There’s probably a jar of Vaseline in every household, as people use it as a remedy for numerous health conditions, including dry skin, congestion, chapped lips, and diaper rash.
However, not many know that this popular ointment, also called petroleum jelly, is more harmful than beneficial.
What Is Vaseline?
Vaseline, or petroleum jelly is a derivative of oil refining. It is an unsustainable resource and certainly not eco-friendly being a byproduct of the oil industry. Originally, petroleum jelly was found coating the bottom of oil rigs in the 19th century.
How Does It Work?
Petroleum jelly creates a protective barrier on the skin, thus retaining the moisture. That’s why it’s used in various products, from lotions to baby products. This barrier is not water-soluble, but water-repellent so even if you feel like your skin is well moisturized, your pores are actually drying out.
The waterproof barrier will prevent the moisture leave the skin by blocking the pores and locking in bacteria and residue. If you apply Vaseline on a sunburn or burn, it’ll lock in the heat, thus impeding the natural process of healing.
But, this is not the only reason why you should stop using this product. Here are 4 more:
1.Its Content Includes Harmful Hydrocarbons
Our skin can’t metabolize or break down Vaseline, so if you apply it, it’ll just stay there on the skin until it slowly wears off. Therefore, we don’t see how anyone will benefit from the substance if it can’t be metabolized, unlike cocoa or shea butter.
According to a 2011 study, Vaseline contains mineral oil hydrocarbons which are considered as one of the top 3 contaminants of the human’s body.
2. It Supports Collagen Breakdown
Since petroleum jelly creates a water-repellant barrier on the skin, it prevents the skin from absorbing nutrients and breathing. But, the skin must get these essential elements, so it’s forced to pull the needed nutrients and moisture from within, causing collagen breakdown, or wrinkles.
3. It Can Cause Estrogen Dominance
First, let’s explain what estrogen dominance is – it is high estrogen and low progesterone levels in the body. The xenoestrogens are chemicals present in petroleum jelly which increase the levels of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen dominance has been related to menstrual problems, infertility, autoimmune problems, and allergies.
4. It Can Cause Pneumonia
If you inhale petroleum jelly, it can build up in your lungs causing lipid pneumonia. This condition is rare, but still possible. Since petroleum jelly can’t be metabolized in the human’s body, it might even cause severe lung inflammation.
Natural Alternatives to Vaseline
Instead of Vaseline, you can use some of the following natural and safe alternatives:
- Shea Better. Being rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin F, and good fatty acids, shea butter nourishes the skin, encourages the production of collagen, and helps reduce inflammation.
- Beeswax. Add beeswax to homemade body creams, lip balms, or other beauty products to protect your skin.
- Coconut Oil. Thanks to the present lauric acid, fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory compounds, this oil nourishes the skin and provides countless health benefits.
- Cocoa Butter. It contains good fatty acids and antioxidants so it helps reduce the signs of aging.