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Aloe vera’s a plant that’s been used medicinally for ages. The gel from inside the leaves is rich in water, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, making it a great option to soothe, nourish, and moisturize dry or irritated skin.
There are a ton of aloe products on the market, ranging from pure unadulterated gel to those with a long list of added ingredients.
To save you the effort of sifting through all the deets, we’ve rounded up seven of the best aloe vera products that money can buy.
7 best aloe vera gels of 2022
- Best multipurpose: Beauty by Earth Aloe Vera Gel
- Best for lips: Organic Doctor Organic Aloe Vera Lip Balm
- Best lightweight: Badger Unscented Aloe Vera Gel
- Best for a splurge: COOLA Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion
- Best for organic: Green Leaf Naturals Aloe Vera Gel at Green Leaf Naturals
- Best for after sun: Sun Bum Cool Down Gel
- Best for sensitive skin: Holika Holika Aloe Soothing Gel
When considering aloe products, one of the most essential things to look for is how much aloe vera the product actually contains, as there are some suspect products on the market that seem to contain very little. With that in mind, all our picks are rich in the good stuff.
There are a few other things we considered too:
- Customer reviews. Do the people love it? Do they rave about it? Do they want to tell all their friends about it and buy it again? If the answer was “no,” it didn’t make our list.
- Ingredients. Cold-pressed is best. And it rhymes. If we could, we selected cold-processed aloe, so it didn’t lose any precious antioxidants through the manufacturing process.
- Price. We chose economical, middle ground, and luxury picks, cos beauty doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but sometimes a splurge is nice.
- Organic. Wherever possible, we chose organic products with no harmful chemicals.
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10–$20
- $$$ = over $20
|Gels||Beauty by Earth Aloe Vera Gel||Organic Doctor Organic Aloe Vera Lip Balm||Badger Unscented Aloe Vera Gel||COOLA Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion||Green Leaf Naturals Aloe Vera Gel at Green Leaf Naturals||Sun Bum Cool Down Gel||Holika Holika Aloe Soothing Gel|
Best multipurpose aloe vera gel
- zero dyes, synthetic additives, or artificial ingredients
- organic, cruelty-free, Reef-Friendly
Beauty By Earth is a favorite because it smells delicious and leaves you with fresh-faced, moisturized, and glowing skin with one quick application. People comment on how quickly it sinks in, leaving dewy skin without a sticky aftermath.
It’s a superb multipurpose product that you can use to take the stings out of insect bites, alleviate skin irritation, reduce razor burns, cool burns, the list goes on.
Best aloe vera gel for lips
- contains SPF 15, shea butter, argan oil
- cruelty-free, vegan, organic
A quick swipe of Doctor Organic Aloe Vera Lip Balm, and you’ll have super soft, moisturized lips all day long. Not only does this tiny but mighty balm pack the power of aloe vera, but it also contains nourishing ingredients like argan, castor seed, and jojoba oil to protect your kisser.
As you might suspect with the name, Doctor Organic uses organic, non-GMO ingredients and avoids preservatives and petrochemicals wherever they can. The result is natural, plant-based goodies that people love.
Best lightweight aloe vera gel
- unscented and free from parabens, sulfates, and artificial colors
- fair trade, organic, 50% recycled packaging
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of nourishing parched skin with the cooling, soothing sensation of cool aloe vera gel. And with Badger Unscented Aloe Vera Gel, you don’t have to worry about tackiness as the lightweight gel readily soaks into your skin.
Badger is committed to high quality, organic ingredients. And you can rest assured that their products are made ethically by workers paid a fair wage thanks to their Fairtrade pledge.
Best aloe vera gel for a splurge
- made with organic agave, rosemary extract, lavender, mandarin peel
- vegan, Reef-Friendly, EcoCert certified
Coola has blended a range of natural, antioxidant, and vitamin intensive ingredients to create their deeply hydrating daily lotion. It’s marketed as an after-sun lotion, but it also works well as part of your daily routine.
People rave about this stuff as it smells fabulous and calms irritation, leaving only silky-smooth skin in its wake. It’s hard to find a bad word said about this product. Although it’s a little pricier than some, it seems to be worth the splurge.
Best organic aloe vera gel
- made with pure aloe vera
- paraben, petrochemical, dye, alcohol, cruelty-free
Green Leaf Naturals make their gel with 100 percent organic aloe vera plants grown in the Lone Star State and certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture. The gel consists of 99.75 percent cold-pressed aloe vera, and the remaining 0.25 percent is a plant-based preservative, meaning you don’t need to refrigerate the gel.
Apparently, you can use the gel as an after-shave treatment and condition and style hair. Who knew?
Oh, and if you’ve run out of lube, this gel steps up to the plate, according to reviews!
Best aloe vera gel for after-sun
- made with aloe, vitamin E, glycerin, and tea tree oil
- cruelty-free, zero parabens, vegan
If you’ve enjoyed the sun a little too much on vacay, and your skin’s now paying the price, grab yourself some Sun Bum Cool Down Gel. It has a light texture and consistency that glides over sunburnt skin, leaving it moisturized and less likely to peel. The antioxidant vitamin E also helps neutralize harmful free radicals that can cause premature skin aging.
There are a few upset reviewers, though, saying that the products arrived in ripped packaging without the seal. So be aware.
Best aloe vera gel for sensitive skin
- made with bamboo, cucumber, and healing botanicals
- cruelty-, mineral-, and paraben-free
Holika Holika has created a lightweight, nongreasy formula that calms even the most sensitive skin. The gel soaks in quickly, doesn’t leave any goo behind, and the effects last all day. It’s also ultra-moisturizing, thanks to a bevy of added plant extracts like bamboo, cabbage, corn, and watermelon.
The rather quirky packaging has won awards as it doesn’t spill or leak out, and you can dispense the perfect amount. This is an excellent product at a reasonable price point, and most people love it.
If you haven’t used aloe gel before, it’s a good idea to do an allergy patch test on the inside of your wrist to check for a reaction. Better a red itchy wrist than a red itchy face.
If you pass the allergy test, wash your hands and apply a small amount of gel to the desired area of your skin. Don’t use too much as you may get kinda gummy, but you can use it as often as needed.
When you’re done, store your aloe in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. You can also store the gel in the fridge or freezer, which will lead to a particularly joyous time when using it on sore, sunburnt skin.
Aloe vera gel is perfectly safe to use, but everyone’s skin is different and thus acts differently. You can limit any potential problems from use with a skin patch test. But if you decide to give it a miss, here are some side effects you could experience:
- Allergic reactions. Some people may experience a burning sensation or itching when using aloe gel. Although, on the whole, these effects are mild, if you break out in hives or a rash, stop using the product immediately and consult your doctor if it doesn’t resolve pretty quickly.
- Slowed healing. Although aloe is known to help heal sunburn and minor wounds, you should pass if you’re considering using it on surgical wounds. Why? Some evidence suggests that aloe interferes with healing this type of wound and can even cause infection.
- Gooey buildup. Make sure aloe is one of the primary ingredients in your product and also be aware that some can contain your key chemical thickeners that leave a gooey residue on your skin. Like coconut oil, cold-pressed is best, so the heat doesn’t damage all the good stuff.
Alternatives to aloe vera gel
If you’re looking for an alternative to aloe, here are some plant-based goodies to consider:
- Coconut oil. Packed with antioxidants and safe for your face, this alternative may also help with conditions like eczema and contact dermatitis.
- Oatmeal. Yep! It’s not just breakfast. Oatmeal is a natural remedy for soothing skin irritation and sunburn. Just make a paste with ground-up oats and milk and apply for a simple facial moisturizer.
- Witch hazel. Packed with natural tannins, witch hazel can reduce inflammation and soothe angry skin.
Still have some questions about aloe vera gel? Well, let’s try to clear some things up by answering some common queries.
Where does aloe gel come from?
Aloe gel comes from the aloe plant. Aloe is a succulent, aka fat cactus-like plant, that comes from a massive family of around 420 different species. It’s typically green, with large fleshy leaves with spiky edges. It’s in these leaves that you find the gluey gel that consists of 99 percent water, along with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and sugars.
Manufacturers squeeze out this gel and use it in your fave aloe products.
What skin problems can aloe treat?
Aloe vera is often used to ease uncomfortable skin problems, as it’s moisturizing and cooling. It’s used for:
Can aloe reduce wrinkles?
There’s not a massive amount of scientific evidence to prove that aloe works on fine lines and wrinkles. That said, a 2015 study found that taking aloe vera gel as a dietary supplement significantly improved facial wrinkles. The authors thought this could be because of the natural plant cereals that promote collagen production.
However, it isn’t known if applying aloe directly to your face will rock the same results. But nothing’s stopping you from giving it a try.
Is aloe vera gel good for dry skin?
Absolutely. Aloe vera has moisturizing properties as it contains lots of water that can hydrate and help nourish dry skin. You may find it works wonders for you but be careful if your skin is super dry, as it can irritate some peeps.
Can aloe cure acne?
Maybe. Aloe is known for antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so it could be a natural and effective way to treat and prevent breakouts.
A new 2021 study used aloe vera gel, ultrasound, and a mask for treating mild to severe facial acne. The researchers found that this combined therapy is highly effective and could significantly improve acne.
Aloe vera is a plant remedy that people have used for thousands of years for its healing, moisturizing, and skin-nourishing effects. Plus, it works wonders for sunburn and may even stop your skin from peeling.
Aloe vera gel is a fab multipurpose product to keep at hand, and if you’re wondering which one to pick, you can’t go wrong with organic, and chemical-free options. Give one of our recommendations a whirl and see if helps you wave goodbye to the dry.