Despite Aloe Vera being recognized as the plant of immortality, it is not immortal. Thus you could wonder, how long does aloe vera last, and does aloe vera gel expire?
With this, you’ll find that Aloe Vera products expire at different lengths of time, as Aloe Vera gel, like any other organic substance or plant product, goes bad once it faces exposure to the air.
It’s vital to remember that the shelf life of Aloe Vera products differs.
In our guide, you can find out the shelf life of store-bought Aloe Vera gel and also how long different Aloe Vera products last. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of these products, and will your aloe vera go bad before you use it.
Can I Use Expired Aloe Vera Gel?
It’s important not to use any form of aloe vera product once it goes past its expiration date. Expired aloe gel can cause skin irritation, rashes, and severe responses, according to nutritionists. (Learn Does Maple Syrup Need To Be Refrigerated)
You may notice that aloe vera gel no longer smells the same once it has expired. You may also notice that it is foggy rather than clear, and mold has grown on the surface. This happens with both homemade and store-bought aloe vera, but store-bought gel may last longer before you notice.
The benefits of aloe vera usually depend on the aloe vera being fresh and within its expiration date, as using outdated aloe vera gel may not be as beneficial since quality is reduced.
Aloe vera loses its hydrating and moisturizing properties over a long time, so it may not soothe your skin or treat wounds as effectively as you expect.
While it could fail to perform as intended, it could, in some situations, have a detrimental impact on your skin on some individuals. For example, it can irritate or dry your skin.
If bacteria get inside the aloe vera gel container, it can lead to infections when applied to exposed wounds. The same guidelines apply if taking edible aloe vera, so make sure not to eat or drink outdated aloe vera products.
How Do You Know if Aloe Vera Gel Has Gone Bad?
Whether processed or fresh Aloe vera gel, it should be clear or yellow/gold in color, but it is always translucent. The green color is given to some store-bought variants for aesthetic purposes and has no effect on the effectiveness when using aloe vera.
When exposed to the air, fresh aloe vera gel oxidizes quickly and turns pink or crimson. This discoloration isn’t a big deal if the gel is used or refrigerated straight away. When an aloe vera plant is stressed, such as by too much direct sunlight or poor soil, it becomes pink.
An unpleasant odor is the first clue that your Aloe Vera gel has gone bad if you’re using homemade Aloe Vera gel. The handmade gel will lose its moisturizing properties.
Most store-bought Aloe Vera won’t change much once it’s been opened as it often comes packed with preservatives. As a result, checking the expiration date is the best way to tell if or when the product can be bad.
How Long Does Aloe Vera Gel Last?
Homemade aloe vera gel won’t last as long as aloe vera gel purchased in stores. This is because fresh aloe vera gel extracted directly from the plant’s leaves contains no preservatives to keep it fresh. (Learn How To Repel Mosquitoes While Camping)
When you remove the gel direct from the aloe vera plant, it usually only lasts around 24 hours at room temperature.
The raw gel should last for up to a week if kept in the refrigerator, and while you can freeze it, this typically only adds a week up to 2 weeks before it will expire. If you collect your own gel, you can add preservatives such as Vitamin C or Vitamin E to increase the lifespan of your aloe vera
- Room temperature: up to 24 hours
- Refrigerator: up 7 days
- Freezer: around one to 2 weeks
Preservatives have been added to prepackaged aloe vera gel to make it last longer than the raw gel found in the leaves. The expiration date is commonly marked on the bottle of most prepackaged aloe vera gel products.
When maintained at room temperature, aloe vera gel purchased from a store will usually last two years. If you put it in the fridge, it will last much longer: around five years on average, and occasionally even longer.
Aloe vera gel can also be frozen, however this has the same expiration effect as keeping it in the refrigerator.
Besides the store-bought aloe vera gel, you may ask, does aloe vera juice expire if it is store-bought? Aloe vera juice shelf life like gel when unopened and it can be around 2-3 years.
However, if you have a juice that you open, then it only lasts a couple of weeks and should be refrigerated right away to get the best related health benefits.
Does Aloe Really Expire?
If you want to know does aloe vera expire, here is the ultimate explanation. Raw Aloe Vera leaf is freshly cut from a live Aloe Vera plant. It is not pasteurized, or heat processed and therefore does not have a very long shelf life. If you will not use it within that time, it is okay to put the gel in the freezer to make Aloe Vera ice cubes.
If purchased from a store, carefully processed Aloe Vera products usually contain preservatives to help keep the beneficial ingredients active for an extended period, depending on the label, from a few weeks to several years. (Learn The Difference Between Internal and External Frame Packs for Backpacking)
Whether Aloe Vera gel, juice or extract, or capsules, here is a guide for the expected shelf life of each:
- Gel: Properly stored, Aloe Vera gel has an expiration date of two years to 3 years. It isn’t necessary to keep refrigerated but stored in a cool, dry place free of natural sunlight.
- Juice or Extract: Aloe Vera juice is extracted from the inner gel of the plant, so when purchasing Aloe Vera juice, or extract, you need to keep aloe vera refrigerated.
- Capsules: You need to keep Aloe Vera capsules stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight to ensure long life. The capsules active ingredients can last for five years from the manufacturing date.
If you want to know how long can you keep these products, and extend the shelf life of aloe vera, you can follow here:
- Raw Aloe Vera: Keep refrigerated in air-tight container.
- Aloe Vera Gel: From the leaf, refrigerate. If store bought, follow package storage instructions.
- Aloe Vera Juice: If extracted from fresh aloe leaf, refrigerate. If purchased, follow package instructions and expiration dates.
- Aloe Vera Capsules: Follow the instructions given.
If you wonder, can you use expired aloe vera leaf or aloe vera products? It depends, although it isn’t recommended to go past the expiration date, especially when raw.