Aloe Vera Gel and Jelly
Aloe vera jelly is not a carrier oil, but its cooling, soothing, moisturizing and other beneficial properties make it suitable for diluting essential oils prior to topical application.
However, it's important to be careful when selecting the type of aloe vera product to use as a carrier for essential oils. In theory, pure aloe vera gel taken directly from fresh aloe leaves sounds like the ideal way to use aloe as a carrier. Sadly, however, it's not. Pure aloe vera gel consists of a significant amount of water. Essential oils and water do not stay mixed. Most essential oils float on top of water, but some essential oils such as Clove and Wintergreen sink to the bottom. Therefore, pure aloe vera gel doesn't work to adequately and evenly dilute essential oils prior to application onto the skin.
I defer to the extensive experience of essential oil and skin care expert Robert Tisserand of the Tisserand Institute for his suggestions regarding aloe vera products for use with essential oils. Within his presentation at the 2016 NAHA Conference and as a part of his Complete Skin Series course, Robert explains that it is best to use aloe vera jellies that are formulated to include a thickening agent. That will enable the essential oil to stay suspended (mixed) within it.
Essential oils are lipophilic (attracted to carrier oils). According to Robert, aloe vera gel can be an effective carrier to potentially enhance essential oil absorption. When contained within aloe vera jelly, essential oils are more likely to be drawn to the natural oil within our skin and thus be more readily absorbed into the skin than if the essential oil is instead diluted in a lipid based carrier.
Aloe Vera Jelly Safety Information
Since aloe vera jelly can enhance essential oil absorption, it is prudent to start by using a lower dilution of essential oil than you normally would when working with traditional carrier oils and vegetable butters.
Pure aloe vera leaf gel is extremely watery. Aloe vera jellies have a thicker, smooth, jelly-like consistency.
Thickened aloe vera jellies purchased for skin care use are generally clear (decolorized).
Please refer to the manufacturer's date of manufacture/best buy date as the preservative used (or lack thereof) can impact the shelf life.
The information provided on AromaWeb is for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.
General Safety Information
Use caution when trying any new ingredient, including carrier oils on the skin or in the hair. Those with nut allergies should consult their medical practitioner before coming into contact with nut oils, butters or other nut products. Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Safety information can be found by visiting the Safety Information page. For very in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand.
Carrier Oil Book Suggestions
Click on a book's title to view details and read a full review for the book. Visit AromaWeb's Books area to find details about many other essential oil and aromatherapy books.
Power of the Seed: Your Guide to Oils for Health & Beauty
Author: Susan M. Parker
Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy & Massage
Authors: Len Price with Ian Smith & Shirley Price