If you have been following me or my blogs or my channel on youtube for quite a while now you must be aware of how I keep on sharing recipes in which I use freshly extracted aloe Vera gel.
But many times we don’t have access to aloe vera leaves and there are a few recipes that require aloe vera in gel form.
So, for a very long time, I have been doing a lot of research to find out how to prepare a thick aloe vera gel daily at home as we get in those ready-made market-based aloe vera gel.
Definitely, those are manufactured in bulk with a lot of processes like sterilizing, stabilizing, adding thickeners or gel-forming agents and adding unknown preservatives. They say 99% pure aloe vera gel but do you believe that?
So, to find out, I did many trials and errors and I had to throw a few batches because if there is even the minutest error in the method or quantity, the entire batch is spoiled. Finally, after a few failed attempts I cracked it and in this article, I am going to share with you, how you can prepare your own aloe Vera gel exactly like the ones available in the market.
In the process of making this thick aloe vera gel, we will be needing a few ingredients or rather I would say gel-forming agents to increase the viscosity.
Here I am sharing about 5 of these gel agents/thickening agents. You don’t need to buy all of these. Just check the consistency and order the one according to your requirement.
Guar gum is also known as guaran is derived from the cluster beans also known as guar beans.
It is majorly produced in India making it my first preferred ingredient.
This gum is derived from the fermentation of simple sugars.
It’s majorly used in many cosmetics as a thickening agent or to make clear gels
Which is derived from cellulose.
Gelatin is derived from 2 sources.
Animals and seaweed.
So, if you are looking for an organic and vegan option, then go for seaweed-derived gelatin which is also known as agar agar powder.
It is a polyacrylic acid polymer. It can produce extremely high viscosity and a transparent gel.
It is not an organic ingredient.
But I am adding it to the list because it gives us a clear gel option and which is widely used in many cosmetics as a thicker or in most gel-based products which are carbomer powder
We will also be needing Triethanolamine also known as TEA along with carbomer powder.
Let’s extract fresh aloe vera gel first for that;
Wash the aloe leaves thoroughly
Wipe them dry
Cut the bottom part of aloe vera leaves and put them aside to drain the aloin. Keep these leaves at 45 to 90 degrees in a bowl with a little amount of water and keep it aside for half an hour.
(*This step is extremely necessary whenever you are using fresh aloe leaves. ‘Aloin’ is a yellowish laxative that may irritate our skin or can be harmful to us. So, it is always advisable to drain the alone completely first)
After half an hour you will find the entire water will turn yellowish. This means the alone has drained. Now, wash the leaves again and dry them.
Cut the Thorny edges and cut them into small pieces.
To be on the safer side. Keep these aloe vera pieces in freshwater for another 15 to 20 minutes. After that drain that liquid and wash aloe pieces with clean water twice and wipe them dry.
Extract the gel add it into the mixing jar.
I am going to make 5 batches of 100 gm using each of the above mentioned gelling agents.
For that, we will be needing approximately 500gm or ml of aloe vera water.
To make aloe vera water take;
400gm aloe vera gel
100gm distilled water &
3000IU vitamin E (This is completely optional)
And grind them all until there is no lump left. You will see a lot of forms forming over the top so keep it aside for some time and let the form set.
After that strain the gel using a cheesecloth.
So, our aloe vera water is ready. Now, Let’s one by one start making our aloe vera gel with 5 different gel-forming agents.
First, we will use Guar gum:
You can also use other natural gums such as locust bean gum or acacia gum.
- Take a huge bowl or a Pyrex cup because we need to mix the gum and aloe water using a Hand blender. You can also use a whisker but by blender, we can make it faster and get a uniform consistency.
- Take a weighing scale and measure 1 gm Guar gum and 100 gm aloe water in different containers.
- Add approximately 1 gm of guar gum and a little amount of glycerine to hydrate this gum. There is no exact quantity for glycerine but it should be enough to dissolve the gum.
- Add 100 gm aloe water and blend continuously for a minute. Add in one go or else it will create lumps. And you will get a semi-solid consistency. It’ll be a little translucent in colour.
- Now is the stage you can add your preservatives and fragrance. The measurement of preservatives should be 0.1 to 0.5 per cent of our batch. Which is approx. 10 to 12 drops.
- And in the end add 0.5 to 1 per cent fragrance, which is around 10 to 20 drops.
Stir well until the preservative and essential oil mix well.
Pour this gel into an airtight container.
Label the container with date and ingredient and keep it in a cool dark place.
Now, we are using Xanthan gum
It is the same method as the first one.
- Take a weighing scale and measure 1 gm Xanthan gum and 100 gm aloe water in different containers.
- Dissolve 1 gm of Xanthan gum into a little amount of glycerine
- Add 100 gm aloe water to it and blend continuously for 1 to 2 minutes until the gel is formed.
- Add your preservative and fragrance according to the measurements I mentioned in the first method.
Pour the gel into another empty airtight container and label it with date and ingredient.
Store it in a cool dark place.
Let’s take Hydroxyethyl Cellulose or HEC
- Take 1 gm HEC powder and dissolve it in glycerine.
- Add 100 gm aloe water and blend until you get a gel-like consistency like this.
- Add your preservative and essential oils.
And fill this gel in an empty airtight container.
Label the container with date and ingredients and store it in a cool, dark place.
Fourth is Vegetarian Gelatin or Agar-Agar
Well, this method is a little different from the previous three.
- Take a weighing scale and measure 1 gm Gelatin gum and 100 gm aloe water in different containers.
- Dissolve 1 gram of agar or vegetable gelatin into 100 gm aloe water.
- Stir well and let the gelatin particles get dissolved completely.
- Keep this mixture aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
- After 15 to 20 minutes heat this mixture below 100 degrees until it boils, and then switch off the flame.
- Add your preservative and fragrance.
- And keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours to speed up the process.
Pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate it.
You have to store this in the refrigerator only else the gelatine will start separating from the second day only.
Now, comes our last ingredient – Carbomer powder
Carbomer powder is dissolved in water with a PH range of 7.
Normally the ph level of distilled water is lower than this so no matter how much carbomer powder you add or for how much time you stir it won’t swell. In order to hydrate the carbomer powder properly, we need to add a few drops of TEA (Triethanolamine). Which is a PH regulator.
I wasted 3 batches just because of this mistake.
In the first batch, I tried to dissolve carbomer powder directly in glycerine like the other gums but it became so hard and unable to dissolve in water.
Then I tried dissolving it in water by continuously stirring it for 5-6 minutes but still the liquid became translucent but the carbomer powder didn’t swell.
In my third trial, I kept it for 1 hour in order to hydrate the carbomer powder properly but still, nothing worked.
Finally, I just added 1 to 2 drops of TEA to it and suddenly the gel started to form in just a few seconds.
So, the method with carbomer powder is a little different from the previous 4 methods.
In this method;
- We don’t have to dilute carbomer powder in glycerine.
- In this method, we also need equal parts of aloe vera gel and distilled water and
- Avoid adding vitamin E too.
- In a bowl add equal parts of aloe vera gel and distilled water.
- Take a weighing scale and measure 100gm of this liquid.
- First, we need to add 1 to 2 drops of TEA(Triethanolamine) and stir well. This will adjust the PH level up to around 7 which is a favourable medium for the carbomer powder in order to swell and dissolve completely.
- Measure the carbomer powder. We require 1 gm of carbomer powder.
- Now, slowly add this carbomer powder to our aloe water mixture and stir continuously. You really need to be patient enough with this batch as it will take a lot of time for carbomer powder to dissolve completely and swell. And you have to stir continuously. It took around 5 minutes while I was stirring with a spoon. You can also speed up the process by blending it with a stick blender. But still, in order to mix well, we need to stir for a few minutes.
- Once you get the desired consistency; add 0.5 per cent preservative and 1 per cent essential oil and stir for a minute.
And you will get a consistency like the ones available in the market.
Fill this gel in an empty airtight container and label the container with the date and ingredients.
Store this container in a cool dark place.
Okay, so through all my mistakes I realized one thing! This is, in order to mix these powders and gums perfectly and form a uniform gel we need to hydrate them completely. Now, each of these ingredients hydration speed and procedure is different, make sure you follow the exact quantity and method.
As you can see these are the aloe vera gels we created using these 5 ingredients.
I am not sure about the shelf life but let me keep track of these batches and I will let you guys know about it. But as per the guideline mentioned on the preservative, they should last for a minimum of a year. Let’s see!