Aloe vera is a common ingredient in beauty products. This so-called miracle plant is said to have almost magical healing and age-perfecting properties. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Let us assure you—aloe vera is no commercial scheme! Humans have been using it for its special properties for millennia. From the ancient Mesopotamians to Cleopatra, countless historical figures have used it as part of their beauty routines. Following in the footsteps of our ancestors, modern humans also love to use aloe vera.
If you want to learn more about the history of aloe vera in beauty products, read on! This plant gel’s history is longer—and richer—than you might expect.
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a cactus-like succulent plant borne from the Arabian Peninsula, but it grows all around the world in areas with arid, semi-tropical climates.
When you snap the leaves of the aloe vera plant in half, out seeps a thick, clear, odorless gel. This gel is mainly water, but it also contains beneficial amino acids, vitamins, lipids, sterols, tannins, and enzymes. It has many documented medicinal and beauty purposes, and due to this, humans have been consuming it and smearing it generously on their skin for thousands of years!
What Are Its Benefits?
What are the benefits of aloe vera? There are almost too many to count, but here are some of the most popular:
Great for Blemish-Prone Skin
Blemishes are common in young people. In fact, over 85 percent of people aged 12 to 24 get them. While the risk of blemish-prone skin decreases with age, 25 percent of women and 12 percent of men over 40 get them, too.
Fortunately, aloe vera gel can help soothe blemish-prone skin. It gently cleanses the skin, helping it to appear clean, smooth, and reducing the appearance of puffiness.
Aging Skin Benefits
Aloe vera won’t make you permanently 25, but it can make your skin look plumper and more visibly youthful. Packed with vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, aloe vera prevents skin the appearance of puffiness and promotes elasticity.
Moisturizes the Skin
Like creams and lotions, aloe vera gel moisturizes the skin. Better yet, it does so without leaving a thick, greasy film behind and weighing down your pores.
A Rundown of Aloe’s History
Because of all these benefits, aloe vera has been a staple beauty product for millennia!
The history of aloe vera in beauty products started roughly 6,000 years ago when we discovered boards from Nippur in ancient Mesopotamia. These boards described how the Mesopotamians used aloe vera to cleanse their body of unwellness and demonic entities.
But the country best known for popularizing aloe as a beauty product is Egypt. Like the Mesopotamians, the Egyptian people took aloe vera orally as an internal cleanser and believed it to be a plant of immortality that could help with various forms of unwellness. . But they also used aloe vera gel to maintain their beauty. Famously, many claim that the queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti used it as part of their daily skincare routines.
Other Ancient Users
The Mesopotamians and Egyptians weren’t the only ones marveling at the soothing and anti-aging properties of aloe. As word of this mysterious miracle plant spread and it became readily accessible via trade, other cultures began to experiment with it.
The ancient Greeks used it as a treatment for dry skin. Early Native Americans called it the Wand of Heaven, believing its health and moisturizing properties to be otherworldly. Russians called it the Elixir of Longevity. And according to the Legends of the Knights Templar, templar knights also called it this because it kept skin supple. In Ayurveda, a 3,000-year-old Indian medicine system, aloe vera is considered a miraculous plant that supports skincare and natural beauty and helps women maintain youthful appearances. Aloe is even mentioned in the Bible as being as rare and revered as spices in King Solomon’s era.
Popularization from Global Trade
In 1492, when Christopher Columbus traveled to the Americas, he brought aloe vera with him. Shortly after, the British East India Company expanded trade of the plant. This resulted in a sudden boom in popularity, but you might be surprised to hear this boom didn’t last.
See, aloe vera gel expires quickly when not preserved, and transporting it across long distances ruined its efficacy. Because of this, many people complained that aloe vera didn’t provide the promised benefits, and the gel’s reputation took a steep nosedive.
A 1970s Comeback
But centuries later, innovators from the 1970s became aloe vera’s saving grace. During this decade, a new processing technique emerged that made it possible for aloe vera manufacturers to preserve the gel using natural ingredients and cold pressing. This allowed them to transport it without diminishing its efficacy. Soon, the public regained faith in the gel.
Today, you can find pure aloe vera gel at most convenience and beauty stores. It’s also a key ingredient in products like masks, mists, and toners. At Essential Wholesale & Labs, we sell bulk aloe vera gel for anyone who wants to take advantage of this plant’s incredible moisturizing and anti-aging properties. Our gels are fully organic. We mix aloe vera with other natural ingredients—such as blueberry, cucumber, and lavender—to create colorful and fragrant gels that soothe and nourish the skin for a healthy, glamorous glow.