As natural ingredients go, you’ve probably heard that aloe vera is one of the best, but did you know that it’s also a superstar ingredient for anyone suffering with eczema? It’s true!
Sometimes referred to as a “miracle plant,” aloe vera is a flowering succulent shrub that typically grows in dry climates and, as a result, is known for its remarkable ability to store water. For centuries, it has been used in a variety of natural remedies for the skin, body, and overall wellness. The gel from the aloe vera plant leaves is pure enough to be applied directly, and it is sometimes cultivated as an extract in various topical formulas.
As a beauty remedy, aloe vera has also become an extraordinarily popular skincare ingredient, with applications for everything from treating burns and wounds, to preventing wrinkles. This is because its high water content and nutrient-rich composition make it ideal for addressing a number of skin concerns. But most excitingly, its proven healing properties have a lot of potential for treating eczema.
Here are a few reasons why we love it: The Benefits of Aloe Vera for Eczema
Benefit #1: Aloe vera is anti-Inflammatory - For soothing and calming common eczema symptoms, including redness, itching, and irritation, aloe vera makes a perfect antidote due to its inherent anti-inflammatory abilities. In skincare, it can help to drastically reduce inflammation, which is a root cause of many eczema flare ups.
Benefit #2: Aloe vera promotes repair- Beyond just reducing the symptoms of eczema, experts say it can also help to facilitate healing. This is because the aloe vera plant is rich in polysaccharides that encourage collagen production and cellular regeneration, thereby speeding up wound healing. Additionally, aloe is an antioxidant, making it beneficial for fighting environmental stressors that can contribute to struggling skin.
Benefit #3: Aloe vera is super hydrating- Given that it can survive in the driest of desert environments, it’s unsurprising that aloe vera is very effective at supporting moisture retention in the skin. Therefore, it only makes sense that it can provide relief for the many eczema symptoms that are worsened by a lack of hydration, including dryness, tightness, and flaking skin.
Benefit #4: Aloe vera is antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial - When the skin is compromised or damaged it can become more vulnerable to infection, particularly if the skin has become broken from scratching or excessive itching. Luckily, because aloe vera helps boost epidermal immunity and has infection-fighting properties, it can be a helpful ally to the skin during an eczema outbreak.
Benefit #5: Aloe vera is gentle for sensitive skin - If you experience eczema symptoms, you likely already know that your skin is prone to sensitivity. The good news is that as an ingredient that’s all-natural, vegan, and plant-derived, aloe vera is a good choice because it is incredibly gentle and appropriate for most skin types. Some studies have even found it effective for treating baby skin that is experiencing eczema, diaper rash, or dermatitis.
How to Use Aloe Vera for Eczema Skincare If you are ready to try aloe vera for yourself, a good place to start is to seek it out as an ingredient (it sometimes appears under the name aloe barbadensis) in a simple, gentle formula such as a moisturizer, or just as a pure gel.
As with any new product you introduce, you may want to do a patch test first, and always watch for signs of an allergic reaction. While aloe is not known to be a cure-all for any skin condition, many people who experience eczema have found great results by incorporating it daily, or even multiple times daily, as needed.