Aloe vera gel has been used for various health benefits like keeping the skin healthy and to treat sunburn. This gel can be extracted if you have an Aloe Vera plant to make your own pure gel. Now the question arises does Aloe Vera gel expire? Yes, Aloe vera gel does expire and like other plants or raw materials, it decays after a certain period of time. The durability of the gel depends on the form of Aloe vera that is being used like gel, lotion or juices, raw leaves, extracts etc.
- 1 Does Aloe Vera Gel Expire?
- 2 Raw Aloe Vera Expiration
- 3 Aloe Vera Products
- 4 Expiration of Aloe Vera Gel, Extract or Juice, Capsules
- 5 Signs To Know Aloe Vera Has Expired
- 6 Aloe Vera Products Bought From Store
- 7 Steps to Make the Gel at Home
Does Aloe Vera Gel Expire?
Aloe Vera gel expires and common forms of Aloe Vera and Aloe Vera products have expiry dates.
Aloe Vera has numerous benefits that range from applying it on the skin for moisturizing and relaxing, for better digestive health, and for improving the immune system.
Aloe Vera has about 200 nutrients and 75 possibly active constituents such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, lignin, saponins, amino acids, and salicylic acid that our body needs. The type of Aloe used will decide how long you can keep it in storage before its useful ingredients become lifeless.
Raw Aloe Vera Expiration
Raw Aloe Vera is extracted from a live Aloe Vera plant. As it is neither sterilized nor is it given heat treatment, so it has a very short shelf life.
When we cut a vegetable, the portion that is not used has to be refrigerated to prevent it from perishing. Similarly, Aloe vera can also be frozen to keep its ingredients alive, however, the freezing process breaks down the fibrous structure of the plant, so after defrosting, it should be used immediately.
Always remember that Aloe vera expires even if we keep it in the fridge. Aloe Vera leaf can be kept for 24 hours at room temperature, 5-7 days when refrigerated, or 1-2 weeks when frozen.
Aloe Vera Products
Aloe Vera products that are purchased from a store are processed cautiously. These products generally have preservatives to keep the useful ingredients active for an increased period of time. Depending on the brand, it can last from one to two weeks to many years.
Let’s find how to store Aloe vera gel and what is the expected shelf life of Aloe Vera products.
How To Store Aloe Vera Gel?
To increase the shelf life of Aloe Vera gel, it should be stored with proper care.
Different Ways To Store Aloe Vera Gel:
- Aloe vera gel made without adding anything can be stored in the refrigerator for one week in an airtight container. By adding any one or both vitamins ( C or E) will increase the shelf life for about 2 months in the refrigerator.
- To preserve aloe vera gel for a longer time, just freeze it. Transfer the gel in ice trays and keep them inside the freezer. These gel cubes are easy to use and are very effective for sunburns and dry skin. These aloe vera gel cubes can also be used as instant first-aid.
- Add vitamin E oil to the gel: if you want to use it for facial, hair treatments or nails. This is also a good way to store the gel. The gel becomes more effective by adding vitamin E oil to the gel. Put the gel in a blender along with vitamin E oil and blend it properly. Transfer it into a container and store it in the fridge. Use it when required.
- Preservation with honey: The main limitation of using aloe vera gel in a natural gel-like form is that all the gel extracted from the aloe vera leaf is not used at once which results in wasting a lot of it. To avoid wastage and to make it last longer, combine aloe vera gel with equal amounts of honey. This mixture can be used for making smoothies and facial masks.
- Adding vitamin C to the aloe vera gel: You can add vitamin C to extend the shelf life of gel for about a month and keep it in the fridge. Extract the aloe vera gel and put it in a blender. Add lemon juice to it and blend it together. Keep the mixture in a container and store it in the fridge.
Expiration of Aloe Vera Gel, Extract or Juice, Capsules
Aloe Vera gel has an expiration date of two to three years when it is properly stored as per the brand’s instructions.
It doesn’t need refrigeration, but storing it in a cool, dry place away from natural sunlight is better.
To avoid the gel from drying, the lid should be secured properly after use. Clean your hands before use to avoid any adulteration, if it is kept in an open container or jar.
When you use the gel on the beach or park, do not keep it in direct sunlight. Put it in your backpack or beach bag. The gel on drying loses its active ingredients and is not effective.
Extract or Juice
Aloe Vera juice is extracted from the inner gel of the plant. If you are buying Aloe Vera water, extract or juice from the refrigerated section of the market, then like any other refrigerated product, keep it in the refrigerator when you reach home. Before buying any product, check the expiry date written on the label before buying it. Once the pack is opened, keep all the juice refrigerated and it’s shelf life depending on the preservatives used can be 1-3 years if the pack is unopened or 2-4 weeks if it is refrigerated after opening.
Keep Aloe Vera capsules in a cool, dry place away from direct light to increase longevity.
With proper storage, the bio-active components in the capsules are beneficial for a longer time and these capsules can be used for 2 to 3 years from the manufacturing date.
However, the capsules can become useless if kept in excess heat or high humidity for more time or in a refrigerator or freezer.
Signs To Know Aloe Vera Has Expired
Raw Aloe Vera Leaf:
- If the Aloe leaf becomes dark or changes color
- Starts smelling bad
- Loses moisture and is dry
- Mold development
Aloe Vera Products Bought From Store
As the products bought from the store don’t show any color or smell change, see the expiry date on the packaging of the product.
Where To Buy Aloe Vera Gel
If you are also thinking where to buy Aloe Vera gel, then you can easily buy it online as various online stores like Amazon, Flipkart, myntra, Nykaa etc. are selling Aloe Vera gel at best prices. If you don’t want to shop online, then buy it in your market at a grocery store or medical shop where it is readily available.
Homemade Aloe Vera Gel
The clear gel extracted from the leaves of the aloe plant has a very good effect on the skin and hair. There are many aloe vera gel products available in the market that claim to be 100 percent pure aloe. It was found that only some of these products contained pure aloe vera and a few had no aloe. Now, it becomes difficult to identify and choose the brands containing pure aloe and discard those without Aloe. So, it is best to prepare your own homemade aloe vera gel at home. Actually, you may grow your own aloe plant.
Steps to Make the Gel at Home
Aloe vera leaves are green, long and slightly curved with saw-toothed edges. The gel is the thick fleshy part present underneath the skin of the leaf.
Aloe vera leaf, A sharp knife, clean bowl, washed and dry air-tight container, Blender,
Making Aloe Vera Gel:
- Take a fresh aloe leaf from a plant by cutting off the outer leaf near the base of the plant.Or you can use a leaf bought from a shop.
- Wash it properly to remove all the dirt and then keep it upright in a bowl for 10–15 minutes to drain the yellow resin out of the leaf.
- The resin has a latex, which can irritate your skin, so it is important to remove it.
- As the resin has drained, wash off any resin left over the leaf.
- First cut off the saw toothed edges.
- Now peel off the skin with a small knife or a peeler by making a long, lengthwise slit in the middle of the leaf.
- Now, keep your knife just below the peel and move it smoothly along the length of the leaf to separate the skin. Stay closer to the skin to get more gel.
- Repeat the same procedure to remove the skin from the other side of the leaf.
- As the leaf has been peeled, you can collect the natural aloe vera gel. With a small spoon, scoop it into a blender and avoid putting any piece of the aloe vera skin.
- Blend the gel for a few seconds till it is frothy and liquefied.
- Now your homemade Aloe vera gel is ready to use. You can store it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for one week. If you want to keep it for more than 1 week, add preservatives.
- Add some drops of grapefruit seed extract or vitamin C powder or vitamin E oil or some essential oil to preserve the gel for a long time.
This is the easiest and fastest way of making aloe vera gel.