Is Vaseline Safe in Skin Care?

Vaseline is a very traditional ingredient in cosmetics that has become a baddie in recent years. The popularity of Vaseline is based on its versatility and cheap price. A jar of Vaseline was found in every home few years back. Vaseline was considered a miracle cure for almost all skin problems. Squeaky hinges, bicycle chains, and the machinery of cars and other equipment were all treated by Vaseline. The properties of Vaseline made it a miracle thing that no one could survive without. Why has the original multi-purpose product become a baddie of cosmetics?

Photo by Sara Scarpa on Unsplash

What is Vaseline?

Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, was invented as early as the late 19th century. An American chemist, Robert Chesebrough patented a method of making Vaseline in 1872. Chesebrough started Vaseline production for all possible skin problems. Today, the Vaseline brand is owned by Unilever.

Vaseline is made from crude oil, the same substance as gasoline and diesel fuels. It is refined gasoline. Vaseline is not a natural cosmetic ingredient but a completely synthetic product. Unrefined crude oil is toxic and harmful when applied to the skin. Vaseline to be intended as a skin care product is rectified carefully. This is to ensure that no harmful chemicals remain in the product. Unfortunately, there are huge differences in the quality of Vaseline. All the products are not refined.

Vaseline is not environmentally friendly due to its fossil origin.

Why is Vaseline harmful to the skin?

Vaseline is made from crude oil by refining. The crude oil is very dark brown in colour. The crude oil must be purified very well before it will become pure white, translucent Vaseline. Very often PAH residues from crude oil can be found in the final product. PAHs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are toxic compounds. Many PAHs cause cancer and mutations. PAHs are not biodegradable. They are really hard to remove from the soil.

Because vaseline requires a very intensive purification process, it becomes very contaminated. Vaseline classified as pure may contain residues of chemicals harmful to humans.

Vaseline clogs the pores and prevents the skin from breathing. It is not absorbed into the skin but remains as a film on the surface of the skin. Vaseline does not belong to the skin’s natural lipids or fats. It is a completely foreign compound to the skin.

Vaseline is used to protect the skin from drying out. Vaseline is said to lock moisture into the skin by forming a thin film on the surface of the skin. Unfortunately, Vaseline also prevents the skin from getting moisture from the air. The skin dries under the fatty Vaseline layer. Vaseline prevents the skin from functioning normally.

Vaseline may help dry skin the first time you apply it. After a few times of using it, you will find that your skin gets used to Vaseline and needs more of it. This is really easy to notice for lip balms.

Did you know that Vaseline is highly flammable? It ignites as easily as gasoline. this product is not ideal for skin care. In addition, you cannot remove Vaseline from towels or bedclothes in a 30-degree Celsius wash. If your towels become contaminated with Vaseline and paraffin residue, they are highly flammable.

Why is Vaseline so famous?

First of all, Vaseline is very cheap. Price is often the only reason why Vaseline is included in the product.

The Vaseline trademark is owned by Unilever. Unilever is a global multi-billion-dollar company that wants to protect its production efficiently. If you search for information about Vaseline, you will find a great many articles praising Vaseline. The text criticizing Vaseline is really hard to find. In this way, Unilever secures the market for its products.

Vaseline is very stable. It is not oxidized or rancid like vegetable oils. Vaseline lasts long enough in the product without spoiling. This raw material is a cosmetics manufacturer’s dream.

Refined Vaseline is a very neutral product. Many people with allergies prefer Vaseline because they cannot use vegetable oils. This is why Vaseline is also used in eczema and other medicated creams. Vaseline is also used in products designed for babies precisely because of its nature.

In which products is Vaseline used?

Vaseline is still a very common ingredient in all cosmetics. Unfortunately, the most popular Vaseline is in baby creams. If you want to find Vaseline, you should look at creams specifically designed for babies.

Pharmasy emulsion creams contains often Vaseline and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, SLS. Vaseline and SLS makes a white, creamy and permanent emulsion. The product looks attractive and creamy but the truth is different. The combination of SLS and Vaseline is lousy when treating dry skin. Cream like this, just unnecessarily dries the skin more. In addition, SLS has been found to thin the skin, especially in long-term use.

Vaseline is also found in lipstick. Up to 15% of all lipsticks contain Vaseline or paraffin. Lip balms also often contain mineral oils. Think about why you can always add lip balm and your lips just seem to dry out more.

Candles are often paraffin-based. When the candle burns, you inhale toxic fumes. Choose a soy wax candle or a beeswax candle. For example, the Candel Light Story sells authentic soy wax candles.

Vaseline is found in products under a wide variety of names such as

  • Mineral oil
  • Paraffin
  • Vaseline
  • Petroleum
  • Petrolatum
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • White soft paraffin
  • Mineral oil
  • Liquidum Paraffinum

Look for better alternatives to Vaseline

No one needs to use Vaseline. You will very easily find so many natural alternatives to crude oil-based cosmetics.

There are really many options for natural skin care and moisturizing. All natural waxes and vegetable butter are very safe and nourishing the skin. At the same time, they retain moisture in the skin but do not prevent the skin from absorbing more moisture from the air.

For example, try the following ingredients in your own cosmetics

  • Candelilla wax
  • Rice bran wax
  • Carnauba wax
  • Beeswax
  • Jojoba oil (liquid wax)
  • Castor oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Baobab oil

Vaseline should be avoided in all cosmetics

Photo by Brittney Weng on Unsplash

Vaseline feels like a very harmless product. After all, it has always been available in Grandma’s chest. However, the disadvantages of Vaseline have been noticed quite recently. The German consumer organization Siftung Warentest, which has studied cosmetics containing mineral oil, has already found that it contains the most MOAH substances, the toxic hydrocarbons that cause cancer. Based on the results, Siftung Warentest warns using lip products specifically containing mineral oils. Vaseline has not yet been banned by EU food authorities, but MOAH substances are acknowledged to be carcinogenic.

My own view of Vaseline is that it is not a very good product for skin care. Natural herbal butter and waxes are much more effective skin moisturizers.

Do you use mineral oil in cosmetics?

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