Maybe you’ve heard that Aloe Vera can replace your moisturizer or cure eczema. If you’re like us, you might not be ready to believe the hype. After all, it seems like everyone and their mom can put anything on the internet. Or maybe you’ve had a health scare and want to know if aloe is a safe, natural alternative. Here’s what you need to know.
Believe the Aloe Vera Hype
As a kid, you probably remember your mom alligator wrestling you to rub aloe on your sunburned shoulders. But Aloe Vera is also a great moisturizer replacement, especially if you’re someone with oily skin.
It can also provide temporary relief for eczema. If you’re someone with eczema, you know it’s more than just a little itch. It’s a deep, burning itch, and guess what happens when you scratch the itch? That’s right, more itching, thus beginning a vicious cycle. Aloe vera can provide a nice cooling effect when flare-ups strike.
The Caveats for Aloe Vera
You should note that conditions like eczema and psoriasis are chronic (lifelong) diseases without cures. With the right course of treatment, you can get both conditions under control. Although we love Aloe Vera, we want to emphasize that it should never replace medical advice or treatment from your physician. Always ask a doctor before starting a new regimen.
Another critical thing to keep in mind is your aloe vera gel may not be 100% aloe vera. Many gels you find in the store contain added fragrances (which can aggravate eczema) or other additives. It’s also not FDA regulated, so make sure to do your research before you buy.
The Case for Moisturizer
As much as we love au natural products, sometimes you need a good moisturizer. Moisturizer might be the way to go if you suffer from more dry skin on your face or if you have skin sensitivities to aloe vera.
Some moisturizers have ceramides, which can restore the natural skin barrier. Eczema conditions often worsen if your skin is dry because your skin barrier isn’t as strong as it should be. Properly moisturizing your face can help protect it.
Many day moisturizers also contain SPF, which protects you from premature aging and lowers your risk of skin cancer. If you’re someone who chronically forgets to put on sunscreen, this may be an option for you. Aloe products are excellent for treating sunburns, but ideally, you want to prevent them in the first place.
The Caveats for Moisturizer
Some moisturizers contain a lot of junk. Some contain parabens, which are currently being studied for potential links to cancer. Although it’s not necessarily carcinogenic, added fragrance can be downright aggravating, especially if you have sensitive skin. As with aloe vera, always do your research before you buy.
Which is better, aloe vera or moisturizer?
Like a lot of things in life, it depends. Everyone’s skin needs are different, so what works for us may not work for you. Think about your specific needs, do your research, and always talk to your doctor before beginning a new regimen for medical conditions. Remember, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and the first line of defense, take care of it.