In order to understand if Aloe vera gel expires, we need to first understand what aloe vera gel is formed of.
The Composition of Aloe Vera Gel
According to the US National Library of Medicine, aloe vera gel, the white jelly-like substance found in the leaves of aloe vera consists of about 99.5% water, along with other water and fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, amino acids and compounds. Some scientists believe that an aloe vera leaf comprises about 300-400 essential components.
Why Does Aloe Vera Gel Expire?
Just like any other fresh plant, aloe vera gel also gets oxidised very fast. Oxidation is a natural process that makes freshly cut fruits and vegetable dark.
Also as mentioned earlier, aloe vera gel is about 99.5% water which makes it more susceptible to get expire faster.
Most of the aloe vera products available in the market are made from aloe vera powder. This means that they are not natural and do not tend to get oxidised like the pure and natural aloe vera gel.
Thus to prevent aloe vera gel from getting oxidised and to preserve its natural properties it is necessary to store it well.
If not stored properly, aloe vera gel will expire very fast and won’t be suitable to use in any products or for internal consumption.
Why Did I Carry Out Aloe Vera Expiration Experiment?
Aloe vera is one of my favourite natural ingredients for making DIY beauty products at home.
I have been frequently asked many questions regarding aloe vera gel preservation and aloe vera gel expiry dates.
I have already made a video about ‘how to preserve aloe vera gel for a long time in the refrigerator!’
But several questions were asked regarding preserving aloe vera gel without refrigeration.
So in this video tutorial, I have tried to document the day to day condition of aloe vera gel when preserved with and without refrigeration with natural preservatives as well as in raw form.
22 Days Experiment to Find Out if Aloe Vera Gel Expire
In my experiment to find out when aloe vera gel expires and how I have categorised the methods in two main ways:
- Aloe Vera gel preservation without refrigeration
- Aloe Vera gel preservation with refrigeration
First, let’s start with the aloe vera gel preservation without refrigeration part.
Aloe Vera Gel Preservation Without Refrigeration
I have stored aloe vera gel using 4 methods as shown in my video ‘5 ways to preserve aloe vera gel’ but instead of the refrigerator, I have stored it in my cupboard (a cool dark place).
- In one airtight glass mason jar, I have stored freshly extracted aloe vera gel with vitamin C
- In a second airtight glass mason jar, I have stored freshly extracted aloe vera gel with vitamin E
- In the third airtight glass mason jar, I have added equal parts of both aloe vera gel and honey
- In the fourth airtight glass mason jar, I have stored freshly extracted aloe vera gel without adding anything
- And in one airtight glass container, I have stored freshly extracted aloe vera gel with gelatine
I have also stored freshly extracted aloe vera gel without adding anything in 3 different types of airtight containers and stored them in the refrigerator to check which way it lasts long.
- The first One is a simple transparent airtight mason jar
- Another is an amber coloured airtight glass bottle
- The third one is an airtight opaque plastic container
- And in one sample I have Mixed aloe vera gel with gelatine in an opaque plastic container.
So here is the chart of aloe vera gel preserved without refrigerator:
Summary and Findings:
Aloe vera gel preserved with gelatine started getting stale from the second day itself because we added water and heated it with gelatine, as we all know water is the main cause for any kind of growth.
And on the third day, it became liquid again and started growing fungus.
Fourth day onwards aloe vera gel preserved with honey started to stink like alcohol and the quality started to deteriorate.
Fifth-day aloe vera gel + honey batch continued with a foul smell and started decolorizing.
Sixth-day aloe vera + honey batch became stale and aloe vera gel + vitamin C also got stale.
Whereas aloe vera gel + Vitamin E and raw aloe vera gel both started decolorizing and giving foul smell.
On 7th day raw Aloe vera gel and Aloe vera with vitamin E started getting stale
And on the 8th day, I had to throw away every batch preserved without refrigeration.
Note: Do note that I stored the aloe vera gel in airtight containers and away from sunlight in a cool dark place.
Also, I have only taken them out from the shelf to document their condition and immediately kept them back in the same cool dark place. So I have not exposed it to direct sunlight.
Aloe Vera Gel Preservation Without Refrigeration
As mentioned above, I have used the same preservation methods and ingredients for refrigeration as well.
Here is the chart of aloe vera gel preserved in different kinds of containers in the refrigerator.
Summary and Findings:
All batches were in good condition until day 13th.
On the 13th-day, aloe vera gel preserved in a transparent bottle started getting black colour patches.
Whereas aloe vera gel preserved with gelatine in a plastic container started releasing water.
15th day onwards, all batches started to get a bit discoloured.
And on 16th day I had to throw aloe vera gel preserved in the transparent bottle.
Aloe vera gel preserved in an amber colour bottle and opaque plastic container both started to grow some particles and emit a weird smell. It continued till 20thday.
On the 20th-day aloe vera gel preserved in all these containers had lost its originality and purity.
Video Tutorial On How Does Aloe Vera Gel Expire
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Does Aloe Vera Gel Expire?
Now, I will be answering some of the most frequently asked questions about aloe vera gel expiration and preservation!
Most of these questions are asked in my video ‘5 ways to preserve aloe vera gel’.
Question 1: Can I use rose water instead of normal water when preserving aloe vera with gelatine?
Yes, you can!
Any form of water you can use such as rose water or any other infused water.
Question 2: How long aloe vera gel preserved with vitamin E can last without refrigeration?
Aloe vera gel preserved with vitamin E can last for a maximum 6-7 days without refrigeration but when stored in an airtight container and in a cool dark place.
Question 3: Can we store aloe vera with lemon in the refrigerator? And for how long?
Yes, we can store aloe vera gel with lemon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for almost a week.
However, I would recommend you to store aloe vera gel alone in an airtight container and add lemon whenever you want to use aloe vera gel.
As, in spite of lemon’s acidic behaviour, once extracted from its outer protecting layer, the lemon starts attracting all kinds of bacterias from the surrounding environment.
Question 4: How can we preserve aloe vera gel for almost a year?
Answer: You can’t store aloe vera gel without preservatives for that long.
However, you can freeze the gel and store the frozen aloe vera gel ice cubes in a zipper bag in the freezer for that long.
Question 5: For oral consumption, if we want to store aloe vera pulp in the refrigerator then how long can we store it without adding anything to it?
Aloe vera gel can be stored in an opaque container in the refrigerator for almost 10 to 15 days.
However, the quality starts deteriorating after 4-5 days even in the refrigerator.
For oral consumption, I would recommend you to have it as soon as possible and try to extract a fresh batch whenever you want to drink.
Or, I would suggest you wrap the aloe vera leaf using a vacuum wrap. This way the aloe vera gel will remain fresh and in its natural form for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
Question 6: Can we store aloe vera gel preserved with gelatine without refrigeration? And for how long?
Well after watching this video I hope your doubts are clear about that.
Question 7: At room temperature how long could we store aloe vera gel preserved with vitamin E? And will it be in gel form or not?
Well, first thing – we need to grind aloe vera pulp with vitamin E in order to let them get properly mixed. In gel form, you can’t mix vitamin E properly.
Aloe vera gel preserved with vitamin E can be preserved for a max 5-6 days without refrigeration if stored in a cool dark place.
Question 8: For how long can we store aloe vera gel without adding any other ingredients in a refrigerator?
I hope your question is answered in this video. 🙂 However, make sure you store it in an opaque airtight container for it to last long.
Question 9: Can we preserve aloe vera gel with coconut oil? And for how long?
Coconut oil doesn’t act as a preservative. It is just a base in which you can dilute aloe vera gel if you feel aloe vera gel makes your skin itchy or dry. So it doesn’t actually save aloe vera gel from deteriorating.
Question 10: Does aloe vera gel need a preservative?
Yes!! Once you extract aloe vera gel from its outer protecting green layer you definitely need a preservative as it will start getting stale if kept in the open air.
So if you want to preserve it without a refrigerator make sure you preserve it in an opaque airtight container and away from direct sunlight in a cool dark place.
This way you can only preserve aloe vera gel for a maximum 6-7 days. And the quality starts deteriorating as the days pass.
If you don’t want to use chemical preservatives then you can store it with natural preservatives for almost 6 months in the refrigerator
Over to you..
What according to you is the best way to store aloe vera gel and what do you do to avoid early aloe vera gel expiration?
Let me know in the comments below..