Aloe vera is one of the most powerful skin-repairing herbs, It is rich in minerals (zinc, magnesium, and selenium), enzymes (catalase and superoxide dismutase), amino acids (cysteine, anthraquinones) and vitamins (B2, B6, E and C). No wonders this single natural product has a composition as rich as an anti-wrinkle cream.

 

I love using aloe vera gel not only for myself but for my patients as well. Though aloe vera extracted at home is best, but it goes stale without refrigeration. Therefore, began my search for the best aloe vera gel available in the market.

I scanned the ingredient list of common brands of aloe vera gel available in India, US, UK and Canada. To my surprise, many popular brands (especially in India) have chemical ingredients, in the form of preservative, colours, thickeners or additives. I am sure you would not like to put a chemical on your skin under the cover of a natural product.

Topic covered in this article:

  • 6 points to find aloe vera gel is pure and organic
  • Best aloe vera gel in India
  • Best Aloe Vera gel in US, Canada and UK
  • 9 ways to use Aloe vera for skin and hair
  • How to make aloe vera gel at home?
  • Will drinking aloe vera help my skin as well?
  • 3 side effects of using Aloe vera

6 points to find aloe vera gel is pure and organic

1. 100% purity is not possible

The most important thing that you should look for while buying aloe vera gel is “the ingredient list”. It should NOT read “100% pure aloe vera gel” because 100% pure aloe vera gel is NOT possible. Aloe vera gel extracted from the plant has a thin consistency and it cannot stay without preservatives. Therefore, thickener and preservatives are absolutely necessary to make aloe vera gel that can withstand the wear and tear of packing, storage and transportation.

2. Should have natural thickener like Xanthum gum or seaweed

Next, you have to to find out which thickener is used because a synthetic thickener can mask the natural benefits of aloe vera. Usually, one of the following thickeners are used:

  • Carbomer (safe, but synthetic): Carbomer is a synthetic thickener that is used for making most of the gel-based skin care products available today in the market. As per my research, most aloe vera gel that read as “100% pure aloe vera gel” in India, but does not mention the detailed ingredient list belong to this category. Fortunately, 2 new brands have been launched in the Indian market recently with Xanthan gum as a thickener.
  • Xanthan gum (safer, Natural): Xanthan gum is a naturally derived thickening agent that can work at a concentration of less than 1%. Thus, these aloe vera gel would mention “99%” aloe vera on their pack and should have a detailed ingredient list. Most aloe vera gel available in the US, UK and Canada have this composition.
  • Seaweed (Safest, Natural and anti-ageing): Seaweed not only thickens aloe vera juice but also has anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory benefits. At present, only Seven minerals aloe vera gel has seaweed as the thickening agent.

4. Must have safe preservatives like potassium sorbate

Aloe vera will go stale without preservatives. But, make sure you do not use aloe vera gel with harmful preservatives like parabens and formaldehyde releasers. Instead, you should use aloe vera gel with safer preservatives like TLC, potassium sorbate, malic acid etc.

4. Should be transparent

You should avoid colour additives. If aloe vera gel is green and NOT transparent, then do not buy it!

5. Fragrance-free

Avoid aloe vera gel that smells really floral. That means it has added synthetic perfumes. However, your gel should not smell stale, despite the absence of fragrances.

6. Avoid open jar packing

Have you ever kept aloe vera gel on the kitchen shelf for a week? It goes stale because aloe vera gel oxidises on exposure to the air. Therefore to retain the maximum benefit of the aloe vera gel it should be stored in an:

  • Flip-open bottle, tubes or pump packing: It is not a good idea to pack aloe vera gel in an open jar packing because aloe vera gel is exposed to air each time jar is opened. Secondly, you have to dig your finger into the aloe vera to take it out, thus, increasing the chances of contamination.
  • Tinted or opaque bottles are best because aloe vera gel gets spoiled on exposure to sunlight. Therefore, it should not be packed in transparent bottles.
  • Glass packing is better than plastic because chemicals from plastic like BPA might enter aloe vera gel especially when the gel gets heated during transport or storage.

 

BEST ALOE VERA GEL IN INDIA

Most popular brands of aloe vera gel in India use acrylate as thickener and have Parabens as preservative. We are listing only 3 brands which fulfil all the above criteria of pure aloe vera gel.

WOW Aloe Vera Multipurpose Beauty Gel

 

WOW Aloe Vera Multipurpose Beauty Gel

 

BUY ON AMAZON.IN

Pros:

  •  99% pure aloe vera gel
  • Xanthan gum as the safe thickening agent.
  • Potassium sorbate as a safe preservative.
  • Tinted flip-open bottle packing.

Mamaearth Aloe Vera Gel

BUY ON AMAZON.IN 

Pros:

  •  99% pure aloe vera gel
  • In addition it has glycerine, Vitamin E, allantoin, Sodium PCA as hydrating and sooting ingredients
  • Xanthan gum as the safe thickening agent.
  • Potassium sorbate as a safe preservative.
  • Pump packing
  • Has IFRA certified allergen free fragrance

 

Mamaearth Aloe Turmeric Gel

BUY ON AMAZON.IN 

This gel has turmeric in addition to all the benefits listed in above variant of this gel. This can be used for acne prone skin.

BEST ALOE VERA GEL IN US, UK AND CANADA

Most brands of aloe vera gel available in the US, UK and Canada have Xanthan gum as thickening agents and use potassium sorbate as a safe preservative. I have compared the differentiating points in the table below so that you can take an informed choice:

Brand OUR REMARKS Check price

(affiliate links)

Seven Minerals This brand tops our list because:

  • It is 99% pure aloe vera gel
  • Has seaweed as a NATURAL thickening agent. Seaweed has anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory benefits. All other brands use Xanthum gum as the thickening agent.
  • Potassium sorbate as a safe preservative.
  • Comes in tinted flip-open bottle packing.
Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Earth’s Daughter
  • 99.75% aloe vera gel
  • Xanthan gum as the thickening agent.
  • Potassium sorbate as safe preservative
  • Has tinted packing
Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Green Leaf Naturals SAME AS ABOVE Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Art natural SAME AS ABOVE Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Amara Organic SAME AS ABOVE Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Radha Beauty Cons:

Interestingly, the Radha beauty website mentions Xanthan as the thickening agent, but Amazon reviews mention carbomer as the thickening agent. The information is NOT consistent.

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Aloe Pura Cons:

This aloe vera gel has Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer as SYNTHETIC thickening agents.

We would prefer above brands.
Naissance Cons:

  • Has carbomer as the SYNTHETIC thickening agent.
We would prefer above brands.
Lily of Desert Cons:

This aloe vera gel uses synthetic thickener called as carrageenan

We would prefer above brands.
Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera 100% Gel Cons:

DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea as a preservative that is not safe.

We would prefer above brands.

 

9 ways to use aloe vera for skin and hair

1. Aloe vera for skin whitening

Aloe vera helps in reducing dark patches by aggregation of skin pigment called melanin according to this study. Aloesin, a compound isolated from the Aloe vera, has been proven to competitively inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme involved in the formation of skin pigment, according to this study.

You can use either:

2. Aloe vera for oily skin

Aloe vera can be used as an excellent moisturiser for oily skin because it can reduce acne and yet not clog your pores.

You can apply aloe vera for oily skin in the following 3 ways:

 

3. Aloe vera for pimples

Aloe vera gel heals red pimples by reducing inflammation and fighting against bacteria. For enhancing the anti-acne benefits further, combine aloe vera with tea tree oil to make this homemade anti-acne moisturiser.

4. Aloe vera for ageing skin:

Anti-ageing benefits of aloe vera can be explained by the following mechanisms:

  • Aloe vera showed improvement of the viscoelastic and hydration properties of the skin in one of the study.
  • Another study quoted that aloe vera stimulates fibroblast which produces the collagen and elastin fibres making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled.
  • Aloe vera protects and repairs the damage caused by the sun, dust, pollution, harsh chemicals, etc. and retards wrinkle formation.
  • You can further enhance the anti-ageing benefits of aloe vera by adding the essential oils. The full recipe is in the above video.
  • Similar to aloe vera, my research revealed that these best Vitamin C serum in India, US and UK might be effective in reducing signs of ageing in 3 months duration.

 

5. Aloe vera for sensitive skin

Aloe vera has a steroid-like calming action on the red and irritated skin. However, there are few reports of sensitivity reaction with aloe vera as well. Therefore, to minimise the chances of reaction, you should remove the yellow liquid that oozes out during extraction of aloe vera at home. I highly recommend you to make this soothing cream for sensitive skin by combining the 3 most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients- aloe vera, rose water, and calendula.

6. Aloe vera for sunburn:

Application of aloe vera not only helps in reducing pain and redness but also helps in healing of the sunburnt skin. You can either use:

7. Aloe vera for hair growth:

The natural ingredients in aloe vera help in nourishing hair roots and reducing hair fall. You can use aloe vera in 3 ways:

  • Aloe vera can be massaged to scalp around 1 hour before washing your hair.
  • Make a aloe hair growth mask by adding oils like bringraj, amla oil. The recipe is in the above video
  • Buy S2S Natural Styling Gel (5in1 Hair Pomade) that combines aloe vera with 5 potent herbal oils.

8. Aloe vera for dandruff:

Aloe vera helps in reducing dandruff owing to its anti-septic action. You can use aloe vera for dandruff in the following 2 ways:

  • Add 5-10 drops of lemon to 3 tablespoon aloe vera jelly and massage the mixture into scalp around 1 hour before hair wash.
  • Combine aloe vera with tea tree oil to make this homemade anti-acne moisturiser. You can put this aloe-tea tree oil mixture on your scalp overnight or an hour before hair wash
  • If above home remedies fail, or if you have severe dandruff, then these effective anti-dandruff products.

9. Aloe vera for other skin concerns

  • Cuts and boils: Aloe vera aids healing and prevent infection when applied to minor cuts and boils because of anti-bacterial and antiseptic action. You can use this aloe vera neem basil gel as a natural antiseptic.
  • Skin cancer: Anti-tumour activity of aloe vera is attributed to skin repairing and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera.
  • Minor burns: This use of aloe vera in burns is supported by this study that shows aloe vera leads to much rapid skin epithelisation and accelerated healing as compared to commonly used antiseptic cream silver sulphadiazine.
  • Lichen planus: Lichen planus is a common skin disorder characterised by an itchy purple coloured rash. It has shown regression with an application of aloe vera.
  • Psoriasis: Both application and intake of aloe vera reduce psoriasis lesions because of anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory action. One study concluded that aloe vera cream may be more effective than 0.1% steroid cream in reducing the clinical symptoms of psoriasis.
  • Scabies: Aloe vera gel might be as effective as benzyl benzoate in the treatment of scabies.

How to make aloe vera at home?

You can extract pure aloe vera gel at home, but, remember to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator immediately to avoid oxidation. The method of extracting aloe vera is as follows:

  • Aloe vera gel gets spoiled on exposure to air and sunlight, therefore, the whole process of extraction should be performed quickly.
  • Cut one or two mature leaves from Aloe vera plant and clean it thoroughly.
  • Split the aloe leaf into two halves with the knife and scoop out the clear, translucent, inner gel from the split leaf.
  • It is very important to wash the yellow residue(rich in anthraquinones) that oozes out of the transparent aloe vera gel to reduce chances of skin reaction.
  • Remember to store this freshly extracted aloe vera gel in an air-tight glass container in the refrigerator, that too immediately.

The advantage of homemade aloe vera is that it is 100% pure, and the disadvantage is that you have to store it in the refrigerator.

Will drinking aloe vera help my skin as well?

Yes, of course. In fact, one study has shown improvement in the wrinkles with the intake of aloe vera daily for three months.  You should start with two tablespoons of Aloe vera gel mixed with lemonade or any juice and increase to 4 tablespoons maximum.  It is not advisable to consume undiluted aloe vera.

 

What are the side effects of using Aloe vera?

The Cosmetic ingredient review expert panel labels aloe vera preparations as safe. However, several case reports of the development of hypersensitivity reactions and contact dermatitis in response to aloe vera preparations have been published.

Oral intake of aloe vera might cause diarrhoea especially at higher doses and may lower blood glucose levels. Rare cases of kidney damage with the chronic intake of aloe vera have been reported. The above-mentioned side effects are more common if the yellow liquid (rich in anthraquinone) is not removed during extraction.

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