There are hundreds of different species of aloe vera. In fact, there’s so many that there are probably some species that we haven’t even yet founded. We know that aloe vera as a whole has a huge range of health and beauty benefits, but to really get the most from this thousand-year-old plant, we drill down into some of the most commonly seen species to understand which works harder at providing each benefit.
You may not be aware that aloe vera consists of many different types of plant belonging to the aloe family, so we’re here to reveal the different qualities of the most common species of aloe, including the species we use in our products here at Benessence, Barbados Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis).
Barbados Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis)
Barbados Aloe, or Aloe Barbadensis to use its formal name, is one of the most commonly used plants when it comes to health and beauty products. This is because it is the plant that produces the most juice and so is the easiest to derive this active ingredient from. It also produces a substance named aloin, or aloe latex, which is a yellow pulp that is found just under the leaf.
The two substances provide a range of benefits respectively. The juice is placed into products to treat dry skin, burns, various skin conditions and to moisturise and hydrate the skin. The aloe latex is best consumed, (usually blended into a drink) as it has gentle digestion-aid properties.
Torch Aloe (Aloe Arborescens)
Torch aloe is the second most commonly used plant among aloe vera-based products. It can grow up to 10 feet tall and is recognised by its bold burnt-orange flower. This species works hard to heal wounds, with an antiseptic property that helps to fight against harmful bacteria. It is also known to boost the overall health of the immune system.
Cape Aloe (Aloe Ferox)
Cape aloe is another species that can grow very high, to almost the height of a small tree, with its red flowers growing two to four feet above its leaves. The juice from this plant can help aid digestion, providing good gut bacteria and a very gentle laxative which can be used as a natural remedy for constipation. This aloe family member also holds a unique oil within its seeds that contains a variety of fatty acids, helping to replenish and hydrate the skin when used in skincare products.
Coral Aloe (Aloe Striata)
Known as coral aloe from the orange-pink colour of its flower, this species doesn’t have the small spikes that aloe vera plants are typically recognised for. This species thrives in hotter climes and stores large amounts of water. Again, the gel within the coral aloe leaves can be used as an aid to treat minor wounds and burns or various skin conditions and can also help to rejuvenate and moisturise the skin, although this species isn’t found in skincare products all too commonly.
Mountain Aloe (Aloe Marlothii)
Featuring vibrant orange and yellow coloured flowers, this plant has strong, spikey grey-green leaves and can grow up to 20 feet tall. This one is best known for its moisturising properties, helping to hydrate, rejuvenate and make the skin appear overall more healthy. As the moisturising benefits of this plant are so great, it can help to improve dry skin conditions, as well as calm mild acne.
Spiral Aloe (Aloe Polyphylla)
This species made it to the list due to is popularity, however as a result, you won’t find spiral aloe residing in any skincare or beauty products. Due to this plant being largely sought after as a decorative house plant and overgrazing of nearby animals, this species has unfortunately seen a great decline and it is now a rare find. It’s even illegal in Lesotho, South Africa to pick this plant or remove its seeds. Its benefits however lie in the plumpness of its leaves, holding great quantities of water and aloe gel that can be used to ease the symptoms of dry and itchy skin conditions.
Stone Aloe (Aloe Petricola)
Stone aloe is popular in gardening due to its unique and energetic colours, starting with a bright yellow base and gradually blending into a deep orange. It’s known for helping other species to thrive when in its close vicinity and is widely used in bedrooms as it is believed that it helps to purify the air, emitting oxygen which helps you to get a better night’s sleep.
Tree Aloe (Aloe Barberae)
Tree aloe is exactly as its name suggests, a tree species that can grow up to 50 feet tall. It features pale pink flowers at the tip of its leaves. These leaves contain high levels of aloe juice, with this species particularly known for the benefits of reducing harmful bacteria and is the ultimate aloe when it comes to its skin-soothing properties.
Climbing Aloe (Aloe Ciliaris)
This thin plant is known for how quickly it grows and is therefore commonly used in products due to providing speedy-production levels. Not only does it hold all the common health benefits and skin-soothing properties that the majority of the aloe family holds, but it is also known for attracting bees and wildlife that help support the environment.
Soap Aloe (Aloe Maculata)
The sap of this aloe makes a soap-like lather when mixed with water, hence its nickname. The benefits of this plant therefore may be obvious too. The juice of this plant is used in body washes and the like as a great natural alternative to soap, with moisturising, hydrating and antibacterial properties and none of the harmful additives.
At Benessence, we’re advocates of the amazing elements all aloe vera species hold and use aloe within our products as a natural and environmentally-friendly alternative to many common chemicals used widely in the beauty industry. Shop our wide range of natural, organic products, all infused with the wondrous aloe vera plant.