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Aloe Vera for Acne

illustration of aloe vera
Aloe barbadensis

There are hundreds of varieties of aloe that grow all over the world. Most have medicinal properties. However, it is aloe barbadensis that is known as aloe vera, the species with the most value as a natural remedy. Aloe arborescens, the fast growing aloe with spiraling leaves, is more common as a houseplant and wild succulent in North America and its gel has healing properties as well but it is less powerful than aloe barbadensis.

For pictures of the different species, follow these links:

Aloe vera as an acne remedy

The gel of the aloe vera plant has a cooling, soothing effect on acne sores. It is also a natural antibiotic.


  • Remove a whole aloe leaf from the plant. Take an outer leaf and remove it as near the trunk as possible.
  • Cut a slit down the middle and allow the yellow latex to drain. The latex has other uses (as a purgative) but is not good for irritated skin and might cause inflammation in some people.
  • Use a serrated knife to remove the thick skin. Begin by cutting off the jagged edges. This will take some practice but after a few tries you will be able to remove the skin and end up with a nice thick piece of gel.
  • Use the flat side of a knife or a spoon to remove the gluey latex from the gel.
  • If you are using aloe arborescens, it is not necessary to drain the leaves. You can open the leaf and apply the gel directly.
  • Cut a piece of the gel and apply it directly to the skin as needed, avoiding the eyes.
  • The gel will keep for about a week if stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Why It Works

Aloe vera gel is good for acne for two main reasons. First, it immediately soothes the skin and is a mild anti-inflammatory. Secondly, aloe vera is a natural antibiotic - it cleans the skin and kills bacteria.


As mentioned above, the latex of aloe barbadensis, a thin layer between the leaf and the gel, is a potential skin irritant.

More Remedies

I just cut off an Aloe Vera

I just cut off an Aloe Vera leaf off my plant, slit it down the middle and let the Yellow liquid run out. I then went to the mirror and placed the leaf on my face and applied all of the crystal clear liquid on my face. It burned like heck but we will see what this does. I don't know how often I should do this but I will try this for a few days to see what happens. I will let you know on the outcome. P.S. I'm 62 years old and just got a very bad case of this last week. I don't know what brought this on but it had to be something......


This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Be aware that many of the techniques and remedies published on this site have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Use of these remedies in connection with other medications can cause severe adverse reactions. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

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