Article by Chinnu
Hi everyone in ETM!
Hope you are all having a smiley day. 🙂
So much has been written about Aloe vera and its magical properties on skin and hair. It is taken internally and externally by people all over the world for its numerous health benefits. It is one of the most widespread ingredients found in hair care, skincare and makeup for its fabulous moisturizing, healing and rejuvenating properties.
I will show you step-by-step pictures and instructions on how to make Aloe vera gel at home and store it for later use. Stabilized store bought Aloe vera gel is good but a kilo of Aloe vera leaves costs only about 30 rupees and it also removes the need for all those preservatives, colors in a store bought one. And they grow like mad in a pot, so if u have an Aloe vera plant in your home, u can make it almost for free!!
Lets get started.
- What you need: Aloe vera leaves, preferably fleshy and healthy, vitamin E capsules (Evion 400), vitamin C tablets (Celin) or ascorbic acid, sharp clean knife, a clean spoon with a sharp edge, clean bowls, paper towels/newspaper/clean surface to work on, essential oils (optional).
- Cleaning and sap draining: Wash the aloe leaves well under running water and remove all dust, dirt very well. Pat dry. Wash your hands. Cut the Aloe vera leaf at the base and cut the leaf into one or two pieces depending on how big it is. Put the cut pieces vertically in a glass/bowl for at least 15 minutes. It has a strong, yellow sap inside that irritates skin and this step will drain it out.
- Peeling the leaf: Wash cut surface well again after sap is drained. Now comes the actual taking out the gel part. If you look at an aloe leaf cross section, it has two surfaces, one flat and one round. Peel the FLAT surface of the leaf at the BROADEST end of the leaf. Peel away the green skin with a knife. You can do this whether the leaf is small or big. This way there will be zero wastage and you will get the maximum gel.
- Scooping the Gel: After this step the aloe vera gel will be nicely snuggled inside a round “bowl” of green skin. Just scoop out the gel with a sharp spoon like ice-cream. You will get it as big chunks along with some liquid. Put both gel and liquid into a clean bowl. Scrape the skin to get all gel but don’t get too close to the skin because it has that horrible sap.
Aloe vera gel is ready! It will be a clear gel with some tiny bits of green of the skin. You can chop it up into tiny pieces at this point if you do not own a clean blender. You can also put some fresh gel on hair and skin at this point!. All the horrible smell of Aloe vera disappears once you remove the green skin. The smell and sap is to drive away animals that may munch on the fleshy plant. It is a self-defense mechanism.
- Preservation:Now comes the preservation part. For every ¼ cup of gel, add one vitamin E capsule (400 IU) and one crushed vitamin C tablet or ascorbic acid (500 mg). Crush the vitamin C tabs with the back of the spoon and prick the vitamin E capsule with a pin to get the oil. Mix up everything well. If you are going to use the gel immediately within few days, just store directly in fridge without the preservatives.
- Blending and storing: If you are going to use the gel on the skin, it is important to have a clean blender without food residue at this point. Put everything in a blender and blend till it becomes a frothy, smooth juice. Filter it (optional) store in a clean container in the fridge. Add essential oils (optional). I added lavender and rosemary two drops each. I have read that this will keep outside fridge also but I haven’t tried that, you can and let me know. 🙂
Enjoy your aloe gel. It will be more liquid than a proper gel. If you want a thicker gel filter out all the liquid before blending and use only gel chunks. You can see in the below picture I have stored it both as gel and chunks.
- If you are cutting your leaf from a plant, cut only the outside leaves, not inside ones.
- The leaves can be stored in the fridge wrapped in a paper for weeks. Leave them out for some hours before making the gel because the sap will solidify and will not flow out well when cut and drained.
- If you have lots of cut leaves, leave them in a warm, dry place to form a callus on the cut surface and plant in soil to get a new plant.
- The spikes on the side of the leaf may be sharp, so watch out or cut them out.
- Don’t squish the leaf in your hand, handle gently.
Hair mask recipes:
- Mix the gel with olive oil, eggs in a blender, make aloe mayonnaise. Apply on hair, wash off after half hour with mild shampoo, skip conditioner.
- For vegans, mix the gel with few drops of lemon and almond oil and apply on hair and wash off the same way.
- Aloe vera is an excellent shampoo by itself for normal hair because of saponins. If you feel that it is not cleansing enough, wash your hair with any shampoo, apply the gel to hair and scalp and wash off after half hour. It tames frizzy, dry hair and moisturizes it. If you suffer from hair fall and receding hairline, each day take a tiny bit of gel and rub on the areas. After few weeks look for baby hairs sprouting at those areas (tried and tested 🙂 )!!
I have stored my gel up to two months, so please make and let me know how it is!
Thanks all, have a happy day.
ETM Edit* That was a fabulous post Chinnu. 😀 I am a lazy person so i may not try it at home but definitely letting my mum and some friends know about the procedure! 🙂 My brother is so obsessed with his receding hair line.. I will ask him to rub the aloe vera gel on his hair line and see if it works. You are definitely ETM’s DIY Queen. hehe. 😉