The Aloe Vera Cheat – How to increase your organic percentage in an instant

How do companies make 90% organic product claims with just 0.5% organic ingredients?  The answer is Aloe Vera.

I’m writing with my “formulator” rather than “beauty” head on today – but the Aloe Vera Cheat is one I’ve been noticing a lot recently.

Aloe Vera has become an incredibly common ingredient in natural skincare – but not all beauty brands are using it solely for its skin benefits.

Many manufacturers incorporate this ingredient into their formulations to increase their organic percentages.

For example, a product that markets itself as 90%+ organic could contain a mere 0.5% organic Aloe powder – with no other organic ingredients at all!

Formulators do this by “reconstituting” organic Aloe powder with water (usually at a ratio of 1:200) – they can then declare the complete mixture as an organic juice.

Products with high concentrations of Aloe juice tend to have a sticky consistency on the skin. They also require higher concentrations of usually more irritating preservatives to keep them stable – so aren’t great for sensitive skin types.

The way to spot this trick is to look out for the term ‘aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder’ or ‘aloe barbadensis leaf juice’ on ingredient lists with a star next to it.

If other ingredients listed feature stars as well, then the Aloe is likely to be being used to bump up the organic percentage.  However, if no other ingredients listed feature stars, then that 0.5% aloe is the only organic ingredient in the product.

Something to keep a beady eye out for when shopping for your ‘organic’ skincare!

  • Marie

    That is really interesting (and disturbing)! :) Thank you for clearing that up!

  • Sarah Brown

    Thanks Marie – bit sneaky but if you know what to look out for you won’t be fooled!

  • marija

    After having read this, I got confused…so, there is no chance that the Aloe can be ‘innocently’ in a product? Will it always have a ‘cheating’ role? thanks x

  • Anonymous

    Aloe can absolutely be in a product ‘innocently’ – it has brilliant moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties.

    However, if it’s one of the only ingredients in the list that carries a star next to it, and the product is claiming to have a high organic content then it’s very likely being included to artificially increase the product’s organic percentage. If this is the case it is only really there for marketing purposes!

    I hope that helps – let me know if you have anymore questions. x

  • Veronika

    Would this be the case when they use the Aloe only for the organic percentage? It’s from Organic Surge.

    Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Benzyl Alcohol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Coco-Glucoside, Glycerin (Veg)**, Sodium Chloride, Linalool, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Sucrose Laurate, Lauryl Glucoside, Citronellol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Alcohol Denat, Citric Acid, Tocopherol, Geraniol, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil*, Sorbic Acid. *ingredient from organic farming. **made using organic ingredients. Naturally occurring within essential oils.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Veronika, Yes, this is a good example of aloe being used to claim a higher organic percentage for the product. Let me know if you have anymore questions. x