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.
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.
It Can Treat Bowel Movement Disorders
After meals, a teaspoon of a 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 as 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 for your best interest to test the product first before you will decide to use it.
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 a 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 a 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 if for an extended period of time. Sunlight could degrade your aloe vera gel thus drying it out.
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 as 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.