Before going ahead talking about how aloe helps in case of wrinkles, let us first understand what they are and why they are caused.
Here it is. As we age, the dermis or inner skin layer begins to thin out causing the skin cells to divide slowly.
There is also less structure, moisture, and oil, all of which lead to the wrinkling process.
There are various factors that can cause wrinkles.
1) Our skin loses its elasticity as we age and hence older people have more wrinkles. Fat layers that plump out the skin decrease causing the skin to become loose and saggy.
Natural oils that lubricate the skin’s surface dry out as we grow older, causing the skin to appear wrinkled.
2) UV rays can cause wrinkling since it breaks down elastin and collagen fibres on the skin.
3) Smoking quickens the skin’s aging process.
4) Repetitive facial expressions like smiling, squinting or frowning can also cause wrinkles or fine lines to form.
5) Women tend to develop more wrinkles – especially around the mouth – when compared to men.
6) Nutritional deficiencies can also cause wrinkles to form.
Types of Wrinkles and Causes
1. Dynamic Wrinkles: These types of wrinkles occur when the muscle just below the skin contracts.
Due to this, the skin tends to bunch up and crease, leading to the formation of wrinkles. This is usually seen in the forehead area and near the eye.
2. Static wrinkles: Static wrinkles develop either due to genetic or lifestyle patterns or sometimes due to a mixture of both.
Continuous exposure to UV and smoking accelerates the formation of static wrinkles.
3. Wrinkle folds These form due to sagging of the facial muscles. Wrinkle folds lead to the formation of a groove-like structure between the nose and the mouth, which is called the nasolabial groove.
Even though wrinkling is primarily an age-dependent process; there are several factors that have been identified to contribute and speed up the process.
- Habitual Smoking: Smoking has been found to be one of the major catalysts to the formation of wrinkles. It reduces the blood supply to the skin, and this causes skin damage and ultimately wrinkling at even an early age of 30.
- Genetics: The development of wrinkles is also largely genetically determined. Hence it is advised that people who have a family history of early wrinkling, must take precautions early on and regularly use moisturizers and sunscreens.
- Skin Tone: A person’s skin colour also determines the rate at which wrinkles form. The people who have a lighter skin tone are usually more affected by damage due to sun exposure.
- Exposure to UV: Exposure to UV is also a major contributor to skin damage. Hence, people who work under continuous exposure to the sun, tend to have a greater chance of early wrinkling.
- Facial Expression: Habitual facial expressions like smiling, frowning, etc causes the formations of ridges under the skin which accelerates aging.
- Strong Chemicals: Continual usage of makeup and other harsh agents on the skin can cause premature ageing.
Treating Wrinkles – Usual Ideas
One of the most popular treatments for the appearance of skin wrinkles is the injection of Botox. Botox is a toxin obtained from Clostridium botulinum, which is a type of bacteria.
Unlike what is popular belief, Botox does not eliminate wrinkles, rather, it blocks the signals sent by the nervous system to the muscles below the skin.
This prevents the muscles from contracting and hence stops the formation of the wrinkles. Essentially, it causes muscle paralysis.
There are many other ways that you can treat or prevent wrinkles. For example, if you are out in the sun too much – especially between 10 am to 2 pm – always ensure you use the right sunscreen.
Wearing long-sleeved clothing or a large-brimmed hat can also protect the skin from harmful UV rays. There are many OTC creams, lotions and moisturizers and prescription treatments like retinoid creams available that target wrinkles.
Surgical options include dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, non-ablative laser treatment and botox that are used widely to reduce wrinkles.
Recently, the need for more readily available and cheaper remedies for wrinkles have started coming into the limelight. This is where the health benefits of Aloe Vera come in.
Introduction to Aloe Vera
Scientifically Aloe barbadensis, Aloe vera is known to have originated in Sudan and was extensively used by ancient civilizations including the Egyptians and the Mediterranean Civilization.
The plant is short with long, pointy leaves. Aloe vera gel, which is the most commonly used form of Aloe vera extract comes from the leaf of the plant. It houses a plethora of bioactive compounds.
This includes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential enzymes, lignin. Apart from this, the leaves also contain a variety of polyphenols like barbaloin which have important antioxidant properties.
How Aloe Vera Benefits in Wrinkles
Aloe Vera can help in Wrinkles in many ways. Aloe is a natural anti-aging agent, it has several skin-friendly vitamins and makes skin elastic.
Aloe vera also protects the harmful effects of sunburn and keeps the skin naturally hydrated. It is a great anti-oxidant and thus helps keep the skin young naturally.
These benefits are discussed in details below –
Stimulates collagen production
Benefit confidence: High
In a 2009 human study conducted by Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea, 30 healthy women above the age of 45 were given oral supplements of aloe vera gel for 90 days, using their baseline as the control for the study.
The women were divided into two groups and given different doses of the oral supplement; one group was given a low dosage of 1200 mg/day and the other group was given a higher dose of 3600 mg/day.
At the end of the study, it was found that the wrinkles had significantly reduced and the facial elasticity of both groups had improved with an increase in collagen production.
The dosage, however, didn’t seem to affect the collagen production to a great extent.
Collagen protein is essential for maintaining the elasticity and structure of the skin, degradation of collagen leads to the formation of wrinkles.
In another human and laboratory study conducted by the Food Science and Technology Institute of Japan in 2015, the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid was found to increase two-fold in vitro after the supplementation of Aloe sterols such as cycloartenol and lophenol.
Women above the age of 40 were administered with aloe sterol containing supplements on a daily basis in a placebo-controlled trial and their facial wrinkles were found to decrease significantly and the moisture content of their skin also augmented.
What does it mean? Aloe vera increases the production of collagen in the skin making it more elastic and preventing wrinkle formation.
Has Great Antioxidant activity
Benefit confidence: High
A follow-up study was conducted by the Food Science and Technology Institute of Japan, in an attempt to reproduce their results and discover more beneficial effects of aloe vera.
They subsequently found that individuals consuming aloe sterol supplements showed a significant improvement with respect to their collagen production, skin hydration, and elasticity, leading to a drastic reduction of their facial wrinkles.
According to a human study conducted in India on the effects of an anti-wrinkle cream containing the extract of Aloe vera gel, aloe vera possessed anthraquinones which acts as an antioxidant agent preventing the damage free radicals cause to the skin thereby reducing wrinkle formation.
According to a laboratory study published in the Journal “Planta Medica”, Aloe vera was found to have active ingredients such as isorabaichromone and aloesin which are excellent free radical and superoxide scavengers acting as an antioxidant agent.
What does it mean? Aloe vera has active ingredients which act as free radical scavengers, preventing damage to the skin and thus acting as a natural anti-wrinkle agent.
Aloe has Anti- photo-aging activity
Benefit confidence: High
UV radiation causes early aging of the skin by dehydration and reducing the elasticity of the skin. It also induces the formation of free radicals which causes premature cell death.
In a 2015 animal study published in the Journal of Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, the anti- photo-aging effects of Aloe vera were studied.
Skin elasticity, tensile strength, collagen and hyaluronic acid production and free radical production of the hairless mice increased significantly after the oral administration of aloe supplement.
A mixture of Aloe vera gel, collagen and chitosan were prepared by scientists and tested for its anti-aging properties.
It was found that applying this mixture topically improved the skin texture, rejuvenated the skin and reduced wrinkles.
What does it mean? UV rays from the sunlight can cause skin damage leading to premature wrinkle formation, which can be prevented by regular intake of aloe vera supplements or topical application of aloe vera gel.
Aloe vera acts as a moisturizer
Benefit confidence: High
In a human trial conducted on factory workers, it was found that on using gloves coated with aloe vera gel, the skin retained moisture much better, fine wrinkles were seen to disappear on continuous usage.
Scientists prepared a blend of aloe vera gel with collagen and chitosan, it was found that on topical application of this mixture, skin rejuvenation and hydration increased significantly as aloe vera has a high water holding capacity.
Increased hydration and proliferation of the cells reversed cell death and proved aloe vera to be an anti-aging and anti-wrinkle agent. 
What does it mean? Aloe vera hydrates and rejuvenates dried out skin because of its high water holding capacity and thus aids in reducing wrinkles.
Aloe Vera Home Remedies for Wrinkles
There are several simple aloe vera home remedies that can be used to treat the skin.
If you have a plant at home, select some succulent older leaves from the base, slit open and scoop out the gel.
Make sure the leaves are washed well to avoid dirt and debris.
You can also get fresh aloe vera gel at health stores along with other ingredients needed to make a refreshing lotion that will soothe, smooth and moisturize skin, therefore, keeping it wrinkle-free and healthy.
To treat eye wrinkles
Get pure aloe vera gel. Cleanse your face and gently apply the gel under the eyes. Do not rub hard on the skin is very thin and do not let it come in contact with the eyes.
Aloe vera gel contains vitamins E, C and A which heal and nourish the skin and reduce wrinkles under the eyes when used regularly. Wash off after a few minutes.
Aloe vera offers anti-inflammatory benefits that can reduce puffy bags under the eyes.
Crow’s feet around the corners of each eye and dryness can also be prevented by using aloe vera gel for it contains Vitamins B, C, choline, niacinamide and 18 amino acids that give us firm, hydrated skin.
Make Aloe Vera Lotion at Home
The following are recipes to make aloe vera lotion at home.
- Mix well 1 cup fresh aloe gel, one vitamin E capsule or 1tsp vitamin E-liquid and 1 tbsp soy lecithin. Heat a pan and melt 1/3 cup each of beeswax and olive oil. Add this mix when cooled to the aloe gel mixture. Now add ¼ cup sweet almond or jojoba essential oil, 3-5 drops of any favorite essential oil (sandalwood, ylang-ylang or lavender). Mix well and store in the refrigerator in a dark glass or tight plastic container. This can be kept for 3 months at least.
- Boil together ½ tsp borax and ½ cup filtered water. Remove and cool. Heat separately 1 cup organic coconut oil and cool. Mix both together and now add 5-10 drops essential oil and ¾ cup aloe vera gel. Mix thoroughly and store as above.
- Blend together juice of 1 cucumber, ½ cup coconut oil (melted), ½ cup each of fresh aloe vera gel and olive oil in a bowl and store as usual.
The dosage of aloe vera
Aloe vera extracts may be consumed orally as juice or applied to the skin as a cream or a gel.
For consumption as a liquid, 250 mL of Aloe vera extract per day was shown to be healthy and contributed to an increase in the antioxidant capacity of the cell and thus is helpful in preventing wrinkling.
However in real life, one can limit intake to 30ml of aloe vera juice 1-2 times a day.
In the case of aloe vera gel capsules, a dose of 1-3g is found to be beneficial in reducing wrinkles.
Whereas, in the case of external application, up to 0.5% Aloe vera gel can be applied to the skin as a moisturizing agent without any evidence of toxicity.
Possible side effects of aloe vera
The debate regarding the side effects of Aloe vera is rooted in the presence of Aloin. This is a laxative compound found in the plant right next to the gel.
Consumption of aloin can cause diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and dehydration.
Due to the presence of aloin, pregnant women are strictly advised to avoid the consumption of Aloe vera to prevent the incidence of uterine contractions and miscarriages.
Hence it is safer to purchase commercially available Aloe juice, which is free from Aloin, rather than prepare the juice at home.
We are currently in an age where we are moving towards natural remedies and avoiding chemical-based drugs.
Aloe Vera proves to be a very effective remedy for the prevention of early skin wrinkling. It widely available in markets in the form of juices, gels, and tablets, which makes consumption easy.
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