Simple Tips To Keep Your Aloe Vera Gel Fresher For Longer

You had a glorious day at the beach, but the sun wasn't your friend. Therefore, you grab your aloe vera plant since it's one of the best ways to heal a sunburn. In your haste to get the burning sensation to dull, you've extracted a little more than you can use at the current moment. Since aloe vera is good for so much more than just your sunburn, you don't want to chuck it in the trash. 

Freshly extracted aloe vera has several different uses, like helping with heartburn, lowering your blood sugar, and keeping your digestive tract happy. You can even use it in DIY facials and hair recipes to bring your locks back to life. Without even realizing it, you've extracted liquid gold for your health.

Since aloe vera can be used for so many different things, get a few different hacks to help extend the shelf life of this gel for your soups, smoothies, and DIY recipes. You'll also learn how to recognize when your aloe vera gel has overstayed its welcome.

Use the right container to keep it fresh

If you can't use your aloe vera gel right away, you can extend its life by more than just a few hours with the right tools. The first thing you'll want to do is to find a non-clear, airtight container. This can be a glass jar, plastic container, or locking baggie. 

The reason for an airtight container is that it's important to limit the amount of oxygen reaching it. The moment oxygen hits the gel, it starts to decompose, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Food Science and Technology. The less air that can get to it, the longer the product is going to keep. Typically, if you're keeping it at room temperature, you have about one to two days before you'll want to throw it away.

It's also important to make sure that you keep your aloe vera gel out of direct sunlight since the UV rays can damage the gel. The aforementioned study recommends the use of an amber glass container. If you don't have an amber storage container, you might want to consider storing the gel in a dark area where the sunlight can't reach it. However, if you need to get a little longer than a few days out of your aloe vera, you need to think a bit cooler.

Store aloe vera gel in the refrigerator

It took a lot of time to harvest that aloe vera gel from your plant, and you have more than you can possibly use in a day or two. For longer storage, you'll want to keep it cool by putting it in the refrigerator.

One of the easiest ways to store your aloe vera gel is to put it in an amber mason jar and throw it in the fridge. You might also want to consider putting it in a drawer or other area where the light of the refrigerator isn't going to affect it. This is especially true if you don't have any amber jars just lying around.

Rather than just a few days, refrigerated aloe vera gel can stay good for anywhere from two to three weeks. Plus, the refrigerated aloe vera gel feels fabulous on the skin for those suffering from a burn. That cool aloe vera also feels great when you are making a DIY aloe vera facial with honey. Sure, the refrigerator is a great short-term solution. But if you're thinking in the long term, take a look at your freezer. 

Freeze aloe vera gel in cubes to keep it fresher longer

Freezing aloe vera gel is going to take a bit more effort than refrigerating it, but you'll get a whopping six months or more out of your gel. This is great for when you're harvesting a large batch of aloe vera to get ready for your new diet plan or prep for the summer months.

Now, there are a few different ways to freeze your gel. If you're dealing with fresh aloe vera gel, then you can cut it up into cubes. Place your cubes into a sealable container that you can write the date on. It's very important to date them so you know exactly when they expire. If your gel is liquid, then you can use an ice cube tray to make cubes and freeze them overnight. Then, you can put the cubes in freezer bags. 

Frozen aloe vera is great for a variety of skin and hair recipes; just be sure you allow it to defrost naturally from its frozen state by placing it at room temperature for several hours. Putting it under a heat source is going to negate those health benefits and waste your efforts. Since you don't want that to happen, just make sure to have a little bit of patience. Freezing and refrigeration aren't the only things to keep aloe vera fresh; you can also consider adding natural preservatives.

Try a natural preservative to get the most out of your aloe vera

Preservatives might get a bad rap, but they're definitely good for making food, and aloe vera, last longer. Therefore, adding natural preservatives to your batch of aloe vera can give you up to a year of use. All you need is your gel and natural honey or vitamin C tabs.

When longevity is your goal, grab high-quality natural honey. Honey doesn't go bad when stored correctly, and it's great in smoothies and for the skin, so it's the perfect preservative. In this recipe, mix equal parts honey and aloe vera gel. If you have fresh gel, you might want to grab your blender. Place your healing concoction in an airtight container, date it, and put it in the fridge. Just make sure to use it up in about a year or so.

Another natural preservation method is to mix your aloe vera gel with vitamin C. Add about a half cup of aloe vera to a blender and make a liquid. Mix it with 1,000 mg of vitamin C, and blend this together well. Place it in a dated container before placing it in the fridge to use as needed since it can last about eight months. Just keep in mind that vitamin C is acidic, so you won't want to use this method on burns. Now that you know how to make your aloe vera last, it's time to find out when to throw it away.

Know when to throw your aloe vera gel away

Storing your aloe vera was a snap, but you forgot one key point before adding it to the freezer or putting your aloe vera and honey concoction in the refrigerator. You didn't date it. Now you aren't sure whether your aloe vera has gone bad or not. Typically, if you're in doubt, it's always best to throw it away. Consuming or putting expired aloe vera on the skin can be harmful. However, if you're pretty sure it's still good, aloe vera gel can give you some solid indicators that it's gone bad. If you're questioning your aloe vera, give it a good whiff and check out its consistency. If it smells weird or has any changes to its color or texture, it's probably expired.

There is a lot aloe vera can do for your hair, skin, and body. Not only does it help the inflammation of a sunburn, but it's shown to have other health benefits. Therefore, to get the most out of your aloe vera, you'll want to refrigerate, freeze, or add preservatives to it. Just remember to add the date so you know when it expires.