With more than 420 different types of aloe species and numerous different forms of the product — topical gels, digestible gels and juices — it is important to know which one to apply for your specific skin concerns. The most commonly used aloe plant for skin conditions is called barbadensis Miller. Aloe vera is the name often used for A vera Linne or A barbadensis Miller.
Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years as a folk remedy to help heal minor burns and topical wounds. The gel from aloe vera has been incorporated into many alternative medicines for rejuvenation and cosmetics for healing and other dermatologic conditions including wrinkle prevention.
In a 2009 study, researchers found that taking aloe vera gel orally via supplements improved skin elasticity and increased collagen production over a 90-day period. The study found significant improves in both wrinkles and elasticity in photoaged human skin, with an increase in collagen production, which means aloe vera helps tighten skin.
Doctors also report that aloe vera gel has been found to reduce the time required to heal first and second degree burns. It is important to note, however, that in 2002, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stopped regulating some oral aloe vera products such as over-the-counter laxatives, since not all medical companies that make aloe vera products provide safety data for their products.
While you can still buy these products, it’s important to understand that they are sold without the FDA seal of approval.