Aloe Vera has been an ingredient known for its soothing properties when applied to the skin and can help combat many issues such as eczema or dry skin. The Aloe Vera Gelly is one of the many products created by Forever Living which is a private company founded in 1978 by a man named Rex Maughan. Even though the company seems to have good intentions, their level of sustainability can be questioned due to the nature of their practices as well as the lack of information which is provided.
The majority of the ingredients in the Aloe Vera gelly are synthetic, apart from water which is the only natural ingredient which it contains. The gel consists of a mixture of ingredients which are highly beneficial for the skin and ingredients which can be seen as questionable. For example, one of these ingredients includes Methyl paraben which is a paraben seen as a controversial ingredient. This is because in general parabens are frowned upon as there was research paper released in 2004 where parabens were seen as a contributor to those who had been diagnosed with breast tumors. The reason why Methyl paraben is used in cosmetic products is because it is cheap and effective. In addition, Diazolidinyl Urea is another synthetic ingredient which is a frowned upon ingredient as it is a formaldehyde-releasing preservative which means that formaldehyde is released slowly into the skin. The issue with this is that it is not likely that the skin has evolved to be able to deal with this ingredient so it could damage the cells in the body that are important for the skin’s defence system. However, there are some ingredients in the gelly that are highly beneficial for the skin such as Ascorbic Acid which allows vitamins C and E to work simultaneously to provide protection against the sun. It also contains Ferulic acid which doubles the protection provided. Tocopherol is another beneficial ingredient which is essentially Vitamin E which also provides protection against UV rays.
The Aloe Vera Gelly is on the list of the Forever Living cosmetic products that do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, however there are no vegan certifications on their website and they are not PETA certified. This shows that even if this product does not contain any animal derived ingredients, other products from the same company may do meaning that the company may not be 100% vegan. The Forever Living website claims that they are against animal testing and they ensure that within every stage of their manufacturing process, animal testing is not used. They do seem to be a cruelty free company as Forever Living is one of the companies found on the Leaping Bunny website. In terms of their sustainability, the company has a page dedicated to how their practices aim to look after the environment. Some of these practices include reducing their water consumption and including a regulated recycling programme to reduce their carbon footprint. However, the issue with recycling is that it gives ‘manufacturers of disposable items a way to essentially market overconsumption as environmentalism’ showing that even though it seems as though they state that they are being environmentally friendly, this is not necessarily the case.
The Aloe Vera Gelly along with the rest of Forever Living’s products are manufactured by Aloe Vera of America. The only information that I was able to find about the supply chain is that the Aloe is grown in Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley and in the Dominican Republic and the company owns processing labs and research centres in Dallas and they have official headquarters in Tempe, Arizona. They also claim to use aseptic manufacturing to ensure products are preservative free. I was unable to find any research to support this claim and I was unable to find out how the farmers and the workers in the labs are treated. Overall, the information I found is vague which means that I am unable to properly state how sustainable the company in the social aspect.