Let’s make a quick distinction right up front; ‘aloe juice’ does not refer to the substance traditionally used as a sunburn remedy. That’s more widely known as ‘aloe gel.’ Aloe juice is actually a product meant for human ingestion, meaning you drink it, and it’s derived from the same spiny succulent as the burn gel.
Lately, aloe juice has been getting a lot of buzz, because it can apparently help to resolve various skin problems when taken regularly. But just what exactly is aloe juice, what does it claim to do, and is it actually safe to drink? Let’s find out.
Why aloe juice?
Aloe has a long history of proven and effective healing properties when applied topically to the skin. Whether you have used the gel within the actual plant itself, or purchased a bottle from the drugstore, that soothing burn relief is derived from the same plant.
Aloe itself has anti-inflammatory properties, which some researchers claim is beneficial when taken internally. In fact, there are historical records indicating that aloe has been used as both an internal and external medicine for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians.
Researchers in Korea tested whether or not aloe vera juice would have beneficial effects on the skin when aloe was taken internally. According to their study, it seems the findings were promising. They report that women experienced a noticeable reduction in wrinkles over a 90 day period when they drank aloe vera juice every day.
Obviously, a single study cannot necessarily tell us definitively whether or not something is effective as an anti-ageing remedy, so many experts are still urging caution.
What is aloe juice?
The leaves of the aloe vera plant have three parts: the outer green skin, a yellow substance just under the skin called the “latex,” and a clear, sticky gel which makes up the bulk of the inner material. Most of us are familiar with the gel as a topical skin remedy for burns, scrapes, and psoriasis, but the latex of the aloe plant has been in use for a long time as well. Up until 2002, aloe pills made from the latex were available over-the-counter as laxatives. That was until the FDA recommended aloe be pulled from shelves is a laxative because sufficient safety studies had not yet been conducted.
Aloe juice can technically be made from any one of these three components, or indeed any combination of the three. As a consumer, it’s important you understand how your aloe juice was made, so you have some idea of what type of effect it may have. For instance, those with sensitive digestive systems or conditions such as IBS should not take any aloe products which include the latex from the aloe plant, as this can aggravate an existing condition.
Whether aloe juice is derived from the whole leaf, or only part of it, it’s typically mixed with sugars or sweeteners, and either water or other fruit juices. Be sure to read the label carefully when considering what to purchase.
Can aloe vera juice really help with skin care?
Is there really any such thing as ‘aloe vera juice benefits’ when it comes to skincare? The research is not 100% clear at this point. The single human study from Korea seems promising, but there are also some animal studies which show that there may be some harmful side effects too.
So the bottom line is that aloe does have anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to antioxidant. Both of these components have been shown to help improve overall health, and anything which improves your health can help improve the appearance of your skin. Keep in mind, however, that not all juices are created equal. Any juice that is over-sweetened, full of artificial ingredients, or very high in calories will have a negative effect regardless of what it’s made from.
What we do know for certain is that topical aloe gel has a long history as a safe and effective skin ointment. So, for now, your safest option is probably to stick with this tried and tested method when using aloe vera to support your skincare regime.