The primary ingredient of Vaseline is petroleum jelly and it’s often found in different beauty products. Vaseline is commonly used as a skin moisturizer. It’s scent-free, easily affordable, and a great way to soften the skin. So, why should you stop putting it on your skin?
Petroleum jelly is a by-product of oil-refining processes and it’s not eco-friendly or sustainable. It was originally discovered at the base of oil rigs. Afterwards, it was refined in order to be used in the beauty industry. Its safety information says that all harmful components have been removed before it was added to personal care and beauty products. But, a lot of people and experts as well claim that it still contains dangerous chemicals.
Petroleum Jelly’s Effect on the Skin
Petroleum jelly is present in a variety of products, including baby care ones. Often times, it’s written as Mineral oil, Petrolatum, Paraffin oil, or Liquid oil on labels. Holding in moisture is one of the benefits of petroleum jelly; however, there are some flaws. Since it’s not water-soluble, it makes a waterproof skin barrier.
Unfortunately, this blocks the pores and bacteria and residue remain trapped in the body. Therefore, you should never use it on sunburned or burned skin because it will lock the heat in the body and the body won’t be able to heal itself. Surprisingly, petroleum jelly doesn’t moisturize and hydrate the skin, as commonly thought.
Other Problems with Petroleum Jelly
It contains dangerous hydrocarbons
The skin cannot metabolize petroleum jelly and it will remain on the skin until it wears off. This being said, the human body doesn’t benefit from it in any way. Hydrocarbons, present in petroleum jelly, could be stored as fat tissues in the body. One study showed that hydrocarbons are one of the biggest contaminants in the body. There are different ways in which you can get contaminated, i.e. through dermal absorption, food intake, and air inhalation.
As petroleum jelly makes a barrier on the skin, it could be the main cause of collagen breakdown which is detrimental for women. When the skin is coated by petroleum jelly, it’s unable to absorb nutrients or breathe properly. As a result, the renewal process slows down and the skin needs to get the required nutrients and moisture from inside, which causes collagen breakdown with time.
This happens when the levels of estrogen in the body are high and the progesterone ones low. This has to do a lot with menstrual problems, infertility, allergies, accelerated aging, and autoimmune diseases. It could also lead to sleeping problems, nutrient deficiency, and cancer. Some products which contain petroleum jelly have chemicals known as xenoestrogens and they can increase the levels of estrogen. Studies have shown that these chemicals may have a negative effect on the hormone receptors in the body and lead to estrogen dominance.
Some products based on petroleum jelly often contain a dangerous chemical known as 1, 4 dioxine- a proven carcinogen present in ¼ of all tested beauty products. Another serious problem can also occur, i.e. lipid pneumonia which occurs upon ingestion of a small amount of petroleum jelly which accumulates in the lungs.
Instead of petroleum jelly, opt for the following, safe alternatives:
- Shea butter– it lowers inflammation, nourishes the skin, and encourages collagen production
- Cocoa butter– it slows down the aging of the skin and it’s rich in good acids and antioxidants
- Beeswax- use it as a body cream or a lip balm to protect the skin
- Jojoba oil- it will protect and nourish the whole skin
- Almond oil– it will nourish and maintain the skin healthy
- Coconut oil– it has anti-inflammatory properties, lauric acid, and fatty acids which protect the skin