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Honey vs aloe vera for skin: Benefits and uses

Honey and aloe vera are often suggested to solve various skin issues. But is one better than the other? Let us tell you if you should use honey or aloe vera for your skin.

Honey can be the best friend of people with dry skin. It is one of the natural ways to hydrate skin. It offers more benefits for skin apart from hydrating and nourishing it. Another natural ingredient that many people swear by is aloe vera. Its high water content helps to hydrate skin. It may also help with sunburn. But is honey better than aloe vera? Read on to know if you should go for honey or aloe vera for your skin.

What are the benefits of honey for skin?

Honey, a sticky brownish-golden liquid produced by bees, is beneficial for skin.

Honey or aloe vera
Honey has many benefits for skin. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

1. Nourishes and hydrates skin

Honey, which has a good amount of water, is used for its ability to draw and hold onto moisture in the skin. A 100 grams of honey can give you 17 grams of water, according to United States Department of Agriculture. By keeping the skin nourished and hydrated, this helps to avoid flakiness and dryness, says cosmetologist and skin expert Dr Jatin Mittal. Honey also has vitamins like C and B-6, and amino acids that help nourish the skin and enhance its suppleness and texture.

2. May fight acne

Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities, honey can help treat and prevent acne, says the expert. Honey has the ability to eradicate the acne-causing bacteria and lessen the associated redness and inflammation. Also, honey can clear the face of excess oil and debris and unclog pores.

3. May heal injuries and burns

Due to its antibacterial and wound-healing qualities, honey may hasten healing and keep infection at bay. Burns and wounds can also create discomfort and irritation, which honey may provide relief from. Honey is known for its ability to provide a barrier of defense for the skin, promote the growth of new skin cells, and heal wounds with little to no scarring.

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4. May prevent sun damage to skin

Honey’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities may help lessen oxidative stress and neutralise free radicals, protecting skin from sun damage and ageing, says Dr Mittal. Oxidative stress, which results from an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, can promote inflammation and ageing. Free radicals are unstable chemicals that can harm skin cells and lead to wrinkles, sagging, and dark spots.

What are the benefits of aloe vera for skin?

The herb aloe vera is well known around the world for its calming and moisturising qualities. The gel-like material found in aloe vera leaves contains the plant’s bioactive substances, which include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids, says the expert.

Aloe vera for skin
Aloe vera may provide relief from sunburn. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

1. Hydrates skin

Aloe vera gel is widely used to hydrate skin. It has 98 percent water content that helps to hydrate, calm, and moisturise the skin.

2. May relieve sunburn

Aloe vera may be beneficial in healing first- to second-degree burns, which include mild sunburns, as per a 2007 study published in the Burns journal. It may provide relief from sunburns and rashes, as aloe vera gel has a cooling effect.

3. May slow down ageing process

It has an antioxidant action that can help heal damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays. This may in turn help in slowing down the ageing process of the skin, says Dr Mittal.

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4. May lessen wound pain

Its anti-inflammatory qualities may lessen wound or wound pain, swelling, and soreness. It may reduce scarring and speed up the healing process of wounds.

Honey vs aloe vera for skin

Aloe vera and honey both offer benefits for skin, but how helpful they are for a given person’s skin type and issues, will differ. Here are their advantages based on various skin types:

1. Dry skin

Honey: Honey is a natural humectant, which means that it helps the skin draw in and hold onto moisture. This property makes honey useful for dry skin. In addition, it has nutrients and antioxidants that moisturise and nourish the skin, reducing dryness and encouraging a more radiant complexion, says Dr Mittal.

Aloe vera: Aloe vera is well known for being calming and hydrating. Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids included in it aid in hydrating and restoring dry skin. Aloe vera also contains anti-inflammatory qualities that help reduce redness and irritation that are frequently linked to dry skin disorders.

2. Oily skin

Honey: Honey has antibacterial qualities that help fight bacteria, which is good for skin that breaks out easily. It contains anti-inflammatory qualities that help lessen acne-related redness and inflammation. To prevent aggravating oiliness, people with oily skin might want to use honey sparingly.

Aloe vera: Suitable for oily or acne-prone skin, aloe vera has a lightweight, non-greasy gel-like consistency. Salicylic acid, which is present in it, helps to clear clogged pores and lessen acne outbreaks. Also, aloe vera’s soothing qualities can ease inflamed skin.

3. Sensitive skin

Honey: Its mild and calming properties make it generally well-tolerated by sensitive skin. In addition to hydrating and nourishing the skin, it can help reduce irritation and redness.

Aloe vera: Known for its cooling property, aloe vera is good for sensitive skin. It can relieve sensitive skin types by reducing redness, irritation, and inflammation, says the expert.

4. Combination skin

Aloe vera and honey are both useful for treating combination skin. While reducing excess oil in oily areas, honey helps hydrate dry areas. Aloe vera is good for both dry and oily parts of the face since it adds a mild moisture without blocking pores.

How to include honey and aloe vera in skin care routines?

Depending on your skin type, you can use honey and aloe vera into your skincare routine in the following ways –

1. Dry skin

Honey: Apply a tiny amount to damp skin, massage in circular motions, and then rinse with lukewarm water to use honey as a mild cleanser for dry skin. You may also make a moisturising mask by combining honey with yogurt or avocado and applying the mixture to your skin for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off.

Aloe vera: As a moisturiser, use the gel after washing your face. For extra moisture, aloe vera gel can also be blended into your preferred moisturiser or combined with a few drops of face oil.

2. Oily skin

Honey: Apply a tiny bit of honey directly to spots and leave it on overnight to minimise inflammation and encourage healing if you have oily or acne-prone skin. To make a clarifying mask, combine honey with an item that gently exfoliates, such as oatmeal or clay.

Aloe vera: To lightly hydrate washed skin, apply a thin coating of aloe vera gel. Aloe vera can also be used as a calming toner by smearing it over the skin with a cotton pad after cleansing.

3. Sensitive skin

Honey: As with dry skin, apply honey as a mild cleanser or mask for sensitive skin. Sensitive skin can benefit from its nourishing qualities and calming effects without becoming irritated.

Aloe vera: As a moisturiser or calming therapy, apply pure aloe vera gel to washed skin. Aloe vera can also be used as a sunburn or irritation reliever; just apply a thick coating and let it seep onto the affected areas.

4. Combination skin

Mix honey and aloe vera gel: For a moisturising and balancing mask for mixed skin, mix equal parts honey and aloe vera gel. After cleansing your skin, apply the mixture and let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. While calming and reducing excess oil in oily regions, this combination can help hydrate dry areas.

What are the side effects of honey and aloe vera for skin?

When used topically, honey and aloe vera are typically harmless for most people, but there may be adverse effects –

  • Some people may have allergies to aloe vera or honey. Skin redness, swelling, itching, or hives are some of the symptoms of allergic responses.
  • Applying honey or aloe vera topically can cause skin irritation or sensitivity in certain people, even if they are not allergic. This might happen if you use contaminated or low-quality cosmetics, or if your skin is extremely sensitive.
  • Although honey is a humectant and helps keep skin hydrated, some people may feel tightness or dryness in their skin after applying honey topically. This might happen if the honey is applied topically for an extended period of time without being thoroughly rinsed off or diluted.

Ultimately, honey and aloe vera each have special properties that are.good for skin, but it all depends on your skin type. Whichever works best for you can be found by experimenting with both and seeing how your skin reacts.

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