I used to be a lover of Vaseline, I used it to moisturize my lips every day…but unfortunately petroleum jelly isn’t as healthy for us as we think.
Petroleum Jelly is essentially left over residue of refining crude oil (which isn’t very sustainable for the environment). A chemist in the 1800’s started the process of distilling and cleaning the thick gel that was left behind on oil wells which eventually led to Vaseline.
The jelly forms a seal over the skin, sealing off water and air, not allowing moisture to be absorbed from the atmosphere. Due to the ‘seal’ function, it traps the toxins that are trying to be released from our pores. Though it may give us the sensation—it doesn’t really have a hydrating effect in adding moisture to our skin.
It is water repellant and not water soluble meaning it can be hard to cleanse from the skin, causing a build up of pores that can attract dirt and bacteria.
Vaseline also contains PAHs- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (from the refining process). A study from Columbia University found that in the tissue of women with breast cancer, it was more likely to have higher levels of PAH. In California’s Proposition 65, it lists a number of PAHs as carcinogens.
It is a cheap and abundant resource which is why its used in such a high number of cosmetic products [15% of lipsticks and 40% of baby lotions and oils]
We apply this all over our bodies, lips, face and even on our babies.
One great substitute that works for hydration on the skin and lips AND provides a number of benefits to your body: Coconut Oil!