Petroleum jelly has been used widely for over 150 years as it’s been proclaimed to be the most effective fix for dry skin. But despite its popularity, petroleum jelly is one of the worst things for your skin, overall health, and the environment.
Petroleum jelly is a gel-like byproduct of petroleum, which is a type of crude oil. In fact, it was first discovered by oil rig workers who found the jelly like substance to be building up on the machinery and in the bottom of empty oil barrels.
The workers started applying the semi-solid substance on cuts and bruises as it was able to hold in moisture and create a sort of waterproof-like barrier on the skin. In 1870, Vaseline was introduced as a colorless, odorless, occlusive ointment and presented as possessing medicinal properties.
So what’s the problem then?
Petroleum Jelly May be Carcinogenic
The main issue with petroleum jelly has to do with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs occur naturally in unrefined petroleum. The problem, most likely, is that petroleum jelly is minimally refined and thus is often contaminated with these PAHs. They are linked to cancer development and have been listed as a probable carcinogen by The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
Petroleum jelly doesn’t actually moisturize the skin either
The problem with petroleum jelly is that it’s not absorbed into the skin, so it doesn’t really moisturize it. In fact, it just prevents moisture from evaporating. It acts as a barrier, but it also traps bacteria in the skin preventing the skin from healing properly and consequently even causing infection.
Even worse, when you apply petroleum-derived products, your skin absorbs the chemicals which then get into your bloodstream. This is toxic for everyone, but especially children.
May Cause Hormone Disruption
Petrolatum is one of the many products which contain xenoestrogens. These are chemicals that can leas ti hormone disruption and may throw estrogen out of balance in the body. Studies have found that these chemicals may act on hormone receptors in the body and lead to estrogen dominance. This dominance can lead to infertility, menstrual and autoimmune problems as well as sleep problems and even various cancers.
What To Use Instead of Petroleum Jelly
There are SO many effective, natural alternatives to petroleum jelly. These include things like:
Detox your body from these harmful chemicals
If you are looking to do a heavy metal toxin cleanse you should seriously consider using spirulina. The biology of spirulina allows it to naturally absorb toxic and unwanted heavy metals from your body. It is a very effective way to detox your body. The chlorophyll in spirulina cleanses the blood and allows the body to use oxygen more effectively. It neutralizes and excretes toxins.