While it is possible to buy pre-prepared Aloe Vera gel, most people prefer to make their gel at home. This is understandable considering that most ready-made products feature only small amounts of the actual Aloe Vera gel and a lump sum of other chemicals. By making your own Aloe Vera gel at home, you can be sure that you are using a perfectly organic and 100% natural product.
This definitive guide will take you through the steps you need to follow to make your own DIY Aloe Vera gel. By the time you reach our overview, you should have a homemade Aloe Vera gel that you can use to take care of your skin.
Tools, Materials, and Ingredients
Before we show you how to make Aloe Vera gel, we need to make sure that you already have the necessary tools, materials, and ingredients. If this is your first-time making DIY Aloe Vera gel, be sure to gather the following beforehand:
- Food processor
- Clean container with a lid
To Harvest Aloe from the Plant
- Work gloves (these are optional)
- Paper towels
- Container for holding the pulp (you can use a measuring cup)
Ingredients for Making the Gel
- ¼-cup Aloe Vera pulp
- 1-tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1/8 teaspoon citric acid (this is optional)
- ¼-teaspoon Vitamin E oil (this is also optional)
Note: Depending on the size of the Aloe Vera leaves, you may need to use 6 (six) leaves ranging from 4 (four) to 6 (six) inches in length to get a ¼-cup Aloe Vera pulp.
Step by Step Guide on How to Make Aloe Vera Gel
1. Harvest the Aloe Vera Pulp
Where Can You Get the Aloe Vera Leaves?
You can get the Aloe Vera leaves from either a home-grown plant or from the grocery store. Below, we will expound on both options:
Aloe Vera is an ideal houseplant. In addition to helping you with filtering the air in your house, having it on hand is a good idea considering that it comes in handy for other purposes, including making the DIY Aloe Vera gel. If you would like to harvest Aloe Vera leaves straight from your house in the future, you can always grow your own Aloe Vera plant at home.
Related: Aloe Vera Seeds
The Grocery Store
If you are yet to plant the Aloe Vera plant in your home, you may want to visit the grocery store. Most grocery stores do have the Aloe Vera plant.
Harvesting the Aloe Vera Leaves
Irrespective of whether you are pulling the Aloe Vera leaves from your homegrown plant or a plant available at the grocery store, you will need to use your work gloves to pull off the leaves at the base of the live plant. This should be done near the center of the stalk.
It is worth noting that you can use kitchen shears to maximize the plant length. However, you can tell whether the Aloe Vera plant is healthy when its leaves snap off pretty easily.
The leaves you will need should be about 1.5 inches wide. When you push the leaf in between the fingers, you should feel as if you are pressing on your finger – there should be some give, however, you shouldn’t be able to squish the leaf completely.
Extracting the Aloe Vera Pulp
At this point, we are assuming that you already have the Aloe Vera leaves. The next step is to wash your hands. You must wash your hands to minimize the number of bacteria that could end up making mold grow in your end product.
Be sure to use clean water when washing your hands. For example, if you intend to make Aloe Vera gel while out camping in the wilderness, be sure to use a backpacking water filter to make the water safer before using it to wash your hands. As you have probably guessed, unsafe water won’t help you get rid of the bacteria you are trying to eliminate.
After cleaning your hands, go ahead and clean the Aloe Vera leaves. This can be done using a moist and clean paper towel.
If you are very sensitive to the Aloe Vera spines, you can use a paper towel to wrap the leaf. Alternatively, before cleaning the plant, you can leave the work gloves on and snip or slice the thorns off using a pocket knife or shears. You could also peel the thorns off the leaves using a potato peeler.
Next, slice through the top of the leaf skin using a clean camping knife (or a normal clean field knife if you are not in a camping tent). While doing this, try to get through just the top layer of the plant skin.
Using a spoon, peel the skin back from the leaf’s insides. Try to capture as much pulp as you possibly can. After peeling the skin back, scoop out the pulp and then place it inside the clean container.
Note: We do not recommend using the knife when scooping the insides out. This is because you may end up getting more of the green-leafy portion rather than the clear Aloe Vera gel you are after.
If you happen to get a bit of green in the gel even after using the spoon when scooping, be sure to use the knife to slice it off and throw it away. While the green is not harmful, it does not spread easily while you are rubbing the final product on your skin.
At this point, you should have the Aloe Vera pulp. Depending on your working speed, you may need about 30 minutes to get a ¼-cup of the Aloe Vera pulp.
2. Mixing the Ingredients
At this point, you will need to grab your food processor. You will need the food processor to grind up the Aloe Vera pulp and mix in the remaining ingredients.
The main ingredients are coconut oil and pulp. You will just need to mix these two in your food processor, turn it on, and then wait for approximately 60 seconds. After the mixing, you can go ahead and put your DIY Aloe Vera gel in an air-tight jar.
If you would like to use the gel as a sunburn salve (maybe you went desert hiking without wearing a sun hat or applying sunscreen correctly), you can freeze the gel mix in an ice cube container and then place it directly on your skin as needed.
When outlining the ingredients, you will need when making Aloe Vera gel, we indicated that citric acid and Vitamin E oil are both optional. This is because they are supposed to act as preservatives. If you would like to use the gel for an extended period, be sure to mix in the preservatives in the food processor.
Note: Citric acid can affect some people negatively. If you have never used it before, you must be cautious.
How to Store the Aloe Vera Gel
Now that you already know how to make Aloe Vera gel, the next thing you may want to know is how to store the precious gel. If not stored ideally, the gel will end up having mold within a short period – this is something you wouldn’t want, considering the hard work involved in making the gel. Below, we have some tips to help you with storing your gel:
Store Your Gel in the Freezer
If you would like to store Aloe Vera gel for an extended period, just freeze it in the form of gel cubes. The gel cubes can be used at any time. As we had noted earlier, the cubes are extremely effective when it comes to dealing with sunburns. The cubes can also act as an instant first-aid tool.
You can use a silicone tray when freezing the gel. The silicone tray works as the most ideal solution since you can easily turn it inside out. If you do not have access to the silicone tray, you can always use small plastic containers.
To freeze your gel, you will need to follow the steps below:
Fill the tray with the gel and then transfer it to the freezer. Make sure that the tray is flat inside your freezer to ensure that none of the gel seeps out.
Leave the cubes inside the freezer overnight. This should give the cubes enough time to freeze – for the cubes to be completely preserved, they have to be 100% frozen.
Transfer the cubes into a sealable plastic bag. Be sure to label the bag with a date. Keeping the cubes inside the bag will allow you to access the gel easily, any time you need it. You can keep the cubes inside the freezer for up to a year.
Related: Does Alora Vera Gel Expire
Use Vitamin E Oil
If you happen to be using the Aloe Vera gel for facial, hair, or nail treatments, then, using the Vitamin E oil for storage should be an ideal option. In addition to improving the shelf-life of the Aloe Vera gel, adding the Vitamin E oil to the gel improves the gel’s efficiency. To use this method, you will simply need to follow the simple steps below:
Add the Aloe Vera gel to your blender along with the Vitamin E oil.
Blend the mixture properly, for about a minute.
Transfer the mixture to a clean container and then store it in your fridge.
Use it as and when needed.
Note: If you freeze your concoction, you will have to use a spoon to mix it up again. Refrigeration will solidify the mixture – this will slightly separate the coconut oil and in some instances, the vitamin E oil. Mixing will ensure that the pulp and the oils do not stay separated while you are using the gel.
Mix the Gel with Honey
If you have access to honey, you can use it to extend the life span of your Aloe Vera gel. Honey has a high natural sugar content versus low water content – this helps preserve the gel for much longer than the gel would last naturally. To use honey when storing Aloe Vera gel, you will need to follow the simple steps below:
Pour the Aloe Vera gel into a plastic container. Ensure that the container is large enough to allow mixing with honey.
- If small containers are more convenient for your chosen storage set up, you can consider using them.
- Ensure that the container you decide to use has a lid – the lid will help keep the contaminants out.
Mix the honey with your Aloe Vera gel at a ratio of 1:1. Be sure to mix the gel and the honey completely.
Note: Use only high-quality honey. The honey you decide to use should not have any preservatives.
Store your gel in your fridge. If you do not have a fridge, you can store the gel at room temperature for about eight months. Be sure to store the mixture away from direct sunlight.
Blend with Vitamin C
If you have vitamin C, you should still be able to extend the shelf life of your gel. Compared to using honey, however, the vitamin C solution is less effective since you may still need to store the gel in the fridge. Below, we have the steps you will need to follow to preserve your Aloe Vera gel using vitamin C:
Put the Aloe Vera gel in a blender but do not blend it just yet.
Important: Using the blender even when you are not adding the Vitamin C for preservation is always an excellent idea. The gel has a very gelatinous texture in its original raw state – this can make it tough to work with. Putting the Aloe Vera gel through the blending process allows it to become liquified and separated – this makes it easier to work with.
Add crushed vitamin C tablets to the gel.
The amount of vitamin C you add will depend on the amount of gel you have in the blender. For every ¼ cup (about 60ml), you will need to add in about 500 milligrams (0.018 oz) of the vitamin C. This combination should help preserve the Aloe Vera gel for up to a month in your refrigerator.
Note: If you do not have vitamin C, you can easily get it from the local pharmacy or the grocery store.
Blend the gel on high for a couple of seconds.
This will mix the Vitamin C and the Aloe Vera gel completely. This will also enhance the breaking down of the gel and liquefication. Once the blending process is complete, you should be left with the Aloe Vera juice which should be both runny and less gelatinous.
Transfer the juice to a clean and covered plastic container.
Note: When transferring the juice, you may notice a foamy layer on top of the liquid. This should not worry you. It should go away after a couple of days.
Move the juice to the refrigerator.
Using the Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera has a wide range of benefits. To mention a few, you can use it to moisturize your dry skin, as an exfoliator (getting rid of dead cells), soothe cracked and dry feet, treat sunburns, as a hair moisturizer, etc. How you use the gel will be largely dependent on the end goal.
To give you an example, if you went hiking in summer and returned with sunburns, you will just need to remove the Aloe Vera gel from your hiking backpack and apply it gently on the affected skin areas. If you intend to use it to moisturize your hair, you may want to mix it with other hair products before rubbing it on your hair.
It is worth noting that Aloe Vera gel is only supposed to treat surface skin issues. If you have to use it with deep scars and/or wounds, like those usually created by surgery, you have to exercise a lot of caution. Some studies suggest that Aloe Vera gel is capable of worsening deep wounds.
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Q: How Can We Make Aloe Vera At Home?
Making Aloe Vera gel at home is as easy as following the 3 steps outlined below:
Step 1: Cut a fresh leaf from the base of the Aloe Vera plant and then wash it well to remove dirt. Stand the leaf straight in a bowl for about 15 minutes – this allows the yellow-tinted resin to drain out of the Aloe leaf.
Step 2: Using a small knife, peel off the thick skin – this will expose the gel. Using a small spoon, scoop the gel into your blender.
Step 3: Blend the gel until it is liquefied and frothy – this should take only a few seconds. Your gel will be ready for use.
Q: How Do You Preserve Fresh Aloe Vera Gel?
Freezing is one of the most effective ways of preserving fresh Aloe Vera gel. Simply transfer your gel in ice trays and place them inside the freezer.
To further extend the gel’s shelf life, add Vitamin C and E before freezing it – both vitamins are excellent preservatives. For every 60 ml (1/4 cup) of Aloe Vera gel, add 500 mg of Vitamin C powder or 400 IU (International Units) of Vitamin E powder.
Q: How Do You Make Homemade Gel?
To make the homemade gel, simply buy an Aloe Vera leaf or cut one from the Aloe Vera plant at home. Wash the leaf, and then use a vegetable peeler (or a knife) to remove the external skin.
Using a spoon, extract the gel from the leaf and then blend it. After blending, the gel will be ready for use.
Q: How Do I Use Fresh Aloe Vera?
You can use fresh Aloe Vera both topically and internally. If your goal is to use Aloe Vera to treat sunburns, lighten your skin, treat acne or deal with other skin problems, simply extract the gel from the fresh leaves and then apply it on the areas you would like to treat. If you would like to improve your digestive health or treat other internal issues, you can eat fresh Aloe Vera.Related: Aloe Vera For Eczema & Can You Eat Aloe Vera
Q: What Can You Do With Aloe?
When used topically, fresh Aloe Vera gel can help with clearing acne, healing burns, whitening the skin, moisturizing the skin, hastening hair growth, soothing the scalp, treating frostbites and cold sores, and much more. If you do not have skin or hair growth issues, you can use Aloe internally to improve your immune system, hinder the growth of cancerous tissues, reduce constipation, and treat acid reflux.Related: Aloe Vera For Cold Sores & Aloe Vera for Skin Whitening
Globo Surf Overview
If you prefer making DIY Aloe Vera gel over purchasing one that is already prepared, the steps we have outlined in this article should help you achieve your goal. As you have probably noticed, the whole process is affordable and simple. In addition to not requiring complicated tools and materials, anyone can follow the steps we have outlined above and learn how to make Aloe Vera gel in less than an hour.
It is important to note that Aloe Vera gel goes bad pretty quickly. If you need to use it for a longer period, be sure to use the preservation methods we have outlined in this guide.
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