Aloe vera needs no introduction. It’s an essential summertime skincare ingredient, popularly used for soothing raw, red skin after a long day in the sun. But this beachside staple has beauty benefits that extend far beyond the obvious. As with most plant ingredients, aloe vera contains various skin-friendly compounds, including antioxidants, vitamins, and proteins. These nutrients, along with their well-known skin-soothing properties, make aloe vera useful in managing a range of skin concerns.
Ahead, we’ll introduce you to four aloe vera benefits that you may not be familiar with. You’ll discover exactly what makes this warm-weather must-have beneficial for the skin and learn a little bit about where aloe comes from (and how long it’s been used for). We’ll also tell you about several Kiehl’s products with aloe vera that you can add to your skincare routine, regardless of your skin type. Read on for your all-in-one guide to the lesser-known beauty benefits of aloe vera.
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera, often referred to simply as “aloe,” is a succulent plant native to dry tropical and subtropical climates. It is best known for its soothing properties and has been used in personal care products throughout South and Southeast Asia for more than two millennia. Because aloe grows in water-poor environments, aloe plants have a unique capacity to retain moisture. Studies indicate that the average aloe vera plant contains approximately 99% water.I The remaining 1% includes solid plant material, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—many of which have notable benefits of their own when applied topically.
4 Aloe Vera Benefits, Explained
The benefits of aloe vera are valuable year-round—not just when summertime sunburns make an appearance. Below, find four of the biggest reasons to use aloe vera for face and body concerns, plus learn how to add this powerful ingredient to your skincare routine.
Aloe Benefit #1:
Aloe Vera Helps Calm Irritated Skin
Worldwide, aloe vera is celebrated for its ability to help soothe irritated skin. As we mentioned, aloe is packed with water, but it also contains an abundance of skin-friendly substances, including amino acids and essential vitamins. Together, these nutrients can help calm the feel of irritated, sensitized skin and may help the skin recover from irritation more quickly. It’s this skin-soothing effect that makes aloe such a popular ingredient for calming painful sunburns.
Calendula Petal-Infused Calming Mask
That said, if your face is irritated, we don’t recommend applying raw aloe pulp to your aggravated skin. Instead, reach for skincare products formulated with aloe vera, like Calendula Petal-Infused Calming Mask. Our lightweight face mask with calendula petals and aloe vera instantly cools the skin with a burst of refreshing hydration. It helps reduce the signs of distress and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and irritated skin. Use the mask up to three times a week to help promote smoother, healthier-looking skin.
Aloe’s soothing properties can also help improve the look and feel of razor burn. If you’re prone to post-shaving irritation, try applying Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief to dry skin immediately after shaving. This after-shave cream with aloe vera and vitamin E instantly cools and hydrates the skin to reduce the feeling of irritation. The unique formula also gently exfoliates the skin to minimize the appearance of ingrown hairs and helps promote more resilient skin with continued use. Apply a small amount to clean, dry skin after shaving and follow with moisturizer for a sting-free finish to your shaving routine.
Aloe Benefit #2:
It Can Help Minimize The Appearance of Pores
If you have oily skin, there’s a good chance you also have enlarged pores. Clogged pores and blackheads—both common oily skin concerns—can dilate the opening of your pores, making them appear larger and more prominent. And, surprisingly, aloe vera may help reduce the appearance of large, visible pores, giving your skin a more even and smooth appearance.
As part of managing enlarged pores, swap out your usual face wash for Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser. This exfoliating face wash, formulated with aloe vera and Amazonian white clay, removes dirt, oil, and other impurities from your face and detoxifies the skin. It also gently exfoliates to soften the skin and reduce the appearance of large pores. The deep-cleaning formula is suitable for all skin types and can be used daily to promote fresh, healthy-looking skin.
After cleansing, use Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic to remove any remaining impurities. This mineral-rich toner helps balance the skin’s moisture levels while minimizing excess shine for smoother skin and smaller-looking pores.
Aloe Benefit #3:
Aloe Vera Is a Powerful Hydrator
Given its exceptionally high water content, it should come as no surprise that aloe vera is an effective moisturizer. In fact, several Egyptian queens, including Cleopatra, were known to use aloe vera in their daily beauty routines. Studies show that when used topically, aloe vera can help the skin retain moisture, improve skin’s flexibility, and diminish the appearance of dry skin symptoms like peeling and flaking.<sup>II</sup>
You’ll find aloe vera in our iconic Lip Balm #1, which also contains vitamin E and olive-derived squalane. The classic formula, which we first developed in the 1960s, helps nourish dry, chapped lips for a smooth, moisturized finish. In addition to the original unscented balm, we offer three fragranced varieties: mint, mango, and cranberry.
Aloe Benefit #4:
You Can Use It To Help Manage Breakouts
Though aloe vera alone is unlikely to significantly shrink stubborn pimples, aloe does have a place in your routine for acne-prone skin. It’s rich in skin-friendly minerals, including zinc, which is known for its ability to help decrease the severity of blemishes. Aloe is also a natural source of salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid best known for its use in anti-acne skincare treatments. Additionally, research indicates that aloe vera can help reduce the appearance of some forms of acne and help address the visible redness that often accompanies chronic breakouts.
Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask
To help deep-clean your skin and visibly reduce clogged pores, reach for our award-winning Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask. The detoxifying formula helps draw out impurities, such as dirt and sebum, that often lead to clogged pores. In one use, it helps decrease skin’s surface oil production and refines its texture.
When you have active breakouts, swap your go-to moisturizer for Breakout Control Acne Treatment Facial Lotion, which contains aloe vera, salicylic acid, and niacinamide. The effective moisturizer visibly diminishes acne blemishes while helping to reduce the look of dullness. When used regularly, it also helps prevent new breakouts from forming. Use the face lotion daily or as needed to reveal skin that appears clearer and more even.