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

Sarah Brown is the founder of Pai Skincare. Entrepreneur, mum and sensitive-skinned soul – trying to find time to practice more of what she preaches…


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!