How much aloe is there in the Aloe Ferox skin care products?
Sometimes one sees a skin product that claims to “contain 80% aloe”. It surely sounds
amazing, don’t you think? But is it possible? Advertisements that make these kinds of
assertions are phrased in such a manner to allow for different interpretations, hoping
that the prospective buyer will make the “best” assumption from the clever words.
Take note of the different meanings of the phrase “contains 80% aloe”:
1. 80% of the total composition of the particular skin product consists of raw aloe
while other ingredients accumulate to only 20% of the total composition (this is usually what the advertisement would want one to believe).
But it may also mean:
2. The skin product contains some aloe extracts, and the composition of the extract is 80% raw aloe and 20% other ingredients like solvents (this is usually the correct interpretation!).
Two technical problems exist for topical application of skin products containing plant materials, namely
(1) by their very nature, plant materials degrade (rot) to reunite with their natural environment;
(2) plant materials are ordinarily not skin-friendly – their natural moisture is either sticky, oily, has a strong fragrance, makes the skin itch, or simply irritates the skin. Using a high concentration of these materials in a cosmetic product requires strong preservation to preclude rotting.
Furthermore, skin unsuitability/incompatibility of the final product is commonly directly related to the concentration (%) of plant materials in the product.
However, the phrase “contains 80% aloe” creates the impression that a product of which the final composition contains 80% plant material is more effective than a product of which the final concentration contains 10% aloe.
This is pure nonsense and preys on the ignorance of consumers.
Scientists working on bio-active materials always specify TWO limits for effectiveness. The first is the lowest concentration required to impart skin benefits. In some cases, this lowest concentration is as low as 0.1%. The upper limit indicates the maximum concentration of the material that will have maximum benefits. Beyond this maximum, there is no additional skin improvement irrespective of the excess. In fact, above the upper limit, the plant may potentially become a skin irritant or be toxic.
Aloe Ferox has done many tests to estimate the maximum aloe concentration in a skin product. The minimum beneficial concentration is approximately 1.5% for water-soluble and 0.5% for oil-soluble aloe extracts. Above 10% water-soluble aloe extract, the final product becomes sticky and will probably create a coating on the skin that looks like dandruff as it peels off during the day. Above 2% oil-based aloe extracts, the final product becomes very oily. The aloe concentrations of Aloe Ferox cosmetic creams, as well as the concentration of Super Aloe Gel are within the limits discussed above. Whole-leaf Gel contains 10-20% aloe extracts, which is still perfectly safe, but which explains why the product is stickier than the other products. The aloe extracts used at Aloe Ferox contain 95 - 100%
What does it mean if a product is pH balanced?
The pH of a substance is a scale to measure the acidity or alkalinity of the substance. The scale is like
a short ruler. It has only 14 units with 7 being the middle, hence being neutral. Below pH 7, a
substance is considered acidic and above 7, a substance is considered alkaline (soapy). The farther
the measurement from 7, the stronger the acidity or alkalinity. The pH value of human skin is
between 4.5 and 6.5. All manufacturers of personal care products should measure the pH of the final
product and adjust (balance) the pH if it falls outside skin pH levels, otherwise the product is likely to irritate the skin.
Usually, the pH of a product falls very slightly for some time after it has been manufactured. Therefore, a pH balanced cream is one where the pH has been adjusted to 5.5 - 6.5 during manufacturing to allow for a slight decline and also to prevent the product from irritating the skin.