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Why We Love It: Aloe Vera

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You can find homemade organic aloe vera in the majority of our products. You’ll find aloe vera in some form or another in all of our Hair Cleansers, all of our Facial Washes, all of our Toners, Light Facial Cream, Salt Texturizing Spray, and Nourishing Curl Conditioner. Why do we love aloe vera so much? Let me count the reasons! But first, let’s get into a little background about the ingredient itself.

The Aloe Barbadensis plant is an evergreen perennial succulent native to the Arabian peninsula, though it is now widely cultivated around the world and has become naturalized to North Africa, Sudan, Spain, and in temperate tropical regions of Australia, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the southeast United States.

The plant itself is a stemless plant growing 24-39” tall with thick, fleshy green leaves. The gel is located inside the leaves and can be dessicated into a concentrated aloe vera powder.

Most conventional pre-bottled aloe vera products contain at least a few ingredients that I’m not wild about. Two of the most common offenders are carageenans (highly comedogenic) and sodium benzoate (suspected human toxin and/or irritant). Even brands advertising an organic aloe vera product typically contain one or more of those ingredients which I knew I wanted to avoid in both skin and haircare products. So, anytime you see aloe vera on the label of a Bright Body product, it is either the pure organic aloe vera powder concentrate (as in our toners) or a homemade aloe vera gel made from the organic powder, water, and xanthan gum. Yep, it’s true. We don’t mess around with premade stuff here!

Now that we’ve got a foundational understanding of the plant and exactly what form is used in our products, let’s get into the benefits…

  • Aloe vera is anhydratingingredient because it is water-based (whereas oil and butter-based ingredients are moisturizing). It is also lightweight andeasily absorbed.
  • Aloe vera is rich in vitamins A, B12, C, and E, cholesterol, campesterol, beta-sisosterol, and lupeol. Plant cholesterol plays an important role in maintaining the health of our skin’s barrier function, thereby protecting us from environmental toxins and improving the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Campesterol, beta-sisosterol, and lupeol are all plant sterols that are similar in structure and function to cholesterol.
  • Aloe vera has antioxidant properties, making it a great choice to reduce signs of skin aging and sun damage, especially for mature skin.
  • Aloe vera is naturally antibacterial, gently fighting acne and other bacteria-driven skin conditions.
  • Aloe vera is anti-inflammatory, or in Ayurvedic terms, “cooling.” Any kind of inflammatory skin condition can benefit from the calming effects of aloe vera – sunburn, psoriasis, eczema, acne, and the like.
  • Aloe vera has antipruritic, or anti-itch, properties. Everything from itchy bug bites to a scratchy scalp can benefit from aloe.

Aloe is generally well-tolerated, but there are some exceptions for those with latex allergies. The rubber plant and the aloe plant have similar structures, meaning sometimes those with latex allergies might be cross-reactive to aloe. It’s not always the case, but it’s definitely worth doing a patch test to be sure! 

Aloe really is a multipurpose powerhouse ingredient! We love harnessing its properties for gentle and effective hair and skincare.

Keep on the lookout for more ingredient features on some of our favorites like rice water, oat water, Epsom salt, and our probiotic-based preservatives.

Until next time,

 Gabi Day

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