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Living Naturally

Why You Should Never Use Petroleum Jelly As A Moisturiser

Most people never think of the ingredients in their products unless they have to. They assume that the companies are reputable, honest and wouldn't make things for our skin that could harm us. Let's face it unless you have an intolerance or an allergy, most people never really question any ingredients.


What's wrong with Vaseline?

Now I don't know anyone with a Vaseline allergy, but seeing Petrolatum on a product ingredient list should definitely scare you. Why would you want to put deodorised and filtered crude oil onto your face or body?

A guy called Richard Cheesebrough started selling 'Vaseline' around 1870. He made the Petroleum Jelly by using the residue of West Virginian crude oil (known as Rod Wax), distilling it and filtering it through 'Bone-Black' (animal bone charcoal). The process has changed a bit, but they finished product is still made from crude oil. It also has other names like soft paraffin, mineral jelly etc.

So not only is it made from crude oil, but that oil is taken on lands that could be farming food crops instead.


So apart from it being refined crude oil, what does it do to your skin?

If that wasn't bad enough, petroleum jelly is known as an occlusive. That means that it covers your skin and stops it from losing moisture, by creating a barrier and actually stopping it from breathing. And if your skin isn't spotlessly clean in the first place, it allows fungi to fester under it's barrier.

'But it makes my skin feel moisturised' you say? ... How does it do this? Well it stops water loss by suffocating your skin.

If you have petroleum jelly on your skin, and it looks moisturised, but you know it doesn't draw any moisture from the air, then it can only draw moisture from one place ... Your body and organs! So now you know why your lips look so plump.

The trick is that most of these types of products have other ingredients like emollients (oils and fats) and humectants (e.g. glycerine) to improve the feel of it and also how it behaves on your skin. So it will feel moisturised with the other synthetic ingredients in it, but your skin is very far from nourished.


Sooo ... let's recap:

1 - Made from Crude Oil - Fossil fuel, unsustainable - It has an environmental impact.

2 - Stops your skin from breathing.

3 - Draws moisture from your internal body and organs to plump up your skin.


What's the alternative?

Do not believe the hype! Just because the cream might claim to keep you moisturised for a number of hours or cost £100, you should still look at all the ingredients!

Even better, look for natural skincare products that use plant waxes, oils and butters to create superior products that will actually moisturise and nourish your skin. Simples!