To make a basic aloe vera gel, you can make up your gel as per these instructions with up to 100% of the water in the form of aloe vera.
If you want to make a thinner aloe vera gel, make up your gel as per these instructions, which will get you a thick gel. To it, add up to 50% aloe vera and enough preservative to preserve the aloe vera, mix into the gel, and bottle.
Take a look at the aloe vera gel you get at our supplier's shops, and you'll see that they are a combination of aloe vera and this carbomer. Here's an example from Voyageur Soap & Candle. When you look at the recipes I make on this blog, I'm using aloe vera liquid or juice because we don't need the extra thickening in our products!
Sounds pretty easy, eh? But we might want something a little more....shall we say, complicated? (Hey, it wouldn't be a Swift recipe if it weren't complicated!) If we're making this for a post sunburn kind of situation, wouldn't we want to include a few other ingredients that might be good for inflammation or sunburn?
botanical extracts first. Water soluble marshmallow extract would be really nice, offering soothing and moisturizing. Horsetail extract is a good wound healer and anti-inflammatory. Witch hazel is a good moisturizer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant. Allantoin would be great at around 0.5% to help speed up skin's repair mechanisms and to reduce trans-epidermal water loss. Chamomile extract or hydrosol is always a sure winner Panthenol offers wound healing and behaves as a humectant, so we could add that to the cool down phase.
You can choose any combination of ingredients to make a post-sun exposure aloe vera gel. These are just a few of my suggestions.
ALOE VERA GEL WITH ALL KINDS OF WONDERFUL POST-SUN INGREDIENTS
60% thick gel recipe (see this post)
20% aloe vera
10% witch hazel
5% marshmallow extract
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.2% liquid Germall Plus*
*In case you're wondering why such a low amount? It's because we already have preservative in the gel, so we only need to preserve the stuff we're adding. If I look at adding 40% more to the gel and I need 0.5% liquid Germall Plus, then I would have to add 0.2% preservative. (0.5 * 0.4 = 0.2) You could actually leave the preservative out in this case because we'll have 0.3% liquid Germall Plus, which is in the middle of the suggested usage rate. I'm adding extra because botanicals can be a little tricky to preserve, so I figure I'm better off maximizing my preservative!
Related posts in this series:
One ingredients, five products: Gels - an introduction
Related posts in general:
Summer products: Aloe vera apres sun spray
Super extra aloe-y apres sun spray
A note: To turn the summer sprays into gels, reduce the liquids to no more than 50%, keep the ingredients the same, and mix into a thick gel!
Join me tomorrow for more fun with gels!