Thumbs-Down: Trader Joe’s “99% Pure” Aloe Vera Gel

I love shopping at Trader Joe’s.  It has a “hometown grocery store” kind of feel, as well as good prices on stuff I need/want.  I’m not a regular Trader Joe’s shopper by any stretch of the imagination (there isn’t one very close to my house), but I like their “store brand” products and buy them when it’s practical.  Knowing that aloe vera gel is good for sunburns, I bought a bottle of this stuff to keep around.  I’ve also heard it’s good to put under makeup in hot, humid climates – like the one where I live – so I was hoping to use it for that too.  Unfortunately, I got a patch of sunburn where I failed to re-apply sunscreen soon enough at an all-day, outdoor concert in 104 degree Texas heat.  So, out came the aloe vera gel…

Pros: Inexpensive.  Fragrance-free. Recyclable container.  Labeled “Cruelty-free” (not certified by Leaping Bunny or PETA) Not any different than any other aloe vera gels I’ve tried.

Cons:  Doesn’t have a country of origin.  Contains a HUGE ingredients list for something that’s labeled “99% pure”.  I guess they mean the aloe that’s in it is 99% pure.  Ingredients:  Water, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, butylene glycol, calendula officinalis flower extract, arnica Montana flower extract, tocophersolan, TEA-carbomer, methylparaben, diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, trisodium, EDTA.   Um, yeah, not cool.

In Summary:  I should have read the package.  I trusted Trader Joe’s reputation.  Turns out their reputation is on the downslide for deceptively advertising use of non-GMO products, as well as being pretty dodgy when it comes to answering questions about their products.  (Read story here:  I’ve been trying really hard to avoid buying products that contain parabens.  Guess I need to shop around for another aloe vera gel…

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars  1-star

Price:  (don’t remember, but under $5)

Available at:  Trader Joe’s

trader joe aloe vera

Leave a comment


  1. Carey

     /  May 24, 2014

    Looking at this ingredient list, I’m not sure what your so up in arms about. There like two ingredients, that would raise an eyebrow, and they are the preservatives, necessary for the other ingredients to be bio available. But other than that, you have some salts an alcohol, herbs and vitamin E. I’d rather have some good formulation of my products, than use something claiming to be ” organic or natural” and be benign or worse, spoiled and growing bacteria. Natural isn’t always better.

    • My problem isn’t so much that it has preservatives (although I’d rather buy a product with an expiration date than a bunch of preservatives), but that they choose to use a paraben as a preservative. Also, the “99% pure” insinuates that it’s 99% aloe, but I’m pretty sure it’s not. I don’t think all-natural is always the best choice, but I also don’t think it’s right to lead people to believe they’re buying a natural product when they’re not.

  2. Sammy

     /  July 23, 2014

    It’s no longer fragrance free!

  3. SameSan

     /  September 1, 2014

    If you want just go out and buy the actual aloe plant. there’s also tons of YouTube videos from real people that show you how to cut it open and get the jelly out. heard it works twice as glorious as packaged aloe Vera gel.

  4. Sasha

     /  September 1, 2014

    I have an aloe vera plant, and have kept it alive for around 2 1/2 years. It’s incredibly simple to extract the gel yourself. The only real problem I have run into is how slowly they grow. If you are actually interested in harvesting them on any kind of consistent basis you need probably a million of them. That’s a safe estimate, of course.

  5. Tom

     /  January 20, 2015

    It’s actually worse than not just Not fragrance-free, it has a horrible chemical smell and a much longer list of ingredients. It is now a different, much lower quality product.


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