- 1Wash your hands. It's important to start with clean hands and use clean tools to make sure the gel doesn't get contaminated.
- 2Slice off an outer leaf of an aloe plant. The outer leaves are more likely to be mature. They'll contain plenty of fresh, healthy gel. Look for leaves around the outside of the plant, with bases growing close to the ground. Use a sharp knife to make a clean cut near the base.
- Since aloe vera gel is perishable, it's best not to make a huge batch at once, unless you plan to give some away. Cutting off just a leaf or two, especially if they're large, should be sufficient to make 1/2 to 1 cup of gel.
- If your plant is young, be especially careful not to cut off too much at once. Cutting off all of the outer leaves could damage the plant.
- 3Drain the resin for 10 minutes. Place the leaves upright in a cup to let the dark yellow resin drain out. The resin contains latex, which can be slightly irritating to skin. It's best to drain it out so it won't get into your gel.
- 4Peel the leaves. Use a vegetable peeler to carefully peel away the green portion of the leaves. Be sure to cut through the inner white layer to the gel underneath. Peel off all of the skin on once side of the each leaf, leaving a canoe-shaped half filled with gel.
- If you have large leaves, it may be helpful to cut them into smaller pieces before peeling.
- Discard the skin as you go so it won't get mixed in with your gel.
- 5Scoop the gel out with a spoon. The clear, soft gel is easily scoopable. Scoop it all out into a clean bowl until there's nothing left in the leaf half.
- 6Consider mixing the gel with a natural preservative. If you have a lot of gel and you want it to keep for a month or two, mix in 500mg powdered Vitamin C or 400 IU vitamin E for every 1/4 cup of gel you have. Place the ingredients together in a blender and blend well. The gel will look foamy at first.
- 7Place the gel in a sterilized, clean glass jar. If you used the preservative, the gel will keep for several months in the refrigerator. Without it, it will keep for a week or two.
- 8Use the gel. Apply it to sunburns or other minor, surface burns. Aloe can also be used as a skin moisturizer or an ingredient in homemade body products.
- Never use aloe vera gel on deep cuts or blistered skin. It should only be used on surface skin irritation, since it can prevent deep cuts from healing properly.
- Try blending 1/2 cup aloe with 1/4 cup melted coconut oil to make a healing, moisturizing massage lotion.
- Learn how to grow an aloe plant so you'll be able to make a batch of gel whenever you want.
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