Who would have thought that you could be looking at acres and acres of aloe vera plants when you visit the island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.
Developed mainly as a result from the demand for moisturising products by tourists and local inhabitants alike, Fuerteventura switched its main product of goat’s cheese to that of production of high-quality moisturising products extracted from the aloe vera plant. The moisturisers are now sold all over the Canary Islands and further afield.
Initially, the aloe vera was grown and the aloe extracted in Fuerteventura, and then sent to Alicante in the Costa Blanca in order for the extract to be made into quality products. However due to the high transport costs involved, steps were taken to build a cosmetic factory in Fuerteventura in order to manufacture the products on the island.
So what is aloe vera?
We have probably all heard of it, but do we know what it is? Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is widely used in cosmetics and medicines and is predominantly marketed as having healing and soothing properties. In fact, people on their holiday in Fuerteventura may be using products containing aloe vera without knowing it as it is a popular ingredient in after-sun products. Aloe vera now makes it way into products such as facial tissues and even the everyday tissues where we are told that the tissues are kind to our sore noses.
As it is a species of succulent plant, it is able to survive where rainfall is at a minimum. It is intolerant of snow and frost and therefore is ideally grown in tropical, or sub-tropical, areas – Fuerteventura is therefore ideal.
Some studies have shown that the sap from the plant is effective in the promotion of the healing of wounds and severe burns. So remember when you apply your after-sun following a long day at the beach on Fuerteventura that you may well be using locally sourced products.