You probably have a jar of Vaseline somewhere in your house. Millions of people swear by it as a remedy for clapped lips, congestions, diaper rash and dry skin. Unfortunately the popular product is more harmful than many realise.
What is Petroleum Jelly?
Petroleum jelly, commonly known by the brand name Vaseline, is a byproduct of the oil refining process. It was originally found coating the bottom of oil rigs in the mid 1800s. As a byproduct of the oil industry, it’s an unsustainable resource and far from eco-friendly.
How does it work?
Used in everything from lotions to baby products, petroleum jelly works by creating a protective barrier on the skin to hold in moisture. The waterproof barrier it created on the skin blocks pores and can lock in residue and bacteria.
When used on a burn or a sunburn area, it locks in heat and can block the body’s ability to heal. You need to stop using Vaseline for these four reasons:
- It contains harmful Hydrocarbon. The skin is unable to metabolize petroleum jelly, so it sits as a barrier on the skin untill it wears off. This blocks the body from gaining any benefit from the substance. A 2011 study found strong evidence that the mineral oil hydrocarbon Vaseline contains are “the greatest contaminant of the human body”
- It Promotes Collagen Breakdown. Due to the barrier that petroleum jelly creates on skin, it blocks the skin ability to breathe and absorb nutrients. This can cause the skin to pull the moisture and nutrients it needs from within, leading to collagen breakdown.
- It can leads to Estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance occurs when the body has high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone. It has linked to infertility, menstrual problems, allergies and autoimmune problems. Petroleum jelly contains chemicals called xenoestrogens which are believed to increase estrogen problems.
- It can cause pneumonia. Although rare, a condition known as lipid pneumonia can occur when small amounts of petroleum jelly is inhaled and build up in the lungs. Because the body can’t metabolize or breakdown the substance, a severe inflammation in the lungs can occur.
There are several natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that you can use without worrying about health risks. If you’re looking for a simple alternative, try one of these options:-
- Shea butter – High is vitamin A, E and F, shea butter works to nourish the skin through the beneficial fatty acids it contains. It can also help reduce inflammation and increase collagen productions.
- Beeswax – a great alternative to petroleum jelly is Beeswax. It can be blended into homemade beauty products to protect the skin. Add it to a homemade lip balm and body cream.
- Coconut oil – this oil loaded with health benefits. It works to nourish the skin through the fatty acids, lauric acids and anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Coco butter – it contains antioxidants and benefits fatty acids. It may even reduce the signs of ageing.