Nov 1, 2012

Vaseline: the Controversy

I could probably write a lengthy post about why some people think Vaseline (technically petroleum jelly, but I'll try to use Vaseline because that is the most commonly known brand name) is good and why others think it is bad, but I will do my best to make my point quickly and also offer alternatives for those who do want an alternative to Vaseline. Vaseline is considered a staple in most households because there are so many uses for it that it would probably be impossible to compile a complete list of its uses.

Some people swear by Vaseline to moisturize dry skin and basically be the ultimate beauty product. I disagree. When I was in high school, I was trying an acne product with benzoyl peroxide and my face was becoming unbearably dry. I tried Vaseline on my dry patches and it made things worse. I found out later that Vaseline just covers the skin and doesn't really penetrate the layers... but I am happy that it doesn't go deep into my skin. Want to know why?

Petroleum Jelly is derived from dead dinosaur bones. Yeah, just let that one sink in for a moment (no pun intended). Some sites I have visited have also mentioned that mineral oil and petroleum jelly both block oxygen and prevent your skin from breathing, thus preventing it from renewing itself.

Now, what are some of the alternatives?
Of course, what you decide to use is ultimately up to you. Although I am trying to change my skin care routine to mostly natural products (and plant-based products), it would be a challenge to go all-natural... and let's face it: not ALL ingredients are necessarily harmful and linked to more serious health problems. But if we can take what we know about some of the ingredients that have been shown to cause problems, then we will hopefully be one step closer to being happier and most importantly, healthier.