A background on algae

The slimy stuff you usually see making streams look murky is actually highly beneficial for your skin. Algae have been used for many years as the basis of healthy foods like Kombucha and sushi (seaweed is a type of algae), boosting healthy bacteria. Algae are also used to thicken foods and skincare products so they don’t become runny. But in recent years, algae have come into the spotlight as a potent skincare ingredient: the green gunk is rich in minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.

There are 2 types of algae:

Microalgae – Tiny, single-celled creatures

Macroalgae – Multi-cellular organisms like seaweed and kelp

Within these two categories, over 20,000 species of algae exist. The main ones you should know about are brown algae, green microalgae, and red algae.

Why should I rub pond organisms on my face?

Algae are natural moisturizers that enhance skin barrier function. These plant organisms hydrate skin and then lock in the moisture. Algae condition the skin after a shave, when your skin is thirsting for replenishment.

Who should be using algae in skincare products?

Algae are beneficial for everyone – and are skin savers for wet shavers. Brimming with vitamins and minerals, algae is a natural antioxidant, emollient, and soothing agent. Apply a product with algae before your shave for stronger skin more resistant to irritation and cuts, and after your shave for instant skin barrier repair.

Red algae (including carrageenan and Irish moss)

If you have acne, red algae have antimicrobial properties, reducing inflammation without the drying properties of over the counter drugs. Red algae also absorb UVA rays, acting like natural sunscreen.

Brown algae

Out in the sun all the time? Brown algae combat free radical oxidation.

Mature skin can also benefit from brown algae, which improve the appearance of aging skin.

Green micro-algae

Full of phytochemicals, green micro-algae combat free radicals and inflammation while regulating melanin production. If you have an old scar from acne or a razor nick, this type of algae will improve skin tone and fade the scar gradually.

Our product recommendations:

Baxter of California Vitamin Cleansing Bar

This bar soap is far from drying. Aloe vera, glycerin, and seaweed (brown algae) nourish skin, while vitamins E and A neutralize free radicals for protection from the elements and pollution.

SHOP: Baxter of California Vitamin Cleansing Bar

The Art of Shaving After-Shave Gel

Carrageenan boosts the moisture quotient in this lightweight gel aftershave. Calendula extract contains anti-inflammatory linoleic acid, which heals a wide variety of skin conditions, from acne to eczema. Add this aftershave to your post-shave routine if you have oily or normal skin.

SHOP: The Art of Shaving After-Shave Gel

 —

Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

Protect your skin after a morning shave with Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20. Blue algae keeps skin supple while reducing inflammation, and sea parsley contains vitamins A and C to encourage collagen production (and thereby skin healing).

SHOP: Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

9 Easy Razor Burn Solutions

No matter how masterful a wet shaver you are, you’ve experienced razor burn at some point. As a shaving connoisseur, you already know that switching to a DE razor or straight razor eliminates most of the threat. But there are plenty of other solutions, too, that might not occur to you right away. Making moisturizing a daily routine, for instance, instead of only after you shave, or shaving at night so you’re not stressing your skin with a full day of activities and environmental toxins.

If you have a tip not mentioned on this list, share it with us – and your fellow wet shavers – by leaving a comment below, or connecting with us on Facebook or Instagram.

1. Exfoliate before you shave

If you’re not exfoliating, you’re missing a crucial step to preventing razor burn. Exfoliating removes dead skin, oil, and other debris that can clog your razor blade and lead to razor burn. Exfoliating can also unearth ingrown hairs.

Choose an exfoliator based on your skin type: if you have normal/oily skin, try an exfoliator with glycolic acid, which dissolves the outermost layer of skin to encourage cell repair and healing. Pick one that comes with physical exfoliators (like beads or pumice) to get a deeper clean. Billy Jealousy Assassin is an intense exfoliator with walnut shell powder and sweet almond meal for physical exfoliation, as well as natural exfoliating enzymes. It’s so effective you can reduce the appearance of discoloration and scars over time!

If you have sensitive skin, a chemical exfoliator with beta hydroxy acids is gentler. We’re a big fan of Triumph & Disaster Rock & Roll Suicide Face Scrub, which exfoliates with salicylic acid, volcanic ash, and green clay.

2. Make moisturizing a routine

Good skincare, plain and simple, is the basis of strong, healthy skin.

Dragging a piece of metal across your face is highly irritating. Keep your skin hydrated and irritation-free with a gentle aftershave balm, followed by a fragrance-free moisturizer. Avoid products containing alcohol, which is drying.

But don’t just limit moisturizing to after your shaves; apply moisturizer every morning and at night before you go to sleep.

3. Rinse your face with cold water after shaving

Warm water feels better, but at the end of a shave, splashing your face with cold water closes pores and cuts. It can even prevent ingrown hairs from forming.

4. Clean your blade between strokes

Each stroke you make collects a fresh batch of bacteria, shaving cream, and whiskers. If you don’t rinse your blade before the next stroke, you’re using a blade that’s filled with goop. Because the razor is now dull, you’ll get an uneven cut and may end up pressing down harder to compensate, irritating the skin. Not only that, but the dirty razor will also distribute pore-clogging bacteria. The solution? Simply rinse your blade with water between each stroke.

5. Disinfect the blade with alcohol

Over time, blades dull as mineral crystals from the water form microscopic “teeth” on the edge. These teeth drag across the skin, producing razor burn and cuts. Prevent this process by dipping the blade in rubbing alcohol at the end of your shave. Dip the blade in rubbing alcohol again right before you start your next shave.

6. Natural remedies

Aloe vera – Aloe vera is nature’s gift to irritated skin. It’s a painkiller that reduces swelling while forming a moisturizing barrier to encourage healing. Plus, it naturally contains salicylic acid to destroy bacteria.

Aloe vera cools on contact to sooth razor burn. Apply aloe vera gel on your face and allow to set for 5 – 10 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.

Tea bags – White, green, and black tea contain tannic acid, which is an anti-bacterial, astringent, and antioxidant. Once you’re finished with your morning tea, place the tea bag in the fridge for 10 minutes. Then rub the tea bag over the inflamed skin to calm redness.

Honey – Honey is an antibacterial that reduces swelling and inflammation while moisturizing the skin. Apply honey to skin and leave on for 10 – 15 minutes before rinsing.

Aspirin – Make use of aspirin’s excellent anti-inflammatory properties by creating an aspirin paste. Crush two aspirins in a teaspoon of water, then rub the paste on affected skin. Rinse off after 10 minutes.

7. Use an antibiotic face wash or ointment

Razor burn is caused by bacteria, so eliminate the source with either an antibacterial face wash or ointment.

8. Shave at night

Think about your morning routine. Let’s say you shave, apply aftershave, lotion, and sunscreen before heading out the door. Then you spend a full day out and about, during which time you’re likely to sweat. The sweat, in combination with using multiple products, can make your skin more prone to razor burn.

You are also more likely to come into contact with bacteria and toxins during the day.

Switch to shaving at night so you’re not stressing your skin out right after a shave. Instead, your skin will have a full night to focus on nothing but repair.

9. Remember your environment

If you live in a cold, dry climate, consider using a richer aftershave and moisturizer. If it’s hot and humid, you can get away with using a lighter product. Even if you live somewhere with moderate weather – like California – you may still want to switch up your products depending on the season.

The Benefits of Peppermint Oil in Your Shave Routine

candy-cane

During the holiday season, you’re bound to see peppermint everywhere – in the form of candy canes, mints, chocolates, and seasonal drinks. But did you know that this winter staple is also a fantastic skin treatment?

The peppermint herb, a cross between watermint and spearmint, is the world’s oldest medicine, and its effects have been proven in the scientific community. Its ability to treat a myriad of health problems – including indigestion, headache, sore muscles, and dry skin and hair, means you’ll find it in everything from shampoo to muscle rubs, and even shaving products!

Today, we’ll be focusing on how peppermint is a fantastic treatment for skin, and its benefits for wet shavers. This seasonal mainstay is one that deserves to be used year-round.

Skin/Shave

Antiseptic properties

Peppermint is naturally rich in Vitamin A, C, and omega-3 fatty acids, so it reduces inflammation while restoring moisture for all skin types. Peppermint also contains menthol, which creates that lovely cooling sensation when you apply it to your skin. As an antiseptic, it prevents infection after traumatic events like burns and rashes, as well as shaving-specific events like razor burn and bumps.

Balancing skin

Peppermint is especially useful for balancing your skin. If your skin is oily or acne-prone, it can improve the texture by controlling the secretion of excess oil. It also prevents clogged pores that lead to pimples. If you have dull skin, peppermint stimulates circulation to brighten the complexion.

Skin saver during wet shaving

It’s this combination of skin numbing, moisturizing, and disinfectant properties that makes peppermint oil a common ingredient in shave creams. RazoRock Peppermint Shaving Lube mixes peppermint with aloe juice to produce an invigorating, smooth glide. Taylor of Old Bond Street Peppermint Shaving Cream uses peppermint to add a kick to its moisturizing lather.

Aromatherapeutic benefits

In addition to improving your shave, peppermint is well known for its aromatherapeutic benefits. The energizing scent of peppermint relieves you from stress, depression, anxiety, and mental exhaustion.

Studies have also shown that smelling peppermint’s essential oil vapor instantly increases blood circulation, oxygenating the body and brain and leading to higher cognitive function.

If you’re always multitasking, this means more mental clarity and focus. This energizing effect also extends to tension: peppermint relaxes tense muscles and relieves headaches. If you’re shaving daily with a peppermint-oil infused product, these are benefits that’ll start your day on a high note.

Some product recommendations: 

product-picks

SHOP: 1. Dr K Soap Company Shaving Oil, 2. Triumph & Disaster Ritual Face Cleanser, 3. Simpsons Shaving Cream, 4. Taylor of Old Bond Street Peppermint Shaving Cream, 5. RazoRock Peppermint Shaving Lube.

Untitled-1

%d bloggers like this: