can you sleep overnight with aloe vera on your face?
Questions And Answers

Can I Sleep with Aloe Vera On My Face?

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Louise Carter

Research into overnight skincare regimes will yield various results, but dermatologists usually agree that aloe vera gel is among the best natural substances to apply to the face.

This gel is found within the plant Aloe barbadensis miller, native to dry and arid parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. According to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, ancient and modern civilizations celebrate aloe vera for its medicinal qualities.

Aloe vera gel can be extracted directly from its source plant. It’s safe for topical application to human skin and hair (allergies permitting) and can be used overnight, applied before bed and left while you sleep.

An advantage of using aloe vera on your face overnight is its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe can also heal burned skin, treat adult acne, improve collagen production, and hydrate the skin while you sleep.

There are some warnings to heed surrounding aloe vera, but be aware that the gel is toxic if consumed. Aloe vera gel can also be messy on pillowcases, but the skin will mostly absorb it.

Can I Put on Aloe Vera Before I Sleep?

Aloe vera is an effective beauty product for use overnight. Assuming you’re not allergic to aloe vera, you can safely apply it to your skin at bedtime and leave it to sink in while you sleep.

As a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, aloe vera is recommended if you have dry or oily skin, adult acne, sun-damaged skin, heavy rings under the eyes, or want to slow the onset of wrinkles.

benefits of applying aloe vera on face at night

Can You Use Aloe Vera Straight from the Plant?

To use aloe from a plant, ensure it’s mature. If so, the leaves will be around 8 inches long.

Cut a single leaf from the aloe vera plant. Always start with the outermost leaves, as these will be the most abundant source of gel. Upon cutting this leaf, a thick and gloopy yellow substance will ooze.

This isn’t aloe vera gel, so don’t apply it to your skin because this is a sap called aloe latex. Remove the top and bottom of the leaf to remove the latex.

Once the leaf has ceased dripping latex, cut away the spines on the side of the leaf. Then, start to slice the skin of the leaf. This will release a translucent gel, which can be applied to the skin overnight. 

Extract and store this gel, gently rinsing to remove any remnants of latex and small pieces of the plant.

Store the aloe gel in a refrigerator. This should keep the gel fresh for around a week. Unfortunately, it’ll spoil within 24 hours if kept at room temperature.

How To Use Aloe Vera on the Face at Night

The best way to use aloe vera gel is after washing and exfoliating your face at night as part of your skincare and sleep hygiene routines. Aloe vera is most effective when trapping existing moisture.

Liberally apply aloe vera to the face and neck. Focus on particularly problematic areas that would benefit most from the attention of this product, including acne-scarred skin and under the eyes.

Don’t worry if you get aloe vera in your hair because there’s no need to wash it out and delay sleep.

If necessary, apply a skin mask over the aloe vera to keep it in place. This is optional because aloe vera can be used as a mask by itself and will be just as effective if you leave the gel to dry and sink in.

Can I Leave Aloe Vera on My Face Overnight?

Aloe vera is considered safe for application to the skin, which is why it has such a good reputation. However, be mindful of a potential allergic reaction to aloe.

Apply a small amount to the skin early in the day, allowing the aloe vera to sink in.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, wash the aloe vera from your skin:

  • Burning sensation on the skin (unrelated to existing sunburn.)
  • Rash or breakout of hives.
  • Tightness in and around the throat, causing difficulty breathing.
  • Pains in the chest.

If you don’t develop an aloe vera allergy, consider applying it as a face mask and sleeping with it overnight. This approach has pros and cons, but the pros outweigh the cons.

Benefits of Sleeping with Aloe Vera on Skin Overnight

We’ve established that the answer to “Can I use aloe vera gel as a sleeping mask?” is yes, assuming you don’t experience an adverse reaction.

What happens if I sleep with aloe vera on my face? Aloe vera is a highly regarded product in the beauty industry because it offers the following benefits as an addition to your skincare regime:

Moisturization

If aloe vera is worn overnight, it has moisturizing properties. Liberally applying aloe as a face mask, particularly after a shower or simply washing your face, will bind moisture to your skin.

This is due to humectants in aloe vera, which attract and retain water and provide the plant with excellent drought tolerance. Using aloe vera on skin that is already moist helps hydration continue overnight, allowing you to wake up looking and feeling rejuvenated.

The moisturizing properties of aloe vera can also be used to combat the natural aging process, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Many cosmetics may promise this, charging significant sums for their services, but aloe vera is a cost-effective alternative.

Applying an aloe vera face mask while you sleep encourages the growth and promotion of collagen, a protein that acts as a building block for plump, healthy-looking skin.

Human skin comprises about 80% collagen, but collagen generation slows as we age.

The skin loses elasticity as less collagen is produced, leading to wrinkles and laughter lines. While aloe vera can’t halt the advance of time, prolonged use helps the skin look younger.

Treatment of Acne

Adult acne is the bane of many people’s lives, especially as dealing with wrinkles and spots simultaneously seems unfair.

In addition to rejuvenating and treating the skin, sleeping with an aloe vera face mask can treat breakouts and prevent the growth of new spots.

There are 4 main causes of adult acne.

  • Bacteria in the skin.
  • Inflammation of the skin.
  • Excessive production of sebum oil.
  • Blocked pores.

Aloe may resolve bacteria and inflammation as a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent.

The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology recommends aloe vera as an acne treatment, with pure aloe direct from the plant yielding the most significant results.

Aloe is also naturally astringent, so it extracts oil from the face, while the product will also exfoliate dead skin, reducing the risk of blockages to the skin.

Aloe vera is lauded as a treatment for the causes and symptoms of adult acne, so if your traditional moisturizer and night cream are proving ineffective, consider using aloe while you sleep.

Reduction of Eye Circles

Dark circles under the eyes caused by sleepless nights or dry skin can be difficult to remove using traditional skincare products. Aloe vera can improve skin condition directly under the eyes, especially when paired with a high-end eye cream.

As we age, our eyes become increasingly hollow through wear and tear. This issue is aggravated further by dehydration of the skin. While cosmetic surgeons will discuss the potential for treating dark circles with lasers and fillers, aloe vera should be attempted first.

By liberally applying aloe to the area beneath the eyes before bed, the skin will be treated to significant moisture and hydration. This can reduce any pigmentation leading to darker skin below your eyelids, though aloe vera isn’t a miracle cure for dark circles under the eyes.

Brazilian Annals of Dermatology warns that this can result from melatonin and an inherited aesthetic trait, and you’ll need to practice sleep hygiene and rest well to maximize the impact of aloe.

Sleeping well and caring for your skin means you’re likelier to avoid this issue.

Soothing Sunburn

Spending a day in the sunshine can be tiring, and if the sun’s rays make you too lethargic, you may inadvertently end up burning your skin. Aloe is one of nature’s best remedies for sunburn, and its application will help you remain comfortable and sleep overnight.

As aloe vera cools and hydrates skin, it will ease discomfort associated with sunburn and prevent your skin from growing dry overnight. You’re less likely to wake up with blistered, peeling skin.

According to the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, aloe vera also contains aloin. This compound is a noted anti-inflammatory and is considered a defense against burns to the skin.

Superior aloe vera gels and lotions are just as effective as pure juice from the plant for easing sunburn symptoms overnight.

Cool your skin with a shower, then apply the product to impacted areas, including a burned face, neck, back, or shoulders. You may decide to wear a shirt overnight if you have sunburnt skin.

Side Effects of Aloe Vera on the Face Overnight

If your skin doesn’t react negatively to aloe vera, you should be free to apply it as a face mask. However, be aware of these potential drawbacks:

Messy Pillows

If you’re using pure aloe vera extracted straight from the plant, it’ll feel sticky on the skin.

While you may enjoy additional benefits from using a natural product, it can get on your pillow overnight. This may cause unsightly staining.

An aloe vera gel from a pharmacy or health food store is less likely to leave residue on the skin and, by extension, will leave the pillows a little cleaner. It’ll be absorbed into the skin while you sleep.

Check your pillows for any sign of grease, residue, or staining from your face mask. Consider getting silk or satin pillowcases, as they’re less likely to absorb liquid from the face overnight.

how long can you leave aloe vera on your face?

Potential Toxicity

While aloe vera is safe for topical applications, be wary of toxicity if you consume any. You may inadvertently swallow aloe if you sweat during sleep and your face mask runs.

The Journal of Environmental Science and Health warns that consuming aloe vera orally can cause stomach upsets, reduced potassium levels, kidney problems, and exposure to carcinogens.

However, you’d need to consume significant amounts of aloe to open yourself up to this risk.

What Are Aloe Vera Pillows?

While researching aloe vera to use while sleeping, you may notice aloe vera pillows available for sale.

It’s vital to understand that these aren’t pillows coated with aloe vera and won’t replace topical application to the skin as part of your beauty regime.

These pillows are laced with aloe vera fabric, which enhances temperature regulation.

An aloe vera pillow will repel any cold and moist air from the environment, and the cushion will remain breathable throughout the night.

Aloe vera pillows are considered more comfortable than traditional ones, especially for people who get hot while sleeping. They also reduce the risk of bed bugs and mites due to their ability to repel moisture. However, they won’t necessarily improve your skin.

Equally, while an aloe vera pillow won’t provide direct exposure to this plant extract, the products should still be approached with a degree of caution if you have a sensitivity.

Consider it unsafe if you experience side effects when laying your head on an aloe vera pillow.

Alternatives to Aloe Vera for Overnight

If you’re unable or unwilling to use aloe vera on your face overnight but want to apply a topical face mask over your traditional moisturizer, consider these alternative products:

  • Coconut oil will hydrate dry and chapped skin but leaves more residue and can block pores.
  • Jojoba oil and tea tree oil match aloe vera more closely, rapidly sinking into the skin and offering hydrating properties.
  • Mixing essential oils, especially citrus-based oils, with olive oil can create a soothing face mask.
  • Agave nectar offers qualities similar to aloe but must be mixed with a base ingredient.
  • While not as nourishing as aloe vera, cucumber oil is an unintrusive addition to your bedtime skincare regime.

Aloe vera is the cleanest and most effective form of natural skin mask that you can apply overnight.