Minnesota might seem an unlikely place to produce high-quality sunscreen and skin care, but that’s exactly what Aloe Up has been doing for over 40 years. Located outside Minneapolis in the suburb of Eden Prairie, Aloe Up is dedicated to aloe vera-based sun protection.
It all began in 1981 when LPGA pro golfer Joyce Benson asked her husband if his company, Aloe Labs, would create a sunscreen for her to use on tour. Her husband owned a large aloe farm in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas and was already manufacturing aloe-based moisturizers and gels. Joyce had grown to love the non-greasy feel of these aloe products and wondered if those qualities could be transformed into a sunblock.
Spoiler alert: it could.
The resulting sunscreen formula used higher-than-standard amounts of pure aloe vera gel — and turned out to be the start of the successful skin care brand that lives on today.
“Four decades in business is very impressive in such a highly competitive market,” said Sam Green, a Sales Representative for Aloe Up. But the Aloe Up difference is clear. “There are thousands of brands of sunscreen,” Sam said. “And even if they say it contains aloe vera, it’s very misleading.”
While many sunscreen manufacturers add a mere 1-2% of pure aloe vera in their formulas, the Aloe Up collection ranges from a minimum of 35% to 90% aloe vera by volume. “For what you pay, you’re getting the most bang for your buck,” Sam said.
So, what’s so special about aloe vera? Most people are familiar with using aloe vera after too much sun to soothe and heal sun burns. It works as a great moisturizer and burn relief product because of its ability to stimulate the immune system to naturally regenerate skin cells.
Aloe Up says it’s just as effective before and during sun exposure, too. Thanks to having a similar pH as the skin, aloe vera easily saturates down to the pores instead of sitting on top of the skin where it feels greasy and is quick to wash off.
The result? Better working and better feeling sunscreen for active sun-lovers in any season.
Aloe Up’s highly concentrated aloe vera formulas are organic, lightweight, non-greasy — and come in lotions, sprays, sticks and lip balms.
GGG carries the Aloe Up Sport Collection. The fragrance-free sunscreens boast a high SPF and water-resistant formula. They contain 35% aloe vera.
Aloe Up’s other lines include: the White Collection (coconut-mango scent) and the Kids Collection (hypoallergenic and SPF 50).
Their newest Mineral Collection is certified biodegradable and was created to comply with Hawaii’s new strict sunscreen regulations. Free of oxybenzone, a chemical known to be detrimental to coral and other marine life, the brand is proud to say they’ve got you and the reef protected.
To this day, Aloe Up still sources its organically grown aloe vera from the 600-acres in Southern Texas where it all began. The brand’s headquarters, however, are in Eden Prairie, largely due to CEO and owner Tom Whaley.
Tom, also an avid golfer, began working for Aloe Up in 1985 as a sales rep fresh out of college. He eventually bought the brand in 1996 and has remained at the helm ever since. Aloe Up’s roots on the golf course make it familiar on the fairway. “You’d be hard pressed to find a pro golfer who doesn’t know what Aloe Up is,” Sam laughed.
But Tom remains committed to introducing Aloe Up into different markets, too, like the hiking and backpacking space.
“Once you try it and feel it on your skin, you understand it’s a superior brand,” Sam said.