Oops! Target, Walmart and CVS may sell aloe vera gel that doesn’t contain aloe vera

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(WGNO) – Even though it’s winter, that’s no excuse for not wearing sunblock. But for those of us who forget during these colder months, over the counter Aloe Vera gels can soothe those unwanted sunburns because, after all, they contain aloe vera.

Unfortunately, an in-depth report from Bloomberg suggests otherwise. Samples of aloe vera gel products purchased at Target, Walmart and CVS showed no traces of the plant in multiple lab tests.

“You have to be very careful when you select and use aloe products,” says Tod Cooperman, president of White Plains, New York-based ConsumerLab.com, which has done aloe testing.

According to the report, there’s no watchdog to assure consumers the aloe products are what they say they are. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve cosmetics before they are sold and has never required companies to pay a fine for selling fake aloe.

The four gels Bloomberg analysed were Walmart’s Equate Aloe After Sun Gel with pure Aloe Vera, Target’s Up & Up Aloe Vera Gel with pure Aloe Vera and CVS’s Aftersun Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel.

The three samples contained a cheaper element called Maltodextrin, a sugar sometimes used to imitate Aloe.