|What is it?||In cosmetics and skin care aloe vera is typically some refined form of the gooey substance found in the fleshy leaves of the aloe vera plant. The most common formats are extracts, concentrated powders, and the water-like juice. The concentrated powders are sold with the concentration noted so you can hydrate them with the correct amount of water.
At drug stores, aloe vera is typically a bright green gel. This is not what you want for making skin care products with. Store bought aloe vera gels also contain fragrances, gelling agents, pigments, and other ingredients—we want just aloe vera.
|Appearance||Depends on the format purchased. The juice is typically a clear, watery liquid.|
|Usage rate||This also depends on the format purchased; refer to your supplier for guidance. I typically use the re-hydrated liquid at up to 50%.|
|Scent||Low; lightly herbal.|
|Why do we use it in formulations?||Aloe vera is an excellent skin-soothing and moisturizing ingredient. It has been found to boost healing, collagen production, and hyaluronic acid production in the skin. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antiseptic effects (source).|
|Do you need it?||I’d highly recommend it.|
|Strengths||Excellent soothing, moisturizing ingredient.|
|Weaknesses||It is high in electrolytes, so depending on the formulation, it can thin emulsions if used in high concentrations. It is also incompatible with anything that isn’t electrolyte compatible.|
|Alternatives & Substitutions||If you are using aloe vera for skin-soothing properties, consider a chamomile hydrosol or calendula extract.
If aloe vera is being included for moisturizing and film-forming effects, consider a hydrolyzed protein like oat or silk.
|How to Work with It||I recommend re-hydrating the concentrated powder to create your own juice—this is typically much more economical than purchasing the juice. For a 100x concentrated powder, you would mix 1% aloe vera powder, 0.5% liquid germall plus, and 98.5% distilled water to create a single-strength solution of aloe vera juice to use in your projects (for 200x you would use half the amount of the aloe powder, making up the difference with more water; for 50x you would use twice the amount of concentrated powder and remove that extra amount from the water).
Include aloe vera juice in the heated water phase of formulations, or cold process if no heat is required.
|Storage & Shelf Life||It depends on the format; check with your supplier.|
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks||Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, and E (source).|
|Recommended starter amount||250mL (8fl oz) for the liquid. 30g (1oz) for the concentrated powder.|
|Where to Buy it||Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.|
Some Formulations that Use Aloe Vera
- De-Puffing Peppermint Aloe Facial Roller
- Aloe Mint Hand Wash
- Shealoe Emulsified Body Butter
- Silk Aloe Body Wash
- Summer Glow Body Lotion
- Soothing Makeup Finishing Spray
- Oat & Shea Hand Lotion
- Lavender Aloe Exfoliating Body Wash
- Soothing Creamy Facial Cleanser
- Lavender Aloe Cream Facial Cleanser
- Lavender Aloe Lotion
- Lavender Aloe Soap
- Little E’s Lemon Shea Hand Lotion
- Lavender Aloe Foaming Hand Wash
- Lavender Aloe Hydrating Facial Toner
- White Chocolate Peppermint Foot Cream
- Rich Shealoe Butter Cream
- Sweetgrass After Sun Body Mist
- Strawberry Rose Body Glow Serum
- Micellar Water for Waterproof Makeup