Hello, everybody! Today we’re talking about aloe vera. Aloe vera is an ingredient that can not miss in our DIY recipes, as I also wrote in my previous post. Click here to see what other ingredients can not miss in our formulations 🙂 Aloe vera, for cosmetic use, is often sold as a gel and sold at a price ranging from $ 10-20 for 3-4 Oz. In this post we will find out how to make this gel at home, while also saving some money.
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Aloe Vera Benefits
Aloe Vera contains many nutrients including minerals, sugars, fatty acids and amino acids showing anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and even anti-oxidant properties. It also has healing properties and is often used to soothe burns or to accelerate wound healing. In cosmetic creams it plays an anti-ageing and moisturising role making the skin more elastic and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. For these reasons, aloe vera is a fundamental ingredient to always have at home.
How to make Aloe Vera Gel
Two methods can be used to prepare aloe vera gel at home. The first method is to get it from the aloe plant, while the second requires the use of aloe extract in powder. I have tested both methods and here you will find all my opinions on both of them.
1. From Aloe Vera plant
The first method I tested was to get it directly from the aloe vera leaf. At my parents’ home in Italy, aloe vera is a very lush plant thanks to the warm climate that allows it to grow. So I cut off one of the outer leaves of the plant and used it to prepare the gel. Be careful not to cut many leaves otherwise the plant will be affected.
For this recipe I decided to add to aloe vera also some honey for its moisturising and antimicrobial properties.
The procedure is very simple. Before you start, you have to clean the leaves very well with water. Leave them for about ten minutes in a glass so that the yellow resin contained in them comes out. Now cut off the ends of the leaf (1) and then peel off the skin (2). Carefully remove the pulp from the leaf (3) and cut it into pieces (4).
Now blend the pieces of aloe with the hand blender (5) for a few minutes and filter everything to remove lumps (6). Add a teaspoon of honey and mix (7). The gel is now ready to use. Not having used preservatives, it is always better to keep the gel in the fridge for a maximum of one week.
Pros: To be sure to use something natural as it is extracted directly from the leaf. Cons: duration limited to a few days. In addition, the color changes from green to red. I’m not sure but probably for the oxidation of some component, something to investigate. Given my doubts about this, I immediately threw the product away when the color changed.
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The second method involves the use of lyophilized aloe vera powder. This extract is obtained from the juice of aloe and then through a process of lyophilization transformed into powder. During the process, the constituents are not degraded and the final product is very concentrated, hence the code 200:1. This code indicates that 200g of pure aloe gel can be obtained from one gram of powder. Aloe vera extract is easily available online on sites selling raw materials. I bought from Dragonspice, here is the link if you want to buy it.
What you will need
To make 100g of aloe gel it is necessary to use 0.5% of aloe vera extract, i.e. 0.5g.
To make aloe vera gel, weigh Xanthan gum and glycerine in a glass mix well the two ingredients. Then add water and mix again. After a few minutes, the water will become a gel and it is at this point that the aloe vera extract and the preservative will be added. Check quickly the pH which should be around 5.5 and cover the container with plastic wrap or better my favorite Beeswax wraps. They store the gel for 24 hours. After this time the gel is ready and should be placed in an old container. The gel can, unlike the first method, be stored for almost 6 months.
Pros: easy and cheap. It can be stored for a long time. Cons: for those who are against the use of preservatives, this method requires the use.
Between the two methods, the second is what I will do again. It’s simple, fast and I can keep it for longer. Which one do you prefer?
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