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No aloe vera plants at home? Try these alternative organic gels instead.
So, you’ve made up your mind regarding integrating aloe vera gel into your skincare routine and are looking for an EXCELLENT gel. I’ve got you covered! (If you’d like to know if aloe vera gel is for you read my Aloe Vera Gel for Skin: Benefits, Anti-Age Properties & A Little Experiment, where I help you make up your mind).
In the article I also go through the different list of benefits aloe vera gel has in store for you. Let’s recap some of the benefits here:
MOISTURIZING & HYDRATING PROPERTIES
- Is a great moisturizer!
- Has humectant properties
- Tones skin (a great toner also fantastic for oily skin)
- Combats signs of aging (being a great hydrator and moisturizer it can plump up wrinkles and fine lines)
- Lightens the appearance of blemishes
- Is an antioxidant (free radicals scavenger)
SUN PROTECTION / BURNS IN GENERAL / WOUNDS
- UV sun rays protector (during and after)
- Treats burns (it is known as the ‘burn plant” as it heals a wide variety of burns, from sunburns to more serious scalds)
- Wound healing (the gel can help soften skin around minor wounds as well as preventing dryness as they heal)
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY / ANTI-BACTERIAL / ANTIOXIDANT
- Is anti-inflammatory (soothes skin helping with redness)
- Is anti-bacterial/anti-microbial (can treat acne because of its anti-microbial properties; it helps kill the bacteria that causes acne)
HAIR / SCALP
- Conditions scalp and also hair (because of its salycilic acid content it can help remove dandruff build-up and can also decrease scaliness and itching in seborrheic dermatitis)
- Mouthwash to treat gums and teeth (dilute fresh aloe into a juice and use as a gargle, it will help with gingivitis, mouth ulcers and cold sores. you can also apply fresh gel to the gums to help with inflammation)
If you’re looking for the best aloe vera gel you’re probably familiar with the above, so let’s just dive in, shall we?
**Remember to ALWAYS test aloe vera on a small area of your skin to make sure you aren’t sensitive to the product.
RECOMMENDED – Organic Non-Certified Aloe Vera Gel (by Amara Beauty) – 8 fl. oz
This product is more of a liquid than gel, beware.
The product comes from organic cold pressed aloe vera but NOT it has not been certified. I don’t usually mind these things since I know certification costs quite a bit of money.
Let’s have a look at the ingredients: Organic Aloe Vera (99.75%), Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Xanthan.
Xantham gum serves to thicken the gel, potassium sorbate would work as the preservative (artificial), citric acid lowers the pH and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) helps preserve the gel.
(The container the gel comes in is made of plastic so you might want to look at the option below instead).
RECOMMENDED – Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel: The ‘Classy’ Option (by Seven Minerals) – 4 fl oz
This gel has been certified (USDA certified organic) and is 99% organic.
This aloe vera gel is also more expensive. Let’s have a look at the ingredients list:
Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Agar-Agar, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Organic Grapefruit Seed Extract.
They’ve used agar-agar instead of xantham gum to thicken the product and grapefruit seed extract to preserve it (you’re meant to keep it refrigerated and use within 2 months according to their instructions). The difference between this product and the above product by Amara Beauty in terms of ingredients is that the ingredients Seven Minerals uses are ‘classier’ and add elegance to the finished product.
Then, there’s the fact that it comes in a glass bottle instead of a plastic bottle. All these things add to the final price, of course.
By the way, the company has included a 47-page ebook packed with beauty tips and recipes to make sure you get the most out of your aloe vera gel. Nice touch!
RECOMMENDED – Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel: The Economic Option (by Purad’or) – 16oz
This product is an interesting choice. The company has mixed aloe vera gel with honeysuckle. Let’s have a look at the ingredients list below:
Ingredients (99.25% Organic): Decolorized Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Guar (Guar Gum) Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride*, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Glycerin (Vegetable Glycerin)*, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Lavender Oil*. *Certified Organic Ingredient
Guar gum thickens the product. Lavender essential oil will help with its anti-inflammatory properties and also adds a scent. Vitamin E and glycerin are great for the skin. Honeysuckle is an interesting addition I must say, it has antioxidant components (flavonoids and saponins – more here) so it’ll strengthen aloe vera’s own antioxidant properties.
The product comes with a choice of different scents also: Lavender, Jasmine, Bergamot Lime, and Lemongrass. Ooh! Difficult one! You’ll have to see which scent is for you. Bergamot, lime and lemongrass will add citrussy touch while jasmin and lavender would add more of a flower scent.
To Take Into Consideration When Buying Aloe Vera Gels
My choices above are great and I would buy them if I didn’t have my aloe vera plants at home.
Whenever you’re buying aloe vera gel you’ll need to take into account the following considerations:
- Buy organic and pure aloe vera gel. Make sure there’s no water in the ingredient’s list, otherwise the gel has been watered down. Obviously we need other ingredients to preserve the gel and that’s fine. Lookout for unwanted ingredients like coloring (some people make it look green!), alcohol and ‘parfum’ in the ingredients list, which can make the product irritate you. As we saw above, ascorbic acid, potassium sorbate, citric acid, gums and essential oils are all fine (to thicken, preserve and add a natural scent to the product).
- Maybe there are other ingredients present in the gel (i.e. the lavender essential oil the added to one of my recommendations above). And that’s fine, some ingredients can add other functions to your gel.
- Make sure the gels you buy have all been cold pressed which is the way in which the product would retain its powerful botanical properties.
Quick Ways of Using the Gel
Maybe you’re not sure how to use the gel? With its antioxidant components, vitamins, enzymes and anti-inflammatory powers there’s a lot you can do with it. It can effectively help treat burns, acne and dry skin. Here are a few ideas so you can start putting it into action:
- itchy scalp: massage some gel onto the scalp for a few minutes and then wash your hair as normal
- dandruff: rubb the gel into your hair and scalp for a few minutes and then wash as normal
- sunburn: apply a few times a day and it will cool down
- superficial acne: massage the affected areas with the gel and let it be absorbed by the skin. Repeat for a few days.
- hydration: add aloe vera gel before your sunscreen in your morning routine or before your facial oils at night
- anti-aging: prevent more lines and wrinkles with aloe vera. Just apply as an extra step in your skincare routine every now and then. Here’s more on this.
There we have it. I’ll be writing a lot more on aloe vera as time passes since I will have plenty of it to experiment for the next years of my life!
Hope this article was helpful.