Totally bringing this thread back to life because A - I love sciencey geek stuff as well, and 2 - I have been considering getting some AVG and came across this during a search and hope to clarify as well as maybe learn more myself. The first thing I want to point out is that while the conversation seems to be about aloe vera ... it looks like most people use aloe vera GEL that is purchased from a store not the actual stuff from a plant. If that is what you're talking about and I totally missed, it sorry
Anyway, since I've been looking at maybe using AVG, I of course looked at the ingredients... and most of the gels contain Triethanolamine which is very decidedly a humectant. So regardless of what properties the aloe stuff straight from the plant has, if you're using an AVG you bought somewhere, chances are you are very likely using a product with a high amount of humectant in it. From what I found, Triethanolamine is usually the 2nd or 3rd ingredient listed.
Hope that helps someone!