Why DMSO is Mixed With Aloe Vera Gel?
Some of the most common questions we get from Canadians are: why is aloe vera gel so frequently mixed with DMSO, why is a certain ratio of DMSO to gel chosen, and what is the effect of this ratio.
So let's go through them one by one. As always, we're here to help. If you have any questions about DMSO we likely know the answer -- so feel free to contact us at any time.
What is DMSO gel anyway?
When searching for DMSO products you'll often come across DMSO gels, but sometimes the kind of gel utilized isn't specified.
First of all, that's a red flag. You always should know what you're purchasing. Some DMSO producers, particularly in the United States, will use low quality gels (such as shower gels) because they are cheap.
However, this raises a key issue. DMSO has powerful anti-inflammation properties precisely because it penetrates deep into muscle tissue and relieves inflammation. If you use a low quality gel, some of the properties of that gel can penetrate as well, which will cause irritation.
That's why if you look at many DMSO gel reviews of products originating in the United States people will talk about slight irritation occurring.
The best gel to utilize in conjunction with DMSO is aloe vera gel that is organically sourced. Aloe vera, of course, is a soothing liquid that is often used on sunburns and is often turned into a gel by utilizing natural pulp from the aloe vera plant. This ensures that almost no skin irritation occurs from the DMSO as the aloe vera gel soothes the skin upon contact. It's just like how you prime a wall before putting an actual coat of paint on.
In the 1980s many would actually put aloe vera on their skin prior to putting pure DMSO liquid on their skin. Nowadays DMSO liquid is simply combined with the aloe vera gel to ensure that no irritation occurs.
Why is DMSO combined with aloe vera gel in a 50/50 ratio?
You've likely seen a number of different ratios utilized. The most common are 70/30 and 50/50.
Many people naively believe that the higher the concentration of DMSO the more effective it is. This is false.
Studies have repeatedly shown that lower doses of DMSO combined with an organic, soothing gel better relieve inflammation. This is because soothing the area around muscles and joints is a critical part of allowing DMSO to penetrate effectively. Just like how a water-soaked log is easier to break then one that is dried.
Further, a 50/50 combination allows for a "true" gel to be created that allows for what those in the cosmetic industry call "coverage" to be achieved. Coverage refers to the ability of a product to cover a wide swath of skin effectively. If a gel has too much aloe vera or liquid it'll be hard to properly rub it over the effective areas (either because it's too solid or too liquid).
Finally, there's a practical concern: making sure you can rub in the gel so that you don't have slick, oily skin after. Ultimately, DMSO has oily properties so if you apply a gel that has too much DMSO concentration it'll be slightly uncomfortable.
By choosing a 50/50 DMSO gel you hit the sweet spot. You get all the DMSO you need while having a gel product that effortlessly can be rubbed in without leaving any kind of oily residue on your skin.
Ultimately the goal of Pastoral when we thought about how we manufacture our gels was by asking the question, "How do we make this so effortless you could apply it at any point in the day, no matter what you're doing?"
By creating scented DMSO gels that have just the right ratio of DMSO you can rub in the gel, leaving no residue of it, have no smell or side-effects, and go about your day. Some have reported that they keep DMSO in their desk drawer, in their car, etc. just like they would hand sanitizer; just so it's there whenever it's needed.
Creating a proper DMSO gel is a difficult balancing test. After nearly 10 years of work we believe we've achieved it. Using organic aloe vera gel (the best on the market) in just the right combination.
As always, have a lovely day!