Aloe vera is a fatty plant that has been cultivated and used for more than 5,000 years by various great civilizations, particularly for cosmetic purposes. Its gel is known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. In after-sun care, it provides the skin with a touch of freshness and soothes overheating due to sunburn.
Sunburn: Definition, Causes and Consequences.
Also called solar erythema, a sunburn is a first degree burn of the skin by the sun's UVB rays. This phenomenon generally occurs after a long exposure without sun protection. However, some people with sensitive and/or fair skin, therefore poor in melanin, may experience a sunburn just after a short exposure of only a few minutes. Sunburns are characterized by redness, sometimes severe pain and itching. In the most severe cases, blisters may even appear.
During exposure, to protect the skin, melanocytes produce melanin (the pigment that gives the skin its brown color) which migrates to the surface of the skin and colors it: this is called tanning. If the exposure is too long and/or the UVB rays are too intense, the tan gives way to a sunburn. According to a study published only ten years ago, the biological process that takes place when a sunburn occurs is inflammatory. UVB rays from the sun damage microRNAs which, once released into the extracellular environment, stimulate pro-inflammatory cytokines. A chain reaction then generates a sunburn on the surface of the skin.
Aloe Vera Gel, In Brief.
From the Liliaceae family, aloe vera or Aloe barbadensis has prickly leaves with a leathery appearance. These contain a transparent gelatinous pulp, which is edible once the aloin-rich latex that surrounds it has been removed. The extraction of this pulp provides the famous aloe vera gel. This one is colorless and of viscous texture. It contains no less than a hundred active substances, nutrients and other components (polysaccharides, vitamins, trace elements, enzymes and amino acids). In cosmetics, this natural compound is an excellent multifunctional active ingredient known for its moisturizing, repairing and soothing properties.
Aloe Vera Gel to Soothe Sunburn.
Aloe vera gel can act on several levels to soothe a sunburn:
Cooling the skin, relieving the burning sensation and moisturizing the epidermis.
In cutaneous application, directly on the sunburn, the aloe vera gel has a pleasant freshness which alleviates pain and itching due to the burn. It also helps to restore the natural hydration of the skin. It contains substances called glucomannans, which act as a moisturizing shield on the skin. Researchers have shown that when Aloe vera gel is applied to the skin, the long-chain mucopolysaccharides polymerize and form a thin, semi-permeable film that produces an immediate moisturizing effect.
Calm Inflammation and Repair the Epidermis.
The anti-inflammatory activity of aloe vera gel has been revealed by a number of scientific studies. Biologically, the gel exerts its soothing and repairing activity by inhibiting certain mediators of inflammation such as prostaglandin F2, via the degradation pathway of arachidonic acid by acting on cyclooxygenase.
Our moisturizing gel with aloe vera and orange blossom soothes the skin and moisturizes it in depth. It provides a fresh effect to the face and body, ideal for calming the skin after sun exposure.
CAMPOS M. & al. Moisturizing effect of cosmetic formulations containing Aloe vera extract in different concentrations assessed by skin bioengineering techniques. Skin Research and Technology (2006).
HAMMAN J. H. Composition and applications of aloe vera leaf gel. Molecules (2008).
MUKHTAR H. & al. MicroRNAs in skin response to UV radiation. Current Drug Targets (2013).