4 Reasons You Should Never Use Petroleum Jelly & What To Use Instead

Found in medication cupboards all through the nation for greater than 150 years, petroleum jelly (also called petrolatum or mineral oil) is a topical ointment used to deal with all the pieces from dry pores and skin to nostril bleeds to chest colds.

Originally packaged and bought as a cure-all, scientific research on petroleum jelly have revealed that it actually doesn’t measure as much as the hype. Here are 4 causes to cease utilizing petroleum jelly in your pores and skin – and 6 pure merchandise it’s best to use as a substitute.

4 Reasons To Stop Using Petroleum Jelly

1. It’s Derived from Fossil Fuels

The crude model of petroleum was first found in 1859 on an oil rig. A paraffin-like substance, this thick and darkish gunk would acquire on pump joints through the oil extraction course of. It wanted to be scraped away every so often to forestall the rig from malfunctioning. Some employees – who dubbed it “rod wax” – discovered it helped heal cuts and burns.

Though nonetheless a byproduct of oil, the petroleum jelly of right this moment is distilled and rendered right into a colorless, odorless gel. Use of petroleum jelly not solely means you might be slathering a petroleum byproduct in your pores and skin, it additionally inadvertently helps the ecological and environmental devastation attributable to oil drilling and the burning of fossil fuels.

2. Petroleum Jelly May be Carcinogenic

Petroleum jelly consists of a mix of hydrocarbons – a bunch of natural compounds made up of hydrogen and carbon. Though it’s technically a pure substance, not all merchandise derived from nature are wholesome (see: formaldehyde).

Earning a health hazard rank of 4 by the EWG, petroleum jelly is very prone to contamination of polycyclic fragrant hydrocarbons (PAHs). Exposure to PAHs can happen by way of inhaling the unfinished burning of coal, oil, wooden, and paraffin wax candles, however PAHs may also enter the physique by way of contact with the skin. Once PAHs enter the physique, they’re saved within the kidneys, liver, and fats; bodily tissues change PAHs into many alternative substances – a few of that are dangerous to human well being. Of the greater than 100 sorts of PAHs, 15 are fairly anticipated to be human carcinogens.

The makers of petroleum jelly, declare that their product is refined, purified, and freed from cancer-causing compounds. While the EU requires a full historical past of the refining means of petroleum jelly, together with proof the product is just not a carcinogen, the US has no such regulatory requirement.

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3. It Creates a Near Impenetrable Barrier on the Skin

Petroleum jelly can assist counteract dryness as a result of it’s an occlusive agent. The thick gel creates a barrier that traps moisture inside whereas offering safety towards exterior elements like air, water, and micro organism.

This hydrophobic defend reduces transepidermal water loss by more than 98%. Its occlusive properties are too efficient, nevertheless, because it doesn’t permit the pores and skin to breathe. A case study revealed in 2000 discovered that infants handled with petroleum jelly to regulate systemic candidiasis – a kind of fungal an infection – skilled a rise in an infection. Petroleum jelly created a breeding floor for yeast.  Only when therapy was discontinued did the infants’ signs return to baseline.

4. Petroleum Jelly Doesn’t Nourish the Skin

Although petroleum jelly has been utilized in households for over a century to deal with dry pores and skin, however it doesn’t include any medicinal or therapeutic properties.

If the pores and skin isn’t cleaned and moisturized first, slathering on some petroleum jelly gained’t treatment dry pores and skin. In reality, common use of petroleum jelly will cease the pores and skin from producing its personal moisture – creating an countless loop of reapplication.

While occlusives completely ought to have a spot in skincare, they should be paired with a humectant (to attract water from the air to the pores and skin) and an emollient (to rehydrate and soften pores and skin).

And why hassle with petroleum jelly when there are such a lot of more healthy choices that can do the double work of therapeutic and defending the pores and skin?

6 Healthy Alternatives to Petroleum Jelly

Here are some glorious occlusives that can assist preserve your pores and skin hydrated too. To present additional safety, resist the urge to rub them in – permit them to take a seat on high of the pores and skin in a skinny layer to kind a protecting seal. Try making use of them simply earlier than mattress to allow them to work their therapeutic magic when you sleep.

1. Shea Butter

Extracted from the nuts of the Vitellaria paradoxa tree, shea butter has been used for hundreds of years by the peoples of West Africa to nourish the pores and skin in arid climes. It works as each a moisturizing emollient and a protecting occlusive.

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Shea butter is a posh fats that’s enriched with calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, potassium, fatty acids, and vitamin E. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, it additionally accommodates precious antioxidants like gallic acid and a number of other catechin compounds. This mix of fatty acids, vitamins, and phenolics helps hydrate dry pores and skin. Though it’s a butter, it melts when utilized to the pores and skin and varieties a non-greasy and breathable barrier towards the weather.

For skincare, use solely pure, uncooked, and unrefined shea butter, which can be purchased here.

2. Cocoa Butter

Bolstered by an exquisite chocolaty scent, cocoa butter is one other ointment that doubles as an emollient and an occlusive.

It is composed of a wealth of fatty acids and antioxidants, together with catechins, gallic acid, anthocyanidins, and proanthocyanidins, which offer an anti-aging and anti inflammatory impact on the pores and skin. This distinctive mixture of polyphenols has been shown to advertise pores and skin tone, elasticity, and collagen manufacturing. With a melting level that sits just under pores and skin temperature, cocoa butter varieties a skinny barrier that protects because it heals.

To guarantee all these helpful compounds should not destroyed through the refining course of, use solely uncooked, pure cocoa butter, like this one.

3. Mango Butter

Mango butter is derived from the fatty kernels discovered throughout the mango stone. Mango kernels are especially abundant in palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids, with smaller quantities of lauric, myristic, and omega-3 fatty acids. Its excessive moisture content material means it’s deeply hydrating when used on the pores and skin, and since it melts at 86°F it’s going to present a pleasant seal on the dermis.

With the same texture and chemical composition as cocoa butter, mango butter is taken into account to be a wonderful various.

Pick up some 100% pure mango butter here.

4. Colloidal Oatmeal

Finely floor from complete dehulled oat grain, colloidal oatmeal supplies light cleaning, broad moisturization, and is extremely soothing when utilized to dry, irritated pores and skin. It contains vitamin E, fatty acids, antioxidants, and polysaccharides that heal the pores and skin whereas calming irritation and smoothing wonderful strains and wrinkles.

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When added to a liquid, the wonderful particles of colloidal oatmeal kind a viscous occlusive barrier on the pores and skin. The excessive quantity of starches and sugars present in oats permits them to carry water, basically making a second pores and skin that’s each hydrating and protecting.

Purchase a one pound bag of additional wonderful colloidal oatmeal here.

5. Comfrey Root

Long used medicinally, the comfrey plant (Symphytum officinale) possesses loads of beneficial properties for the pores and skin.

The roots, specifically, include small quantities of allantoin – a strong natural compound that soothes and heals the dermis. Akin to a pure peel, it additionally has keratolytic properties that assist in shedding the outer layer of the pores and skin whereas boosting wholesome tissue formation.

Another fascinating side of allantoin is its capacity to soak up moisture when it’s utilized to the pores and skin. When added to a liquid, it turns into a light-weight occlusive that’s good for individuals with delicate pores and skin.

You should buy organic comfrey root powder here. To use, combine it with a service oil to make an exquisite therapeutic balm.

6. Beeswax

Produced by employee bees to protect their honey shops and shield offspring throughout the honeycomb, beeswax is a pure marvel on the subject of skincare.

A fancy substance containing greater than 300 parts, beeswax is primarily composed of monoesters, diesters, fatty acids, and hydrocarbons. Often used as a key ingredient in lip balms, hand lotions, and moisturizers, beeswax is a humectant that attracts water out of the air and into the pores and skin.

Beeswax can also be an occlusive agent that varieties a protecting, however breathable, barrier on the pores and skin that gained’t clog pores. When in contrast with industrial barrier lotions, beeswax was deemed superior in therapeutic and conditioning the pores and skin by a factor of 98%.

Purchase 100% natural yellow beeswax pellets here. To make a primary moisturizing salve, soften collectively ½ cup of beeswax pellets, 1 cup of olive oil, and ½ cup of coconut oil in a double boiler. Once blended, pour right into a glass jar and let it cool to room temperature earlier than making use of it to your pores and skin.

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