Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Aloe Vera for Acne: How It Works and How to Use It

  • Aloe vera is a plant that has been used for centuries for medicinal and skin care purposes 
  • It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits
  • Aloe vera gel can be obtained directly from the plant or purchased in skin care products such as gels, ointments, creams and cleansers
  • It is generally considered safe for topical use and is unlikely to cause side effects

Aloe vera is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s an ancient, antioxidant-rich plant that has been used throughout history for its healing properties. Aloe vera for acne is an effective, natural way to treat and prevent acne breakouts and has some potential to reduce the appearance of acne scars. 

This gel is safe for all skin types. The gel can be taken directly from the plant or found easily  within a variety of commercial skin care products.

Does Aloe Vera for Acne Work? 

Yes, this gel is a proven anti-inflammatory agent that can effectively treat mild-to-moderate acne. It has been shown to significantly reduce acne lesions. 

Research also demonstrates that aloe leaves and the gel they produce are antimicrobial and can target a wide range of microbes, including viruses and bacteria. Aloe vera can help control and reduce the presence of Cutibacterium acnes (formerly Propionibacterium acnes) bacteria, a primary player in acne development. 

Aloe vera also contains salicylic acid and sulfur, two antiseptic agents that are commonly found in acne medications to clear pores and reduce the amount of oil on the skin. Oil, dead skin cells and debris can clog pores and cause acne breakouts. 

Lastly, this gel helps restore skin’s health by speeding up wound healing and retaining moisture within the skin.

This gel can be used on its own or alongside traditional prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) acne medications for greater results. When combined with tretinoin retinoid cream, for example, this substance has been shown to reduce acne lesions in people with mild-to-moderate noninflammatory and inflammatory acne, and to lower the incidence of side effects typically associated with topical retinoids. 

Aloe vera for acne scars

There is a paucity of studies on aloe vera gel as an acne scar treatment, therefore there is little evidence to support its effectiveness in treating and preventing acne scars. 

However, some research suggests aloe vera may help prevent scars from forming or lessen the severity of the scars through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Reducing the severity of acne impedes scar formation.

Another study looked at aloesin, a component of aloe vera gel and determined that it can reduce the appearance of scar tissue by lightening hyperpigmentation. 

This gel also boosts collagen and elastin production; a strong collagen matrix beneath the skin encourages proper healing. 

Best Type of Aloe Vera for Acne

Aloe vera is available in a variety of forms, including raw gel taken directly from aloe leaves, and aloe vera gel, cream, ointment and cleansers. The best type will depend on the severity of your acne and the type of treatment you prefer. This gel is safe for all skin types.

Choosing aloe vera for the face

Aloe vera may be applied directly to the skin in its raw form, or as a purchased skin care product. You can use it on its own or combine it with other natural remedies for acne. 

You may also choose to combine aloe vera with a traditional acne medication for additional benefits.

Using raw aloe vera gel, cream or ointment work are good choices for an all-over treatment or spot treatment. When you use a gel or cream, you’re applying a thin layer of gel that you leave on the skin for a long period of time. 

You may prefer cleansers and sprays if you have very sensitive skin or are looking for a more light-weight formula. 

All formulations of aloe vera can help reduce inflammation and tame acne. However, skin may respond better to leave-on aloe vera treatments and combination treatments, instead of cleansers or sprays. However, including a cleanser or spray can add another layer of treatment.

How to Use It

It’s simple to incorporate aloe vera products into your daily skin care routine. It can be used as a mask, a spot treatment, a cleanser or a leave-on moisturizing treatment.

For aloe vera gel or cream: 

  1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser
  2. Rinse with lukewarm water; pat dry
  3. Apply aloe vera gel or cream generously to your skin; let dry
  4. Apply your moisturizer of choice 
  5. Continue your skin care routine

For aloe vera soap: 

  1. Cleanse your skin with an aloe-based cleanser
  2. Rinse with lukewarm water; pat dry
  3. Apply aloe vera gel, cream or your moisturizer of choice
  4. Continue your skin care routine

For aloe vera spray: 

  1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser
  2. Rinse with lukewarm water; pat dry
  3. Spritz your face with aloe vera spray; let dry
  4. Apply aloe vera gel, cream or your moisturizer of choice
  5. Continue your skin care routine

Pure aloe vera

You can purchase pure aloe vera and use it for acne; alternatively, you can purchase an aloe vera plant or individual aloe leaves and extract the gel yourself. Aloe vera leaves that haven’t been processed and that contain no additives is an added bonus for many people.

To use gel directly from the plant, take a leaf and carefully cut along the edges to remove the spines. Then, cut the leaf into chunks and remove the skin. 

A yellow liquid called aloe latex is produced by the plant’s skin. Avoid this liquid and use only the clear gel.

Aloe vera face masks 

Aloe vera face masks can help reduce the inflammation associated with acne, kill bacteria and prevent or lighten acne scars. 

If you use a rinse-off mask, apply it after you wash your face. Rinse your face after 10–15 minutes and continue your skin care routine. 

For a leave-on mask, apply it after you cleanse your face, leave on overnight and wash it off in the morning. A leave-on face mask is an excellent choice if you want to address acne-related hyperpigmentation.

Side Effects of Aloe Vera for Acne

Aloe vera is generally considered safe and appropriate for all skin types. Some people have reported side effects such as burning or itching; however, these side effects are rare. 

Some people are allergic to aloe vera or the latex within it. If you experience signs of an allergic reaction after using it, wash it off with warm water and a gentle cleanser. 

To determine if you have an allergy or sensitivity, it is advised to patch-test a small area before applying this gel to your face.


Aloe vera is an effective option for addressing inflammatory and noninflammatory acne. This gel possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to make it a powerful natural remedy for a number of skin conditions, including acne.

There are several ways you can incorporate this gel within your skin care regimen. It is available in its raw form and in a number of skin care products to suit your skin type and condition.

You can use this gel as an individual acne treatment or include another natural skin care remedy or traditional acne medication. 

While aloe vera can’t completely eliminate existing acne scars, it can lighten existing scars and help prevent them from forming by reducing inflammation.

The post Aloe Vera for Acne: How It Works and How to Use It appeared first on Derm Collective.

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