Aloe Vera Shaving Gel

It's here! Finally a shaving gel that's made from simple non-toxic ingredients and isn't packaged in plastic! My legs have seriously never been smoother- I'm hooked. I got all these free aloe leaves from the grocery store where I work, because they were a little brown on the ends, so I decided to experiment with them, and I'm so glad I did! Shaving with aloe vera has also helped prevent razor burn, as well as rehydrate my skin. 

Buy Sensibly 

If you don't have access to aloe vera leaves, I urge you not to use a plastic-packaged aloe vera gel. Most aloe vera gels are not pure and contain lots of preservatives and other toxic ingredients (Tetrasodium EDTA, Polysorbate 20, Triethanolamine, Diazolidinyl Urea, etc). If you have access to aloe vera juice or gel for internal use, then that's another option. Vitamin E-oil is largely sourced from genetically modified soy, which I'm not down with. If possible, buy one that's GMO-free and from sunflowers. If you can't find it in bulk, glass is the next best option. Citric acid can usually be found in bulk (I check to make sure it's not from GMO fruit). If not though, look for it packaged in paper over plastic, or omit from this recipe. Essential oils come in glass bottles with plastic tops. This plastic component is typically unavoidable, unless you make your own. 

Aloe Vera Shaving Gel

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh aloe vera 

1 teaspoon non-GMO & soy-free vitamin E- oil from sunflowers

1/2 Teaspoon Citric Acid*

5 drops tea tree essential oil (optional)

3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)

*Citric acid can sometimes irritate sensitive skin. If so, leave out and add 1 more teaspoon of Vitamin E-oil. If using an aloe supplement for internal use, it already contains a PH stabilizer, so adding the vitamin-E oil would be optional, and there would be no need to add the citric acid.

The Steps

1. Slice off the prickly parts on the sides of the leaf with a knife. Peel the protective skin layer off the aloe with a paring knife or peeler, and scoop out the gel inside to equal 1 cup. 2. Put the aloe vera into the blender, and blend until all the mucilaginous clumps have become liquid. It will be foamy, but the foam will settle quickly. 3. Pour the aloe vera into a jar and stir in the vitamin E-oil and essential oils. 4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 45 days.

To use, bring into the shower or bath, scoop out some of the gel into your hand and rub into the area you wish to shave. I always turn the water off when I shave to conserve water. Turning the water off also helps keep the gel on your skin, instead of it continuously getting washed away while you're trying to shave. After shaving, I usually moisturize with my body lotion or body balm; however, since using my shaving gel recipe, I've found that I don't need to do this as much, because aloe and vitamin-E are super emollient. 

If I accidentally knick myself while shaving (which happens very rarely with the safety razor), I use my homemade anti-bacterial cream. It's one of the 22 simple plastic-free switches I've made in my bathroom. 

A bit about the Ingredients 

Aloe Vera: There are over 400 species of aloe. Aside from having anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, aloe is a super food. It's rich in vitamins (A, E, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12), minerals (calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, magnesium, copper), and amino acids (contains all 20 of them, and 7 are essential). Aloe has extraordinary benefits for external use on the skin, like soothing and cooling sunburns, reducing inflamed areas, calming redness, moisturizing, and providing relief from rashes and other skin irritations. 

Citric Acid: Citric acid is derived from citrus fruit and is used as a preservative.

Vitamin-E Oil: Aside from being a natural preservative, Vitamin E oil is very healing, is rich in antioxidants and is extremely moisturizing. It has also been known to reduce wrinkles. 

Essential Oils: Tea tree essential oil is antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and cicatrisant, meaning it can speed up wound healing and help prevent infection. Lavender essential oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help provide relief from pain, as well as calm the nervous system. They both smell terrific! 

Hot Tip: This recipe also doubles as an after sun- lotion to soothe sunburns and rehydrate the skin. 

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