Papaya

Papaya and Acne

Papaya (Carica papaya) is a fruiting tree that is native to Central America. The Papaya fruit is an important food source and is cultivated commercially in tropical regions around the world. In addition to its culinary applications, the Papaya fruit is widely used in Naturopathic and traditional medicine.

Preparations from fresh Papaya fruits are occasionally used as a topical Naturopathic treatment for acne. Also, Papaya extracts are commonly added to commercial anti-acne skin care products.

Papaya fruits contain several enzymes and phytochemicals that may be useful for the treatment of acne. Papaya is a rich source of a proteolytic (digestive) enzyme called Papain. Papain can break down proteins and it is used in topical Naturopathic treatments as an enzymatic exfoliant. For some people with acne, masks and face washes containing unprocessed Papaya may help even skin tone, exfoliate rough patches and possibly even reduce the frequency of minor acne lesions. Papaya fruits also contain many phytochemicals, including, benzyl isothiocyanates, carotenoids and polyphenols.

Although some people have reported that topical treatments containing fresh Papaya or Papaya extracts helped to improve their acne symptoms, there has been no rigorous scientific research on the efficacy of Papaya as an acne treatment. Overall, topical preparations containing Papaya may help improve skin tone, but are unlikely to dramatically improve acne symptoms for most individuals. More research is needed to determine whether topical Papaya formulations are a useful addition to a holistic Naturopathic acne treatment regimen.

References

Phytochemical studies on Carica papaya leaf juice. Akhila, et al. 2015.
Topical herbal therapies an alternative and complementary choice to combat acne. Kapoor, et al. 2011.
Antimicrobial activity of some tropical fruit wastes (guava, starfruit, banana, papaya, passionfruit, langsat, duku, rambutan and rambai). Mohamed, et al. 1994.
Papaya: A gifted nutraceutical plant-a critical review of recent human health research. Kaliyaperumal, et al. 2014.
A review on medicinal properties of Carica papaya Linn. Vij, et al. 2015.
Medicinal Plants used as Anti-Acne Agents by Tribal and Non-Tribal People of Tripura, India. Dey, et al. 2014.
Treatment of mild to moderate acne with a fixed combination of hydroxypinacolone retinoate, retinol glycospheres and papain glycospheres. Veraldi, et al. 2015.

Olive Oil

Fresh Picked Olives

Olive Oil is an oil that is extracted from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea). Olives are an important part of Mediterranean cultures and have been an farmed in the region for thousands of years.

Olive Oil is widely used for cooking, but it is also used in Naturopathic medicine, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and as a fuel source. Olive Oil is a Carrier Oil, not an Essential Oil. Some topical Naturopathic acne treatments use Olive Oil as a base for formulations of essential oils and other ingredients.

Olive Oil is infrequently used in Naturopathic acne treatments. Other carrier oils (eg. Jojoba Oil) are considered to be better suited for use in acne treatments because they are more similar to natural sebum than Olive Oil.

There has been very little research about how topical application of Olive Oil affects acne symptoms. Laboratory testing indicates that Olive Oil is not likely to be strongly comedogenic. Allergic reactions to topical use of Olive Oil are rare. Olive Oil is a central component of the Mediterranean Diet, and some people have reported that this diet helped to improve their acne symptoms.

Olive Oil is a blend of fatty acids of varying length. The specific composition of Olive Oil varies depending on the source and the type of oil. There are several classes of Olive Oil, including Extra-Virgin, Virgin, Refined and Pomace Olive Oil.

References

Cornicabra virgin olive oil: a study of five crop seasons. Composition, quality and oxidative stability. Salvador, et al. 2001.
Olive oil volatile compounds, flavour development and quality: A critical review. Kalua, et al. 2007.
Topical application of natural honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis: partially controlled, single-blinded study. Al-Waili, et al. 2003.
Virgin olive oil as a fundamental nutritional component and skin protector. Viola, et al. 2009.
Efficacy of Aloe vera/olive oil cream versus betamethasone cream for chronic skin lesions following sulfur mustard exposure: a randomized double-blind clinical trial. Panahi, et al. 2012.
Acne vulgaris: studies in pathogenesis: triglyceride hydrolysis by Corynebacterium acnes in vitro. Kellum, et al. 1970.

Neem Oil

Neem Tree

Neem Oil is extracted from the leaves and seeds of the Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica). The Neem Tree is native in the Indian subcontinent, however it has been introduced to many other tropical regions.

Neem Oil is a natural insecticide and is widely used as a pest control agent in organic horticulture. Neem Oil also has an important role in Ayurvedic medicine and topical Neem Oil formulations are commonly used to treat a variety of skin infections, including acne. Neem Oil is increasing in popularity as a topical anti-acne treatment in modern Naturopathic medicine.

The best studied compound in Neem Oil is Azadirachtin, which is often used as an insecticide or fungicide (however in humans it is biologically safe). Many other compounds have also been isolated from Neem Oil, some of which exhibit anti-microbial properties in laboratory testing. There has also been a scientific study that found Neem Oil can potentially reduce the inflammation caused by Propionibacterium acnes (the bacterium commonly associated with acne).

There are many different ways that Neem Oil can be used, from oral supplements to topical face washes. Many people have reported that topical Neem Oil face washes helped to improve their acne symptoms.

However, Neem Oil has not been rigorously investigated as an acne treatment in clinical trials. More research needs to be done to reach a conclusion on how to best use Neem Oil to treat acne, and what potential limitations Neem Oil might have. Despite these unknowns, some people may find Neem Oil to be effective for treating their acne and it may be worth a try.

References

Formulation and characterization of solid lipid nanoparticles loaded Neem oil for topical treatment of acne. Vijayan, etal. 2013.
Topical herbal therapies an alternative and complementary choice to combat acne. Kapoor, et al. 2011.
Analysis of components of Neem (Azadirachta indica) oil by diverse chromatographic techniques. Gossa, et al. 2005.
Neem – an omnipotent plant: a retrospection. Brahmachari, et al. 2004.
Antimicrobial potential of Azadirachta indica against pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Asif. 2012.
Azadirachta indica (neem): a plant of multiple biological and pharmacological activities. Atawodi, et al. 2009.
Neem in human and plant disease therapy. Singh, et al. 2002.
Neem (Azadirachta indica): Prehistory to contemporary medicinal uses to humankind. Kumar, et al. 2013.
Effect of neem oil on some pathogenic bacteria. Jahan, et al. 2007.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Plant and Immature and Mature Fruit

Jojoba Oil is extracted from the seeds of the Jojoba plant (Simmondsia chinensis). The Jojoba plant is native to the south eastern North America, along the border between the USA and Mexico. Jojoba had many uses for the Native Americans that lived in the area, including the treatment of skin infections and wounds.

Jojoba Oil is widely used in Naturopathic acne treatments, primarily as a carrier oil (base) for blends of essential oils and other plant extracts.

Jojoba-based Naturopathic acne treatments are generally topical. Jojoba oil is generally considered to be non-comedogenic and is not usually irritating to the skin, both of which are attractive qualities for components of topical acne treatments. Jojoba Oil alone does not have significant antibacterial activity and is not expected to have any significant direct effects on acne symptoms.

Jojoba Oil has an unusual chemical structure that is similar to the sebum that is produced by sebaceous glands in the skin. Jojoba Oil is commonly used as a carrier oil for creating blends of other essential oils. Jojoba seeds are very rich in oil, which comprises approximately 50% of the total weight of Jojoba seeds. Raw Jojoba Oil has a clear, dark yellow color. Purified Jojoba oil is often clear.

Detailed information about the chemical composition of Jojoba Oil can be found here.

References

Potential uses of jojoba oil and meal: A review. Wisniak, et al. 1994.
Anti-inflammatory effects of jojoba liquid wax in experimental models. Habashy, et al. 2005.
Clay jojoba oil facial mask for lesioned skin and mild acne: Results of a prospective, observational pilot study. Meier, et al. 2012.
Wound healing properties of jojoba liquid wax: an in vitro study. Ranzato, et al. 2011.
Therapeutic agents and herbs in topical application for acne treatment. Kanlayavattanakul, et al. 2011.
Human synthetic sebum formulation and stability under conditions of use and storage. Wertz, et al. 2009.
Jojoba oil as an organic, shelf stable standard oil-phase base for cosmetic industry. Sandha, et al. 2009.
Formulation and stability of a novel artificial sebum under conditions of storage and use. Stefaniak, et al. 2010.
Jojoba oil. Gunstone, 1990.

Honey

Honeycomb

Honey has a medicinal tradition that goes back to ancient times. Honey has become even more popular in recent times with some research indicating that Honey can accelerate wound healing when applied topically. Several products containing medical grade Honey are now available and are widely used in parts of Europe and Asia.

Honey is widely used in Nautropathic acne treatments. Honey can be applied directly to the skin, or blended into complex formulations. The combination of honey, clays and essential oils is a popular way to make anti-acne facial masks.

Many Naturopathic medicine practitioners believe that Honey can be a helpful addition to an acne treatment regimen. But most clinical research has found the topical application of Honey to be fairly ineffective for reducing acne symptoms. Overall, the effectiveness of Honey for the treatment of acne is unclear.

Honey is primarily a mixture of sugars and water. But Honey also contains anti-oxidants, enzymes and antibacterial molecules. There is a difference between raw and pasteurized honey, as the pasteurization process denatures many of the enzymes present in honey. However, both raw and processed honey are used in homeopathic medicine, depending on the application. Honey may have some antibacterial properties and has been reported to be moderately toxic to acne-causing, P. acnes bacteria.

References

A pilot study of topical medical-grade kanuka honey for acne. Holt, et al. 2011.
Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review. Burlando, et al. 2013.
Honey: is it worth rubbing it in? Chowdhury. 1999.
Randomised controlled trial of topical kanuka honey for the treatment of acne. Semprini. 2016.
Antibacterial Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Cinnamon Bark and Honey and Their Combination Effects Against Acne Causing Bacteria. Julianti, et al. 2016.
The protective effects of melittin on Propionibacterium acnes–induced inflammatory responses in vitro and in vivo. Lee, et al. 2014.
Antimicrobial effect of Manuka honey and Kanuka honey alone and in combination with the bioactives against the growth of Propionibacterium acnes ATCC 6919. Wu, et al. 2011.
Honey, a gift from nature to health and beauty: a review. Omar, et al. 2016.
Beliefs, perceptions and sociological impact of patients with acne vulgaris in the Turkish population. Gokdemir, et al. 2011.
Medical uses of honey. Jeffrey, et al. 1996.
Antibacterial activity of honey against strains of Staphylococcus aureus from infected wounds. Cooper, et al. 1999.
Antibacterial activity of honey on bacteria isolated from wounds. Subrahmanyam, et al. 2001.

Egg Whites

Egg whites contain large quantities of proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Fresh egg whites are commonly used for topical treatments in Naturopathic medicine. Egg Whites contain several enzymes and other molecules that have antimicrobial properties. Face masks that contain fresh egg whites are a popular Naturopathic acne treatment.

Egg Whites from fresh, uncooked eggs contain several proteins that can inhibit the growth of bacteria, including the acne-causing P. acnes bacterium. One of these proteins is an enzyme called Lysozyme which breaks down the cell walls of gram-positive bacteria. Coincidentally, the two bacteria that are usually behind acne breakouts, Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus aureus, are both gram positive bacteria and are susceptible to this enzyme. Egg Whites also contain additional proteins which may have antimicrobial properties, such as Cystatin and Conalbumin.

For acne treatment, egg whites are often prepared into a mask and allowed to dry on the face. They can be mixed with many other ingredients that may have biological activity, such as activated charcoal, clay, colloidal silver or essential oils. Alternatively, Egg White extracts containing the active proteins can be prepared and added to a different preparation. The Lysozyme enzyme is also available alone, it is most often used in beer and wine making to prevent bacterial contamination during fermentation.

Although Egg White masks are a fairly popular Naturopathic acne treatment, there has been little research into whether they are effective. Many people have reported that their acne symptoms improved after beginning regular application of Egg White masks. But there do not appear to be any reliable scientific reports that indicate Egg White masks are an effective acne treatment. Nonetheless, Egg White masks are unlikely to worsen acne symptoms and might be worth trying for interested individuals.

Egg whites are low in carbohydrates and very rich in protein, which make them very popular nutritional choice for people who are trying to lose weight and/or build muscle mass.

References

Comparative antibacterial activity of avian egg white protein extracts. Wellman-Labadie, et al. 2008.
Antibacterial activity of hen egg white lysozyme against Listeria monocytogenes Scott A in foods. Hughey, et al. 1989.
Antimicrobial activity of lysozyme against bacteria involved in food spoilage and food-borne disease. Hughey, et al. 1987.
The antibacterial activity of the egg white protein conalbumin. Feeney, et al. 1952.
Antimicrobial activity of chicken egg white cystatin. Wesierska, et al. 2005.
Susceptibility of Propionibacterium acnes to killing and degradation by human neutrophils and monocytes in vitro. Webster, et al. 1985.
The chicken egg white proteome. Mann. 2007.

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal Silver has been used in Naturopathic and Alternative Medicine for many years. Some people consume Colloidal Silver suspensions orally, although it is more commonly applied topically when used as an acne treatment.

Colloidal Silver is often used in the preparations of Naturopathic anti-acne face masks that also contain other active ingredients, such as clays, essential oils or honey. Many people have reported that topical Colloidal Silver treatments helped to improve their acne symptoms, but very little clinical research has been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Colloidal Silver as an acne treatment.

Evangelists of Colloidal Silver claim that it has an array of health benefits. Although many of these claims are probably not true, one thing that is supported by significant research is the antibacterial activity of silver. Research studies have clearly shown that colloidal silver itself is toxic to many types of bacteria.

Silver can be incorporated into wound dressings, catheters and stents where it helps to decrease infection. Silver is also included in certain topical antibiotic formulations, such as Silver Sulfadiazine.

Despite claims to the contrary, there is little evidence to support the use Colloidal Silver as an oral supplement. There is no scientific research indicating that oral supplementation of colloidal silver is helpful in the treatment of acne. In addition, ingesting significant amounts of colloidal silver can lead to permanent pigmentation of the skin in a condition called argyria.

References

The bactericidal effect of silver nanoparticles. Morones, et al. 2005.
Evaluation of silver nanoparticle toxicity in skin in vivo and keratinocytes in vitro. Samberg, et al. 2010.
A review of the use of silver in wound care: facts and fallacies. Lansdown. 2004.
Silver nanoparticles: synthesis methods, bio-applications and properties. Abbasi, et al. 2016.
Silver in medicine: the basic science. Marx, et al. 2014.
Genotoxicity, acute oral and dermal toxicity, eye and dermal irritation and corrosion and skin sensitisation evaluation of silver nanoparticles. Kim, et al. 2013.
Chemical preparation of the eye in ophthalmic surgery: II. Effectiveness of mild silver protein solution. Isenberg, et al. 1983.
Anti-acne, anti-dandruff and anti-breast cancer efficacy of green synthesised silver nanoparticles using Coriandrum sativum leaf extract. Sathishkumar, et al. 2016.

Colloidal Copper

Colloidal copper is toxic to a wide range of bacteria and fungi. Although it is used less commonly than colloidal silver, colloidal copper is gaining popularity as a treatment for several types of dermatological problems, including acne.

Copper-based compounds are the active ingredient in many anti-fungal, topical solutions. Copper has also been incorporated into fabrics and bandages to slow the growth of disease and odor-causing bacteria. Copper peptides, which are small molecules that are composed of short chains of amino acids connected to copper ions, are also the subject of research efforts for dermatological applications. They are being used in a number of rejuvenating and skin revitalizing treatments.

Colloidal copper and copper salts (copper sulfate) are frequently used in many branches of Naturopathic Medicine. However, the efficacy of copper therapies for the treatment of acne remains largely untested by rigorous clinical trials. More research is needed to determine whether the use of colloidal copper (and other colloidal metals, such as Silver) can significantly improve symptoms for individuals with acne.

References

Green synthesis of copper nanoparticles by Citrus medica Linn.(Idilimbu) juice and its antimicrobial activity. Shende, et al. 2015.
Principles of colloid therapeutics. Smith. 1922.
Effect of nanosized colloidal copper on cotton fabric. Chattopadhyay, et al. 2010.
Strain specificity in antimicrobial activity of silver and copper nanoparticles. Ruparelia, et al. 2008.
Susceptibility constants of Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis to silver and copper nanoparticles. Yoon, et al. 2007.
Synthesis and antimicrobial activity of copper nanoparticles. Ramyadevi, et al. 2012.
Synthesis and anti-bacterial activity of Cu, Ag and Cu-Ag alloy nanoparticles: a green approach. Valodkar, et al. 2011.
Nanocarriers and nanoparticles for skin care and dermatological treatments. Gupta, et al. 2013.
Are commercially available nanoparticles safe when applied to the skin? Robertson, et al. 2010.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is extracted from the fruit of the Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera).

Raw Coconut Oil, which has a creamy consistency at room temperature, is used extensively for culinary, cosmetic and other purposes. Fractionated Coconut Oil, which is liquid at room temperature, is used as a carrier oil for making blends of essential oils and other plant extracts.

Coconut Oil is occasionally used in the Naturopathic treatment of acne, primarily as a carrier oil for the preparation of topical acne treatments. It is also used to treat the dry skin associated with some acne treatments.

Coconut Oil is very high in saturated fatty acids. It is also very stable, which makes it a popular ingredient in certain cosmetics and soaps. Two of the fatty acids found in Coconut Oil, Capric Acid and Lauric Acid, have been reported to have a antimicrobial properties. Coconut Oil also contains high levels of vitamin E, which may help maintain healthy skin.

References

A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Agero, et al. 2004.
Topical herbal therapies an alternative and complementary choice to combat acne. Kapoor, et al. 2011.
Comedogenicity of sunscreens: experimental observations in rabbits. Mills, et al. 1982.
Antibacterial Activity of Hydrolyzed Virgin Coconut Oil. Silalahi, et al. 2014.
Antimicrobial activities of skincare preparations from plant extracts. Kareru, et al. 2010.
The antimicrobial activity of liposomal lauric acids against Propionibacterium acnes. Yang, et al. 2009.

Calamine

Calamine is a mixture of zinc oxide (ZnO) and ferric oxide (Fe2O3) and is the main ingredient in calamine lotion.

Calamine lotion is a topical cream often used to treat inflamed, red or itchy skin associated with conditions such as chicken pox, poison oak, insect bites and sunburn. Calamine is occasionally used as a topical acne treatment to help reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne lesions.

Calamine lotion appears to provide a few beneficial effects for acne prone skin. First, Calamine can act as a anti-inflammatory ant that may help reduce the appearance of acne lesions. Second, Calamine may have some antibacterial properties that can help reduce the growth of acne-causing bacteria, such as Propionibacterium acnes. The antibacterial properties of Calamine are likely because it contains lots of Zinc, which is toxic to many bacteria. Third, Calamine may act as a mild drying agent and this can help improve oily skin.

Many people have reported that topical Calamine treatments helped to improve their acne symptoms. However, there has been little scientific research to investigate how effective Calamine actually is for the treatment of acne. Topical use of Calamine products is generally safe when used as recommended.

Overall, Calamine may be helpful for some people with acne, but this treatment alone is unlikely to dramatically improve acne symptoms for most individuals.

References

Topical drying agents for acne. Bluefarb, et al. 1960.
Care or harm: exploring essential components in skin care regimens. Voegeli. 2010.
Zinc in skin pathology and care. Nitzan, et al. 2006.
Components Analysis and Antibacterial Activity of Calamine. Guo, et al. 2005.
Synthesis, characterization and antibacterial activity of ZnO nanoparticles. Ravichandrika, et al. 2012.

Burdock

Burdock Supplements are extracted from the roots and seeds of the Burdock plant (Arctium spp).

Burdock is native to Eurasia but naturalized in many regions around the world. Burdock root is an important part of the traditional medicine of many cultures in its native range. Burdock is used in Naturopathic medicine to treat many different conditions, including acne.

For the Naturopathic treatment of acne, Burdock seed extracts are often incorporated into topical preparations. Burdock root supplements or teas may be used to “cleanse” the blood in order to help heal the skin.

Although there are some reports that Burdock supplements helped reduce acne symptoms, there is no robust evidence to support these claims. Burdock supplements are unlikely to significantly improve acne symptoms for most people.

Even though there is no scientific evidence proving the usefulness of Burdock as an acne treatment, the extract is rich in important fatty acids. Taking modest amounts of Burdock supplements may have modest health benefits for some individuals, but it is difficult to know without further scientific research. Burdock extracts can also be toxic if consumed in excessive quantities.

Burdock Root References

Observational study of Arctium lappa in the treatment of acne vulgaris.Miglani, et al. 2014.Anticholinergic poisonings associated with commercial burdock root tea.Rhoads, et al. 1984.The effect of the ingestion of burdock root on normal and diabetic individuals a preliminary report.Silver, et al. 1931.Antioxidant activity of burdock (Arctium lappa Linne): its scavenging effect on free-radical and active oxygen.Duh. 1998.Preparation of inulin and phenols-rich dietary fibre powder from burdock root.Lou, et al. 2009.

Black Walnut

Black Walnut Extract is prepared from the hulls of the nuts of the Black Walnut Tree (Juglans nigra). Black Walnut is a deciduous flowering tree that is native to Eastern North America, but is now naturalized in many regions. Black walnut was used for centuries by Native Americans for both medicinal purposes and as a dye.

The use of Black Walnut is fairly common in modern Homeopathic and Naturopathic medicine. Black Walnut Extract is a common Naturopathic acne treatment and it is purported to have astringent and antibacterial properties that can help control acne symptoms. For the treatment of acne, Black Walnut Extract is most commonly blended with other active ingredients and administered topically, but it can also be consumed orally as an herbal supplement.

The husk of Black Walnuts contain some compounds that may have biological activity, such as juglone and plumbagin. Juglone has been reported to have antibacterial, antiparasitic and antifungal properties. Black Walnut trees actively secrete chemicals into the surrounding environment that suppress the growth of other plants, in order to give the Black Walnut a competitive advantage. Juglone is one of those chemicals. These chemicals may also help the plant protect against bacterial, fungal, parasitic and viral pathogens. Some Naturopathic practitioners believe that these molecules can also help suppress the growth of acne-causing bacteria, such as Propionibacterium acnes.

Unfortunately, there has been minimal scientific research into whether Black Walnut hull extracts are toxic to acne-causing bacteria, or whether treatments that contain Black Walnut extract help reduce the frequency or severity of acne symptoms. There are some people who claim that their acne symptoms improved after incorporating Black Walnut into their treatment regimens, but these claims can not be independently evaluated. Overall, the effectiveness of Black Walnut extracts for the treatment of acne remains unclear.

References

Topical herbal therapies an alternative and complementary choice to combat acne. Kapoor, et al. 2011.
Herbal remedies for acne. Kumar, et al. 2005.
Antibacterial activity of juglone against Staphylococcus aureus: from apparent to proteomic. Wang, et al. 2016.
Plumbagin inhibits LPS-induced inflammation through the inactivation of the nuclear factor-kappa B and mitogen activated protein kinase signaling pathways in RAW 264.7 cells. Wang, et al. 2014.
Dermatitis due to black walnut juice. Siegel. 1954.
Potential phytotherapy of atopic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, vitiligo. Khan, et al. 2016.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that is widely cultivated for ornamental and medicinal purposes. Aloe Vera gel is extracted from the pulp of the Aloe leaf and is widely used as a topical treatment for skin irritation and to accelerate wound healing. Aloe Vera gel may also be consumed orally, and it is reported to have laxative and other effects.

Aloe Vera gel is commonly used for the treatment of active acne and acne scars. However, there is little evidence that the use of Aloe Vera gel can significantly reduce the frequency or severity of acne symptoms.

Aloe Vera gel has been used for centuries in the traditional medicine of the people who live in its native range. When used topically, Aloe Vera gel appears to be quite safe with minimal risk of side effects. In contrast, Aloe Vera can be toxic when consumed orally in large quantities. Aloe Vera may have some antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful to people with acne symptoms. For some acne sufferers, topical Aloe Vera preparations may be worth trying. Use of fresh or unprocessed Aloe Vera gel may be more effective than processed Aloe Vera products.

Aloe Vera gel contains a mixture of polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates), proteins, minerals and other molecules which may have biological activity.There is some scientific research has shown that Aloe Vera can help decrease swelling and redness associated with sunburns, first or second degree burns. This anti-inflammatory effect may make Aloe Vera a suitable treatment for the redness and inflammation associated with acne breakouts. Aloe Vera may also have moisturizing properties that can help ameliorate the symptoms of certain anti-acne treatments that cause skin dryness, such as Retinoids (eg. Accutane).

Aloe Vera gel is commonly added to many moisturizers, facial washes, masks and other anti-acne formulations. However, some of the compounds found in Aloe Vera gel may be unstable and it is unclear whether these prepared formulations have the same therapeutic properties as fresh Aloe Vera gel. This discrepancy may also explain some of the contradictory research reports regarding the utility of Aloe Vera as a skin care product.

References

Aloe vera: a systematic review of its clinical effectiveness. Vogler, et al. 1999.
The Stimulation of Postdermabrasion Wound Healing with Stabilized Aloe Vera Gel‐Polyethylene Oxide Dressing. Fulton. 1990.
Influence of Aloe vera on collagen characteristics in healing dermal wounds in rats. Chithra, et al. 1998.
Effect of Aloe vera topical gel combined with tretinoin in treatment of mild and moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind, prospective trial. Hajheydari, et al. 2014.
Use of aloe in treating leg ulcers and dermatoses. Zawahry, et al. 1973.
Evaluation of aloe vera gel gloves in the treatment of dry skin associated with occupational exposure. West, et al. 2003.
Isolation, purification and evaluation of antibacterial agents from Aloe vera. Lawrence, et al. 2009.
Comparative antimicrobial activity of Aloe Vera gel on microorganisms of public health significance. Shahzad, et al. 2009.
Compositional features of polysaccharides from Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) plant tissues. Femenia, et al. 1999.