Up until last week I’d never heard of Forever Living the Aloe Vera Company. Invited to the launch of a good friend of mine’s new business with the brand, I was intrigued to say the least. Rocking up at her house on a Thursday evening, I’d done a bit of research but wasn’t too sure what to expect. I love organic and natural products, but I also love full scale high-tech scientific ones too with their super-glossy packaging and million pound budget marketing campaigns.
Walking into the living room I was greeted by a small group of like minded friends, and two displays of Aloe products. From supplements, diet aids, skincare, body care, oral hygiene and cosmetics; I was most curious about the Aloe gel drink (a shot of Aloe which sounded gross and amazing all at once).
All too aware of how great Aloe Vera is for burns and as a soothing and cooling agent after sun exposure. It’s also something I’ve often used on my sun allergy (have diagnosed myself with either PLE (polymorphic light eruption) or drug induced light sensitivity – Google is my doctor. Instead of a bronzed beach goddess I mostly look like someone’s thrown boiling water over me. Super sexy and super itchy!), the full extent of its benefits is new to me.
Dating back to ancient civilisations throughout Europe and Africa, it’s been documented that even Cleopatra used it as part of her extensive beauty regime. Full of vitamins and minerals, studies have shown that drinking Aloe gel can help with digestive disorders such as IBS, and assist the immune system overall. Great for rosacea, psoriasis and acne (regulating hormonal imbalance) as well as being a fantastic base for make-up, inside and out, Aloe Vera is quite literally a wonder plant.
Founded in 1978 in Temple, Arizona by Rex Maughan, Forever Living has Aloe plantations in Rio Grande Valley, Texas and a 6,500-acre plantation in the Dominican Republic.
Trading for over 35 years in 150 countries, with one of the biggest plantations in the world; Forever Living was aware of social responsibility before it was fashionable to be. Saying on their website, “When it comes to the efficiency of converting CO2 into oxygen, 20 Aloe plants are equal to one tree. With over 50 million Aloe Vera plants in our plantations, our Aloe Vera plantations actually cleanse the earth of 2 million tons of CO2 every year!”
An interesting background, they use sheep and goats to control weeds and fertilise their land, as well as putting as much of their un-used product back into the eco system to grow new plants.
Only sold through distributors like my friend, a simple Google search brings up articles on the business model being a scam, and how hard it is for sellers to achieve the monetary projections they push at seminars. Not really doing this post or myself justice without mentioning this fact. At this stage however, I’m more concerned with what the products can actually do, and want them to speak for themselves rather than get into the nitty gritty of multi-level marketing.
Naive maybe to ignore, but with bestsellers like the Aloe Vera Gel drink, Aloe Lotion, Aloe Gelly, Aloe Sunscreen and Aloe Propolis Crème, that can be used on any (and I mean ANY)part of the body, children of all ages and pets. The health and beauty results speak for themselves… The fact their website mostly pushes how to sell and make money from the brand is neither here nor there and another conversation entirely.
Back to my friend’s launch though, sitting excitedly and playing with various lotions while asking too many questions like an inquisitive little kid, I learn everything is endorsed by medical professionals (including vets), and has certifications coming out of its ears. Buying the Aloe Vera Gel with cranberry, Aloe Gelly, Aloe Propolis Crème and the Aloe scrub; after a week I’m starting to notice some small differences.
Weird but encouraging, I’ve suffered with acne since I was thirteen. Trying every topical lotion, potion and cream going as well as pill to be popped, I mixed this with epic sun bed use in my early twenties in a vain attempt to fry the crap. At 32 though, I’ve just come off the most recent set of antibiotics I was prescribed to try (been on them well over a year) to see what Aloe can do. With no major breakout since (which totally would and could have happened by now), I’m hopeful. However it has only been a week, so don’t want to get ahead of myself.
Although the Aloe gel is like drinking freezing cold snot, if you knock it back like a tequila slammer it’s not actually so bad. Especially as I’m much less bloated than before – this makes me excited to see what else happens in the coming weeks.
With the next test being the shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and deodorant, taking the negative press on the brand with a pinch of salt, I want my friend to do well and am enjoying the products so far. Therefore as cynical as I want to be, I also want to hold-off on any judgment and see for myself.
Proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes, so you can shop online if you don't fancy trying to find a seller in your area.