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Before I Just Jump In With Aloe Vera Juice

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commoncenz

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I've bought a 1 Gallon jug of Aloe Vera juice from my local CVS after seeing that some of you use it in your soaps and recommend it. I've got a few questions before I use it though. Most of them were "answered" in previous threads. But those threads were older, the answers were from soapers who I've not heard from in the time I've been on the board and there seemed to be little general consensus.

So Here are my questions:

1) What qualities does using Aloe Vera juice impart to a bar that distilled water does not?

2) Since this is a juice, with natural sugars, shouldn't I discontinue or discount the use of sugar in my recipe?

3) 1:1 water with the rest as Aloe Vera juice or Aloe Vera juice as a full substitute for water? What's your preference and why?

4) Anything that I should be aware of from a safety or "don't freak out but" standpoint?

As always, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experiences.
 

not_ally

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Ugh, why is the message thingie telling me the message is too short? One thing I am not is stingy w/words :) Answers below your questions, sorry, the quote thing got screwy.

I've bought a 1 Gallon jug of Aloe Vera juice from my local CVS after seeing that some of you use it in your soaps and recommend it. I've got a few questions before I use it though. Most of them were "answered" in previous threads. But those threads were older, the answers were from soapers who I've not heard from in the time I've been on the board and there seemed to be little general consensus.

So Here are my questions:

1) What qualities does using Aloe Vera juice impart to a bar that distilled water does not?

Patrick, I think AV adds some skin conditioning and lather. It is not one of those *eureka* type differences, but I like the soaps I make w/it better than the ones without it.

2) Since this is a juice, with natural sugars, shouldn't I discontinue or discount the use of sugar in my recipe?

No, IMO, sensible question but I have not noticed a difference. I do use a slow tracing mix, though.

3) 1:1 water with the rest as Aloe Vera juice or Aloe Vera juice as a full substitute for water? What's your preference and why?

I use it as a full sub, on the "if it is good, more is better" theory unless it is demonstrably not. No basis in fact, though.

4) Anything that I should be aware of from a safety or "don't freak out but" standpoint?

Nope, it is a pretty easy additive/sub.

As always, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experiences.
 

commoncenz

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Hmmm ... sounds good Not_Ally. I know I had a lot of questions. But, in the last 5 months I've gone from having one recipe that had Lard, Olive, Coconut and Castor only to multiple recipes that use all of those plus to varying degrees Avocado Oil, Shea Butter, Sodium Citrate, Sugar, Salt ... all trying to find out which ones work best for me. And now I'll be trying the Aloe Vera. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist. lol
 

not_ally

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One of the things I like about this place is that no matter where you w/r/t your soapmaking journey, you will have questions for a long time, and can always come here for good/copious advice. I find it hard to imagine the day when I don't have a "um, what happened here/what do you guys think?" post occasionally. Although it is good to see that some of the super mavens don't have many/any of those, the learning curve must flatten out eventually :) I am glad that they are willing to stick around and help the rest of us!
 

Obsidian

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I use aloe as full water sub and experience no issues. The finished soap may be a bit softer longer then when using water but its not anything a proper cure won't fix. I find aloe adds to the amount of lather and leaves a nice skin feel, I like it much better then milks.
 

snappyllama

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I'll second Obsidian's experience. Soaping with aloe is just as easy as with water though I normally freeze mine since I like to keep my juice in the freezer anyway. I've been playing with full substitution using 50/50 Aloe:CM lately and really like the combination of properties it adds to the soap. The lather feels silky/creamy, and I get more defined big bubbles than CM alone.

The nice thing about full aloe by itself is it doesn't seem to discolor anything. I love milk soaps but always end up with those being more of a off-white than white batter.
 

commoncenz

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I guess I will give this a try. Well, after buying a gallon of the stuff I was going to give it a try anyway. lol. As an aside, contrary to what the interwebs said, it WAS available at my local WallyWorld. They had one jug and the lady stocking the shelves said they can't keep it in supply. I guess people actually drink it to aid in digestion or something. So, one jug at a price $4 cheaper than the CVS brand .... yep, I bought that one too.
 

not_ally

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I like to combine aloe (full sub) and coconut milk powder (full milk using the split method, just out of caution) too, both are pretty much standard in my recipe. I wish cm powder was not so expensive (it adds up when you use an oz/ppo), though.

ETA: if you are like me, you'll go through it pretty fast, good move.
 
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amd

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I guess I will give this a try. Well, after buying a gallon of the stuff I was going to give it a try anyway. lol. As an aside, contrary to what the interwebs said, it WAS available at my local WallyWorld. They had one jug and the lady stocking the shelves said they can't keep it in supply. I guess people actually drink it to aid in digestion or something. So, one jug at a price $4 cheaper than the CVS brand .... yep, I bought that one too.
What section did you find the AV juice in WalMart? My curiosity is on fire!
 

commoncenz

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What section did you find the AV juice in WalMart? My curiosity is on fire!
Sorry I was so late responding. Had to run and pick my daughter up. Like DeeAnna, I found the Aloe Vera juice by the pharmacy. Right across from the protein powders, muscle builders, etc. It was on a bottom shelf, not in "full view".
 

amd

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I found it in the organics food section at my local grocery (along with a lot of other things I've been looking for - I really need to remember to shop that section more often!)
 

Susie

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So do you freeze aloe vera juice before adding the lye?
 

commoncenz

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So do you freeze aloe vera juice before adding the lye?
I used it last night and didn't freeze it. I haven't unmolded yet but I didn't notice any difference besides the juice turning an orangish-yellow when I added the lye. I added sugar/salt to the juice before the lye, so I figured the change in color was probably the same reaction as when I use sugar/salt dissolved in distilled water.
 

not_ally

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I don't even refrigerate it, I assume that if I can get through it in a month (which I do), it will be OK. It takes up too much space in the fridge. Patrick, my lye liquid does not discolour (it just gets slightly cloudy) when I add the aloe, but I don't add sugar until emulsion (w/most of the other additives). Although if yours does not discolor the end product, all is good.
 

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