Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years because it has significant benefits for our skin and bodies. It’s cultivated around the world to obtain aloe gel, a natural substance found in the leaves of the plant, which is then used in a range of skincare, food and health products. At The English Shaving Company, we have a huge number of shaving and skin products that contain aloe vera. Read more about this plant and its benefits.
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a plant in the aloe family genus -- there are around 500 plants in the aloe family and they mainly grow naturally in North Africa. Aloe vera is the one most well known of all the plants in this family and is widely used for its skincare and health benefits.
It’s an evergreen plant -- which means that it stays the same all year around -- and grows really well indoors. While it grows naturally in tropical climates, it’s very easy to keep healthy at home and is a very popular potted plant in the UK -- although in the right environments it can grow up to a metre tall!
There’s documented evidence of aloe vera being used in the 16th century BC, during the ancient Egyptian period. The Ancient Egyptians referred to aloe vera as the ‘plant of immortality’. It has also been used for centuries in other cultures around the world -- in India, China, Greece, Mexico and Japan.
Benefits of Aloe Vera
There are a huge number of different claims about the benefits of aloe vera, from improving the health of your teeth and gums through to enhancing memory. Not every claim is backed up by scientific evidence, but the most well-known (and the ones we’re most interested in!) are the benefits aloe vera has for skin.
One of the most well known benefits of aloe vera is its soothing properties. A lot of people apply aloe vera to sensitive, sore or aggravated skin. It has a cooling sensation that is even more noticeable in the form of an aloe vera cream as the cream itself will also feel cool and soothing.
Aloe vera creams and designed to rehydrate the skin and soothe it. It means that it makes a fantastic choice for aftershave lotions and creams. Skin undergoes abrasion during shaving so aloe vera in aftershave lotions helps to soothe the skin, while the cream restores lost moisture.
Related to the soothing properties of aloe vera, it is also highly effective for aiding the treatment and healing of burns.
The FDA approved an over-the-counter burn ointment medication that contained aloe vera back in the 1950s and aloe vera has been used for centuries to treat minor burns and sunburn.
A review was completed of 4 studies which concluded that aloe vera could reduce the healing time of burns by around 9 days, compared to conventional medication. (Source)
Antioxidant and antimicrobial
It’s been suggested that aloe vera is naturally antimicrobial, which means that it resists certain types of bacteria and can therefore help us to combat bacteria that otherwise would lead to illness.
The antimicrobial properties are due to the same compounds that give aloe vera its antioxidant properties too. Aloe vera gel contains powerful antioxidants that come from the polyphenol family. Polyphenols can prevent certain bacteria that lead to infections in humans from growing.
UV radiation protection
UV radiation damages our skin and over time can cause our skin to look aged. A group of scientists at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea researched the effectiveness of aloe vera in protecting against the aging effects of UV radiation. They concluded that gel from the baby shoots of aloe vera (1 month old) seemed to protect from UV radiation to a greater degree than mature shoots (4 months old).
Overall, aloe vera has a huge number of benefits for our skin!
Aloe Vera Products
Because of its wide-ranging benefits, aloe vera has been used in a massive number of different products from drinks to creams.
At The English Shaving Company we have a big collection of products that contain aloe vera gel, from our shaving soaps to aftershave balms.
Why not check out some of the ones below or explore our website for more!