Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal and skin healing properties. The gel inside the leaves contains over 75 active components including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, lignin, saponins, and salicylic acids that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects. Using aloe vera gel topically can provide many benefits for skin and hair health. But how often should you be applying it to maximize these benefits without overdoing it? Here’s a look at how many times per day you should use aloe vera gel.
1-2 Times Per Day
For most general skincare and haircare needs, applying aloe vera gel once or twice a day is sufficient. Using it 1-2 times a day will allow the active compounds to absorb into the skin and hair to provide hydration, soothe inflammation, enhance healing, and fight bacteria over time. This frequency is ideal if you are using aloe vera for:
- General moisturization
- Razor burn and irritation
- Skin rejuvenation
- Acne and breakouts
- Dark spots and hyperpigmentation
- Dandruff and dry scalp
- Hair growth and strength
Once in the morning and once before bed is a good routine as it will keep skin hydrated without being excessive. Make sure to cleanse and tone as normal before applying a thin layer of aloe vera gel across the face, neck, and other areas. Allow it to fully absorb before applying additional skincare or cosmetic products. For hair, apply focally to the scalp and ends after shampooing.
2-3 Times Per Day
Increasing application to 2-3 times daily may be beneficial if you are using aloe vera to treat a specific skin condition or wound. The increased frequency will allow for greater absorption and efficacy of the medicinal properties. Situations where applying aloe vera gel 2-3 times a day may be warranted include:
- Healing burns, cuts, scrapes
- Severe acne outbreaks
- Psoriasis and eczema flares
- Cold sores
- Skin ulcers
- Blemishes and canker sores
- Surgical incisions
- Hair loss
For these uses, apply a layer of gel 3 times across the day – morning, afternoon, and night works well. Make sure to gently cleanse the area first. Applying aloe vera gel after bathing can help seal in moisture as well. This increased frequency will provide greater medicinal impact to help remedy the skin or hair condition.
How to Properly Apply Aloe Vera Gel
To gain the most benefits from aloe vera gel, follow these tips for proper application:
- Wash and dry the skin first – This will remove excess oil and allow better absorption of the aloe vera.
- Use pure aloe vera gel – Make sure the product is at least 99% pure aloe vera gel, not diluted with other ingredients.
- Apply gently – Do not aggressively rub aloe vera gel into the skin. Use a delicate touch.
- Use a thin layer – Only a thin veil is needed to gain the effects. Using too much can prevent absorption.
- Allow it to dry – Let the aloe vera fully absorb into the skin before adding any other products.
- Avoid vulnerable areas – Take care around eyes, nose, and mouth where skin is delicate.
- Store properly – Refrigeration can help extend the shelf life after opening.
Following these simple tips will ensure you are able to maximize the benefits of topical aloe vera applications. Be consistent with your usage for best results over time.
Signs You Are Applying Aloe Vera Gel Too Much
While aloe vera provides many skin and hair perks, it is possible to overdo it. Using aloe vera gel too much can lead to adverse effects. Be on the lookout for these signs you may be over-applying aloe vera:
- Skin dryness and flaking
- Redness and irritation
- Acne breakouts
- Skin rash
- Itchy scalp
- Hair dryness or oiliness
- Product buildup on skin or hair
If you notice any of these occurring, cut back on your aloe vera gel use. Decrease applications to once a day or take a break completely if irritation is severe. In some cases, aloe vera sensitivity can develop after repeated use.
While aloe vera gel is very gentle and suitable for most skin types, there are some special factors to keep in mind:
- Sensitive skin – Do a patch test first and start with just once a day.
- Using acne medications – Check for interactions with aloe vera.
- Allergies – Discontinue use if any reaction occurs.
- Pregnancy & breastfeeding – Limited research has been done on safety for pregnant or nursing women.
- Children – Only use aloe vera gel occasionally for children under 12 years old.
It’s also best to avoid using aloe vera gel on open wounds or burns without consulting your physician first. Only apply to intact skin to be safe.
When used appropriately, aloe vera gel can have remarkable benefits for soothing and healing skin and hair. For general skincare maintenance, 1-2 times per day is ideal for most people. Those using it to treat specific conditions may need to increase to 2-3 daily applications. Always start slowly and look for signs of sensitivity or irritation. Be patient as it can take weeks of consistent use to see the best results from topical aloe vera applications.