Read on for the review of this old-timey remedy in a new and refined form!
Full product name: Soothing and Moisture Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel
Purpose: As the name (repeatedly) emphasizes, it's meant to be a "soothing" gel, good for sunburns, razor burn, etc. I use it as a hydrating step in the summer.
Texture: A perfectly clear thick gel that starts to melt into water when it contacts the warmth of your skin. You can check out last week's review for more pictures.
Scent: Fresh and aloe-y. If you've ever snapped open an Aloe Vera plant for the gel inside, it smells like a stronger version of that. I suspect it's enhanced with fragrance to give it more oomph.
Quantity: HUGE. It's 300ml.
Availability: I got mine off ebay but it's also available elsewhere online including Amazon, but considering it's a fairly trendy product, exercise caution and only buy from sellers you trust.
Price: Mine cost me about $13 before shipping, so very affordable.
Rating: 4/5 I liked it a lot, although I wish it didn't have alcohol in it.
Repurchase: Yes, although next time I am going to try out Mizon's Aloe Vera gel.
If you didn't have an Aloe Vera plant hanging around when you were a kid for those times you managed to scald yourself, it's a desert plant with some very weird features. It has thick spiny leaves, with an almost rubbery outside skin, that contain a fragile center filled with a slimy, watery gel that is easily released by pressing the leaf. It's used for everything from topical applications for burns right off the plant itself, to drinkable digestive supplements, to cosmetics for hair or skin. You can read more about it in the wikipedia article if you're not in the mood to search.
As I mentioned in last week's review, I keep the main tub of this gel in my refrigerator, and I transfer a small quantity of it into an airless pump bottle for easy sink counter storage. Even though it warms to room temperature, it still feels cooling when applied to the skin, partly because it does contain a small amount of alcohol in it. Before you panic, I'd like to point out this gel is 92% straight Aloe Vera and the concentration of alcohol is very small. I've got really moody skin, and this did not break me out. You can see a full ingredients list here.
As you can see in the image, the gel is perfectly clear. I also found that the tub came so full of product that it was difficult to put the cap back on without having it oozing out everywhere, which was a little annoying.
The packaging also has a charming, fresh, green colour to it and really reminds me of spring and summer, appropriately enough. This product really shines in the warmer months, as the cooling sensation (although subtle) is a little off-putting for winter.
Even though I am from Canada and the weather here is too hot for me 8 months of the year, I still don't want to put cold stuff on my face when I'm already freezing. The desert gets cold at night in the winter, okay? Don't judge me!
The cool sensation is really lovely for those sticky summer nights or mornings where you feel like you have to peel yourself out of your sheets, or when you feel the urge to shower twice because you've already sweated so much after hopping out of the shower. It's also nice for a quick hydrating pick-me-up when you feel sweaty or oily to clean your face but you don't want to do a full-out layering of moisturizers in the middle of the day.
Anyway, according to the Nature Republic website (click here for EN, or here for KR), this gel has "8 best uses" which I am going to hazard a guess on, since I don't know Korean.
1. Face mask/treatment. I have used the gel for a "moisture bomb" mask before going to bed, where I have thickly coated my face with the Aloe Vera gel to allow my skin to slowly absorb the moisture without causing my skin to get greasy or oily.
2. Moisturizer. Now that it's getting warm here (it's already in the high 80's and it's only the beginning of April), I have cut out a lot of the products I featured in my post about layering skincare. I use it as a hydrating gel right out of the shower/after washing my face to prevent moisture loss before I bust out my actual moisturizers.
3. I am going to assume they mean to use this post-shaving for skin irritation, because I can't imagine this texture being useful for shaving.
4. As a hair gel/styling product. I have heard of Aloe Vera gel being used as a 'natural' alternative to the harsh and drying traditional styling gels, although I haven't used it for this purpose as I tend to just put my hair up when it's hot and be done with it. Also, we regularly get 20+ mph winds here, so anything fancier than a braid or a bun is just an exercise in futility.
5. Eye pack. I haven't used this method yet, as I wear glasses and I can't be bothered to lie down for beauty treatments unless I am going to bed. I do think it would be effective as a remedy for puffy eyes, however. Just slather some gel on a cotton swatch and off you go!
6. A quick search shows that they mean use the gel as a pre-polish nail treatment/skin moisturizer for post-manicure clean up, not some sort of mad scientist mixing solution. As strange as this sounds, I don't get dry hands so unless I'm bringing out the big guns in the form of pure acetone to banish some stubborn glitter that won't respond to the foil method, I can't see myself using it this way.
7. Overall body moisturizer. Yep, works great. I use it on my forearms after I get out of the shower, because sometimes the skin there gets tight when it dries too quickly, but if I use a traditional moisturizer it's just too heavy and feels gross.
8. Soothing angry skin from sunburn or from product irritation. I haven't been sunburned in over a decade because I stay the heck out of the sun, but if I have gotten a little overzealous in massaging my skin with the Deep Pore Cleansing Oil or tried out a new product that didn't agree with my skin, I find this is effective to apply to calm down my skin. It's especially useful if you get it straight out of the tub in the fridge for extra cooling goodness. My skin still burns when I apply it, if my skin is already irritated, but it settles down very quickly afterward and then I follow up with my beloved Mizon Snail Recovery Gel to speed up the healing process.
I think it's a nice product to have for the summer, but I don't feel it's something I can't live without. Would I purchase it again? Sure, but I'll try the Mizon brand next because I've had such success with their products so far, although there was nothing wrong with this one. It lasts forever, though, so I can't see needing to repurchase it anytime soon.
Leave me a comment with your own summer favourites, or what you use Aloe Vera gel for if you're a fan!
All the best,
**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever. This blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself. Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.