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Aloe Vera for Acne – a Natural Solution.

Aloe Vera for Acne – a Natural Solution.

Aloe vera – or Aloe barbadensis – is a fatty plant belonging to the Liliaceae family. It grows in dry, tropical climates. Its leaves contain a gel renowned for soothing sunburn and moisturizing the skin. It also has antibacterial properties, enabling it to effectively combat imperfections. But is aloe vera good for acne? Find answers.

Acne: Definition, Causes and Consequences.

According to the SFD (French Association for Dermatology), 15 million people in France suffer from acne, including 3.3 million over the age of 15. This skin disorder mainly affects teenagers, but also some adults. The number-one reason for consulting a dermatologist, this skin condition can lead to a lack of self-confidence and real psychological suffering.

By definition, acne is an inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous follicle, resulting in oily skin and the appearance of pimples on the face. It's due to excessive sebum secretion by the sebaceous glands (dysseborrhea) and a dysfunction in keratin synthesis, which clog the skin's pores, favoring the appearance of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). What's more, in this grease-rich environment, a bacterium usually present in small quantities on the skin, Propionibacterium acnes, proliferates, generating an inflammatory response on the epidermal surface.

This condition is often caused by stress, pollution, and hormones. However, a poor lifestyle (lack of sleep, smoking, unbalanced diet, poor hygiene…) can also trigger or aggravate acne.

Aloe Vera for Acne: A Natural Treatment.

Aloe vera is a succulent plant capable of surviving in arid environments, thanks to the water it stores in its leaves. Mechanical pressure on the leaves produces a gel rich in polysaccharides, vitamins, trace elements, enzymes and amino acids. In cosmetics, this natural substance is best known for its moisturizing and soothing properties. The virtues of aloe for acne are less well known, yet it can act on several levels to limit blemishes.

  • Aloe vera limits inflammation.

    Aloe vera extract reduces redness and the marks left by blemishes, known as post-inflammatory erythema. In fact, it inhibits the cyclooxygenase pathway and reduces the production of prostaglandin E2 (pro-inflammatory cytokines) from arachidonic acid. What's more, a new anti-inflammatory compound called C-glucosyl chromone has recently been isolated from aloe vera gel extracts.

  • It fights bacteria:

    Aloe vera gel contains several antiseptic agents, including lupeol, salicylic acid and cinnamic acid. These inhibit fungi, bacteria, and viruses. They limit the proliferation of P. acnes and S. epidermidis bacteria, which are involved in inflammatory acne reactions.

  • Aloe acts in synergy with certain ingredients for acne, boosting their efficacy.

    A study published in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of Dermatological Treatment showed that aloe gel stimulated the action of tretinoin, a prescription-only acne treatment.

Sources

  • DAVIS R. H. & al. Processed Aloe vera administered topically inhibits inflammation. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association (1989).

  • TIAN B. & al. Relationship between antibacterial activity of Aloe and its anthaquinone compounds. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi (2003)

  • CHULAROJANAMONTRI L. & al. Moisturizers for acne: What are their Constituents ? Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (2014).

  • HAJHEYDARI Z. & al. Effect of Aloe vera topical gel combined with tretinoin in treatment of mild and moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind, prospective trial. Journal of Dermatological Treatment (2014).

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