Aloe Vera


Aloe vera is a type of cactus in Liliaceae family. Its inner gel has been used medicinally for millennia: Nefertiti and Cleopatra used it as part of their regular beauty regimes, and Alexander the Great used it to treat soldiers’ wounds. You can grow it fairly easily yourself, but take caution: the dark green exterior is poisonous, and it looks strikingly similar to other, more toxic plants in the same family.


Aloe can help make your body produce collagen, the key to firm, elastic skin. According to research, “Glucomannan, a mannose-rich polysaccharide, and gibberellin, a growth hormone, interacts with growth factor receptors on the fibroblast, thereby stimulating its activity and proliferation, which in turn significantly increases collagen synthesis”[1] [2] [3] So, now you know.


Aloe keeps inflammation in check by “inhibit[ing] the cyclooxygenase pathway and reduce[ing] prostaglandin E2 production from arachidonic acid.”[4] [5] [6]

UV radiation and sun exposure

There’s a reason we run to the aloe after too much sun: Aloe vera gel has been reported to have a protective effect against radiation damage to the skin. [7] [8]


The mucopolysaccharides in aloe help bind moisture to the skin without increasing oiliness. It also softens the skin by helping dead, flaking skin cells stick together. Amino acids also soften hardened skin cells and zinc acts as an astringent to tighten pores. [9]


Aloe vera contains 6 antiseptic agents: Lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamonic acid, phenols and sulfur, all of which can inhibit the growth of fungi, bacteria and viruses.[10]


Find it in:

Flower Child

Blood Moon



[1] Surjushe, A., Vasani, R., & Saple, D. (2008). Aloe vera: A short review. Indian Journal of Dermatology, 53(4), 163. []

[2] Chithra R Sajithlal GB, Chandrakasan G. Influence of aloe vera on collagen characteristics in healing dermal wounds in rats. Mol Cell Biochem. 1998;181:71–6. [PubMed] 

[3] Davis, R., Donato, J., Hartman, G., & Haas, R. (1994). Anti-inflammatory and wound healing activity of a growth substance in Aloe vera. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 84(2), 77-81. []

[4] Surjushe et al.

[5]  Hutter JA, Salmon M, Stavinoha WB, Satsangi N, Williams RF, Streeper RT, et al. Anti-inflammatory C-glucosyl chromone from Aloe barbadensis. J Nat Prod. 1996;59:541–3. [PubMed] [Ref list]

[6] Vázquez, B., Avila, G., Segura, D., & Escalante, B. (1996). Antiinflammatory activity of extracts from Aloe vera gel. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 55(1), 69-75. []

[7] Roberts DB, Travis EL. Acemannan-containing wound dressing gel reduces radiation-induced skin reactions in C3H mice. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1995;32:1047–52. [PubMed] [Ref list]

[8] Sato Y, Ohta S, Shinoda M. Studies on chemical protectors against radiation XXXI: Protective effects of Aloe arborescens on skin injury induced by x-irradiation. Yakugaku Zasshi. 1990;110:876–84. [PubMed] [Ref list]

[9] West DP, Zhu YF. Evaluation of aloe vera gel gloves in the treatment of dry skin associated with occupational exposure. Am J Infect Control. 2003;31:40–2. [PubMed] [Ref list]

[10] Surjushe et al.