I have been meaning for a while to post about how I use Aloe Vera in my products. I make an Aloe Vera soap with 100% of the liquid being Aloe Vera gel from the plants in my garden. Recently I also tried using the Aloe Vera gel from my garden in my moisturizing hand and body cream. I scented it with Spearmint and Lavender Essential Oils. I have posted about Grandma Aloe Vera before but here she is again, and she is just about to blossom!!! Grandma Aloe Vera was the very first Aloe Vera plant I had here. She was given to me as a cut off/shoot off from another plant about 5 years ago and was quite small at that point. Now, as a size reference for you, the top of the tallest stalk in the phot comes up to my nose!! I call her grandma because she has offered a lot of shoot-offs which I have re-planted and now the shoot-offs offer shoot-offs. She may be a great-grandma soon! Take a look in the photo at the two stalk-like things. Excuse the lack of proper terminology but most of what I know has been passed on to me by people in the area, rather than from books. If I understand correctly, in order for the Aloe Vera plant to be good for the skin or for our bodies (yes, people drink it too!) the plant needs to be a few years old. Apparently, as soon as it begins to sprout these stalk-like things which eventually blossom into small red flowers, then it is good for the skin. Here are some of Grandma’s new shoot-offs. I will take these out and re-plant them. I have about 25 Aloe Vera plants now and 7 of them have produced the stalks this spring. Here are some of the other plants, Grandma’s first shoot-offs which are now offering stalks. First Step – I cut off some of the bottom branches/ arms, which look nice and full of gel. Next Step – I cut off the prickly edges. Next Step – After cleaning it off well with water, I cut it open. Next Step – I cut/ scrape out the gel. Warning!!! Aloe Vera gel is gucky, gooey and stinky!!
Next Step – I put it all in a mixing bowl and blend with my hand mixer.
I blend for quite a while, making sure that all the lumps are smoothed out. It can get frothy.
This time I substituted ½ of the water for Aloe Vera Gel in my moisturizing cream and it is really special. It has a very unique texture, almost slippery but cooling and pretty nice.
I want to try a soap one of these days with not only the Aloe Vera gel, but the skins blended in as well. Will post when I do.
SUPPLIER ISSUE – I recently received an order of beeswax from a different supplier than usual. Both of the products I have made with the new beeswax (a Cream and a Salve) have turned out much harder than previously, using the very same recipe.
So, my conclusion is that the hardness of beeswax varies from supplier to supplier. This Aloe Vera cream for example was thick when I scooped it into the pots, but then it almost hardened into Butter!! So, I re-mixed, adding in more liquid and it turned out nicer.
Basically I think changing suppliers can drastically change the recipe and result. I have found this with Essential Oils as well. Quality and strength varies drastically from supplier to supplier.
Questions for you:
Have you had similar issues?
Can you add any experiences or knowledge about Aloe Vera?