How to Spot Aloe Vera Fraud
In light of recent allegations of ‘Aloe Vera’ fraud made against four of our country’s big national retailers, it seems that the gel used by many to soothe their damaged skin contained no soothing Aloe Vera at all. Find out why our certified organic Aloe Vera based products are far superior to the ones at the center of this shocking greenwashing scandal.
Allegations of ‘Aloe Vera’ Fraud
On November 22nd, 2016, Bloomberg News published the shocking results of various lab tests it conducted on samples of store-brand Aloe Vera gel it purchased at Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens.
Astoundingly, the results showed no indication whatsoever of Aloe Vera in Wal-Mart, Target and CVS samples, despite those products listing aloe barbadensis leaf juice (a.k.a. Aloe Vera) as the first or second ingredient after water. What they did find were fillers and additives like triethanolamine and maltodextrin, which strongly suggests that the products contained a cheaper, fake aloe substitute.
The Walgreens’ store-brand samples barely fared better, with inconclusive results that could neither confirm nor rule out the presence of aloe vera.
Aside from the blatant greenwashing this presents to consumers, the biggest problem with a product making “aloe vera” claims when, in fact, it was formulated with imitation aloe vera, is that the product does not do what it says it does.
Benefits of True Aloe Vera Gel
True aloe vera gel that is extracted from the plant is an extremely complex substance that contains more than 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids and 12 vitamins.
Fake Aloe Vera is unable to imitate such complexity. In particular, imitation aloe vera doesn’t contain acemannan, which is the compound responsible for Aloe Vera's infamous healing, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Without it, the product is nothing more than cooling water and alcohol!
The benefits of true Aloe Vera are extensive. It has a long held reputation for being the “plant of immortality” by the ancient Egyptians or the “wand of heaven” by the Native Americans. It has been shown to reduce oxidative stress which is linked to serious diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even the process of aging, just to name a few.
When applied topically, it’s a wonderful ingredient to include in your skincare routine as it acts as a humectant, increasing hydration, reducing the appearance of lines and softening the skin. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and wound-healing properties.
No National Oversight
You may be wondering how these four national retailers got away with such blatant greenwashing. Well, unfortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t approve cosmetics before they become available to consumers. This means that, for the most part, you have to take the manufacturer at their word that the product contains what it says it does. That’s right, the multi-billion-dollar beauty industry is based on ‘the honor system’.
And we’re pretty sure that doesn’t give you much comfort.
Pure Aloe Vera You Can Trust
That is why, when we set out to create Ogee’s Hydraganics skincare range, some of which are formulated with certified organic aloe vera, we made the kind of choices we could be proud of, every step of the way.
Listed below are some facts about our Aloe Vera, which is the base ingredient in our Seed of Youth Serum and Daily Facial Cleansing Cloths, so you can see why you can trust that our Aloe Vera is pure:
- Our Aloe Vera is grown in the farms and fields of Guastatoya, Guatemala under social responsibility and fair trade conditions. Our producer is certified to the IMO Fair for Life standard.
- The aloe leaves are filleted by hand and only the inner fillets of the leaf are used to produce the juice.
- The raw Aloe and the farms are certified organic by QCS, which offers certification internationally in all areas of the organic supply chain.
- The final product, that is in our Seed of Youth Serum and Daily Facial Cleansing Cloths, is also certified 100% organic by Ecocert ICO to the USDA organic regulations: 7 CFR Part 205 (NOP).
We don’t believe it should ever be acceptable for a product to make ‘Aloe Vera’ claims when it has been formulated with imitation Aloe Vera. However, until regulations are amended so that the FDA is required to approve cosmetics before they are made available to consumers, the foolproof way of knowing that the Aloe Vera product you have in front of you can deliver on its promises is by ensuring it contains certified organic Aloe Vera.