Today’s post is long overdue. Way back at the end of May, I met up with Amy Blakeman who is a distributor for Forever Living, a company who make a range of skincare and make-up products based on renowned skin healer aloe vera, and whose USP is their use of a patented stabilisation process to extract the aloe vera gel.
Many products contain aloe vera, often amongst many other ingredients. What Forever Living claim makes them special is that they start with the pure aloe vera gel, adding minimal additional ingredients as required. The aloe vera is not an afterthought. It’s the core of their products, in almost every case.
The patented stabilisation process allows them to extract the gel in a way that ensures it retains maximum purity. It is then cold-pressed to avoid the loss of efficacy through heating. Forever Living claim their unique process ensures the purest form of the gel, leaving it as close as possible to the natural sap taken straight from the plant.
Amy now represents the company because she believes in the products and their effects. She has strong ideas about healthcare – much like me! – and was well-informed and keen to help.
Forever Living sell a range of products covering the more traditional face and body care (moisturisers, lotions, gels, masks and creams). Some of these products combine the aloe with bee propolis, renowned for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and healing properties. I tried a sample of the Aloe Propolis Creme which combines aloe vera, bee propolis, chamomile and vitamins A and E. The cream has a very light fragrance that is reminiscent of honey but creamier. It is quite sweet and might not be to everyone’s taste but I quite liked its powdery hints of marshmallow (and The Man With The Camera told me I smelt nice as he walked through the door shortly after I tested it!).
Forever Living’s product info mentions that the cream creates a protective barrier on the skin and this is exactly what I can feel after applying. It’s quite a thick waxy cream but rubs in very easily and leaves a non-greasy film on the skin that would act as an effective barrier against dry weather. Even more important, I can’t rub off this layer: many products that leave that protective film can be rubbed off in little rolls if you try hard enough. Which I hate. This didn’t happen with the Aloe Propolis Creme, and I tried!
There’s no suggestion that the Aloe Propolis Creme is designed exclusively for face or body and I can see so many uses for it. It would be great for persistent dry patches, wherever they occur. I very much want to try it on the rosacea patches either side of my nose, particularly when they’re flaky as well as red. It would also be brilliant for mild eczema where my skin loses moisture really quickly and can get itchy and bumpy.
My one criticism is the price. I’d actually love to lather it from top to toe for a week or so, to really test out its effects but at £14.56 for just over 110g, that could prove quite expensive. Instead, I’ll use it more sparingly where it’s really needed.
While it’s quite common to find aloe vera in skin lotions, I’m really drawn to Forever Living’s more unusual uses of aloe. There’s a fluoride-free tooth gel, aloe deodorant sticks and lastly, aloe gel drinks.
When I asked Amy what one product she would recommend starting with, she mentioned the aloe vera drinks. Taken as a supplement, aloe gel aids digestion, supports the immune system and protects the skin. It’s high in many essential vitamins and amino acids. Amy recommends a daily dose, taken first thing, of between 30 and 60ml. While it doesn’t taste great, it can be mixed with fruit juice or yoghurt to hide the bitterness. Apparently you can expect to see results (improved digestion, healthier skin) in 4-6 weeks.
I’m intrigued enough by the gel to want to give it a go so will take it for the next few weeks and report back.
In the meantime, you can find out more about Forever Living via Amy’s site here.
Ingredients: Stabilised aloe vera gel, glyceryl stearate, propylene glycol, cetyl alcohol, PEG-100 stearate, lanolin, sorbitol, dioctyl adipate, octyl stearate, octyl palmitate, allantoin, bee propolis extract, lanolin alcohol, dimethicone, tocopherol (vitamin E natural), beta carotene (provitamin A), disodium EDTA, camomile (anthemis nobulis) extract, triethanolamine, ascorbic acid, diazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance.
Ingredients: Stabilised aloe vera gel, sorbitol, antioxidant: ascorbic acid (antioxidant), citric acid, potassium sorbate (to help protect flavour), sodium benzoate (to help protect flavour), xanthan gum, antioxidant: tocopherol (antioxidant).
A quick note: while bee propolis can be very beneficial for people with congenital or allergic skin conditions, don’t use it if you’re allergic to bee stings or bee products. Some of Forever Living’s products also contain lanolin (including the Aloe Propolis Creme). While pure lanolin is unlikely to be an irritant, some allergic reactions have been recorded.