Thursday, July 5, 2012

Petroleum Jelly & Alternatives

Today I was asked about using petroleum jelly. In summer, many people use it as an inexpensive lip gloss, and, summer often heralds the arrival of new babies...Petroleum jelly is often associated with use on baby's bottom.

Petroleum jelly is a by product of the petroleum industry. It’s a leftover residue created during the refining of crude oil, and consequently isn’t a sustainable resource. There is some controversy as to whether or not the commercial form of petroleum jelly contains any contamination. This apparently depends on what form of refining has taken place. In Europe, the full refining history of the product has to be known so that you can verify the substance from which it was produced is not carcinogenic. If it meets these criteria, it is acceptable for use.

 Here, however, is a quote taken directly from Dr. Oz's website:
" Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of oil drilling, and when you spread it on your lips, you end up eating it, which is essentially the same as drinking gasoline. Add up the amount of lip gloss the average woman uses (and consumes) over a decade, and it equals 7 pounds. The European Union has banned many petroleum jelly products, and experts are concerned they could be linked to cancer. Women with breast cancer have twice the levels of hydrocarbons (substances found in petroleum jelly) in their breasts than women who haven't had breast cancer."

There are several other reasons to avoid using petroleum on your skin. For one thing, it forms an inpenetrable barrier. You may think this is a good thing, but, not necessarily. It disrupts the body's ability to eliminate toxins through the skin. Although the jelly makes the skin feel more comfortable, it does not, in fact, contribute in any way to moisturizing or healing the skin. It slows cellular regeneration, which can damage collagen, elastin and connective tissue and accelerate the  aging process. Being water repellent, and not water soluble means it is difficult to remove. It can build up on the skin, and attract dirt & bacteria. It may cause breakouts, or cause irritation.

Stay tuned for the next blog: What to use instead??

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