How to Avoid Putting Unhealthy Petroleum on Your Face or in Your Food

bottles of health and beauty products on white background

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Although many people are careful to read labels to avoid dangerous chemicals and additives, but there’s probably one thing most people never suspect would be in their food or face lotion: petroleum. Yes, we are talking about oil and products made from oil. No, we aren’t kidding! You might think of these things as only being in plastics, Styrofoam, or additives for your car, but petroleum, along with its byproducts, are often found in food, as well as body care products.

Some of these byproducts are simply created when chemicals break down naturally. However, at other times, these byproducts are contaminated by the very volatile chemicals that were used to create them.

When these kinds of products are used in beauty and body care items, they are well known for covering the skin, which means that the pores in your skin can no longer breathe. It’s not that these petroleum products have any real value for your skin; they just sit on top of it, clogging the pores, and creating even more problems.


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Ok, so you are going through your medicine cabinet and you find a jar of Vaseline. This is quite normal; almost every house in America has a jar of Vaseline in the bathroom. It’s nowhere near as harmless as you think it is. Petroleum jelly is a derivative of oil refining. It was originally found coating the bottom of oil rigs about 1850; it’s now commonly used to “cure” everything from diaper rash to chapped lips to dry skin.

Compounds that are removed from oil during the refining process are carcinogenic. Now Vaseline supposedly has all the carcinogens removed but how many cheap imitations (products from China, for example, or ones found in those dollar stores) have different grades of purity? You have no idea what could be lurking in your knock off petroleum jelly!

While putting some petroleum jelly on your skin can give it the appearance of beautifully moisturized skin, it’s actually suffocating your skin. It’s not water soluble, it’s water repellant so all it really does is seal in moisture, if your skin already has some. You are actually drying out your skin even more by depriving it of moisture and air. Find out how to use lemon instead of beauty products.

Although the name petroleum jelly is fairly straight forward, there are plenty of petroleum products whose name isn’t quite so crystal clear.

One rule of thumb you can use while searching for these ingredients is to look for names that end, or include, the following:

  • PEG
  • Xynol
  • Propylene glycol
  • Oleth
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Ceteareth

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