Have you ever used aloe vera on sunburned skin?
Or as a face moisturizer?
Or when making DIY products, such as hand soap or hand sanitizer?
You would think that since it is based on a healing liquid that comes from a plant that we wouldn't need a safe swap for this. Right?!?
Turns out that most also vera gel on store shelves is FULL of junk, including carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and allergens... and usually more junk than actual aloe vera! Here are a few of the nasties I found when reading ingredient labels:
❌ DMDM HYDANTOIN -- A whopper of a carcinogenic, formaldehyde releasing preservative.
❌ DIAZOLIDINYL UREA -- Another carcinogenic, formaldehyde releasing preservative.
❌ FRAGRANCE/PARFUM -- Associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress, and potential effects on the reproductive system. Fragrance ingredients are considered trade secrets and do not need to be disclosed on ingredient labels in the U.S.
❌ PEGs -- -- A group of ingredients with the prefix “PEG-” followed by a number. They are made by the process of ethoxylation in which carcinogenic ethylene oxide is reacted with other ingredients to make them less harsh on the skin. As a result of the ethoxylation process, 1,4-dioxane is created and can be left behind in the product. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified 1,4-dioxane as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
❌ PHENOXYETHANOL -- Skin exposure has been linked to allergic reactions ranging from eczema and hives to anaphylaxis. Infants exposed to phenoxyethanol can experience a depressed central nervous system leading to a decreased appetite, difficulty waking, skin color change, damaged DNA, and limpness of extremities. The American Society of Contact Dermatitis lists phenoxyethanol as one of its core allergens, even in concentrations as low as 1%.
❌ RETINYL PALMITATE -- Animal studies have shown that retinyl palmitate speeds up the photo-carcinogenic effects of the sun and the development of skin tumors and lesions.
❌ YELLOW #5, BLUE #1, & OTHER DYES -- Yellow #5, for example, has been linked to allergies, thyroid tumors, lymphomas (cancer), chromosomal damage, asthma, hyperactivity in children, and urticaria (hives).
❌ EDTA -- While not harmful in and of itself, it enhances the dermal penetration of other ingredients contained in a product... not good if there are ingredients like the rest of this list in the cocktail!
If you're looking for a safe option to use, these are sure bets: