Since time immemorial, aloe vera gel has been a staple in beauty treatments for skin and hair. This natural ingredient has excellent moisturizing properties. You can also use it to treat skin conditions like acne and sunburn.
You can collect fresh aloe vera gel by scraping the juicy inner sap of fresh aloe leaves. Now, if you do not have an aloe vera plant, you can also buy aloe vera gel at a beauty store. Regardless of whether you buy it or prepare it yourself, you should pay close attention to how you store it.
By preserving it well, you can make it last longer.
For How Long Does Aloe Vera Gel Stay Fresh?
Like most natural ingredients, aloe vera gel has a limited shelf life. But how long it lasts will depend on how well and where you store it.
Once the gel is extracted from the leaf, it is exposed to humidity, light, and temperature. These environmental elements trigger natural enzymatic reactions in the gel and make it decompose. So, aloe vera gel at room temperature should be used within 24 hours of extraction.
However, refrigerating the gel will slow down these natural reactions. By storing aloe vera gel in the fridge, you can use it for much longer.
Most Effective Ways to Store Aloe Vera Gel
Here are some tried and tested ways to make your aloe vera gel last longer.
1. Refrigerate the gel in an airtight container
Aloe vera gel can last for up to a week in the refrigerator. However, take care to store it properly in a clean, airtight container. A colored bottle or jar with a screw-on cap is preferable, as it will protect the gel from moisture and light.
Tip: If your beauty recipe includes coconut oil or honey, you can blend aloe vera gel with these ingredients and directly refrigerate the mixture. Use it within a week.
2. Batch freeze aloe vera gel to extend its shelf-life
Keeping the aloe vera gel cool is key to making it last longer. If you have more aloe vera gel than you can use in a week, freeze the excess. For this, pour the gel into ice cube trays and let it freeze. Then store the frozen cubes in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. It will keep fresh for six months to a year.
3. Add a natural preservative
Natural antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin E can extend the lifespan of aloe vera gel. You can either use lemon juice or Vitamin E oil or add 400 mg powder of either vitamin to 250ml of aloe vera gel. Refrigerate the mixture in a sealed container and use it within ten days.
How to Recognize if Your Aloe Vera Gel Has Spoiled?
Naturally extracted aloe vera gel does not have a specific expiry date. So, look for signs of spoiling before using the gel you have stored in the fridge or freezer. Expired aloe vera gel becomes discolored, smells odd, or changes texture. It can also develop a moldy film. If you notice any of these signs, immediately toss the batch.