We all want products in our skincare arsenal that do amazing things for our skin, without having to risk any alarming side effects. We should have access to natural, safe, and nonirritating ingredients without having to compromise by putting anything questionable on our delicate skin. What if a product like that existed and didn’t only help your skin, but also had other benefits, like for your hair? You guessed it—it’s aloe vera! This miracle plant has so much to offer. Aloe vera, or Aloe barbadensis miller, is hydrating, soothing, healing, cooling, and so much more!
Ingredients Are the Name of the Game!
Picture this: you’ve spent all day in the sun, and you know a painful sunburn is in your future. You head to the nearest store, maybe Walmart or Target, to pick up some aloe vera gel to soothe your skin, but as you look through the aisles, you find the options endless! How are you supposed to pick between all these seemingly similar products?!
It’s situations like this that show us why ingredients are really the MVP. What you’ll likely find as you scan the ingredient lists on the bottles of the sticky green gel we all grew up seeing, is that one of the first ingredients is likely an alcohol. If one main purpose of Aloe Vera is to bring hydration, why are companies including something so drying? Not only is alcohol a common ingredient, but many companies may also choose to add fragrances. Fragrance is a known irritant, so why would we want to put that on our already irritated skin? On top of the alcohols and fragrances, there are countless needless additives that do nothing to help our skin. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in lathering all those unnecessary chemicals onto my skin. Pure, natural aloe vera doesn’t need any help in being a hero product!
As you browse the aisles of your local Target or Walmart, you may see some familiar sun care brands, like Banana Boat or Hawaiian Tropic. You may think to yourself that these are well-known brands; they must be reputable and wouldn’t put any unnecessary and harmful ingredients in their products. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.
One product you may see on the shelves is the Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Lotion. A friendly lime green bottle toting promises of “indulge, pamper, and nourish” and advertising soothing aloe vera and shea and cocoa butters. Sounds nice enough, right? What they don’t tell you about are all the truly dangerous products they’ve included in this innocent looking packaging. For example, this product contains propylparaben, which is a paraben (harmful preservative) that has been listed as a substance of very high concern by the European Chemicals Agency due to its endocrine disrupting properties. That’s basically a fancy way of saying it could damage our reproductive systems. I don’t know about you, but that horrifies me and I will be staying far away from any ingredient like that.
This product also contains retinyl palmitate, which is a type of retinol, or vitamin A. You may be thinking, “hey, I thought retinol was a super popular skincare product?”. You would be correct; retinol is popularly used for its anti-aging benefits. However, this ingredient needs to be used in moderation in face and hand products, and simply should not be used in body care or lip products. Where are we using aloe vera gel? All over our bodies! For a company to include an ingredient like this and not even include so much as a disclaimer feels pretty unethical to me. They were quick to advertise the “soothing aloe vera gel” on the front of the packaging, but where does aloe lie in the ingredient hierarchy? Oh, it’s one of the last 5 ingredients, followed only by ascorbic acid and various dyes. Weird place to put one of the “main” ingredients if you ask me. I can’t help but wonder why there is so much dishonesty. The first two ingredients in this product are water and petrolatum. So, case in point, this product is mostly fillers, fragrances, and dyes with hardly a drop of aloe vera leaf juice. There’s no way I’m reaching for this when I need some relief.
When shopping for aloe vera gel, look for something with a short ingredient list and has pure aloe vera listed as its main ingredient. NaturSense carries the best option with 99.75% pure and organic aloe vera—all the good stuff without any of the bad.
What Kinds of Benefits Can Aloe Provide?
We’ve talked a lot about aloe being used for treating and soothing sunburns, and that is generally what people think of when they think of aloe vera because of its healing and soothing properties. However, did you know that Aloe Vera can be used for so much more? Aloe can be used for skincare (more than just burns), hair care, and some people even swear by taking it orally! Aloe Vera is one of those rare substances that have many benefits without many downsides, if any. I call it my miracle product, but that’s just me!
Aloe for Skin
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be so beneficial for so many aspects of skincare. Especially dealing with swollen and inflamed acne, aloe vera can help soothe the inflammation. In the same way that good aloe vera (not that yucky and honestly, scary, additive-filled stuff we talked about earlier) can provide instant and lasting relief from a sunburn, the same can be experienced for those inflamed pimples we get. I like to apply a cold compress to those swollen breakouts, followed by a pure aloe gel. Game changer! Here at Nue Trend, we know that the earth gives us what we need. When given the chance to steer clear of harsh chemicals, it’s always worth a try!
Aloe vera is a natural humectant. A humectant is a substance that draws moisture from the environment to your skin. Humectants work hand in hand with moisturizers by bringing moisture from the air to help us be that much more dewy and plump! A humectant you might be familiar with is hyaluronic acid. Aloe Vera provides us with these hydrating benefits, while also providing its additional healing and anti-inflammatory benefits.
The great thing about the versatility and gentle nature of aloe vera gel is that the same product you lather all over your body can also be used on your face. Of course, if you have sensitive skin, always patch test before trying any new product! However, the beauty of using pure aloe vera gel and steering clear of additives is minimizing your chances of being a sensitizing ingredient.
A quality, clean, and pure aloe vera gel can be a valuable addition to anyone’s skincare routine. In a world where the options for active ingredients are endless (I’m looking at you niacinamide, vitamin c, retinol, AHA’s, and BHA’s), it’s great to have an ingredient that is so gentle and simple. Now, don’t get me wrong, those ingredients listed can be wonderful! However, they can be harsh and not always user-friendly, especially as you try to layer and mix. As someone with more sensitive-leaning skin, I love having something I can reach for when I want something soothing and calming, while still knowing it’s benefiting my skin. I’ve personally had success using pure aloe gel on dark marks left by body acne, and there are studies to support this!
Aloe for Hair
After hearing about all that Aloe Vera can do for our skin, should we even be surprised that there are benefits for our hair, too? How many products do you have in your vanity that you use on your skin and can turn right around to use on your hair? Personally, I can’t say I have many, if any at all. That’s the fantastic thing about this affordable miracle product: one product can truly help you head to toe. Not to mention the impact this could have on the environment: fewer products purchased = less waste. Sounds pretty good to me!
Certain evidence suggests aloe vera gel can help calm the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff. Applying aloe vera gel to the scalp has been shown to help solve the scalp inflammation that can cause an itchy scalp and flaky skin.
Did you know that UV rays can damage our hair, just like our skin? Understanding the ways in which aloe vera gel heals and soothes sunburns has led some to suggest that the beneficial vitamins in the gel can also aid UV-damaged hair. There have also been claims that aloe vera gel may promote hair growth. Although there is little clinical evidence to support these claims, the beauty of this simple and natural ingredient is, once again, that there is likely no downside to trying it out to see if it works for you!
We here at the Nue Trend know and remember the Earth gives us magic all on its own—we don’t need synthetic, manmade products coming in and harming us. The gift held within the leaves of the aloe vera plant is a perfect example of this. A plant that can be easily grown by those of us with a green thumb, or bought in bottles by those of us without… it’s a simple, clean, and natural ingredient that can truly benefit our bodies from head to toe.
The most important thing to remember when shopping for aloe vera gel, or anything you’re putting in or on your body, is to be intentional about focusing on each of those specific ingredients. A general rule of thumb is the shorter the ingredient list, the better. You want whatever it is you’re looking for, here Aloe Vera, to be the star of the show! Not hidden among a slew of useless filler ingredients. I am thrilled to have found a hero product from NaturSense to fulfill all my aloe needs, especially after feeling so discouraged by the selection at my local retailers.
Cheers to a “Nue Trend” of honest companies choosing to leave the harmful stuff out, and bringing the good in!