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Wonderful Aloe Vera

The aloe vera plant (also called Aloe barbadensis) is unique among plants for it’s importance to the cosmetics industry. Cosmetic products made with aloe vera are used to treat everything from dry and scaly skin to chapped lips and dermatitis. Aloe vera is most noted for its gel and juice which is widely used in creams, lotions, shampoos and a variety of other cosmetic preparations. Aloe vera gel and juice are available commercially in liquid and in dehydrated form. An oil-soluble extract is also produced from the aloe vera plant. It is sold under the names aloe vera oil and aloe vera extract.

Aloe vera pulp is the clear, thick substance inside of the aloe vera leaf. (It is often called aloe vera gel, but it is usually treated before it is used in cosmetics). Aloe vera juice is made by liquifying aloe vera pulp. Aloe vera gel is made by adding a thickener such as irish moss to aloe vera juice. Aloe vera oil is made by extracting oil-soluble portions of the aloe vera plant into a light vegetable oil, such as safflower oil. Aloe vera powder is dried aloe vera pulp. Aloe vera juice, gel, powder and oil can be used in cosmetics.

Using Aloe Vera In Your Cosmetics.
Here are some ideas for incorporating aloe vera into your cosmetic formulas.

Aloe Vera Bath Salts:
Add a small amount of aloe vera oil or dehydrated aloe vera gel to Epsom salt or sea salt to make “Aloe Vera Bath Salts.”

Aloe Vera Bath and Body Oils:
Add a small amount of aloe vera oil and your favorite essential oil or fragrance oil to a blend of light vegetable oils (such as corn oil, jojoba oil or sunflower oil) to make aloe vera bath oils, aloe vera body oils, and aloe vera hair oils.

Aloe Vera Soaps:
To make aloe vera liquid soaps add some aloe vera gel or aloe vera oil to liquid castile soap. To make aloe vera bar soaps from scratch replace some of the water in your recipe with aloe vera gel or juice or replace some of the oils in your recipe with aloe vera oil. To make aloe vera soap from premade soap you can melt down soap flakes, add some aloe vera oil,  gel, or powder to the melted solution, stir well and pour into soap molds.

Precautions When Using Aloe Vera In Your Cosmetics
Aloe vera gel and juice are highly perishable, and should only be used in cosmetics that are self-preserving (such as cosmetics that contain a high percentage of soap, alcohol, glycerin or other preservative) or in cosmetics that will be used up quickly. Also, some people may be allergic to aloe vera, or the preservatives that are used in commercially available aloe vera gel and aloe vera extract. If in doubt, perform a patch test on yourself before using aloe vera in your cosmetics.

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