My love affair with makeup began when I was around 13, but I never had the best skincare regimen. If I had done my makeup the night before, and had to be somewhere early the next morning, I just slept in my makeup– I’m literally cringing right now.
The past year to year and a half is really when I started getting into more natural skincare and being consistent about it. Now, you can occasionally catch me online at 2 am researching all about the ingredients that go into commonplace skincare items.
One thing that annoys me the most is the use of petrolatum– also known as petroleum jelly, white petrolatum, soft paraffin, and mineral oil– in skincare, but more specifically in lip balms, such as Vaseline. It’s so rare to see a lip balm without these ingredients. Sure, they’re deemed safe, but just because they’re safe doesn’t mean they’re beneficial.
Now, a little disclaimer: I’m not an expert or professional of any kind when it comes to this stuff, but we do live in an information based society where finding information is as easy as pressing your fingertips against a keyboard.
It’s possible that Vaseline and other petroleum jelly based lip balms work beautifully for your lips, and if that’s the case then by all means, keep using what you love and works for you. This is simply what I’ve researched and also learned through trial and error.
1. Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of crude oil refining |
It is the coating that is found at the bottom of oil rigs. Sure, Vaseline is highly refined, but still, that doesn’t sound like something I want to put on my lips. Plus, there are a lot of cheaper alternatives to Vaseline and you never know how refined that product may be. The reason Vaseline is so highly refined is because the components that are removed from it are toxic and in some cases carcinogenic.
2. Can trap in the bad stuff |
Because petroleum jelly is so thick, it creates a thick barrier that can trap things like dirt and bacteria into your skin and lips– that’s never a good thing.
3. Doesn’t actually moisturize |
Again, petroleum jelly creates a thick barrier that keeps any air or moisture from getting in, and it’s not hydrating on its own. The only thing it does is lock in moisture, but if you suffer from dry lips you’re probably looking to add moisture because you don’t have any to begin with. So, petroleum jelly is really not doing anything for your lips at all.
I used to use Vaseline on my lips all the time, but realized it just stayed on my lips like a film, and didn’t actually moisturize my lips. That’s when I started researching and began using products out there containing those natural ingredients.
My lips are still pretty naturally dry, but they don’t flake, peel, or bleed (especially in the winter) like they used to. I know a lot of my lip dryness is because I wear matte lipsticks A LOT, which can be really drying. Still, my lips are much better now that I stopped using lip balms with petrolatum. Before, I had to constantly slather Vaseline on my lips throughout the day, but now even if I don’t moisturize them for a day or two, they don’t freak out and look raisiny or begin to peel.
If you suffer from dry lips and use Vaseline, Aquaphor, Blistex, or anything that contains paraffin, petroleum jelly, petrolatum, or mineral oil, I would try switching to a lip balm that contains natural oils instead. I’ll be doing a post on lip balms that I use that have really helped my lips out soon. Even though it’s rare to find a sans petroleum jelly mainstream brand lip balm, it’s not impossible!
Put down the Vaseline, back away, and try out these lip balms instead. Guarantee you, you won’t miss the petroleum.
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