• Thu, Jan 12 2012

Why Vaseline Is Bad For You, And What You Should Use Instead

vaseline petroleum jelly alternatives
Vaseline is the panacea of winter skin problems, but lately rumor has it that petroleum jelly is bad. But why? I know some of it has to do with the environment: Petroleum comes from the same place as gasoline, so it’s not exactly “green” beauty. But it’s not just the eco-friendly who shun petroleum; there’s also concern for the bad things it can do to your skin and body. Just don’t ask anyone why—it’s surprisingly tough to find out what’s so bad about petroleum jelly. So I asked around and found some straightforward answers, as well as some ways to make sure your winter skin isn’t left in the lurch.

Don’t Use Vaseline On Your Vajayjay: It Could Cause Bacterial Vaginosis

First, a quick primer on where petroleum products like Vaseline come from, and why they’re not eco-friendly: Petroleum jelly is basically a byproduct of the oil industry. It’s a leftover residue created during the refinery of crude oil, and as such, isn’t a sustainable resource, according to many. Still, some argue that the demand for Vaseline is hardly what’s pushing the world towards oil shortage; gasoline and plastics are a more immediate concern.

Vaseline’s Skin Lightening Facebook Application: Racist or Just Another Ad Campaign?

But however you feel about the eco-concerns of Vaseline, there’s still some worry about whether it’s really that good for your skin. Spirit Demerson, founder of Spirit Beauty Lounge, should know: Her online shop only carries products that she’s carefully selected to be non-toxic and eco-friendly; and doesn’t just go by the label. She carefully investigates each product, where it comes from, and what it’s made of to ensure that she’s really selecting products that make sense for our bodies and the environment. Here’s what she has to say about petroleum:

Sorry, But Natural Beauty Is A Fraud

I chose not to carry petroleum products first, for the planet, because petroleum is not a sustainable resource and second because I don’t think they’re the best we can do for our skin!

While petroleum is generally regarded as “safe” for use in cosmetics, there are some very cosmetic reasons for not using it:

  • Because petroleum jelly forms a seal over the skin, it disrupts the bodies process of elimination of toxins through the pores, potentially trapping them under the skin.
  • It creates a false sense or “feeling” of skin comfort and hydration while in fact it does nothing to nurture, heal or restore natural moisture to the skin.
  • It slows cellular regeneration, which can damage collagen, elastin and connective tissue and contribute to the appearance of aging.
  • It’s used as a base for cosmetics and medications because it stays on the skin but, while it is classified as non-comedogenic, it is also water-repellant and not water-soluble, making it difficult to cleanse from the skin. Even a minimal daily application can build up in the pores and attract dirt and bacteria, causing breakouts and skin irritation.
But grandma says to use Vaseline, and let’s be honest: It’s hard to find something that works quite as well on dry, cracked winter skin. If someone is going to slander the cure-all, there’d better be some good alternatives. Spirit says there are:

Natural alternatives deeply nourish and truly hydrate the skin, while rebuilding collagen and balancing moisture levels so that the skin isn’t just temporarily relieved of dryness, itching or chapping – it’s actually restored to the point that it stays hydrated and repairs better on its own.

Inexpensive Treatments For Eczema

Here’s what Spirit suggests to replace your favorite petro-products:

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  • lala

    wow what a very insightful article! changes the way i think about vaseline or petrolleum jelly in general….

    • Briana Rognlin

      glad it helped! let us know what you think of the alternatives if you decide to try any of them, or if you find any others that you like…

  • Hanna’s Mom

    This is brilliant Briana, thanks so much. I’ve made notes and will be out looking for some of your suggestions at my local organic market slash hippie store (yeah, that’s right her mother’s a granola head).
    Julie

    • Briana Rognlin

      Awesome, Hanna’s Mom! I’ve heard about you and your hippie ways…so I’m glad you approve of the post! Tell me what you think once you’ve tried some alternatives. I really want to get some of that waxelene to try out!

  • Alia

    Great article! I used to use vaseline all the time. Now, I’ve replaced that with better choices! I even wrote my own blog post about it http://wp.me/p1BAZi-1W

  • KK

    As a chemistry graduate, I find this article misleading. Most expensive creams, body butters and lip balms have the exact same ingredients – all which are heavy, petroleum-derived fat molecules. It really doesn’t matter where a molecule comes from once it’s isolated and purified. To say that Vaseline is not eco-friendly is also misleading, since it comes from byproducts of fuel – that is, whatever they don’t use for fuel, they process and purify and use for products like Vaseline and anything plastic for that matter. Vaseline is the least of your worries!

    • Charlotte

      “Most expensive creams, body butters and lip balms have the exact same ingredients – all which are heavy, petroleum-derived fat molecules.”

      Which is why they’re recommending petroleum-free products. Such things exist.

      Did you even look at this slide show?

    • Charlotte

      If you are a “chemistry graduate”, how are you so unaware that there are other sources of fat?

      Vegetable oils. Bees wax.

    • Charlotte

      What do you think people did for moisturizing their skin before we began drilling for oil?

      Did you believe that everyone suffered from dry skin, in ye olde dark ages?

  • Klingon

    “It slows cellular regeneration, which can damage collagen, elastin and connective tissue and contribute to the appearance of aging.”

    Interesting. I’d love to read the science behind this if anyone has a source.

  • Gail Snail

    It would have been nice if they could direct us to where we could purchase the natural products listed. A hunting I will go.

    • Briana Rognlin

      Hi Gail,

      All of the alternative products are mentioned in the captions, and they’re all linked to a web store where you can order them online. Some of these brands might be possible to find in national chains, but for the most part, the easiest way to get them is to buy them online. Hopefully, as more people demand them, they’ll become a lot easier to find :)

      Thanks, and good luck shopping!
      Briana

  • Fiona Klonarides

    So many fab alternatives to Vaseline – which I gave up using years ago (it dried out my lips so I kept using more before I realised I was in a vicious cycle!

    We’ve reviewed some great balms on http://thebeautyshortlist.com/ and a big trend for 2012 will be clever multi-tasking balms you can use on face, lips, hands, dry patches. Look for brands like Weleda, Kiehls, Neals Yard, etc. We’ve just reviewed Figs & Rouge, another good one which is featured by Blisstree above in the photo panel!

    Just discovered Blisstree today – love it :)!
    Fiona, The Beauty Shortlist

    • Briana Rognlin

      Thanks Fiona! Glad you like the site.

      Neals Yard and Weleda are awesome brands, but sadly, Kiehl’s isn’t on the “clean” list… some of their products do contain petrolatum or other petroleum-based ingredients.

      I’m glad you like the Figs & Rouge balms…I still need to try them but they look like a great alternative to Rose Balm, which I (used to) love!

  • JB

    I’ve started using a lot of Burt’s Bees stuff…hopefully a little healthier than some of the other stuff out there!

  • cristina

    Some of the “alternatives” have formulas based on petrolantum (Neosporin, Aquaphor, Chapstick ….).
    So maybe we could benefit more from a better researched article :)

    • Briana Rognlin

      Hi Cristina,

      Neosporin, Aquaphor, and Chapstick are all listed as the traditional, petrol-containing product, and the products next to them are the alternatives that don’t contain any petroleum-based ingredients. It’s clear if you read the captions.

      Let me know if I can be of further help,
      Briana

  • John brown

    What is the alternative product? And where can I find it? Don’t refer me to organic product with expensive prices!!

    I use vaseline for 50 years and I do not see anything happen to me. I am very healthy so does my son.

    This article is misleading!

    • Briana Rognlin

      Hi John,

      Ultimately it’s up to individual consumers to decide what works best and what’s within their budget, but I don’t think the post is misleading.

      We did provide resources for finding alternative products in the post. I can totally understand if they aren’t within an affordable price range; on a limited budget, swapping out Vaseline for a more expensive product might not be on the top of your health priorities. My hope, though, is that as more people switch to more eco-friendly and non-toxic products, the demand will bring prices down.

      If you have this kind of information, you can at least make an informed choice—even if you decide that you’re going to stick with Vaseline.

      Thanks!
      Briana

  • jsmoot

    Yay, rumors and gossip parading as “science!” A random person who sells alternatives to this product said it so it MUST BE TRUE!

    • Briana Rognlin

      Hi jsmoot,

      There’s fairly specific information in the post about why some people don’t consider Vaseline eco-friendly, as well as some of the problems that can arise from using Vaseline. It’s your choice whether you agree, and ultimately your reaction to Vaseline will probably depend on your body, but I don’t think you can really call this “gossip” when we’ve provided so many specifics about why it would be good to use alternatives.

      Thanks,
      Briana

    • Use Your Brain

      Amen. If you’re going to call something “bad for you” you’re going to have to do better than quote a shop owner. Who cares if she gives specific information? How about some specific citations of actual research? Or let’s hear from some doctors, who have devoted years and years to studying how our bodies work.

      Honestly, it’s this kind of non-critical thinking that leaves us with more parents not even vaccinating their children from polio, because of something “specific” someone said on the internet.

      Sure, it comes down to personal choice, but isn’t it the job of writers to help us make actual informed decisions, based on verifiable information?

  • Stroking

    Forget other things that hydrate better, what’s an alternative to using it to masturbate?

  • Shelly

    In previous years, I have tried so many Vaseline alternatives and my hands were dry and rough all winter long. But this year, I returned to slathering good old Vaseline on my hands and lightly on my face before going to bed, and I wake up with soft skin that feels great all day.

    My dermatologist also recommends Vaseline as the only moisturizer I need, as does my children’s pediatrician. Two separate, independent opinions.

    One other proof point, the older ladies in my family all use it, and well into their 80s, their skin looks wonderful.

    Since I’ve never broken out and had any adverse reaction, I am continuing to use it. Simple, cheap, effective! Can’t beat it — at least in my experience.

  • Kris

    Baloney. Vaseline is harmless and healthful- my dermatologist (medical doctor, by the way- someone with an actual degree) ordered me to use it and nothing else for my skin. Ask ANY dermatologist and they will tell you the same. Don’t listen to someone trying to get you to buy THEIR product.

    • Briana Rognlin

      Hi Kris,

      I can appreciate that you might not be up for buying some of the alternatives because of price; none of them can bean Vaseline, which is basically super cheap because it’s an industrial byproduct.

      But something I’d like to point out is that dermatologists are not neutral guardians of science; they’re given kickbacks to promote products and prescriptions, so they’re making money off of the products they sell to you, as well. Those Cetaphil and Vaseline samples aren’t lying around just because the doctor loves them; they’re there because pharmaceutical companies (Unilever, which owns Vaseline, also has their hand in prescription drugs) left them there so that derms would sell their products. (Check out this article on Cetaphil, for another good example: http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com/2010/07/20/cetaphil-why-the-popular-cleanser-isn%E2%80%99t-doing-your-skin-any-favors/)

      Unfortunately, companies like Unilever have a lot more money to back up studies that most people just accept as hard science, despite their financial backing–these smaller organic, eco-friendly brands can’t afford to do the same thing.

      It’s your personal choice whether to be concerned about how eco-friendly your products are, or whether a product really seems to irritate your skin. There’s a growing number of women who do care about these things, and this post is simply meant to explain why it is that we sometimes hear ‘Vaseline is bad for you.’

  • John

    This is quite possibly one of the dumbest articles I’ve read in ages, and what a misleading title. As you explain in the article, it’s not bad for you, but it’s not completely impossible other products are better. But then no-one would be reading this, right?

    So you sum up some pseudo-science some shop owner hands you and then you plug some expensive products without even any test results – well done. But you still admit in the article your title is utter bollocks. Please do better next time.

    • JULIA THIN

      MY GRANDMOTHER AND FAMILY USED VASELINE FOR AGES!
      AND THEY LIVED TO RIPE OLD AGES!
      HAMMER OF ARM & HAMMER LIVED TO BE PAST 90 AND HE SAID
      HE USED IT ON HIS TOILET PAPER WHICH HELPED HIM NOT TO
      GET HEMROIDS.
      MY FAMILY WILL CONTINUE TO USE IT.. NO MATTER WHAT SOME
      PERSON WHO IS TRYING TO SELL US NEW PRODUCTS WITHOUT
      TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE HISTORY OF THE OLD ONE .
      YOU DON’T SELL PRODUCTS BY PUTTING OLD STANDBY PRODUCTS
      DOWN.. IT’S POOR MARKETING.. ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE HAS NOT
      BEEN ONE INCIDENT OF VASELINE HURTING ANYONE..

  • Joie Dessieu

    If you want a natural product that Is dirt cheap, contains no petroleum, and works as well as Vaseline, go to the grocery store and get vegetable shortening. I also use olive oil and coconut oil for my hair.

    • denise landau

      I tell all my friends to use these two….I swear by them! instead of using all these expensive product that they sell

  • rosco liberal nanny

    forget globel warming beware of global morons like this

  • eddyjames

    another reason….you never know where the last finger in the jar has been.

  • BlondiePussycat

    I have been using products with and without petroleum products. I get the best results (soft uncracked or unchapped skin) with petroleum products. Sorry, but I disgree with you. I’m 60 years old and am often mistaken for my daughter!

  • patmanley

    I don’t know what is worse in this article. The lame save the planet comments or the shameless pitching of yet another useless cosmetic product to petroleum jelly users. I suppose it just reinforces the old saying: You can take a blog writer to the Internet but you can’t make them write anything intelligent.

  • LT

    Unfortunately this is just a poorly written article. I say poorly because there simply isn’t adequate research listed in the article to back up the title, and I say unfortunately because I understand the sentiment behind it. But for those who are genuinely interested in the health effects of petroleum-based skin protectants and cosmetics, use google. There is a wealth of information about it – both in scholarly articles and research and also in more consumer-oriented formats.

  • Gimme A Break

    I’m 35 years old. Obviously the clean green products weren’t available when I was a baby, so my mother used vaseline all throughout diaperhood. To this day, my butt show no signs of damaged collagen, elastin or connective tissue. Would the author of the article like to kiss it and find out?

    What’s the next article? “Baby Talcum Powder causes asthma”?

    • mo

      Nope, lung and ovarian cancer. There’s a reason pediatricians recommend corn starch-based powders these days.

    • Mary

      I once talked to a geologist about why talc is no longer used in baby (or other) products. She told me that it has a chemical structure very similar to asbestos. So Baby Talcum Powder may not cause asthma, but something much worse.

    • annette

      actually Talcum powder is still used in baby powder. next time your at the store pick up some and read the ingredients. i use only corn starch baby powder.

    • Willing to Learn

      Actually, “Gimme A Break” talc causes cancer. Cervical cancer. Educate yourself. Don’t believe everything the mainstream media is brainwashing you with. The almighty dollar is what the USDA, FDA and all pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies are concerned with. And the medical and insurance industries? Well, they need you to get sick so they can charge you sickening amounts of money to pump you full of toxic drugs. Americans are getting so damn lazy they don’t even bother to learn about what is going IN and ON their bodies. No wonder 55% of us are obese and our cancer rates are one of the highest in the world!

  • pete

    This whole piece should be labeled loud and clear as “ADVERTISEMENT” because that’s all it is.

    How can any alleged reporter turn to a business owner and expect them to do or say anything that doesn’t promote their own product?

  • in1nuthouse

    Burt’s Beeswax products do not have mineral oil. They have all natural ingreadants, maybe not orgainic, but no chemicals. I have had rosacea for years but since switching about 4 months ago I have seen a dramatic difference in my skin all over. Not saying they are the only ones but you are finding more and more products that do not have oil based by-products.

    If anyone doubts the difference then take 3 crackers placing one each in a cup or bowl. Cover 1 with water, 1 with mineral oil(baby oil), and one with a natural product. You will not belive how “crunchy” the cracker still is in the mineral oil!

  • tigrr

    A bit of olive oil or natural orgainic cocoanut oil works… just have to reapply more often. Maybe even butter (non-salt) or honey (natural anti-biotic if not processed).

  • Megan

    I’ve always known that petroleum jelly was not eco-friendly, but I had not heard how bad it is for your skin. I use Vaseline as night cream EVERY night. It’s the only product that has cured the terrible cystic acne that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. My face is now supple, smooth, and completely acne free, and that is because of Vaseline only. I will continue to use it regardless.

    • Carly

      It’s the only thing that helped my cystic acne too! I use aquaphor when I have a bad breakout or contact dermatitis (I’m allergic to most acne medicines and makeups) nothing else can touch my skin during those flare ups or it will literally burn my skin and make it peel off.

    • Divya

      Really it is worked for ur acne skin, me too have acne skin, iam trying to put moisture on my face and all the time I will afraid to keep, it is good r not for acne face to keep moisture so please help me, it is really worked on ur acne face.

  • Gwen

    I have been using vaseline since I was six and I am almost 60. I have used on all my children since babies. We all have very good skin. No pimples or any thing else. So I disagree with anything negative you have to say about vaseline. I which you could see my skin.

    • Aly

      The complexion of ones skin is also determined by genetics. So if you yourself had good skin, chances are your children will as well regardless of what products they use.

  • mongo

    This article should be reported as a SCAM that tries to entice people to buy unnecessary expensive products.

  • Utterly amazed at the ignorance

    This is ridiculous. Please cite relevant research (and by research, I do not mean a shopowner’s opinion used to sell her own products or anecdotal evidence from said shopowner) that details the physiological and biochemical effects of vaseline. Additionally, please cite relevant research that proves that these alternatives are indeed superior.

    Using scientific terminology in an attempt to fool consumers into buying expensive products is a terrible thing to do.

    By the way, cells do not “regenerate.”

  • Califmom

    The “article” says not to use petroleum jelly because it’s bad for the environment, but the idiot writing it advises us to use Neosporin or Aquaphor as alternatives–both of which use petrolatum as their base ingredients. Really?

    • mo

      No, not really. You misread the slideshow. It showed the petroleum-based product, e.g. Neosporin, next to the suggested alternative–in this case, MJ’s Herbals First Aid Salve.

    • Writer1428

      I agree! The Rosebud Salve has petroleum jelly…so obvious the person she interviewed doesn’t know her products. I was new to this blog, but it lost credibility because just read about the lead free lipsticks and the one she recommended had lead in it! Really??

  • Lee

    Briana.
    After many decades if not centuries have proven that petroleum jelly and other constituents based off of oil and such are not as detrimental as you knee jerk environmentalist type want to push.
    See if not for specific items made from petroleum products you might be dead. See even medical supplies and medicines have been developed and pioneered from NATURAL occurring elements from the earth.
    Trying to push “natural” or “eco friendly” products generally are less friendly than most people want to brag about.
    Cars that burn gasoline now days emit CO2 and water as the majority of their exhaust.
    Now lets see, just watched a Greenpeace ad about NOT using coal power,,then the wonderful Nissan Leaf electric car,,,,,powered by coal power. Yeah real eco friendly.
    The fact is that the tree huggers stopped nuclear power plants since 1978. Also they stopped all research and development. Heck if we had pushed for better designed reactors such as LMSR reactors that the left overs have a half life of 300yrs over 10,000 yrs like regular reactors.
    and all these other “clean” or “green” ways to do something.
    How about recycle what you can, reuse what you can and figure out what is best to do with rest. Also how about we use EFFICIENTLY what we have available and work towards a clean more efficient way of existing.
    BUT sorry the fact is Vaseline isnt unsafe or unhealthy. Face it, if you want natural, fine, but bashing what you are trying to replace with “natural” isnt good, its simply bashing.

    • Chrispy

      blah, blah, blah, dude. this jelly is really good for coating your shoes and boots!!! of course there are other needs for a water-proof coating!

  • rob

    More marketing drivel from a non-scientist..
    Anyone who has had a dry patch on their lips or hands and had it heal in one day with the help of Vaseline knows better. As for the sustainability, how much Vaseline do they think we use per year. we extract BILLIONs of barrels (thats barrels not gallons) of oil every year… I would guess that all the Vaseline used per year could be produced by a few thousand barrels..

  • leroy Johnson

    Petroleum jelly is the white creamy substance that used to annoy oil drillers because it would make the drill head over slippery, they used to throw it away until the noticed that many of the oil workers would rub it on their hands to relieve calluses and other issues with their rough hands. Vaseline was born. I learned that from Modern Marvels.

  • Mary

    Not such a great article because it misses the most important point. Petroleum is an artificial estrogen, many times more powerful than human or plant estrogens. I won’t use Vaseline for that reason. It may do great things to your skin today but over the long haul, if you want to protect yourself from various cancers, you may want to stay away from powerful artificial estrogens.

  • wils

    If you have eczema, what you can do is to take some vaseline, and some water and kinda smush it around in the palm of your hand, then apply the mixture on where the eczema is. It helps a lot. I don’t think this article is true, and I think its just another piece of crap that is foisted upon everyone as factual, when it isn’t.

  • H. Lawson

    Raw shea butter is cheaper and overwhelmingly superior to petroleum jelly.
    It is more versatile as well.I use it on my hair,as a lip balm(I play trombone for a living), and as a lotion. $10 will buy one enough to las a year. Get real RAW shea butter. The Body Shop, Bath & Body Works products use an adulterated version. Try it!

  • common sense

    I always find it so funny, when people suggest petroleum is not natural.

    What’s not natural about petroleum anyway?

    Petroleum comes from natural primordial biological life (plants, animals, etc) buried long ago and modified by natural geologic processees. That’s why it’s called “fossil fuel” after all.

    What could be more natural than that?

    It’s a limited supply at the moment.. but is actually renewable if we are willing to wait a few million years for it to be replenished.

    Yes, sometimes the way we use it is not natural, but just because something is distilled from petroleum doesn’t mean it’s not natural.

    • Maria

      Natural does not mean good for you! There are many natural things that are carcinogens etc. and can make you sick over time or kill you quickly.

    • common sense

      You’re exactly right, “Natural does not mean good for you!
      I don’t think I implied that in any way?

      And your point supports my premise… people who insist on “natural products” need to get a life.

    • Annette

      Petro meaning gasoline. Why would people want it on their face? It also blocks moisturizer from going in.

  • William Tarr

    I am totally surprised that more people don’t know about NOXEMA, one of the very best skin cremes around. Most people think it is greasy but it is not. Noxema is the best for sunburn also.

    • bill

      how about a price comparison for the things.

  • Adele

    I’ve used Vaseline for almost 50 years. Skin-care professionals have repeatedly told me ,”Whatever you are using on your skin keep using it because your skin is beautiful.” I plan on using it for another 50 years!!!

    • Bruce Scheuneman

      Try J.R. Watkins naturals lip balm beeswax and lip tints they are 100% natural.

  • SunsafeRx.com

    Use organic coconut oil on your skin and lips. It moisturizes skin and even gives your skin a healthy glow.

  • sofia

    Petroleum is the only product that I can use these days due to allergies to everything else out there! More and more people like myself are allergic to coconut oils and nut oils like shea butter and so on….these oils seem to be in ALL products these days leading to over exposure then allergies because of it!! Proteins in the “natural”oil products can cause serious allergic reactions in some people. Vaseline is cheap yes, but effective and safer. I am a former natural shopper spending too much money on essential oils and oils that only gave me acne!

    • beccadog10

      When I was poisoned with mixed xylene isomers, the active ingredient of the chemical wood/floor stripper I used to remove the wax from my vinyl floors (the gloves I was using leaked and the floor stripper permeated my skin, defatting it and causing neurological damage to my hands and fingers, the only substance that worked after repeated applications, was Mode-de Vie, shea butter. The shea butter was repeatedly applied over several months, had no ill effects, and eventually softened by sandpaper rough and bleeding hands and fingers. The nerve damage is still prevalent but the shea butter softened my skin without side effects. Vasoline did not help..

  • Urwasting Ourtime

    Petroleum IS organic. Please THINK! Where don’t the dots connect in your mind? Yes it is mixed to produce many items you use every day without consideration. Do your research on Petroleum before you embarress yourself writing an article about something of which you DO NOT know. You will be surprised to find what you use on a daily basis that contains petroleum. It has and will continue to make your life much easier than it would be otherwise.

    BTW: Yes, petrolatum products do seal out moisure, but the cosmetics industry has also pushed the premise that they also SEAL IN moisture, preventing or improving dryness. Which may very well be the explanation for why so many people here posted that they will continue to use it. Please. Do some actual research before publishing ANYTHING. This is just embarressing to read.

    • beccadog10

      There is a difference between organic chemistry and organic as in organic agriculture and green technology. And, petroleum is not green, even though it may come from organic chemistry. Organic chemistry is often toxic and can be absorbed through the skin.

      I’m looking for all information, so I can read and heed any warnings before making a decision.

    • beccadog10

      The cosmetics industry is self regulated. But, that may soon change despite objections from the industry.
      “The problem is that there is no one minding the store. There is no federal regulation or law that says companies have to make safe products,” according to Janet Nudelman, spokeswoman for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition that advocates for safer cosmetics and hygiene products.
      Read more at:
      http://tinyurl.com/6nm9zh7

      According to the Environmental Working Group, in their online paper, Skin Deep: “Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold.”

      http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/site/about.php

  • beccadog10

    Arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury are all elements and are all natural, but that does not mean they are good for you, or good for your skin. They come from the “earth” just as petroleum. In fact, radionuclides, which cause bone cancer, surfaced when oil and natural gas was drilled in South Louisiana. Radionuclides are part of the production waters classified as Normally Occurring Radioactive Wastes. NORM is loopholed out of the hazardous waste law, but that does not mean it is not toxic! So even though it is normally occurring and comes from the earth, radionuclides still cause bone cancer in pets, and other animals, including people. That does not mean that radionuclides are in petroleum jelly. It simply means that they are part of the process of drilling for oil and gas and are left behind with the production waters to contaminate the soil and the food web.

  • Becca

    Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, and Cadmium are among the elements that come from the earth and while inorganic, they are “natural.” Being natural does not mean they are good for you. These elements and others are in fossil fuels like petroleum.
    Radionuclides are also brought up to the surface from the drilling of oil and gas in South Louisiana, and while natural, they cause bone cancer in pets, livestock, and people, and possibly wildlife. Being natural is no promise of being good for you, nor is being manmade.

    Most pharmaceuticals in the USA are made by humans from fossil fuels. While they may be helpful in tiny amounts, they are not without harm.

    Furthermore, the cosmetics industry is not regulated in the USA. Although that may soon change against the desires of the industry. See more at: http://tinyurl.com/6nm9zh7

    The Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals…Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold.”

  • Bunny

    “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to require companies to test products for safety. FDA does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market.” For more myths on cosmetic safety, go to:
    http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/myths-on-cosmetics-safety/

  • Tanya

    If petroleum is a natural byproduct of the refining of gasoline, then how is making use of that product that would otherwise be wasted bad for the earth? Would it be better to just dump it? It actually seems pretty green to me that they aren’t wasting something that’s going to be produced anyway.

  • jennifer stewart

    i have been using vasaline since high school and it work’s on my skin i put some shea butter in my hair and my god it took so many freaking washing’s too get that stinky crap out of my hair being natural doesn’t mean being dumb and using only natural this and natural that do you know how much that stuff cost’s at whole food’s out of your freaking price range as is so the next time some one scoff’s at you for using drug store product’s just tell them smelling like a rose is better than smelling like rotten rancid garbage bye using thing’s like degree and suave is considered a crime too these type’s of people you will attract more with honey than with vinegar bye

    • Malinda smith

      I agree. These “green” pushing people never mention that there is little or no research done on the “natural” products sold so you don’t know if it works or not until you try it, usually at double the cost of other products. Also, it is a byproduct so it is not directly produced causing pollution. the oil is already produced and petroleum products or the secondary product from that. Whether they are carcinogenic I don’t know, but it has NEVER been linked to cancer and Dr. Andrew Weil, a leading physician in natural health says in his opinion it is not a big concern. I suppose if people slathered themselves down with it, it could cause blockage of pores, but I don’t believe rubbing small amounts of it into dry areas like the feet and elbows will clog up your pores. I use it on my feet and it is the only thing I have found that helps with dry feet. I don’t like putting it close to my eyes because I don’t want it in my eyes, so I don’t put it on my eyelashes.

  • Elle

    I’ve been using vaseline for about 10yrs now. It does wonders to my skin. I don’t use it daily, more like every other day or sometimes twice a week. Let’s just say that it’s a part of my life :)

  • Fanny bologna

    Petroleum is a by product of petrol and it is a drying agent. The more you use the more your skin dries out. You are using a chemical that runs car engines and should not be used on your body. It’s a huge con.

  • EG

    LOL @ at the fact that she included the rosebud salve. It is mostly petroleum jelly. HA! Idiot.

    I have been using Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Multipurpose Ointment instead of Vaseline for a while now and it is AWESOME. It is just a blend of a bunch of different natural oils. It smells good, too.

  • You lost me with the lie

    I would just like to say your full of crap! There CRAP is natural if you insist on disparaging a wonderful product for skin as vaseline I suggest you smear that all over your faces and see how that works for you!

  • mogs

    I find it hard to take articles seriously that don’t reference claims to scientific papers..

  • mhikl

    Doesn’t seem terribly science based. Feel good stuff does not make it correct. No other oil from plants helped my dry feet and thick skin. So far I have been unable to find any science findings to indicate PJ is bad for the skin and body. Bees wax, coconut oil, olive oil did not work to relieve my dry skin and neither did any expensive products from well intentioned natural product sellers.

    • sharon Jun

      Try unrefined Sesame oil at night.

    • that girl no one needs to know

      1. Soak your feet in warm water if you want you can even add alcohol to the water so it dries the dead skin even more so it eventually comes off (at least 15 mins.) 2. Anything left over you can scrub off with the bath sponge if you din’t have one use an old toothbrush. Do this all over sole of you feet, between the toes, and every cracked or chapped area. 3. After that soak your feet again in a new batch of warm water (at least 10 minutes.) 4. Then take out wash with soap and scrub. 5. Then rinse with cold water (only as cold as you can take it not ice cold) or rinse in warm water get a wash cloth soak it in cold water and wipe your feet with it (cild water is good to keep in the moisture.) Another option you have is to do the process up to STEP 4 and rinse with warm water again take a new batch of warn water and add either olive oil or coconut oil. I recommend coconut oil since it is antifungal which can be perfect for feet. Or you can also directly put the oil on your feet, massage, and let them soak in the warm water. My mom did this twice a week and now her feet are super soft and look like young people feet. Lol.

    • mhikl

      Thanks, that girl. I’d forgotten this article and my post. I suspect there are many a good protocol that help the feet & skin. I used “Dermal Therapy” whilst on my feet, teaching, (cheaper at COSCO). It has Urea 25%. It did help with callouses but it was costly. But talk about cushy feet, like walking on a cloud. I often recommend it to tellers etc. who are on their feet a lot. I just got out my old tube and am going to give it a try, again.

      I just realised I have not had to deal with my feet in more than a year yet they are still calloused feet. I suspect it is because I have gone ketogenic paleo in my diet, but that is only guess.

      But back to petroleum jelly. We often think petroleum is not a natural product but actually it is. It comes from nature, eh. I was surprised (understatement) to find out both petroleum kerosene and turpentine, from the pine tree family, are old natural heath products (check out Med Web) on turpentine. If interested check out Tony Pantalleresco on YouTube for both. Amazing healing benefits. I haven’t tried the kerosene (creepy), yet, but the turpentine has done wonders for my eczema and skin, imbibed as prescribed by Tony and as a soak with some other strange potions, TSP :) The man is a godsend to those interested in the natural health world, homemade stuff done on the cheap. He is a man of true heart.
      As you probably suspect, I am a nature dude and that is where I loll about when issues in health arise.
      I do use the coconut oil on my skin for the reasons you have mentioned.
      Namaste and care,
      mhikl

  • RWalker

    The molecules of petroleum jelly are long chains comprising over 25 carbon atoms, making them far too large to diffuse through cell membranes. Theoretically, then, petroleum jelly is non-toxic. However, since it is not soluble in water under normal conditions, and because it is highly cohesive, it can have several potentially-harmful properties (it traps heat and chemicals in burns, acts as a laxative with enough potency for horses, and may prevent moisture from entering the skin from outside). If one uses petroleum jelly properly, following all precautions, it is a very versatile item, and perhaps one of the less-polluting products of the oil industry considering that it is otherwise considered waste.

    PS: Before anyone says anything, know that I am an opponent of the oil industry, especially of tar sands mining in Alberta and Saskatchewan. I write this only because of moral obligations, to consider the merits of both sides of an argument before taking sides. And for those who state that petroleum jelly is non-renewable, know that we have the technology to synthesize hydrocarbons using methane from biomass. Known as a Fischer-Tropsch reaction, a catalyst can be used to convert methane into hydrogen gas and larger hydrocarbons. Read the article here: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/biofuels/synfuel2.htm

    • http://twitter.com/SerialEntrep StillBroke Jones

      Exactly, this article was such junk… It is petroleum based but it is great for the environment as we are utilising more completely a substance that has had energy expended for its extraction from the earth, a substance that usually would go to waste. Sesame oil? I have not researched it but farming and extraction of anything has an environmental impact duh.. brain dead blistree….. I wouldn’t mind betting that sesame oil production makes the lives of poor people somewhere miserable and it may even require chemicals to produce.

    • AMS

      it’s great for the environment because it makes a destructive process less wasteful? oh please, stop duping yourself into that kind of non-thinking, it’s painful even just to read

    • Jackitt

      Why would you assume mining is any worse for the environment than farming? Ignorantly repeating stuff you heard as usual.

    • mhikl

      Agreed, Jackitt. Done properly and with respect (for the environment) most actions can be practiced within reason.
      Commercial farming today is neither benign nor beneficial to the environment; but it does not have to be this way. But we are a hurry people and do not always see the benefits to time honoured practices that were used to nurture the soils we depended upon for our food.

      Politics has entered into areas of our lives where it has no business. The horrors of how we treat animals and the environment must stop. There are humane ways to use both animals and our lands for our benefit and the benefit of nature. Mono culture is ultimately coming to an end and so will the use of violence in mining. I hope this will happen sooner than later.
      Namaste and care,
      mhikl

  • Ashleyy

    This whole article is a lie. I put Vaseline on my face every night before bed and it tones my skin and helps my acne SO much! try it. just put a thin layer on and when you wake up you’ll see a difference!

    • http://www.facebook.com/mhegar Blessed Mike

      well said Ashley, Vaseline is cheap and its effective. They just trying to sell us on a different product probably more expensive as well

    • AMS

      Same reply to Ashleyy goes to your non-thinking as well.

    • karen

      I’ve always used Vaseline and it hasn’t done anything wrong to me yet. Been using it for 19 years and still works wonders so yeah.

    • mhikl

      AMS, we all suffer from non-thinking at times. It is the openminded that challenge their own thoughts and find delight in being found wrong. Such is empowering and humbling. I never assume or demand that any idea I hold dear is the whole truth.
      We live in a hurried world and ‘expedient learning’ is the most dangerous element to knowledge and study today. The pronouncements of professionals, the media and governments are so difficult to stand against, but study across all points of view puts pomposity in its place.
      Namaste and care,
      mhikl

  • http://www.facebook.com/mhegar Blessed Mike

    I’m sticking with Vaseline

    • AMS

      wel all have a prerogative to stick to old, uninformed ways

    • Vivian Oberon

      Yeah, including trolling through comments and insulting people. Must be tough to be such a genius.

    • OzMoses

      You corrected a person above for typing the word ‘you’ instead of ‘your’ and here you started a sentence with a lower case w and misspelled that same word. In a way that makes you both a hypocrite and a fool.

    • Desiree

      Ditto sticking with Vaseline but also using organic beauty products from the http://www.thesungarden.com/health-beauty

  • luvsmusic617

    I switched over to Waxelene last year, and its honestly the most amazing product ever. It has so many uses and is really great for my sons sensitive skin to prevent diaper rash. Check it out ladies. :-)

  • jajrnnx

    The article is right. I used to use vaseline on scabs so they would fall off quicker. A couple months ago I used vaseline on my face because it felt dry. Just two days after I noticed my skin tone became uneven. The vaseline didn’t even moisturize my skin. In fact it made me break out. My face was oily for a few days and then it became very dry and I started flaking from the forehead. I began using coconut oil about a monrh ago on my face and I love it. At fkrst I did get small bimbs (not pimples just bumps) and after a week it completely went away and my skin started to look more even and the best part was that it did not leave my face oil.
    Vaseline softens dead skin and isn’t meant for any kind ofnskin except dead. And even on dead skin it is not a good idea to put it on your body. I did some research and experiments and soon I will blog about it.

  • alhouse

    As an Organic Chemist, I find your Article offensively dumb. Vaseline retains water at a staggering 98%. It is the only compound that has the capability to do this. The alternatives you speak of are incapable of those types of results. Bees wax retains water at about 20%. It’s physical properties are amazing in the fact that the hydrophilic compound can easily (yet slowly) diffuse through the lipid bilayer of the skin, which essentially will help the skin repair itself (it creates a barrier from the outside world to your skin). It HELPS your body maintain its natural hydration, which none of your suggested products would do. This is why Doctors often recommend it to patients with scarring. You appear to have absolutely no understanding of BioChemistry, because you stated that vaseline hurts you.
    As for your understanding of Organic Chemistry, it is nonexistent based on your statements about oil refineries. Vaseline is a by-product from animal fossil fuels. It is not the crude product, but the purest form of petroleum.

    I would highly recommend you taking a chemistry class.

    • AMS

      your, not you

  • Lynn Ferguson-Weinert

    I can not believe an intelligent person would have written, let alone, print this fabrication of real facts. My dermotoligist wispered vasiline in my ear, and I have never looked back. My skin gets better by the day and I am 63 years old. I used numerous types of cosmetics, lasers, dermobration, and facial peels and I can tell you that nothing has done the job of what simple vaseline does. Sure it is messy and gets on everything, including my glasses but worth it! And if your man complains, buy a rubber sheet and get creative. This person needs to research her facts about the chemical properties of vaseline and where it comes from…really! My skin improves by the day and it is very noticable to doctors and friends. I could say all the other miraculous skin problems I have cured with it but you would not believe it…just use it alone or over your facial or body creams. Amazing! Check out my picturte on facebook, Lynn Ferguson-Weinert.

  • Meg

    Well Vaseline has certainly helped me. I guess different things work for different people.

  • Yeah Right

    Mineral oil is not comedogenic. Also, how can we trust people who have a strong eco-friendly agenda? I’m not against saving the planet at all, but I can’t help but wonder if those trying to retard the sale of petroleum products are creating hype around the negatives of these products.

  • Good Roots

    Vaseline doesn’t do much for your lips, do you every notice how many times to you have to apply it because you lips seemingly get depleted. My biggest concern about lip balms is the medicated one! Check out lip balm ingredients to avoid at http://www.GoodReport.tv

  • AMM

    Please cite your articles. Where does Spirit Demerson get her information from? You didn’t even bother to check, yet you treat this person as an authority on the matter. Educate yourself please.
    -Another irritated chemist

  • Kingsly Eleazer

    YO

  • SRR126

    I love it when stupid people talk to other stupid people and wisely nod their stupid heads together – this article has not a shred of fact in it.

  • madisongf

    I use Vaseline some times but I also use coconut oil which looks like Crisco oil…I can put it all over my face and you can really tell a difference. Plus you can also eat a tablespoon of it because it is so good for your body and cook with it too. It is not expensive either…you will find in the grocery aisle where the Crisco is located lol!

  • Manish Sagar

    Quite a nice and informative article you have given I use coconut oil for all my skin and hair issues instead of any artificial thing. By the way, I would like to suggest a site favoritewords dottt com for posting new words and finding new words.

  • anon

    Whoa. Please tell me this isn’t a post. I am not a rocket scientist, but I do know that every product effects each person differently. Vaseline is the only product that helps with my fever blisters. It may not work for you,but take in consideration people that use the internet and don’t know.

  • Cathy

    Aquaphor is 50% petroleum jelly. Read the label.

  • misty

    For all of you very uninformed people out there, Vaseline is very harmful to some people. Like me, for example. I used it on my hand and it became very irritated,blood red and all.After doing a skin test on my other hand I found out from my local dermatoligist that there are more people out there than you think that have this same reaction to it. So some of you are not aware of all the facts.

  • gladzhaze

    as for me, vaseline did helped me a lot from having a painful crack on my sole. and it has been my daily routine before i go to bed to apply it even in my lips to moisterize it from drying. it really soothes me. :)

  • Fett3

    I came across this because I have a daughter that’s 18 that I noticed her skin thinning above her lip:( it just so happens I had her putting a petroleum based lip product on and above her lips . Every day makes me wonder why a 18 year old has thinning skin where the petroleum was ? I always wondered if petroleum could have this effect on skin very sad