Thursday, April 17, 2014

Top Secret ::: Aloe Vera Gel

All photos by {accordingtoame}

A totally natural, and totally cheap, skin care staple, and something anyone using retinoids (which should be everyone!) should have on hand is Aloe Vera Gel.  

Why, you ask? 

Because aloe makes your retinoids work better.  And not only does it make the retinoids more effective, it makes them less irritating to your skin. 

Retinoids are effective not only for acne treatments, but also for anti-aging. Adding a natural and easy to find ingredient to your skincare and retinoid regimen will boost your results significantly, while also reducing the expected irritation and "molting" (peeling skin) that comes with it.   Irritation is often the main reason many people quit using the retinoid of choice before they even gain the amazing results they'd otherwise achieve.  

According to at least one study, of which was discussed in Allure recently (link is simply one mention on their site, it was actually written up in the January 2014 print edition), the use of at least 50% fresh aloe vera applied after your retinoid (they used tretinoin, the generic of Retin-A) increases the efficacy by up to 90% versus using the retinoid alone!   Aloe itself has incredibly healing effects on the skin in general, from burns to broken skin from cuts and scrapes, its a cooling and moisturizing compound that is the perfect substance to help the skin repair itself naturally.  So using aloe off the plant or a high percentage aloe gel will give your skin and the treatment that added boost.

Adding the aloe to my usual nightly regimen has made a noticeable difference, and it was enough of a change that I picked up on it very quickly. The little bit of "molting" I still experience has decreased and I have seen the benefits of the retinoids increase.  It made me less likely to slack on application because I knew the peeling would subside sooner, and I would be overall less "raw."

Is aloe a part of your skincare routine? Have you noticed a difference adding it to your retinol/retinoid use? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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