Aloe Vera is definitely a miracle plant.
I love using it not only for myself but for my family as well. Aloe vera extracted from a plant at home is best , but it surely needs refrigeration else it goes bad. Fresh Aloe Vera is very mucilaginous but as days progress, it tends to become very liquid, like water. Its still good to use fresh aloe upto 2 weeks when refrigerated.
When I see aloe vera being sold in the markets, its shocking to see how much additions are made to it to increase shelf life.
The issue with aloe vera is that its a very delicate plant. Too much heat, preservatives, chemicals can take away its benefits , leaving very little behind.
Many popular brands selling aloe vera gels have chemical ingredients in the form of preservatives, colors, thickeners and additives. Using aloe vera with all these additions is of little use, and no one likes to put a chemical cocktail like this their skin under the guise of a natural product.
LOOK FOR THESE POINTS WHEN BUYING ALOE VERA GEL -
- Percentage of aloe vera in the product :Though 100% purity is not possible unless its freshly harvested from your home plant, you should not accept anything less than 95% . Why is 100 % purity not possible? Because preservatives, colors, thickeners and other additives are added to pure aloe vera gel to improve its appearance and shelf life.
- Consistency : Pure aloe vera gel has a thin consistency - mucilaginous to liquid. Almost all companies add a thickener like seaweed, xanthan gum or a carbomer to make the consistency thicker and gel-like. Read the label to see what has been added.
- Preservatives : Anything fresh and especially water based needs a preservative to extend shelf life, and aloe vera is no exception. Choose a product with safer preservatives like ascorbic acid, TLC, potassium sorbate, etc
- Fragrances and Aroma : Avoid buying aloe vera gel with fragrance, unless its from natural essential oils.
- Color : Avoid buying aloe vera that is colored. Aloe vera gel is NOT green, but transparent.
- Shelf-life : Look for a product with a shorter shelf-life. Shorter shelf-life means purer product and less additions and preservatives. Get to know about the brand to know about their ethics.
We use aloe vera for its many benefits ranging from UV protection, balancing ph of the skin and scalp to helping soothe inflammation in eczema and other skin problems.
If the seller says there is no preservatives or additives in their aloe vera gel that has a shelf life longer than a week, you know you are being misled.
So if you are unable to get fresh aloe vera, ensure you check the product on the bases mentioned above so you know its closest to the real thing.