Is aloe vera a moisturizer?

A look at the moisturizing ability of Aloe Vera

Yes, it is but not by itself. To moisturize the skin, it must help your skin to retain moisture. Aloe vera gel is 98% water making it wonderful for the skin, but to help it moisturize, you should add an emollient like coconut oil, that helps fill the gaps between skin in retaining water. Aloe vera is also a natural, alternative to getting beautiful, subtle skin. Its antibacterial, soothing properties make it perfect for curing many skin conditions. However, it’s gentle on sensitive skin and packed with vitamins, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.

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What is a moisturizer and why use Aloe Vera?

Skincare applications of Aloe Vera

It is a cream that you put on your skin to make it feel softer and smoother. It is a cosmetic cream, lotion, etc., applied to the skin to add or restore moisture. They are a key component of your skin care regimen. They work to hydrate the skin and keep the skin’s moisture well balanced. There are many moisturizers available that cater to different skin types; some are rich, creamy moisturizers for dry skin, while others are lightweight oil-free ones available for women who have oily skin. 

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Why use Aloe Vera?

For a moisturizer that doesn’t leave a greasy film on your face, look no further than Aloe Vera. It softens the skin without clogging pores. Aloe Vera gel can also be applied as an aftershave as it will both hydrate the skin and help heal razor burn and small nicks. As it is abundant in vitamins C and E and beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), Aloe may have some anti-aging qualities. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities, and its ability to remove blemishes, also help it take years off your face. Those with acne may try Aloe Vera’s gentle cleansing and antimicrobial properties to treat their pimples. This healing gel works on several levels.Its antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory traits protect the skin from microorganism and pathogens which cause infection and inflammation. It contains gibberellins and polysaccharides that stimulate the growth of new cells, while glycoproteins reduce the inflammation and redness.Aloe actually works; however, it is not magical, it has to be delivered from the right formulation, at the exact concentration, and then left it on for it to have an opportunity to have a positive effect. So be mindful when you jump to the conclusion that the beauty products that work for you all contain aloe; therefore it must be the aloe that giving the benefit. There are other factors that you need to take into consideration.

Not all aloe vera is equal

Some skin moisturizers that use high concentrations of aloe are your best bet for affecting. For example, a product with a higher aloe concentration will deliver more benefits than a product with a lower concentration. Also the formulation of the product matters, a lotion or cream will have more lasting effects than a hand wash.  You should also understand that while aloe can be good for your skin, it doesn’t provide the kind of heavy-duty moisturization benefits that your skin needs when it’s really dried out.

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What do moisturizers contain?

To be able to retain moisture in your skin there are some common ingredients that all moisturizing products contain. These include:

  • Water – This is the principal ingredient of all moisturizers. Moisturizers are commonly an oil-in-water suspension. When you use moisturizers, some of the water dries while some get absorbed into the skin. The outermost layer of the skin soaks up the water efficiently; however, it is not able to bind it there well. That is why it requires an oily substance that assists in locking in the water within the skin, and this is how moisturizers function. The water contents get absorbed in the skin, and the oil helps keep it there.
  • Occlusives – These are the substances that block the loss of water. Petrolatum and other such oily components are common occlusives used in moisturizers. Some of the other common occlusives used in cosmetic products are cetyl alcohol, lanolin, lecithin, mineral oil, paraffin, and stearic acid. Oil-free moisturizers contain dimethicone as an occlusive agent.
  • Humectants – Humectants are usually water attracting ingredients. They pull water into the skin surface from two ways; from the outside atmosphere as well as the deeper layers of the skin. Humectants are always used together with the occlusives that help trap in the moisture.
  • Emollients – It is responsible for making the skin smooth and supple. Emollients are used for protecting, moisturizing, and lubricating the skin. These functions are normally done by the sebum produced by healthy skin. An excellent emollient is isopropyl alcohol.
  • Vitamins – A popular type of Vitamin A is topical retinoic acid. It lessens the look of aging and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production, and in fact, retinoids are widely used is anti-aging skin care formulas. Retinyl palmitate is a general form of vitamin A that is used in moisturizers for its high stability, and it is less active than retinoic acid. Moisturizers can also have Vitamin C as ascorbic acid and Vitamin E as tocopherol acetate. They have great antioxidant properties and provide immense advantages for the skin, particularly in higher concentrations.
  • Menthol – Many moisturizers that serve to relieve skin itchiness have menthol. Menthol gives a cooling feel to the skin and helps to reduce the itchiness.
  • Lactic Acid – Lactic acid is a strong alpha hydroxy acid that is particularly useful against dry skin, acne, and wrinkles. The acid removes the dead skin covering the skin pores and helps sebum flow more freely. This helps minimize breakouts and treats acne.
How to pick a moisturizer for your skin type?

For itchy or dry skin, you’ll probably want to use a moisturizer with a thick ointment. Creams help hydrate the skin and are good for normal skin too. Lotions are the lightest moisturizers as water is their chief ingredient and are ideal for oily skin types.Base the heaviness of the moisturizer you choose on when and where to use it on your body. Pick a light moisturizer for use during the day and a heavier one for nighttime application. You can also use a thicker cream on your body and a lightweight one for your face. Stick to using lighter, hydrating moisturizers in the summer months and hot weather.

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Tips to have in mind before buying a moisturizer

  • Does it have sun protection? No matter your skin type, it’s recommended that you should get a moisturizer with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. If you’re getting it for your face, look for one that is oil- and fragrance-free.
  • Does it contain antioxidants? Moisturizers containing antioxidants like green tea, chamomile, pomegranate, or licorice root extract may help keep any skin variety looking fresh and healthy. They help neutralize free radicals molecules that break down skin cells.
  • Is your skin oily or acne-prone? Use a moisturizing product with alpha-hydroxy acids, which are also anti-aging. If you’re susceptible to acne, you’ll also want a non-comedogenic facial moisturizer that won’t block pores.
  • Is your skin dry? For dry skin, you should aim for a heavier moisturizer and opt for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and dimethicone, which help maintain skin hydration. Glycerin, propylene glycol, proteins, and urea also attract water to your skin: Lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum lock in the moisture.
  • Is your skin sensitive? For sensitive skin, use a hypoallergenic and fragrance-free moisturizer and choose one that contains less than 10 ingredients, meaning fewer potential interactions with fragile skin. With itchy skin, a hypoallergenic moisturizing cream is recommended but if it doesn’t relieve itching, try a 1% hydrocortisone steroid skin cream for about a one week but no longer. Talk to your doctor if this doesn’t clear up the itch. You may have a more serious skin issue.In cases of eczema, use a thick moisturizing ointment containing petrolatum, or use petroleum jelly to help sooth cracks and keep skin supple.

What to keep away from when choosing a moisturizing product?

  • More isn’t always better. To get the most perks for your skin, avoid some popular extra ingredients in your moisturizer.
  • Colorings and perfumes. Be it dry skin, sensitive skin, or some skin in between; you will want to avoid unnecessary and potentially irritating constituents, like added colors and perfumes. Antibacterial agents can also be needlessly harsh, stripping skin of essential oils.
  • Beneficial ingredients included. What’s great for your body isn’t always good for use on your face. Always avoid facial moisturizers with popular body product ingredients like lanolin, mineral oil, waxes, or shea butter. These can block pores and cause acne on the face. If you have dry or sensitive skin too many acids are not advisable, you should avoid alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, retinoic acid, and salicylic acid. They can enter the skin too deeply and irritate delicate skin. Keep away from products with alcohols as well. Overusing steroid ingredients especially for itchy skin can make it very thin and lead to other skin problems. Limit your use of steroid creams or ointments unless your doctor advises it. 

Hints to get the most out of your skin moisturizer

Apply more than one moisturizer, if necessary. Nobody needs a cabinet full of moisturizing commodities. But as a thin facial lotion for your face and thick cream for your body.  Put on your moisturizer while your skin is damp. Put on your favorite moisturizer a few minutes after a bath or shower and pat your skin dry.Make your moisturizer perform double-duty. Be sure your moisturizer has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. Beauty professionals recommend a vitamin or alpha-hydroxy acid for an anti-aging boost. What os skin tone? Look for a tinted moisturizer fitting for your complexion.

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