Aloe vera is a soothing ingredient for sunburns, bug bites and other skin inflammations not just for adults, but for babies as well, thanks to its makeup which is rich in antioxidants A, B and E plus vitamin B12, folic acid and choline.
More than 75 potentially active components have been identified in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignin, saponins and salicylic acids, which is why you’ll often find it in baby rash formulations like Curasalve Diaper Rash Treatment Paste (made with pure, organic aloe). That said, it’s important to be discerning when buying aloe vera. When I was on a recent drugstore trip in search of a bottle I found that not ONE bottle was made with pure, organic aloe vera gel. To take advantage of aloe’s skin-changing benefits, you really want to be applying the purest form.
“While Aloe vera gel is widely recognized for its healing and moisturizing abilities, it also neutralizes bacteria and fungus that can grow on the skin,” says Mike Weimar of beauty brand Earth’s Daughter. “These antibacterial and anti-fungal properties are great for treating and helping to prevent acne and also help with the proper healing of minor cuts and scrapes. The benefit of using pure aloe vera gel is that you get the maximum benefits that aloe vera gel provides to the skin. Other, less pure products may be watered down, contain harmful chemicals that are toxic to your body, and may contain thickeners that actually inhibit the ability of the aloe vera to work its natural miracles.”
Weimar cautions that many brands say things like “100% gel” on the front of the bottle and then have the following ingredients (shown in order of concentration): Tocopheryl Acetate, DMDM Hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Carbomer, Aloe Vera Gel, Triethanolamine, Diazolidinyl Urea. “You’ll see that aloe vera gel is the fifth ingredient and it has a bunch of nasty chemicals and more carbomer than aloe! Aloe has so many amazing qualities on its own, there’s no reason to weigh it down with unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. Pure, simple, and natural is the way to go.”
Weimar goes on to explain that most aloe vera gels contain added water or are made from heavily processed powders and concentrates, so it’s important to shop carefully. “Think of the difference between fresh squeezed orange juice and the processed OJ in grocery stores. These other products generally contain harmful chemicals (if the ingredients have really long chemical names that’s bad sign) and added alcohol which is very drying to the skin and counteracts the benefits of aloe. Our aloe is also organically farmed in Texas which ensures that no pesticides make it into our products and that it follows U.S. standards.”
Green Leaf Naturals is another great option made using 100% organic aloe vera plants grown in Texas and certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Each bottle contain 99.75% certified organic aloe vera gel. The remaining 0.25% is a safe, plant-based preservative that eliminates the need for refrigeration and a natural thickener to help the aloe coat skin smoothly.
NaturSense Aloe Vera Gel is also a worthy option made with 99.75% organic, hand-harvested, cold-pressed, made-in-the-USA aloe vera.