Let’s say you visited a friend and decided to be a little nosy. No matter their age, what product would you most likely find in their medicine cabinet?
Toothpaste. But after that, it’s probably petroleum jelly. For decades, people have used it to moisturize lips, remove makeup, heal a wound, and cure diaper rash. But did you know, despite its long list of uses, that it isn’t that great for you?
Like the name suggests, petroleum jelly (petrolatum) is derived from petroleum, a toxic crude oil, which means it is not sustainable or eco friendly. When properly refined, petrolatum is said to have no known health concerns. However, according to some sources, petrolatum produced in the US is often not fully refined, meaning it can be contaminated with toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs have been observed to contribute to chronic health effects, such as eye cataracts, kidney and liver damages, breathing problems, decreased immune function, lung malfunctions, and asthma-like symptoms.
There’s a good reason why people use petroleum jelly: it has the unique ability to lock itself into place in between cells in our lipid barrier. Petroleum jelly has no moisturizing properties of its own; instead, it acts as an impermeable barrier to the skin, locking in whatever moisture is underneath it. While this gives your skin a moisturized appearance, it also means that dirt, sweat, and bacteria are also locked underneath. This barrier will also prevent any moisture or beneficial ingredients from other products from reaching the skin.
Here are some tips to avoid petroleum jelly in your skin care routine:
- Avoid mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, naptha, and formaldehyde. These ingredients are all derived from petroleum
- Many candles are made from petroleum-derived ingredients as well. Lighting a candle with these ingredients can allow them to be inhaled, so look for candles made from soy instead.
- Look for products that are made with eco-friendly petroleum jelly alternatives. Products made with coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter and cocoa butter will moisturize and hydrate your skin naturally.
At Sally B’s’, we love multitaskers: versatile products that can be used at any age for a variety of applications. That’s why we created B Soothed Balm, a natural, EWG VERIFIED™ alternative to petroleum jelly made from organic oils and sustainable, organic beeswax. B Soothed is a mild, safe, and effective alternative to petroleum jelly with no added fragrance. It has a very mild scent from the organic ingredients themselves. It has so many uses:
- Diaper rash ointment
- Burn and blister relief
- Overnight lip moisturizer
- Razor burn relief
- Moisturizes dry skin
- Softens rough patches
- Soothes even the most sensitive of areas
Petroleum jelly is also used in a lot of personal care products, especially lip balms - just think of how easily it can be ingested! Try our Lip Yummies, Lip Skinnies and B Glossy Lip Gloss to get the same results without the toxic ingredients.