The best aloe vera gel

Sun & Tanning

By combining one part aloe vera gel with two parts rubbing alcohol, you can create a homemade hand sanitizer that won’t dry out your skin.

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Which aloe vera gel should I get?

Many people are accustomed to using aloe vera as a way to treat and soothe sunburned skin, but this naturally beneficial plant has other uses and applications with positive health benefits. Featuring a number of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other important compounds, aloe vera has been widely used throughout the world for thousands of years.

Nevertheless, it is important to choose a reputable aloe vera gel that is both effective and reliable. Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel is made from fully organic fresh-cut aloe leaves, making it perfect for a variety treatments and skin care routines.

What to know before you buy aloe vera gel

What is aloe vera?

For those not familiar with aloe vera, it is a species of succulent that thrives in arid, tropical and subtropical climates. While it is believed to have originated on the Arabian peninsula, it now grows in a variety of different environments around the world.The plant features thick fleshy leaves that contain a slightly viscous gel, which is then harvested for medicinal and nutritional purposes.

Gel vs. juice

When searching for the perfect aloe vera product you may come across options labeled as aloe vera gel and aloe vera juice. The gel is mostly clear and can be somewhat sticky. This substance is used topically. Aloe vera juice, on the other hand, is often turned into a drink that is meant to be consumed in order to claim the potential health benefits. While not proven, some people believe that drinking aloe vera can help reduce inflammation, improve immune function, lower cholesterol and regulate digestion.

Aloe vera uses

  • Burns. By far the most common use for aloe vera is for treatment of sunburn or other minor burns, thanks to its cooling and soothing properties. It has even been shown to help relieve “shaving burn” when used as an aftershave.
  • Acne. Lightly applying aloe vera to acne or pimples can not only help reduce flare-ups but can prevent future outbreaks as well.
  • Wound care. For any minor cuts, scrapes, abrasions or other nonserious wounds, treating them with aloe vera can help prevent infection and promote healing, due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect.
  • Moisturizer. Overly dry skin can benefit from the moisturizing and nongreasy properties of aloe vera when applied to the face or other areas.
  • Anti-aging. Vitamin C and E are both abundant in aloe vera, and along with being antioxidants, are considered important for helping to reduce visible signs of aging.

Container

When choosing the best aloe vera gel, take into account the container size and style. You can find small travel-size tubes and even large gallon jugs of gel. Depending on how and where you’ll most likely be using it, you should find an appropriate size and application method, whether it be a squeeze, pump or spray.

What to look for in quality aloe vera gel

Preservatives 

Without any type of preservative, the raw gel will likely only last about a week. That’s why many brands will include some form of preservative. Examples of safe preservatives include citric acid, ascorbic acid, potassium sorbate and radish root ferment, among others.

Aloe vera percentage

Even if the label states that the product contains 100 percent aloe vera, there will still likely be other ingredients added in order to thicken and prolong shelf life. When searching for the best product, for the best quality try to choose an option that contains no less than 95 percent aloe vera.

Thickness

Aloe vera gel without an added thickener would be thin and runny. In order to maintain the desired consistency, most gels will add ingredients such as agar, xanthan gum, guar gum, seaweed extract or other safe thickeners.

Scent

Pure aloe vera gel won’t give off much of a scent, which some people prefer. However, if you’re looking for a fragrant option, many aloe vera gels are infused with essential oils to provide a refreshing or calming scent.

Moisturization

If you’re choosing aloe vera more for its moisturizing properties rather than its soothing or healing ones, there are gels that contain additional moisturizing ingredients like cucumber extract, honey, glycerin and fruit stem extracts.

Cold press

The best aloe vera gels are made using a cold-press process. This preserves the beneficial vitamins, minerals and enzymes that aren’t suitable for high heat.

How much you can expect to spend on aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is relatively inexpensive, with a majority of medium-size bottles selling for anywhere from $10-$20, depending on the quality of ingredients.

Aloe vera gel FAQ

Does aloe vera gel need to be refrigerated?

A. Most commercial-brand aloe vera gels will not need to be refrigerated, as they contain preservatives that keep the gel from degrading. However, raw aloe vera gel will last longer if kept cool.

Does aloe vera gel stain your clothes?

A. Aloe vera gel should not create any lasting or permanent stains on your clothes or on your skin. If you do notice slight discoloration on your clothing, simply wash normally, and your item should be back to normal.

What’s the best aloe vera gel to buy?

Top aloe vera gel

Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel

Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel

What you need to know: An all natural option that won’t leave your skin feeling sticky. 

What you’ll love: Made from organic aloe grown in the US, this aloe vera gel can be used for burns, rashes or simply as an everyday skin treatment. 

What you should consider: May need to be tested on a small area before applied to your face to ensure there is no reaction. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top aloe vera gel for the money

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel

What you need to know: One of the best options for badly sun-damaged skin.

What you’ll love: With no added colors or use of alcohol, this won’t dry out your skin and can even be used on your hair.

What you should consider: Bottle spout isn’t the most durable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pura D'or Lavender Aloe Vera Gel

Pura D’or Lavender Aloe Vera Gel

What you need to know: The perfect aloe vera gel for those who want a relaxing lavender scent.

What you’ll love: Featuring no artificial preservatives, this USDA-certified-organic aloe vera gel works well to soothe and repair irritated skin.

What you should consider: Not the best for people with extra-sensitive skin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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