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Why did we include Aloe Vera as a star ingredient in so many of the Bright Girl formulations?

Aloe vera is a well-established anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory botanical that has been used for centuries to soothe inflamed skin and help heal minor cuts and lacerations. The plant also has antibacterial properties, and topical aloe has been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation within the skin. 
Aloe vera is found in the following Bright Girl products:
Teen face wash
Bright Girl Hydrating Teen Toner for face

History and Properties of Aloe Vera

The name aloe vera is derived from the Arabic work "Alloeh" which means "shining bitter substance" and "Vera" which is Latin for "true." The benefits of aloe vera have been recognized for centuries throughout numerous societies, where it was known as the "plant of immortality" and used by queens as part of their beauty regimen.
This succulent, perennial plant grows well in dry environments. The inner gel layer of aloe plant leaves is 99% water; it also contains glucomannans, lipids, vitamins, and sterols.

Aloe Vera as Part of a Teenage Skincare Routine

Let's take a deeper dive into the star benefits of Aloe Vera in skincare:
  • Helps wound healing
  • Soothes inflammation from UV radiation
  • Antiseptic properties
  • Moisturizing effects
  • Antioxidant benefits: Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, E, B12, and Folic acid; all of which neutralize free radicals in the skin
  • Aloe contains the enzyme bradykinase which reduces excessive inflammation
  • Amylase and Catalase, among other enzymes in aloe, help break down sugars, fats, and oxygen radicals
  • Minerals such as magnesium and potassium in aloe work with the skin system and help wound healing
  • Fatty acids like cholesterol, campesterol, and lupeol are part of the aloe plan and have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties
  • Sugars in the aloe plant confer antiallergic properties
  • Phenolic compounds

Does Drinking Aloe Vera juice help your skin?

As you can see, Aloe Vera truly is a SUPERSTAR skincare ingredient, and one of the elements that makes Bright Girl skincare for teens/tweens so effective!
Bonus: what about the benefits drinking Aloe Vera juice? This recent trend on social media has brought many questions into our office:
  • Does drinking Aloe Vera juice help acne and psoriasis? Ingestion of aloe vera juice has been linked to lowering blood sugar levels in the body, but the evidence for this is limited. Given sugar's propensity to cause inflammation in the body, and in the skin, a logical conclusion is that by lowering blood sugar levels, we might see a decrease in inflammation (which is linked to acne and eczema and other skin conditions) throughout the body and in the skin.
  • How much aloe vera juice should you drink a day, and for how long, before you see these benefits? There is no specific consensus on the amount of aloe vera juice, or the form of juice (i.e. powder vs supplement vs gel) that is most beneficial. The skin turnover cycle takes approximately 28-40 days, so it makes sense that it would take at least several weeks to assess any benefits derived from aloe vera juice.  Many studies that examine the benefits of orally ingested products require 4-12 weeks of follow up before being able to draw a conclusion. And in order to properly evaluate for the role of aloe vera juice, one would have to control all other factors (i.e. stress, sleep, other dietary factors, exercise) that play a role in skin health to isolate the effect of the aloe vera juice.
  • Additionally, many of the studies with oral ingestion of aloe vera juice that showed a benefit to collagen production or skin elasticity involved an aloe vera supplement pill as opposed to the juice.
  • Does drinking aloe vera juice help with any other skin conditions? Aloe vera juice contains polyphenols, and polyphenols are rich in antioxidants. Theoretically, inflammatory skin conditions (acne, eczema, seborrheric dermatitis) might benefit from aloe vera juice, but the evidence on this is limited. Also, we know that antioxidants derived from whole-food, plant-based sources can help fight aging in the skin by decreasing the inflammation that damages collagen and elastic fibers. Aloe vera juice contains collagen, and there is clinical evidence that ingestion of specific amounts of collagen can improve skin elasticity
  • Bottom line: a healthy diet is an essential part of achieving your healthiest skin. Aloe vera juice can be a component of diet that supports skin health, but it's not a magic bullet.

Thanks for taking time to learn some BRIGHT facts about Aloe Vera in teen skincare! 

Stay BRIGHT,

Dr. Angela

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