No Evidence of Aloe Vera Found in the Aloe Vera at Wal-Mart, CVS

That soothing aloe vera gel you bought to moisturize and heal your skin might be missing a key ingredient: the aloe vera. Bloomberg News recently hired a lab to test store-brand gels sold at Wal-Mart, Target and CVS. All listed aloe barbadensis leaf juice as either the top or second ingredient, but when the lab tested the products, none showed the chemical markers of aloe, the news outlet reported.

Key Takeaways:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve cosmetics before they’re sold and has never levied a fine for selling fake aloe.
  • Jones, the consultant who also reviewed some of the tests, said he didn’t see evidence of aloe or interfering substances.
  • Making just 1 kilogram of aloe powder, the ingredient used in finished goods like gels and drinks, requires 400 kilos (882 pounds) of aloe leaves.

“Samples of store-brand aloe gel purchased at national retailers Wal-Mart, Target and CVS showed no indication of the plant in various lab tests. The products all listed aloe barbadensis leaf juice — another name for aloe vera — as either the No. 1 ingredient or No. 2 after water.”