Whether you’re trying to heal sunburns on your delicate skin or want a natural alternative to prescription moisturizers and creams, Aloe Vera gel is among the best options but by no means as a standalone solution on the whole. Certainly post-laser we recommend and use a cooling covering of pure aloe gel – be aware there are some nasty imitations though. This is purely for it’s instant benefit as you would post sunbathing – but there’s more too it than that.
This clear gel extracted from the Aloe plant is commonly used as an ointment for treating burns and wounds on the skin. So should you use aloe vera gel before or after moisturizer? Read on and we will explain. You can also rub it on your face to promote smooth skin, clear complexions, and reduce inflammations.
It is best to apply aloe vera directly to your skin before applying moisturizer. This is because the gel needs to be applied directly to your skin to enjoy its benefits such as repairing damaged tissues and soothing irritations. When you apply the moisturizer over the aloe vera gel, it will serve as a protective barrier. Moreover, aloe vera is light and non-greasy on the skin so you can easily apply the moisturizer over it.
I tried applying aloe vera gel directly… but it dries my skin. Why?”. Sounds strange because there’s a simple, scientific reason why this is happening.
What people experienced (dry feeling after applying pure aloe vera gel) is not as strange as it sounds. Here’s the simple science behind what’s happening:
For skin to feel moisturized, two things have to happen:
- The moisture content of skin should be adequate (10-20% is the usual range)
- Perhaps more importantly, the skin should have the ability to retain that moisture, which is otherwise lost very quickly. That ability to retain moisture can be reduced by factors like dry weather and poor skin health and improved by factors like having a well-nourished lipid layer and using substances (see below) that help the skin retain moisture.
Aloe vera gels, are normally 98.5% water, and the remaining is (200+) nutrients that help soothe, nourish and moisturize the skin. It cannot by itself ALSO perform the second function, which is helping the skin retain moisture. Besides, the gel also has mild astringent properties, which also possibly explains the tight feeling experienced after direct application.
A better combination, in our opinion, is aloe gel or juice along with substances that help the skin retain its moisture. Ideally, we need emollients (fill the gaps between skin flakes, helping retain lipids and water – for example, coconut fatty acids), and humectants (like glycerine and sorbitol, they bind water).
A good moisturizing system uses a combination of these ingredients to keep skin happy. Aloe gel, despite its native goodness, is not your perfect standalone moisturizer. It’s a great soothing and calming additive to a moisturizing system.