What you need to know about using aloe vera on your skin
We all know that using aloe vera gel helps soothe the pain of a bad sunburn. Unfortunately, we’ve all been there—though we’re going to go ahead and assume you’ve learned your lessons and are diligent about using sunscreen now. Every. Single. Day.
But just because you’re trying to make sunburns a thing of the past doesn’t mean you should nix aloe altogether. In case you didn’t know, aloe vera is actually a very beneficial ingredient that helps treat a range of skin concerns apart from sunburns. Its soothing, calming properties can be incorporated into your regular routine, all year round.
To get the full scoop on choosing the best aloe skincare products, we reached out to Harold Lancer, M.D., F.A.A.D. (who, by the way, happens to be Kim Kardashian, J.Lo, and Victoria Beckham’s go-to derm), who filled us in on what we need to know about aloe vera and using it on our skin.
First things first: What’s the point of using aloe in your skin care routine?
“Aloe vera is an important natural active ingredient that is used as an anti-inflammatory agent,” explains Dr. Lancer. “It boosts vitamins A and C, as well as enzymes and antioxidants which work to repair burned or dehydrated skin.”
Is aloe beneficial for all skin types–even the most sensitive skin?
Yes! In fact, Dr. Lancer insists that it’s most beneficial on dry or acne-prone skin, and says that it works well for treating rosacea, too. “It promotes barrier repair, reduces dryness, and alleviates skin irritation.” You can also use topical aloe-containing skin care products with any other ingredients in your regular routine as an add-on for more benefits.
Does aloe work best in a certain type of skincare product?
“In terms of skincare, aloe works best when it is used in creams and serums,” says Dr. Lancer. “A cream with aloe will allow for hydration and alleviate dryness, and serums are incredibly important as they can soothe irritations and provide a protective barrier by inhibiting water loss.” So, if you notice that your complexion is reacting especially well to aloe skin care products, double up by layering a cream on top of a serum.
What are some of the key differences between using a natural aloe vera gel and a skincare product formulated with aloe?
“Aloe vera gel is best when used as an agent to help a burn or irritation,” explains Dr. Lancer. “Skincare products containing aloe work with other ingredients to impact the skin’s complexion.” So during desperate times (aka sunburns), reach for the thick, gooey aloe vera gel you know and love. Any other time, turn to a skin care product that lists aloe as one of the ingredients for added benefits.
These are some of our favorite skincare products with aloe vera:
1Lancer Soothe & Hydrate Serum with Hyaluronic Acid
“One of my newest products, Soothe and Hydrate Serum, gently calms and visibly reduces skin redness providing a balanced tone,” says Dr. Lancer. “It contains aloe leaf juice, hyaluronic acid, and honey peptides to visibly calm and hydrate the skin while also providing anti-aging benefits.”
2Dermalogica Redness Relief Essence
The toner-serum hybrid not only reduces the appearance of redness (on the spot and over time), but also the more you use it, the stronger your skin barrier becomes.