You probably have a jar of Vaseline buried somewhere in your medicine cabinet. Millions of people swear by it as a remedy for chapped lips, congestion, diaper rash and dry skin. Unfortunately, the popular product is more harmful than many realize.
What Is Petroleum Jelly?
Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly, is a byproduct of the oil industry. As such, it`s far from being eco-friendly ingredient. Its first use dates back to 1800s, when it was found coating the bottom of oil rigs.
How Does It Work?
Petroleum jelly holds in moisture in the skin by creating a protective barrier. This is why it`s often included in lotions and baby products. The barrier this ingredient creates tends to block the pores and retain bacteria and residue within the skin. For instance, when used on burn, it locks the heat and inhibits body`s natural ability to heal itself. However, this is not all! There are more reasons why you should avoid Vaseline at all costs. Check them out!
1. It Can Cause Pneumonia
Lipid pneumonia is a rare condition which occurs when small amounts of petroleum jelly are inhaled and accumulated in the lungs. Given that the body is unable to metabolize the substance, it is very likely that an inflammation in the lungs will occur.
2. It Can Lead To Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is a term used when the body has low progesterone and high estrogen levels. It has been associated with allergies, autoimmune issues, menstrual problems, and infertility. Xenoestrogens, chemicals found in petroleum jelly, are believed to stimulate estrogen problems.
3. It Promotes Collagen Breakdown
Because of the protective barrier it creates on the skin, petroleum jelly inhibits skin`s ability to breathe and absorb nutrients. Consequently, the skin starts pulling out necessary nutrients from within, which in turn leads to collagen breakdown.
4. It Contains Harmful Hydrocarbons
As mentioned a few times earlier, the skin is unable to process petroleum jelly, which stops the body from reaping any of its benefits. According to a 2011 study, the mineral oil hydrocarbons Vaseline contains are “the greatest contaminant of the human body.”
Natural Alternatives To Vaseline
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 Better – High in Vitamins 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 or body cream.
Coconut Oil – This oil is loaded with health benefits. It works to nourish the skin through its fatty acids, lauric acid and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Cocoa Butter – Cocoa Butter contains antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids. It may even help reduce signs of aging!