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Changement de couleur du gel d'aloe vera.

Is Aloe Vera Gel Gone Bad After Changing Color?

A fatty plant with a strong decorative potential, aloe vera is also an ingredient in many skin and scalp care products. The viscous and transparent jelly extracted from the plant has multiple benefits. Under certain conditions, however, it can turn yellow to brown. Let us discover here the causes of this change of color, whether it is safe to use it, then, and how to preserve aloe vera gel properly.

Summary
Published March 12, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 6 min read

Aloe Vera: A Plant With a Thousand Virtues.

Aloe vera is a fat plant belonging to the Asphodelaceae family. Its fleshy and thick leaves make it easy to recognize. These contain a gel that is highly praised in cosmetics and often used in the manufacture of skin and hair care products. Aloe vera is mostly made of water but also contains enzymes, amino acids and minerals. This composition gives it several of its benefits for skin and hair:

  • Soothing and anti-inflammatory: Aloe vera gel is able to inhibit the production of certain pro-inflammatory molecules, thus calming redness and feelings of discomfort of the skin.

  • Antioxidants: This ingredient increases the production of metallothioneins, proteins with an antioxidant role and limiting oxidative stress. The resistance of tissues is increased, and cellular aging is slowed down.

  • Healing: The application of aloe vera gel accelerates healing by promoting the development of new capillaries (angiogenesis) and cell proliferation.

  • Hydrating: The hygroscopic amino acids of the gel limit the evaporation of water on the surface of the epidermis without however forming an occlusive film on its surface. The skin thus appears more hydrated and soft.

  • Regenerative: The polysaccharides present in the gel enable it to increase the production of collagen and elastin by the fibroblasts, proteins partly responsible for the structure of the skin and its flexibility. The latter then gains in tone and elasticity.

  • Regulates blood microcirculation: this botanical extract can also be used to limit problems related to poor blood circulation, such as dark circles or heavy legs.

Why Does Aloe Vera Change Color and How To Avoid It?

Aloe vera gel is normally translucent and has no particular color. It can sometimes take on a slightly yellow tint over time. This phenomenon is explained by the oxidation of the aloe vera gel in contact with the air. Heat can also be responsible for the degradation of the gel. This is why it must be preserved in a cool place. If its olfactory properties remain unchanged, the application of this gel does not present any danger. But, can aloe vera go bad?

When the color change is very obvious, 

the aloe vera gel becomes brown, 

and its odor is modified, 

it is recommended to stop using it, 

as the brown aloe might not be safe.

That is why the aloe vera pulp is stabilized immediately after its extraction. This is done by homogenizing it with certain substances that will neutralize the action of the enzymes without destroying them, which are responsible for the rapid oxidation of the gel in contact with air. In this way, they are always present in the gel and it retains its benefits. Before being integrated into care products, it generally undergoes a second stabilization for better effectiveness and greater safety.

How to preserve aloe vera gel?

To avoid any risk of oxidation or degradation of the aloe vera gel, it must be preserved in a hermetically sealed and opaque container. After extraction, aloe vera gel can be stored in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours. However, it is possible to keep it longer by adding vitamin C and E.

To do this, mix the aloe vera gel with one or two of these vitamins (about 500 mg of vitamins for 60 mL of gel). You can then keep your gel for 6 months in the refrigerator. A final tip is to freeze it. Aloe vera ice cubes can usually be kept for a year in the freezer.

Sources

  • SAPLE D. G. & al. Aloe vera : a short review. Indian Journal of Dermatology (2008).

  • CHUNG J. H. & al. Dietary aloe vera supplementation improves facial wrinkles and elasticity and it increases the type I procollagen gene expression in human skin in vivo. Annals of Dermatology (2009).

  • Thèse de Margaux ROULLIER. Le gel d’aloe vera en usage topique et ses vertus cicatrisantes (2015).

  • LI J. & al. Aloe vera: a medicinal plant used in skin wound healing. Tissue Engineering (2021).

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