We all know that the Aloe Vera plant is a good alternative treatment for a lot of health issues. Using aloe vera dates back to the 16 century BC, where Indians use it for therapeutic purposes. Because of its healing and moisturizing features, many products, most especially skincare products, are derived from it, including aloe vera gel.
How to Prepare an Aloe Vera Gel?
Aloe vera gel can be obtained through the natural way or by producing it commercially. Despite the slight difference, still, it gives the same benefit to its users. Here is a step-by-step process of how to extract an aloe vera gel from the plant:
- Cut the leaf of an aloe vera plant.
- Wash the leaf with running water.
- Peel off the thorns then start to peel leaf from top to bottom.
- Scoop the aloe vera gel using a spoon.
If you choose to prepare a homogenous aloe vera gel you can do it at home. You can follow the steps mentioned above to get the aloe vera gel. Then, put the gel in the blender. You can add vitamins like Vitamin C or Vitamin E to make your aloe vera gel last long. If you want a more soothing effect and aroma to your gel, you can also add essential oils such as Lavender, Rosemary, Tea tree or Lemon, but you can only do so if you are not planning to ingest your aloe vera gel.
Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel
Nowadays, you have to keep your nose in the grindstone if you plan to look for the natural aloe vera plant. If you are unlucky, then an aloe vera gel would be the next best option. Here are some of the reasons why aloe vera gel would be your next option for an aloe vera plant:
It Moisturizes the Skin
The most essential feature of aloe vera gel is its moisturizing effects. It has antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins A, C, and E that does wonders for our skin. Furthermore, it has polyphenols that protect our skin against cancer and free radicals, that age the skin.
It Can Heal Minor Wounds and Burns
Aloe vera contains antibacterial properties that prevent infection on the wounds and burns and compounds that help reduce inflammation. It is also hydrating which helps boost the elasticity of the skin during the healing process.
It Helps Clear Up Breakouts
According to Dr. Francesca Fusco, assistance dermatology professor at Mount Sinai Hospital, aloe vera contains salicylic acid and antiseptic compounds that destroy the bacteria that cause a breakout. It is a natural cure for acne and an excellent disinfectant for the skin.
It Can Treat a Cold Sore
Aside from its antibacterial properties, the aloe vera plant also has antiviral properties that may fight off the virus that’s causing the cold sore.
It Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Some studies, although still in its early stage, have found out ingesting aloe vera, in controlled amounts, may help control blood sugar levels. As a matter of fact, South America have used aloe vera to treat type 2 Diabetes.
Read more about How Much Aloe Vera Gel to Drink Daily?
It Can Treat Bowel Movement Disorders
After meals, a teaspoon of gel may do wonders with your stomach irritation. Aloe vera can also remedy diarrhea or constipation due to its qualities that regulate your digestive tract.
It Can Be Used as a Makeup Remover
Because of its gel-like consistency, aloe vera gel is a better substitute for removing makeup, plus it is not harsh on our skin.
It Can Be Used as a Shaving Cream
Because of its smooth texture, aloe vera gel can be considered a good natural shaving cream, plus it has antibacterial properties that are great for small razor nicks.
The only drawback of a commercially prepared aloe vera gel, since it’s not the aloe vera plant itself, is that it might cause allergic reactions, especially to people who have very sensitive skin. It is in your best interest to test the product first before you will decide to use it.
Check out this DIY Aloe Vera Face Mask For Dry Skin
Does Aloe Vera Gel expire?
Although aloe vera is referred to as the plant of immortality, the aloe vera itself is not immortal. The aloe vera gel usually has a two-year expiration date, but if refrigerated it could go up to more than 5 years.
How to Store your Aloe Vera Gel Properly?
Proper storage is the key to longer shelf life. First of all, you have to store your aloe vera gel in an airtight container and secure it well. Air and water should not come in contact with your gel. Next, aloe vera gel must be in a cool and dry environment, not necessarily in the refrigerator. But for longer shelf life, you can opt to store it in your fridge. The pure aloe vera gel could last long if you don’t expose it to extreme temperatures. And lastly, store it in a dark place if you want to use it for an extended period of time. Sunlight could degrade your aloe vera gel thus drying it out.
Read more about Aloe Vera: Fruit of The Earth Aloe Vera Gel Review
How to Know If your Aloe Vera Gel is Expired?
If you have the naturally prepared aloe vera gel you would know if it has already expired if the gel has a bad smell to it, moreover, the gel also loses its hydrating and moisturizing aura. For the commercially produced aloe vera gel, one way to know if your gel is expired is through its expiration date. Other than that, there are no significant changes that would happen with the gel when it is expired.
What Are the Effects of Using Expired Aloe Vera Gel?
When you use an expired aloe vera gel, be it the naturally prepared one or the commercially produced, it will cause skin irritation. Because it has lost its moisturizing effect, it will also cause you to have dry skin with continued use and may even cause infection if you put it in your open wound or burns. It is for your own safety to avoid using an expired gel, even if it still looks the same for you.
Aloe vera gel, either the natural or commercially produced one, gives the same benefits to its users. Even if it is called the plant of immortality, the aloe vera plant does expire, so as the aloe vera gel. Even if it doesn’t cause severe detrimental effects, expired aloe vera gel should not be used. From the word itself, expired means ended or elapsed, which means expired aloe vera gel has ended its beneficial effect.
What Happens If You Use Expired Aloe Vera Juice?
If you worry that you could suffer some complications if you consume expired aloe vera juice, you are right to do so. If you use expired aloe on your skin, you may likely suffer skin irritations such as rashes and bumps.
Applying it on the face could equally cause itching and burning. But this is especially if you have sensitive skin. A large number of people claim that even consuming outdated aloe juice doesn’t cause any contraindications. You want to be careful, however, to store your aloe juice properly.
How Long Can Aloe Vera Juice Last?
When left unopened, it can last up to 3 years without showing any signs of spoilage. But once you have opened the can or package, it could still be fresh for up to 2 weeks. It would help if you preserved your supplies properly. And it could be as simple as following the procedure below.
How Do You Preserve Aloe Vera Juice?
Keeping it in the refrigerator after opening could help with getting your Aloe Vera juice to last. If you have no use for it urgently, freezing it may be a better suggestion. You can do this by getting the gel into ice trays and deep-freezing it.
Then toss them in as ice cubes in your drink when you want your Aloe Vera refreshment/treatment. You want to avoid using spoons and drinking directly from the bottle, which could affect the quality of the juice. It is best to pour yourself a drink.
How Long Can Aloe Vera Leaf Last In The Fridge?
It could stay for up to a year if frozen. But if you keep it in the refrigerator, it could remain fresh for up to a week. If you have excess, you will like to store it away for a long time. You may want to consider the freezing option in an ice tray. You can do this by cutting the leaves into tiny pieces and dipping them into a tray, then filling it with water and freezing. In a few hours, it should be ready to use in a drink.
Does Natural Extracted Aloe Vera Gel Need A Preservative?
It depends on how long you intend to keep it in storage. If you are using the gel in a few days or weeks tops, you can use it without any form of preservative. But if you intend to keep it for longer, you can use a natural preservative such as vitamin C powder. These are best suited for use as drink mixers or to flavor water.
Can Aloe Vera Juice Be Frozen to Use Later?
It would have to be carefully and neatly done if you want to retain the freshness for when you need it. You should start by getting it in a clean glass storage container. Use those with a wide mouth opening, and ensure to put the lid tightly. You can choose to add in natural preservatives such as vitamin C powder. This helps to delay any such changes that could take place while the juice is in storage.