Because I’ve done that and it’s not fun!
I recently created a new video for you about a free skincare-making video class I’m offering that involves aloe vera. I 100% support keeping an aloe vera plant in the kitchen to treat minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. You cut off a little piece of the leaf, squeeze out the gel, and get almost immediate relief.
But what if you need to extract a large amount of the gel either to take it internally as a dietary supplement, apply it to a large area (like sunburnt shoulders), or to use it as an ingredient in skincare? Most people know to cut off the leaf at the base of the plant, but then what? Cut it open with a knife (ouch)? Run it through a pasta machine (been there)? Use a rolling pin to roll the gel out (done that)?
I incorporate aloe vera gel in nearly all of my skincare products because it has so many awesome properties and uses. I was all set to just tell people to buy organic aloe gel from Mountain Rose Herbs, which is what I’ve been doing (since the time I cut myself trying to extract aloe from a plant using a knife!) lately, but then I realized that that just wouldn’t fly.
The free class is all about using items you already own as skincare ingredients. Most people own an aloe vera plant, but very few actually own real, organic aloe vera gel (not that fluorescent green jelly crap at the drugstore) so unless I could promote using the gel from an actual aloe plant that people already have in their homes (or can get very easily at a local grocery, home, or plant shop), I knew I couldn’t include aloe in the class. That would have made me sad, since it truly is an amazing ingredient for the skin. So I went out and got myself an organically grown Aloe Barbadensis plant and started looking for better and safer ways to extract aloe gel.
I have to admit that what I found was a big DUH moment. I can’t believe I didn’t know this sooner and honestly, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself!
There’s a much easier and much safer way to extract aloe gel: A vegetable peeler!
Using a peeler is so much less messy than trying to roll or press out aloe gel, and it requires far less coordination and risk of injury than using a knife. It’s also more efficient than trying to press or roll the gel out, because if you push too hard or in the wrong place, you might make the leaf burst and have an aloe explosion which is both messy and a sad waste of aloe gel.
At first I was concerned that the skin was too thick to peel and that I’d lose some of the gel, but that wasn’t the case. The peeler very easily removed just enough of the skin to expose the gel-filled pulp inside, which I was then able to very easily squeeze out. So next time you need to extract gel from your aloe plant, try this method, and let me know how it goes!
By the way, remember that free class I mentioned a the top of this post? It’s kinda awesome, and it’s yours FREE.