Is There Any Real Aloe in Popular ‘Aloe Vera’ Gels?

Many people are familiar with aloe vera gel and keep it on hand in their home or take it on vacation for relief when they get sunburns.

Before you go run and buy some aloe vera gel to soothe your sunburn, think twice.

According to Bloomberg, if you purchase aloe vera gel from one of the nation’s top retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target or CVS, you may be missing out on actual aloe!

The products all listed aloe barbadensis leaf juice (another name for aloe vera) as either the number 1 or 2 ingredient, but none of them actually contained this product.

The lab tested four gels:

  1. Walmart’s Equate Aloe After Sun Gel with pure aloe vera
  2. Target’s Up & Up Aloe Vera Gel with pure aloe vera
  3. CVS Aftersun Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel
  4. Walgreens Alcohol Free Aloe Vera Body Gel.

The four retailers have 23,000 outlets between them.

Aloe’s three chemical markers are acemannan, malic acid and glucose.

All three of these chemical markers were absent in the tests for Walmart, Target and CVS products.

These three samples contained a cheaper element called maltodextrin, which is a sugar used to imitate aloe.

Bloomberg reported:

There’s no watchdog assuring that aloe products are what they say they are. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve cosmetics before they’re sold and has never levied a fine for selling fake aloe. That means suppliers are on an honor system, even as the total U.S. market for aloe products, including drinks and vitamins, has grown 11 percent in the past year to $146 million, according to Chicago-based market researcher SPINS LLC.

No FDA regulation

It is pretty scary to know that no cosmetics need to be approved by the FDA.

It’s also a shame that companies have no punishment for selling fake products to consumers.

Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens denied the allegations.

Consumers have already taken note of this aloe vera controversy and several law firms have filed lawsuits against the four retailers.

They’re all seeking class-action status and restitution for customers who they claim were misled.

Attorneys wrote: No reasonable person would have purchased or used the products if they knew the products did not contain any aloe vera, they wrote in a complaint filed in Illinois on behalf of plaintiffs, represented by 10 law firms.

Alternative to store bought aloe vera gel? Get it from the plant!

If you are looking to soothe a burn and typically relied on aloe gel, there is always the natural alternative… Using the gel from the plant itself!

You can keep an aloe plant in your home and simply cut a piece off and apply directly to your burn or skin condition.

This way, you are getting the real aloe to heal your skin, not some fake product filled with countless chemicals.

VIDEO: How to make aloe vera gel at home