Beyond the fact that the aloe is a very pretty plant, it has several very interesting qualities to exploit in cosmetics ... and it is also what has been done for several decades! There are several species, but it is thealoe vera which is the most used around the world. I open a parenthesis to share with you information that I found in writing this article, for those who are not aware, aloe, like cactus, survives when it is not watered often ... Parenthesis closed.
What makes it such a popular choice and especially what are the real benefits of these succulents?
The virtue that is most attributed to him is definitely its anti-inflammatory action and in fact, applying aloe gel to soothe a sunburn is probably the most common advice on the internet and even in pharmacies. To better understand how aloe acts at this level, one must briefly understand what inflammation actually is. Let's continue with the example of sunburn ... when the skin is burned by the sun (or similarly when it is stressed or irritated by shaving) it becomes red, hot and hurts ... in fact it protects itself and is in activate its "defense process". In two lines, the immune cells perceive the signals that there is aggression and release mediators of inflammation, including histamine, into the joint tissues. It follows the appearance of heat, redness, pain and edema that we know well when we burn.
The active ingredients contained in the aloe that would relieve these symptoms would be salicylates, magnesium lactate as well as various polysaccharides. The former would act a little like aspirin to reduce inflammation, the second would inhibit the production of histamine (see above its role if needed), the third would have immunomodulatory properties (that is to say that they slow down the immune response of the body).
Some also give aloe antioxidant, healing and antimicrobial properties. However, serious literature on the subject is missing, the studies being rather anecdotal and more or less rigorous.
So are we looking for products that contain aloe? Certainly, to me to be allergic, it can not hurt! So Yes for all the reasons listed above. Small downside however, several after-sun products of Aloe Jelly contain alcohol, so be careful to read carefully the list of ingredients before making a choice! Alcohol temporarily relieves inflammation as it numbs the skin, but will also dry and irritate it.
Baumann, Leslie. Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients (235). McGraw-Hill Education.
Talmadge J, Chavez J, Jacobs L, et al. Fractionation of aloe vera L. inner gel, purification and molecular profiling of activity. Int Immunopharmacol. 2004; 4: 1757.
Wu J. Anti-inflammatory ingredients. J Drugs Dermatol. 2008; 7: s13.
Yagi A, Takeo S. Anti-inflammatory constituents, aloesin and aloemannan in Aloe species and effects of tanshinon VI in Salvia miltiorrhiza on heart. Yakugaku Zasshi. 2003; 123: 517.