Those days are long gone when we used to think that Aloe Vera was only good for treating external ailments like burns, wounds, infections, and scars. Now we use Aloe Vera gel internally for its numerous health benefits. But the question may arise in your mind, what are the Aloe Vera gel ingredients or what is in Aloe Vera before you use Aloe Vera gel for its cosmetic and medicinal properties.
We tried to answer this question here in this blog with sufficient research. But that’s not all! We also mentioned the following things that you might want to know when exploring the Aloe Vera nutrition facts:
- Active components of Aloe Vera with their properties
- Which components have which health benefits
- What Aloe Vera ingredients and stabilizers are commonly added by manufacturers to make it commercially viable
- Which ingredients are really safe and which are not
- How to find pure Aloe Vera for face and skin care
Active Ingredients of Aloe Vera & Their Benefits
It has vitamins A, C, E that are actually antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. There are also B12, choline, and folic acid
Aloe vera provides chromium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and sodium. These minerals are required by different enzyme systems present in various metabolic pathways for their proper functioning
There is a total of 8 enzymes in aloe vera gel – alliase, amylase, alkaline phosphatase, bradykinase, catalase, cellulase, carboxypeptidase, peroxidase, and lipase. These enzymes help break down fats and sugars while bradykinase is effective in reducing excessive inflammation.
Aloe vera provides polysaccharides (polymannose and glucomannans) and monosaccharides (fructose and glucose). Acemannan, an important glucomannan, has recently been found, aside from alprogen (a glycoprotein) that has antiallergic properties and c-glucosyl (an anti-inflammatory compound).
e) Fatty Acids
There are four plant steroids – campesterol, cholesterol, lupeol, and β-sisosterol. All of these acids have anti-inflammatory actions while lupeol has analgesic and antiseptic properties.
In terms of hormones, aloe vera has gibberellins and auxins that help reduce inflammation and heal wounds.
12 anthraquinones (generally known as laxatives) are found in this plant whereas emodin and aloin act as antibacterial, antivirals, and analgesics.
Aloe vera provides 20 of the 22 amino acids required by humans and seven of the eight essential amino acids. Scientists also found salicylic acid in this aloe species that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. An inert component named lignin can enhance the penetrative effect of other ingredients into the skin when added to topical preparations. Saponins are soapy substances of the leaf (covering 3% of the gel) that have antiseptic and cleansing properties, some of the essential aloe vera properties.
Topical Aloe Vera Gel Ingredients
You will find many aloe vera gel products for topical use in your local supermarket or drugstore. You have to be careful here because not all products are so much “natural” or “pure” as they might sound to you. For instance, we noticed the labels of some aloe vera gel mentioned “Aloe vera 100% gel” instead of “100% aloe vera gel.” Can you guess where is the trick? They rearranged the words to give a false impression that their products contain 100% pure aloe vera gel, while this actually means the products are 100% gelatinous and not made of 100 percent pure aloe vera gel.
So, what ingredients should you be looking for and which ones should you avoid. Here we have compiled a list of the commercially-sold aloe vera ingredients and why they are added.
This is an emulsifier used to keep oil-soluble and water-soluble ingredients mixed together. But it can cause eye irritation, dry hair, and allergic reactions. It has also been found that it could be toxic to the body if used for a long period of time. Beware of this particular ingredient because you don’t want to have so many aloe vera side effects when you are actually looking for the health benefits of aloe vera.
This compound made of acrylic acid is what gives the aloe vera gel its consistency. Although this is generally safe, there is a low potential for skin irritation, phototoxicity, and skin sensitization.
This emollient is used for moisturization of the skin and overall is one of the safest store-bought aloe vera gel ingredients.
d) Tetrasodium EDTA
Commonly used as a chelating agent in personal care and cosmetics products, it has the capability of sequestering metal ions and allowing them to remain in formulas and reduce their ability to counteract with other ingredients. This ability helps soften water, preserve the formulas, and improve the stability of the product. Although it is regarded as a harmful and toxic ingredient because it has been linked to severe reproductive effects when used at high doses, there is no risk when used in cosmetic products.
e) Diazolidinyl Urea
This is a preservative that you should avoid at all costs because it is associated with a lot of health conditions, as found in a study, such as nasopharyngeal and dermatitis cancer, immune dysfunction, dizziness, fatigue, eye and mucous membrane damage, just to name a few.
Some manufacturers add alcohol to give a fake cooling effect, mimicking that of the real aloe vera gel. However, the worrying factor is that this can actually dry your skin out.
g) Disodium Edetate
This ingredient is commonly used as a preservative in cosmetic products and has been considered safe until now. Though this was an FDA-approved ingredient with cleansing properties, the FDA has recently shown their concern regarding the safety of disodium edetate.
h) Potassium Sorbate
This is overall a non-toxic and safe ingredient often used in store-bought aloe vera gel to guard them against bacteria. However, there could be minor intolerance or allergic reactions in some cases.
Now that you know which added ingredients are safe and which ones are rather harmful to your health, check the aloe vera gel labels thoroughly when on the store. If you have had any negative experience before, feel free to share your experience below. Also, don’t forget to check our DIY homemade aloe vera recipes for healthy and glowing skin.