I have a friend who swears by aloe vera for acne. Whenever a blemish decides to crop up, she doesn’t reach for some of the more classic natural-leaning treatments, like clay, tea tree, or witch hazel—rather, she taps some cooling aloe onto the spot to sink in overnight.

Now, aloe vera’s soothing and hydrating abilities abound, no doubt, but to shrink a gnarly-looking zit? You might be a bit skeptical—understandably so. I certainly was, too, until I saw how her stubborn blemish had all but vanished the next day. 

Turns out, the precious gel has tons of benefits for all kinds of acne (yep, even blackheads). Scroll below for what makes the plant a spot treatment staple.