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Aloe vera gel can generally last for around two years if stored at room temperature and away from direct sunlight and humidity, or longer if kept in the fridge. Raw aloe vera gel may not last as long. Store-bought gel will usually have an expiration date printed on the packaging.
Aloe vera gel can be a useful product to have with you, whether you’re setting off for a day at the beach, hiking in the hills or kayaking on your favorite lake. It can help to soothe and treat various skin conditions, from sunburn to cuts and scrapes.
But you’re probably wondering, does aloe vera gel expire? The short answer is yes, it does.
However, the length of time it will last usually depends on the type of product and how it’s stored. We’ve put together a short guide with some tips on how to store it to maximize its shelf life.
How Long Does Aloe Vera Gel Last?
Homemade Aloe Vera Gel
Homemade aloe vera gel will tend not to last as long as the aloe vera gel products you can buy in stores. This is because the fresh aloe vera gel you extract directly from the leaves of the plant does not have any preservatives to keep it fresh for longer. It’s essentially a raw product.
If you extract the gel from the aloe vera plant, this gel will generally only keep for around 24 hours.
However, if you keep the raw gel in the refrigerator then it should keep fresh for up to a week. You can also freeze it but this can only really give you an extra week before it will likely expire.
- Room temperature: up to 24 hours
- Refrigerator: up to a week
- Freezer: around one to two weeks
Prepackaged Aloe Vera Gel
A lot of prepackaged aloe vera gel has had preservatives added to it so that it can last longer than the raw gel found in the leaves. Most prepackaged aloe vera gel products will usually have an expiration date printed on the bottle.
Aloe vera gel that is bought from a store will usually last around two years when kept at room temperature. If you keep it in the fridge it can last even longer: usually around five years or sometimes more. You can also freeze aloe vera gel but this will generally have the same expiration effect as keeping it in the refrigerator.
- Room temperature: around two years
- Refrigerator: around five years
- Freezer: around five years
How Can I Extend The Shelf Life And Make Aloe Vera Gel Last Longer?
Keep It Away From Humidity And Direct Sunlight
High humidity and direct sunlight can have a negative effect on the quality of aloe vera gel and can reduce its shelf life. This applies to both raw and store-bought aloe vera gel.
Sunlight can dry out the gel and affect its natural healing properties, which means it may not work as effectively as you would like and can reduce its moisturizing benefits.
Adding natural preservatives to your homemade gel can help it to last longer. Vitamin C or honey can be a good option but you can also add a couple of drops of vitamin E oil to the gel you extract from the aloe vera leaves.
Video: Here’s How To Extract And Store Aloe Vera Gel
Freezing your aloe vera gel can be a great way to extend its shelf life. You can freeze both homemade and store-bought aloe vera gel.
One easy way to keep aloe vera gel in your freezer is to put it into an ice cube tray. This means you can take out as much or as little as you need. You can keep aloe vera gel frozen like this for several years if it’s from a prepackaged bottle.
If you want your homemade aloe vera gel to last longer, you might want to add some vitamin C or another preservative before you freeze it so that you get the benefit of the extended shelf, otherwise it may not last much longer than if it was simply refrigerated.
You don’t need to add anything to store-bought aloe vera gel before you freeze it unless it says it’s a raw product.
What Happens If You Use Expired Date Aloe Vera?
When aloe vera gel has expired you may notice that it doesn’t smell the same as it did before. You might also notice that it appears cloudy rather than clear, and it may have mold growing on it. This can happen to both homemade and prepackaged aloe vera but you may not notice any significant differences with store-bought gel.
The benefits of aloe vera tend to rely on the aloe vera being fresh and on the right side of its expiration date. Using aloe vera gel that has expired may not be as beneficial because it generally won’t be of the same quality.
Aloe vera tends to lose its moisturizing qualities after a period of time, which means it may not be able to soothe your skin as you might expect, or treat wounds as you might hope.
While in some cases you may just find that it simply doesn’t work as expected, in other cases it may have a negative effect on your skin. For example, it could cause irritation or dry out your skin.
If bacteria has got into the aloe vera gel, this could potentially cause infections if applied to open wounds.
If you’re using edible aloe vera, the same rules apply and you shouldn’t eat or drink expired aloe vera products.
We all know that aloe vera can be a great product for treating a range of ailments but it’s important to know that it does go off eventually. Remember, how long your aloe vera gel will last will usually depend on how you store it and whether or not it’s raw or has added preservatives.
Keep an eye on the gel’s appearance and smell, and throw it out if you think it’s gone bad.
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