An important study on Aloe vera was completed at the Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences. This study confirmed the beneficial Aloe vera skin hydration and anti-erythema effects. This is an important finding because millions suffer from chronic erythema. Additionally, the results of this study can give medical professionals the incentive to use Aloe vera to possibly treat many other similar skin conditions.
Why Were Three Varieties of Aloe Compared?
Aloe ferox and Aloe marlothii both grow natively in southern Africa. They are often used in studies because like Aloe vera they have also shown health benefits. Additionally, like Aloe vera, these other two varieties are abundant and easily obtained. The researchers in this study wanted to determine which of these aloes, if any, was the most effective and beneficial for skin hydration and to reverse erythema.
What is Erythema?
Erythema is seen as a redness or rash on areas of the skin or of the mucous membranes. The redness is caused by an increased blood flow (hyperemia) in the superficial capillaries. There are many causes and types of erythema but it most often comes from infection, inflammation, medications or skin injury.
Forms of Erythema are sometimes called erythematous rash, erythema migrans, and erythema nodosum. Erythema migrans is sometimes called a “bull’s eye rash” since it sometimes looks like a round disk with another circle going around it.
In the study cited above, healthy female volunteers were used. Extracts of the Aloe leaf gel from all three varieties were applied to the forearm skin of the subjects. (As a side note researchers also chose the forearm as the test area since it is very similar to facial skin.) The potential hydrating effects of the Aloe gel was carefully measured with three separate instruments. Measurements were taken after both single and then multiple applications.
Another instrument was used to measure and determine the anti-erythema effects if any after the Aloe gel was applied to irritated areas of the skin.
Aloe Vera Skin Hydration Results
The Aloe vera and Aloe marlothii gel both hydrated the skin after with only a single application. The Aloe ferox gel material actually showed dehydration effects when this was compared to the placebo. Interestingly, after making multiple applications all three of the aloe varieties resulted in dehydration on the skin. The researchers in this study acknowledged that test results may vary from other tests largely depending on the source of the Aloe material used. The beneficial ingredients in Aloe vera can obviously vary according to how and where it is grown along with how it is processed.
Aloe vera moisturizer products have consistently been used for decades simply because they work well. Pure Aloe vera gel for skin conditions have also been popular. Some feel strongly that Aloe vera is the best moisturizer for sensitive skin.
Aloe Vera Erythema Treatment Results
After six days of treatment, anti-erythema effects were found from both the Aloe vera and the Aloe ferox. Both varieties of Aloe produced results similar to the control group which used hydrocortisone gel.
Aloe vera gel and Aloe ferox gel both have the potential to be used as an alternative to hydrocortisone in treating erythema on irritated areas of the skin.
Why is Aloe Vera Good for Skin Hydration?
Aloe vera has the very unique capacity to increase the production of cells. More specifically it is the human fibroblast cells that start increasing. Why is this significant? Fibroblast cells are found in the second layer of the skin called the dermis. These cells are crucial for creating collagen which is a protein that improves and supports the skin. Collagen is responsible for keeping the skin smooth, firm and wrinkle free. The body needs a healthy continuous production of collagen to prevent wrinkles and fine lines from forming in the first place. In summary, at the cellular level, Aloe vera helps increase the production of fibroblasts which in turn increases the creation of collagen.
So Aloe vera for skin hydration should be considered a great option. Of course, a person should always consider the possible Aloe vera side effects. Aloe vera moisturizes and softens the skin. It does all this without leaving a greasy layer or your clogging pores.