does 100 percent aloe vera gel exist?

100% Aloe Vera Gel: Does It Exist?

Okay, so we already know aloe vera’s pretty cool. It’s got heaps of benefits and there are some surprisingly awesome aloe vera uses we all want to jump on.

But where do you get this stuff? I mean, where do you get the good, pure stuff?

If you’ve ever gone on the quest to find a truly pure aloe vera gel – you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. There are a gazillion aloe vera gels on the market today, each of them claiming to be 100% aloe vera but then you glance through the ingredients list and walk away wondering how “one-hundred-percent aloe vera” could include so many other ingredients.

The thing about “pure” aloe vera is that the only way to get totally pure, actually 100%, just aloe vera is to make it yourself. And if you’ve ever tried that, you know fresh and pure aloe vera doesn’t last very long (it gets pretty suspect-looking and pink-ish for me in a week).

So for any brand of aloe vera to be commercially viable, they have to add stabilizers.

And that’s not a terrible thing in and of itself. It really comes down to what kind of stabilizers are added to the aloe vera. If the added stabilizers are as natural as they come, that aloe vera brand gets a pass. What we’re concerned with, though, are what some not-so-pure aloe vera brands have in their ingredients list.

(Not So) Pure Aloe Vera

Most brands will state 100% if they’re very, very close (like more than 99%) and more than the percentage, we think it’s most important to look at exactly what other ingredients are taking up the extra space.

Case in point – Fruit of the Earth’s Aloe Vera 100% Gel.

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer 940, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea

This is a pretty tricksy brand – instead of “100% aloe vera gel,” they’ve rearranged some words to go for the more-accurate “aloe vera 100% gel.” Which still gives consumers the impression that it’s 100% aloe vera and gives the brand a (legal) leg to stand on.

As for the ingredients – this is not a great ingredients list. Tocopheryl Acetate is just Vitamin E, so that’s fine as both an antioxidant and preservative. As for the others – Triethanolamine has been approved by the FDA, but it can skin redness and burning in people who’re sensitive to it. It should also never be used long-term since it’s been proven to have detrimental effects on human skin, on the immune system and clinical tests have linked high doses of triethanolamine to liver, bladder and testicular cancer in laboratory animals.

On top of all that, DMDM Hydantoin and Diazolidinyl Urea are preservatives that work by releasing formaldehyde into the product – not good. Not good at all.

‘Cause we’re all well aware of aloe vera’s benefits – this stuff’s been used medicinally since ancient times – it’s easy to see “aloe vera” and “100%” and assume that it’s a natural product. The above brand is proof positive that ingredient lists matter.

So now we got that out of the way, you might be wondering which aloe vera gels are actually pure (or at least as pure as possible)?

The Purest Aloe Vera Gels

As we mentioned before, the purest, guaranteed 100% aloe vera gel is the stuff you harvest yourself. But while it’s certainly the most au naturale, economical option – the downside is that homemade aloe vera gel takes quite awhile to make. On average, for one full aloe vera leaf, it takes me at least half an hour from start to finish. Usually much longer, if you include the clean-up.

And considering it only lasts a week or so, it’s not something most of us can work into our schedules often. So if you want a pure, natural aloe vera gel you don’t have to make yourself around – here are your best bets!

1. Aloe Vera Gel by Earth’s Daughter

100% aloe vera gel

This organic aloe vera gel is our current favorite. It’s 99.75% organic, cold pressed aloe vera, which is the closest to 100% we’ve found. Plus, the aloe is grown and bottled in the USA and the company donates at least 5% of their profits to charity.

It’s also the perfect composition – not too liquid-y, not too thick. Overall, the best quality (commercially-sold) aloe vera gel we’ve found!

Price: $15.99 for a 12oz bottle

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis, Citric Acid (preservative), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C as a preservative), Potassium Sorbate (as a preservative to guard against bacteria), Xanthan (to help coat your skin a little better)

2. Aubrey Organics 100% Aloe Vera

100% aloe vera gel

Pure Aloe Vera from Aubrey Organics is 100% natural with 98% organic ingredients. Our only annoyances with this aloe vera gel is that they don’t state how much of it is aloe vera – 98%? 99%? 99.5%? which is it? – and it is a very liquid-y gel.

That being said, we received one order that was sealed but had already gone bad and the customer service was quick to refund and replace straight away. Plus, there are no harmful parabens, fragrances, or petrochemicals in the ingredients list and no animal testing.

Price: $8.95 for a 4oz bottle

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis (aloe) Leaf Juice, Aqua, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Organic Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (guar) gum, citric acid.

3. Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel

100% aloe vera gel

This is the best value aloe vera gel around. It’s also made with organic aloe vera, which is 99.5% of the gel. It’s a good aloe vera gel – but we recommend this only topically since it contains Carrageenan, a thickening agent linked to inflammation and stomach problems. Perfectly fine to use on your skin, though 🙂

Price: $8.95 for a 32oz bottle

Ingredients: Certified Organic Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Gel (99.5%), Carrageenan (thickening agent), Less Than 1% of the following natural, food grade sources: Citric Acid (oxidation inhibitor), Potassium Sorbate (mold inhibitor).

Last note: If you really want real, pure aloe vera sans stabilizers – another option is to get freeze-dried aloe vera powder and then add water to make aloe vera ‘gel’ when you need it.

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3 comments
Travel Light: Top 3 Natural Products to Add to Your Tavel Packing List | Home Life Abroad | Home Life Abroad says September 19, 2016

[…] While you won’t pack an entire plant in your luggage, invest in a good aloe vera gel! It’s almost impossible to find 100% aloe vera gel, but there are products that contain up to 99,75% of aloe vera. […]

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Hala says January 6, 2017

And how about Bioland organic Aloe Vera Gel from Costa Rica?

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Wizzo says February 26, 2017

What about Forever Living Aloe Vera Gelly?

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