This nourishing aloe vera oil is packed with vitamins and minerals beneficial for the hair and skin. Learn 3 easy ways to make it and 10 ways to use it at home.
Making aloe oil has been on my to-do list for some time. Learning all its benefits and variety of uses I was just waiting for the right moment to proceed. Well, I have been doing many herbal infused oils in the past, but aloe vera is a plant with very different properties. The unique and delicate aloe vera plant contains a lot of moisture and I wasn’t sure how to incorporate it into the oil. The moisture also makes the oil sensitive to be a potential breeding ground for bacteria.
What is aloe vera oil?
Aloe oil is made by the maceration of aloe vera leaves in a carrier oil of your choice. This herbal infusion enables aloe vera to extract its medicinal properties into the oil that can be later used in other skin or hair care products such as soaps, creams, salves or DIY hair conditioners or masks. Another way to preserve aloe vera leaves is to powder them into aloe vera powder that possesses similar medicinal benefit sand uses as oil.
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3 ways to make aloe oil
There are several ways of making aloe vera oil, each has pros and cons and you can decide which one will serve you the best.
Aloe vera leaf contains a gel that makes it thick. This gel is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants however contain liquid that can make the infused oil go bad
is the safest method where we macerate dried aloe vera leaves in the carrier oil.
Pros: This way we will create a stable product free of any moisture that will contain most of the medicinal properties of aloe vera
Cons: By drying moistured parts of aloe vera leaves we will lose some of their medicinal benefits as the gel contains bioactive compounds that include vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Slowly cooking fresh aloe vera gel with a carrier oil on the stove till the mixture curdles, strain it afterward.
Pros: This method enables to include aloe vera gel with its medicinal benefits in the mixture
Cons: Boiling or heating aloe vera at a higher temperature than 50 C (122 F) will kill many of the nutrients.
Blending fresh aloe vera with a carrier oil
Pros: The advantage of this method is to keep medicinal properties of aloe vera in the mixture thus making a valuable concentrate
Cons: this combination contains a fairly large amount of water components that will lead to an unstable product that spoils easily unless you use preservatives. Moreover, the gel is a water-soluble substance that will stay separated from the carrier oil unless you add some emulsifiers.
Considering all pros and cons I decided to go for the safest yet most effective method of making aloe vera oil.
aloe vera oil diy
Prepare aloe vera leaves for drying
Rinse the aloe vera leaves thoroughly, cut the spiky edges on the sides and let the yellow latex drop off.
If you have large aloe leaves cut them in thin slices as per the image below
If you are using small aloe vera leaves cut them along the entire length into two equal parts.
Spread them on parchment paper in adry place for 1 week until dried completely.
Alternatively use a dehydrator or oven to speed up the process. Just make sure not to use a higher temperature than 50 C (122F) to keep as many valuable substances as possible.
Once the leaves are dried and brittle, place them into a sterilized glass jar.
Pour over the extra virgin olive oil so all leaves are covered completely.
Place the jar with leaves in a double boiler and start to warm the surrounding water up. Use a thermometer, do not exceed 50C (122F) in temperature. Let it infuse for at least 5 hours.
Remove it from the heat, let it cool down and strain the herbal material. Your aloe vera oil is ready to be used.
If you are not in a hurry you can infuse the oil for 4 weeks in a sunny place
Aloe oil benefits & uses
Aloe oil possesses many medicinal properties mainly for the skin and hair, however, it can be also used in dressings for salads or in other culinary adventures. This oil for sure deserves your attention and its own place in your apothecary.
Aloe oil contains moisturizing and soothing properties, boosts collagen and helps fight bacteria, this is all beneficial for healling mild burns and sunburns (1)
If you are an eczema sufferer you might appreciate its moisturizing effect on dry and itchy skin associated with.
Its anti-inflammatory properties might help with itchiness and information when you suffer from psoriasis (3)
aloe is also able to seal the moisture in the skin and serve therefore as a regular moisturizer for dry skin. You can use it as a carrier oil in this moisturizing and healing aloe vera cream that nourishes and heals your skin or hair
Heals scars and marks
Fibres such as collagen and fibre are responsible for the reparation of scars and marks. Aloe oil has the ability to increase their production and therefore contribute to the healing process. (2)
Aloe oil acts as an antiseptic agent that helps reduce pain, swelling and itching, which makes it ideal for helping with mosquito bites.
You can also replace the calendula infused oil in this bug bite cream with aloe vera oil.
for hair growth
Aloe oil made it to the hall of fame with its ability to increase hair growth. There are plenty of people claiming that aloe vera oil causes their hair to grow faster however more clinical evidence is needed to prove this claim.
Strengthen hair strands
Aloe vera contains many valuable vitamins and minerals that contribute to cell turnover. Vitamin B12 and folic acid keep the hair from falling out. Aloe vera oil has moisturizing and nourishing properties that contribute to better hair texture whose ends don’t split or break.
Calms dry and itchy scalp
You can mix it, however these two ingredients will separate unless you use an emulsifier to bind them together. Another way of binding gel and oil together is to cook them together so the water from the gel evaporates. That way some of the valuable properties will be destroyed with cooking. Moreover, the moisture present in the aloe vera gel will contribute to the spoilage of the oil.
If you have access to fresh aloe vera leaves you can make both. Aloe vera oil is actually one way to preserve aloe vera benefits and use them later in creams, salves, toners, soaps or hair conditioners. Aloe vera gel when fresh doesn’t last long, even refrigerated has to be used within a couple of days. Store-bought aloe vera gel contains preservatives, however, possess less medicinal benefits than the one made of fresh aloe leaves.
You can use natural emulsifiers such as Leucidal which is made from fermenting radishes with the lactic acid bacteria Leuconostoc Kimchii.
I addition, don't forget to use natural preservative such as Vitamin E that helps extend the shelf life of infused oils.
You can either purchase fresh aloe vera leaf or the whole plant in the shop or online. Or you can buy dried aloe vera leaves from Mountain Rose herbs and follow the instructions on making your homemade aloe vera oil. Or you can buy ready-made aloe oil online.