Saturday, May 28, 2011

Natural Acne Treatment with Aloe Vera

For thousands of years, people have relied on aloe vera to treat various skin conditions. It should come as no surprise then this plant can also be very effective against acne. What makes aloe vera a very popular natural acne remedy?

The Healing Properties of Aloe Vera
Recent scientific research has proven many of aloe vera's health benefits. Anti-inflammatory compounds called indomethacin and dexamethasone in the plant help reduce inflammation and redness in wounds, burns, and even in acne. These also help promote wound healing and skin cell turnover to help minimize wound and acne scars. Aloe vera also contains a class of compounds called anthraquinones which help absorb harmful ultraviolet light and reduce telltale dark spots from pimples.

Aloe vera is also a rich source of the vitamins A and C. These protect the body and the skin from damage and also with skin repair and maintenance. The plant also has lot of saponins that can kill bacteria and viruses, including the Propionium bacteria that lead to pus-filled acne. Interestingly, the aloe vera sap also contains salicylic acid, the same ingredient found in anti-acne products to help loosen up clogged pores and eliminate whiteheads and blackheads.

Using Aloe Vera for Acne
You will find a lot of products with aloe vera. These range from facial tissues, creams, lotions to gels. If you're going to buy one of these, look for pure 100% aloe vera gels. These work most efficiently without additional synthetic chemicals that may only clog your pores or irritate the skin.

If you're going all-natural, the best way is to buy and care for an aloe vera plant. They're relatively cheap and are very easy to maintain. You'll just need a small piece of the leaf which contains enough gel for your entire face. Apply the gel on the whole face after washing, then let its skin-friendly ingredients penetrate for 15 minutes. You can wash it off afterwards with water or just leave it on - aloe gel works very well as a combination astringent/moisturizer too.

To make the most out aloe vera's health benefits, you can combine your daily aloe facial with aloe vera juice or supplements taken orally. Besides working from inside the body to keep skin clear and healthy, the plant's sap is also good for cleansing the stomach and liver, managing blood sugar levels, and boosting the immune system. You can make your own aloe juice by cutting about 5 to 10 cm of the leaf, slitting it in half along the axis, then scooping out the clear gel and blending with lemon or orange or mixing with water and a bit of sugar. Be careful not to include any green part or brown juice of the leaf, as these cause stomach irritation and diarrhea. If you're not sure about this, you can buy aloe juice powder or supplements in health stores.

Treating acne with aloe vera is just one natural acne treatment you can try. While this may work for mild to moderate acne, you may want to look at other options for moderate to severe breakouts.

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