If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works.
Aloe vera gel is used in many over-the-counter skin products. This plant extract has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which has led to its use in treating acne.
Aloe vera has been shown to work alongside traditional acne medications. One study reported that a combination of tretinoin cream, a common acne medication, and aloe vera cream effectively reduced acne lesions in people with mild to moderate acne.
People can apply aloe vera to acne lesions on their face and other parts of the body. It can be used on its own or in combination with other natural products.
In this article, we look at seven possible ways of using aloe vera, along with other natural products, to reduce the appearance of acne.
It is likely that not all methods will work for everyone, but aloe vera is very gentle on the skin, so there is little risk in trying it.
Aloe vera is an alternative treatment, and so there are no approved guidelines about strength or dosage. The following list gives suggestions for possible ways to use aloe vera for acne.
People should not apply a new substance to their face without consulting a doctor or dermatologist. They can also advise on potential effects that aloe vera might have on any medications people are taking.
1. Pure aloe vera
Research shows that aloe vera has certain characteristics that may make it effective in fighting acne. For instance, aloe vera gel is:
- an antibacterial
- an antioxidant
- an anti-inflammatory
A person may use pure aloe vera cream instead of a traditional cleanser to prevent acne breakouts. This works because the antibacterial agents in aloe vera remove bacteria from the skin, reducing the risk of spots developing.
To treat existing acne, some people apply aloe vera to the affected area and leave it on overnight. It is important to wash it off in the morning.
Many kinds of aloe vera gel are available to buy online.
2. Aloe vera and lemon juice
Citric acid found in fruits such as lemons may also help to treat acne. Pure lemon juice is acidic, so mixing this with aloe vera may stop the lemon juice from irritating the skin.
A person can make a face mask by mixing aloe vera and lemon juice in an 8 to 1 ratio, spreading this evenly over the face, and leaving it on for about 10 minutes. Importantly, they should avoid the sensitive eye area and wash the mask off thoroughly afterwards.
3. Cinnamon, honey, and aloe vera
To make a cinnamon, honey, and aloe vera face mask, a person can mix about 2 tablespoons (tbsp) of honey, 1 tbsp of aloe vera, and ¼ teaspoon (tsp) of cinnamon in a small bowl. This can be applied to the face, left on for 10 minutes, and washed off with warm water.
4. Aloe vera and tea tree oil
Research published in 2017 shows that tea tree oil gels and face washes may be effective for treating mild to moderate acne.
People should avoid leaving tea tree oil on the skin for long periods, but when mixed with aloe vera, it may be suitable for use as a cleansing solution.
To make a cleansing solution, mix together water, aloe vera, and 2 to 3 drops of tea tree essential oil. Some people can be sensitive to tea tree oil, so it is essential to wash the solution off with water after a couple of minutes.
5. Aloe vera spray
Spraying the skin with a diluted aloe vera solution can help hydrate skin without causing extra oil production or shine.
A person can mix roughly 2 parts water to 1 part aloe vera to make a spray. The solution can be placed in a spray bottle and sprayed onto the affected area, avoiding the eye area.
6. Coconut oil, sugar, and aloe vera scrub
Many over-the-counter exfoliants contain chemicals. A person who wishes to avoid chemicals can make their own scrub, using a combination of coconut oil, sugar, and aloe vera.
The grains in sugar remove the dead layers of skin. Studies suggest that lauric acid, a key component of coconut oil, may help to fight acne.
A person can make a scrub using equal parts sugar and coconut oil, mixed with half the amount of aloe vera. Once mixed, the scrub can be applied over the affected area and then rinsed off.
Avoid exfoliating too regularly, and always consult a doctor before using exfoliating creams on acne, as they can further irritate the skin.
Aloe vera is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter acne creams. People can find out which products contain aloe vera by looking at the active ingredients listed on the label.
It may be a good idea to use creams containing aloe vera as part of the everyday acne-fighting routine because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
An allergic reaction to topical aloe vera is uncommon. However, there is some evidence that drinking aloe vera may cause harm.
Although rare, some people may develop an allergic reaction to aloe vera. Signs of an allergy may include redness, a rash, or swelling. If symptoms occur, stop using aloe vera. If a person is worried by their symptoms, they should consult a doctor
Many methods for using aloe vera involve combining it with other ingredients. These ingredients could cause an allergic reaction on the skin. A person should stop using an ingredient if they notice any skin irritation.
Aloe vera is a relatively safe and potentially effective way to treat and prevent acne.
There are several methods of using aloe vera at home, and one or more treatment options may be effective.