If you’ve ever tried shopping for 100% pure organic aloe vera gel, then you know that it is a nearly impossible task. While pure aloe vera gel is a potent skin soother, it is also very delicate and requires preservatives in order to maintain a viable shelf life. That’s why almost every “100% pure aloe” product on the market actually contains about 99% – 99.75% pure aloe vera gel plus a small percentage of preservatives and thickeners. (However, we did find one truly 100% pure organic aloe vera product which you can read about below!).
The quality of these preservatives will determine the safety and effectiveness of the product. The most common additional ingredients you’ll find in a good organic aloe vera gel are citric acid (a non-toxic preservative), xanthan gum (a safe thickening agent), potassium sorbate (mold-inhibiting preservative), and vitamin c (a stabilizing antioxidant). There are some studies which suggest that potassium sorbate can cause skin irritation for some skin types. Alternatives to xanthan gum and potassium sorbate include agar-agar (thickener), radish root ferment (preservative), vitamin E (preservative), grapefruit seed extract (stabilizer), and guar gum (thickener). While all of these ingredients work differently, they are all safe and non-toxic. It is best to avoid aloe vera products which contain potentially toxic and inflammatory ingredients like sodium benzoate, carrageenan, parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, triclosan, phthalates, petrochemicals, and fragrances + dyes. It would also be wise to avoid organic aloe vera products where water is listed as the first ingredient. This means that the product contains mostly water and you’re basically buying diluted aloe vera gel.
With that said, we went out in search for the purest organic aloe vera gel products that we could find. In the end, only five products made the cut and only one product contained 100% pure aloe vera without any preservatives or thickeners. The remaining four products contain between 98% and 99.75% pure organic aloe vera gel. These organic aloe vera products are safe to use on the skin as a moisturizer, burn treatment, scalp moisturizer, and DIY skin care ingredient. (Also, one of the aloe products below is food-grade and can be added to smoothies and juices).