Aloe Vera: A Magical Ingredient & the Plant of Immortality
History reveals that aloe vera, otherwise known as “lily of the desert”, has been used for thousands of years by cultures across the world. In fact, initial uses of the plant can be traced back to early Egypt around 6,000 years ago due to stone carvings that depict aloe vera as the “plant of immortality”. Its uses have been numerous and include skincare, wound healing, and medicinal treatment.
Nowadays, aloe vera makes an appearance regularly, from disinfectant spray to soft drinks, dishwashing liquid, and even digestive health pills. Unfortunately, it’s often so heavily processed that its magical properties are destroyed and the products convey no benefits. That’s why Lullaby uses only premium organic aloe vera as the central ingredient in all of our baby and sensitive skincare products. In fact, in contrast to other brands that are simply water-based, our products (excluding the sunscreen) consist of 80% aloe vera!
But how did this magical spiky plant become so popular and why is aloe vera so beneficial for babies and sensitive skin?
The Travelling Succulent
Aloe vera is part of a huge family of other plants, known as aloes, which originated in southern Africa 16 million years ago. After many evolutionary diversifications, aloe vera seems to have first appeared in the Arabian Peninsula.
Aloes are one of the world’s largest groups of succulents and all of them demonstrate some level of leaf water retention. Nevertheless, the popularity of aloe vera far surpasses its relatives, despite having many genetic similarities with other native species. New research has demonstrated that this industry preference is probably due to the plant’s proximity to popular trade routes between Asia and the Mediterranean.
What is Aloe Vera Good For?
Aloe vera is used internationally for a huge variety of reasons, including skincare, medicine, hydration, cleaning, veterinary treatment, mental health, etc. But is there any evidence to suggest that it is effective? Well, for the most part, yes.
Whilst there is some debate surrounding the health claims of aloe vera, a significant number of scientific studies have proven its benefits for aiding digestion. Moreover, there is some evidence to suggest that the plant can be beneficial for diabetics and it has even demonstrated promising anticancer and antibiotic activities. According to a group of scientists, after its rising popularity in skincare, the medicinal use of aloes may have developed by chance because the succulent leaf tissue is also coincidentally medically useful for humans.
In terms of dermatology, thousands of years of usage in useful and effective skincare products, as well as an abundance of research, certainly suggest that aloe vera is a highly advantageous natural ingredient to promote healthy skin. Moreover, its chemical-free beneficial properties are great for treating sensitive skin, making it a perfect champion for baby skincare products.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of aloe vera natural skincare for babies and the evidence behind it.
The Benefits of Aloe Vera in Babies’ Natural Skincare
1. Aloe Vera Calms Inflammation
Our skin does wonders to shield us from pathogens, allergens, thorns, and other external nasties. Nevertheless, we sometimes experience the unpleasant side effects of this protection, including inflammation (that painful reddening and sometimes swelling of the skin). Babies, and those of us with sensitive skin, will likely experience this more often than others, especially in response to chemical skincare products.
Applying aloe vera topically can benefit your skin by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase pathway involved in the aforementioned immune response. What’s more, the magically soothing plant contains beta-sitosterol (a naturally-occurring plant steroid) and bradykinase (an enzyme), which reduce pain and redness. Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory capabilities make it a perfect natural ingredient for soothing eczema, nappy rash, and irritated skin.
2. Aloe Vera Hydrates the Skin
As winter approaches, lips chap and skin turns dry. Humans actually lose approximately 28% of their fluids through evaporation, both from the skin and breathing air out of our lungs. Luckily, aloe vera has plenty of natural sugars, known as mucopolysaccharides, that help to bind moisture into the skin. The plant has cohesive abilities that work by sticking epidermal cells together and the high content of amino acids further soften the skin.
There is also increasing evidence that aloe vera is beneficial in the topical treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis (eczema). It is thought that this is mostly due to its moisturising properties.
If you’ve read our article on The Importance of Baby Skincare Routines During Australia’s Change of Seasons, then you will know that babies’ skin is more sensitive to cold and dry weather. Therefore, it’s of great importance to keep their skin hydrated with aloe vera natural skincare products, especially during the winter months.
3. Aloe Vera Protects Against Infection and Pollution
The high content of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as other effective antioxidants in aloe vera, makes this plant adept at protecting skin against infection and pollution. This is because of their ability to neutralize free radicals, preventing them from doing any damage within our bodies.
Our current world of excessive traffic, factory emissions, and overuse of chemicals have led to unprecedented amounts of air pollution and, given the current situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever before to keep our children clean and protected. Using aloe vera in our natural skincare routine is one of the best ways to ensure that our little ones have adequate defence.
Follow this link for the full collection of our aloe vera natural baby and sensitive skincare products