Aloe vera is a tropical succulent with over 500 varieties. People have used this short-stemmed shrub for thousands of years to treat minor skin conditions like rashes, burns, and irritation.
Today, people still use the gel from aloe vera leaves for sunburn relief. But is aloe vera really an effective sunburn treatment? In fact, there’s a fair amount of scientific evidence showing that aloe vera is indeed helpful in healing mild to moderate sunburns.
If you’re planning to use aloe vera as a sunburn treatment, here’s what you need to know:
How Does Aloe Vera Help Sunburn?
Aloe vera gel works in three ways to treat sunburn:
- It Cools The Skin
Aloe vera has soothing properties that help provide pain relief for minor sunburns. The succulent helps inhibit the cyclooxygenase pathway, which initiates the production of prostaglandins from arachidonic acid. Prostaglandins play a vital role in the body’s inflammatory response. High levels of prostaglandins are typically produced as a response to infection or injury and cause fever, swelling, or pain — all normal parts of the body’s healing process.
Aloe vera also contains bradykinase, an enzyme that helps reduce excessive inflammation. Salicylic acid, an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent, also naturally occurs in aloe vera gel. This organic compound helps ease pain and prevent infection. Furthermore, salicylic acid helps with sloughing away dry or rough skin and promotes a fresher and healthier complexion.
- It Hydrates The Skin
Aloe vera contains mucopolysaccharides, or long chains of sugar molecules, which help the skin retain moisture. The gel stimulates the production of fibroblast—a type of cell that secretes collagen proteins and helps in the formation of connective tissue.
The evergreen plant doesn’t just help increase collagen content. It also helps alter collagen composition to boost collagen cross-linking and thus, accelerate the skin’s healing. Because of the hydrating effects of its amino acid content, aloe vera doesn’t just help get rid of dry chafing on the skin. It can also reduce potential skin peeling, which may happen as the skin begins to heal.
- It Helps Heal The Affected Area
A recent study found that people suffering from first- and second-degree burns tend to heal faster if they apply aloe gel compared to using topical antibiotics. Another study showed that aloe gel leads to a shorter healing time for second-degree burns compared to stem-cell injections.
Aloe vera’s healing effects may be attributed to its active components. For instance, aloe vera contains anthraquinones — phenolic compounds that act as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and analgesic — which help alleviate and promote healing when applied topically.
Aloe vera gel is also a good source of vitamins A, C, and E. These antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which break down the skin’s collagen and cause fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and loose skin. Antioxidants are also useful in soothing burns, promoting wound healing, and protecting the skin from damage.
How Do You Use Aloe Vera To Treat Sunburn?
After taking a cool shower or bath, apply aloe vera gel taken straight from the plant onto the affected area. You can also use an aloe vera moisturizer or lotion for this, but it’s highly recommended to use products that contain 100% aloe vera gel.
It’s also important to keep in mind that aloe vera gel is a great topical treatment, but only if you have mild to moderate sunburn. If the condition is more severe, such as a second-degree burn that leads to open wounds or blisters, it’s best to seek the help of a medical professional for proper treatment and infection prevention.
Working on Your Line of Aloe Vera Products? We Can Help
Aloe vera products aren’t created equal. If you’re planning to launch your line of aloe vera products to help treat sunburn or address other skin concerns, make sure you’re working with a reliable supplier that can guarantee the quality and effectiveness of their offerings.At Aloe Laboratories, we work hard to ensure that our clients are getting the highest quality aloe vera gel available. We will also be happy to provide you with practical advice to make sure your business hits the ground running. Contact us today to see how we can meet your needs.