Aloe Vera Reduces Skin Wrinkles, Activates AMPK, and Speeds Skin Healing

by Nils Osmar. Updated August 9, 2023. Medical Disclaimer

Aloe vera has numerous benefits related to health and longevity.

According to this study, it increases the production of collagen. (Low doses appear to work as well as high doses for this purpose.) It has also been found to improve wound healing after injuries, activate AMPK (the longevity pathway), and reduce insulin resistance.

Here’s a quick look at three studies and what they found:

Study 1: Facial wrinkles

After aloe gel intake, the facial wrinkles improved significantly (p<0.05) in both groups, and facial elasticity improved in the lower-dose group…

Aloe gel significantly improves wrinkles and elasticity in photoaged human skin, with an increase in collagen production in the photoprotected skin and a decrease in the collagen-degrading MMP-1 gene expression. However, no dose-response relationship was found between the low-dose and high-dose groups.

Study 2: AMPK and insulin resistance

AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a phylogenetically conserved intracellular energy sensor that plays a central role in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism The most important finding in this study was that Aloe QDM complex reduced body fat via activation of AMPK in the muscle (Fig. 5).

These results reveal that the Aloe QDM complex increased mitochondrial biogenesis in both WAT and muscles by activating AMPK and further reduced body fat by down-regulating the expression of scavenger receptors in the WAT.

In almost all of the data, Aloe QDM complex significantly improved insulin resistance and suppressed adipogenesis genes in WAT by activating AMPK, suggesting that Aloe QDM complex is a useful dietary phytochemical for improving obesity-related metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance.

Study 3: Wound healing

In total, 23 trials that met the inclusion criteria were studied. The results of the studies showed that Aloe vera has been used to prevent skin ulcers and to treat burn wounds, postoperative wounds, cracked nipples, genital herpes, psoriasis, and chronic wounds including pressure ulcers.

Considering the properties of Aloe vera and its compounds, it can be used to retain skin moisture and integrity and to prevent ulcers. 

My thoughts and experiences

I use a thick aloe vera gel now and then to promote the healing of injuries, and drink an aloe vera gel (juice) now and then to support AMPK activation. (I do lots of other things for AMPK activation; the juice is just for bonus points.) One quart bottle of aloe vera. gel juice costs about $8 — pricey! — but I just drink a little in the morning, so a bottle lasts me a couple of weeks if I refrigerate it after opening.

I had some sore and inflamed skin recently due to an activity I’d been engaging in. I don’t like applying aloe vera to “raw” skin, so I waited till the next morning for the injured areas to start healing over. I then applied aloe vera generously. By the end of the day I was completely healed; this is purely anecdotal of course, but I felt the aloe had made a difference in how quickly I healed.

Now and then I’ll get a cut or laceration; when I do, I wait for it to start healing, then apply some aloe vera gel to it. This may be why when I get cuts, they’re usually healed within 2-3 days.

Related studies:

  1. Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo
  2. Dietary Aloe QDM Complex Reduces Obesity-Induced Insulin Resistance and Adipogenesis in Obese Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet
  3. The Effect of Aloe Vera Clinical Trials on Prevention and Healing of Skin Wound: A Systematic Review

Not medical advice

This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplements, just reporting on what I’m doing. All supplements can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen.  See full Medical Disclaimer

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