Skip to Content

The 7 Best Substitutes for Aloe vera Gel

Aloe vera gell in a small glass bottle

1. Aloe vera Cream

If you’re looking for a product that is almost precisely like aloe vera gel but instead has a soft and silky texture, then a great substitute is aloe vera cream. 

Because it is also made from the aloe vera plant, aloe vera cream has all the same vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids as regular aloe vera gel. It’s also able to heal all the same conditions as the gel version, including:

  • Skin rashes
  • Sunburns
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Acne

However, aloe vera cream is even better than aloe vera gel for treating wounds and long-lasting scars. Unlike gel, aloe vera cream has extra moisturizing components that help heal the skin smoother and faster. It also helps produce new skin cells to replenish damaged or missing tissue. 

Additionally, aloe vera cream is also better for sensitive skin. It’s softer and easier to spread than aloe vera gel. Also, it can be used on more sensitive areas like the face for quick and easy moisturizing.

2. Orange Gel

Orange gel is a skin gel with a similar texture and characteristics to regular aloe vera gel. However, unlike aloe vera gel, the main component is a soothing orange extract.

Orange gel makes an amazing substitute because it has most of the benefits of aloe vera and comes with the sweet scent of oranges embedded into it. 

In addition to orange extract, this delightful gel is also made with ingredients like glycerin and essential oils.

These ingredients work together to deliver healthy ingredients to the skin to nourish it properly. While the application of this gel may make it seem like it’s thick and sticky, it is a lighter substitute that quickly absorbs into the skin. However, it leaves a sticky residue or dry remnants on your skin.

A study found that orange extract is not only a great ingredient filled with vitamin C, but it’s also been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties. A study focusing on the extract’s amount of hesperidin, a plant sugar-based component, discovered that this compound directly aids in strengthening skin over time. 

The extract accomplishes this by improving the skin’s protective layer, which blocks it from sunburns and reduces the swelling caused by irritation. Because of this, the orange gel helps to nourish skin and build its durability over time. 

Orange gel has also been found to even out and lighten skin in areas with scarring, dark spots, or sun damage. Like aloe vera gel, it also helps to soothe skin from any itching feeling that may arise. 

3. Rose Hip Gel

Another substitute that is also a gel is rose hip gel. Rosehip gel contains several beneficial ingredients, such as:

Rose hip gel in a glass bottle with a cork and fresh rose hips nearby
  • Rosehip seed oil
  • Essential oils
  • Other plant extracts

This substitute also contains an assortment of vitamins and minerals that make skin firm, healthy, and revitalized. It is perfect for healing skin conditions of all kinds, but it is especially  handy when treating conditions such as:

  • Acne
  • Dry skin
  • Prevalent scar tissues 

Like aloe vera gel and other substitutes, rose hip gel also prevents new skin conditions from developing by strengthening the skin’s protective layer. By doing so, it’s not only protecting it from becoming dried out but also giving extra shielding from sunlight. 

Rosehip gel does a great job of making skiing smoother. However, in some cases, the rosehip gel has been known to cause severe irritation and a burning feeling. 

4. Oatmeal

While it may seem like an unlikely substitute, oatmeal is a very protective and moisturizing ingredient. When used on the skin, oatmeal demonstrates softening and healing properties. It can be used as a quick addition to a soak in the bath or turned into a face and body scrub.

To see a demonstration of how to make your own oatmeal scrub at home, check out this video: 

Oatmeal contains various proteins and enzymes that promote smooth and healthy skin. It can be used as part of a daily moisturizing practice to treat other harmful skin conditions such as:

  • Sunburns
  • Rashes
  • Hives

Unlike aloe vera, oatmeal can also be used on sensitive areas like the face and neck. It can also be used when treating skin conditions in small children or infants. 

Oatmeal is excellent for restoring skin to its original strength and health. However, oatmeal does not protect from the sun and should not be used as a topical sunscreen replacement. 

5. Cucumber Gel

Cucumber gel is a soothing and cooling cream that heals and protects the skin. It’s made with many refreshing ingredients, including:

  • Cucumber extract
  • Essential oils
  • Other fruit and plant extracts
  • Aloe juice (depending on the brand and manufacturer)

Cucumber gel is an excellent substitute that helps remedy itchy sunburns or hydrate dry skin back to its natural form. It is a water-based gel enriched with many healthy vitamins to give the skin exactly what it needs. 

Cucumbers and their extract have been found to have various benefits for helping skin soften. Research shows that cucumbers help significantly reduce wrinkles and mediate skin problems even when pieces of cucumber are placed directly on the body. Because of this, it’s no surprise that cucumber gel would possess the same benefits. 

Along with this, cucumber gel is notorious for reducing irritation and redness when used frequently. Your skin will feel revived and clean quickly. Cucumber gel is even better when stored in a fridge or on ice for a few hours before application. This makes for an enjoyable and relieving experience.

Cucumber gel is much easier to use than aloe gel if you have sensitive skin. It isn’t harsh to rub on and is less likely to irritate. 

6. Cocoa Butter

With a sweet scent and lots of essential vitamins, cocoa butter is an excellent substitute to protect and replenish skin that needs moisturizing. Some cocoa butter is thicker than others, but you’re guaranteed to get soft skin regardless of what kind you use.

Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter is a very simple and fatty cream made from the cacao tree. Unlike many other substitutes, it is a natural cream that lacks many or all of the usual preservatives. It´s rich in vitamins, including D and E. 

In addition, cocoa butter also has a very velvety texture that makes for gentle application. It absorbs easily into the skin without leaving any clumpy residue behind. 

Some may think that cocoa butter is only needed if you want soft skin, but this is not true. It’s also a great cream for protecting your skin from the sun. This protection is a result of polyphenols. These compounds are present in the cacao plant and allow it to stay safe in the sun.

Because cocoa butter is made directly from the plant itself, those qualities are also infused inside. As a result, your skin will also have that same layer of protection when you are in the sun. 

7. Witch Hazel

This substitute is very different from the others because it is a liquid and not a gel or a lotion, but it still works very well. This natural oil comes from the witch hazel shrub. 

Witch hazel is a soothing agent and protects the skin from sun damage. It is notorious for its use in acne treatment, but it also helps reduce swelling and irritation. It also has calming properties.

Witch hazel includes a component called tannic acid. Tannic acid is another plant chemical that ensures the plant does not fry in the sun. When tannic acid is used in skin products, it passes along that ability for a smooth and safe protective layer against the sun. It builds up the skin’s ability to avoid harsh sunburns. 

Even though witch hazel has many properties that make it an excellent substitute for aloe vera gel, it may be harder to apply in certain areas because it is a liquid. However, in some cases, you can find witch hazel in a spray bottle, which makes this process a little bit easier.

Related The 7 Best Substitutes for Lotion.

Best Aloe vera Substitutes if I Am Allergic to Aloe vera

If you are allergic to aloe vera, the best substitutes that you can use are oatmeal, cocoa butter, and witch hazel. While other non-aloe vera-based gels are available, many still use a little bit of aloe vera juice as an additive. 

Oatmeal is a natural substitute found to relieve pain, irritation, and sunburns soothingly. Despite its coarse texture, oatmeal is also very soft on the skin and doesn’t cause damage in the process.

One clinical trial conducted in 2015 showed that when female patients used oatmeal on their skin, the inflamed, itchy, and swollen areas were quickly reduced to normal. In addition, the effects of the oatmeal lasted and kept the symptoms away. 

Cocoa butter is also a wonderful aloe vera substitute because the main component is just cocoa products. Many cocoa butter options use ingredients that are free of preservatives, chemicals, and other added ingredients.

Witch hazel contains only witch hazel itself and a little bit of rubbing alcohol. Most witch hazel products and sprays include a combination of 86% extract and 16% alcohol. However, this may vary slightly depending on the brand purchase.

Can Moisturizer Be Replaced by Aloe vera Gel?

You can easily replace your moisturizer with aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel has many properties that help smooth and soften skin quickly. It is absorbed easily and can treat dry skin. However, you should use it in small amounts.

Adding aloe vera gel can serve as a great way to keep your skin in the best shape possible. If you don’t want to eliminate your moisturizer entirely, you can alternate between it and the aloe vera gel. 

What Can Be Used Instead of Aloe Vera Gel on the Face

You can use cocoa butter or aloe vera cream on your face instead of aloe vera gel. The cream base provides extra hydration and moisturization that won’t leave your skin dull, dry, or itchy. 

Because these are cream-based products, they are more suited for sensitive areas of the face. The gentle ingredients of cocoa butter are great for skin that is easily irritated or dry. 

Can I Substitute Aloe vera Juice for Aloe vera Gel?

You can substitute aloe vera juice for aloe vera gel if you do it in small amounts. Aloe vera juice has the same healing properties as aloe vera gel but is more concentrated. 

Aloe vera juice is natural and can be purchased in-store or made at home with your own aloe vera leaves. Aloe vera juice may be harder to apply because it is very runny. 

Substitute for Aloe vera Gel in Hand Sanitizer

Bottle of Hand Sanitizer Held in a Hand

In hand sanitizer, you can substitute aloe vera gel with glycerin or witch hazel. These items provide similar textures and benefits as the standard aloe vera gel. 

If you still want sanitizer that’s squeezed out like a gel, glycerin is a good substitute. For a liquid or spray sanitizer, witch hazel will work. It has alcohol in it, as many sanitizers do.

For more, don’t miss 11 Effective Substitutes for Soap in the Shower (Or Bath).