Petroleum jelly, or vaseline, is both one of the most popular and cheapest products we put on our skin. The love for petroleum jelly is passed from generation to generation and millions of women around the world have at least one jar of vaseline in their bathroom cabinet. But petroleum jelly is not the healthiest thing to put on your skin, and here is why you may actually want to give it up.
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1. No Moisturizing Properties
Vaseline is commonly used as a cheap moisturizing product, but the moisturizing effect of petroleum jelly is nothing more than a myth. Petroleum jelly does not have any moisturizing properties on its own and instead simply helps lock in the moisture by closing your pores. That is why it only makes sense to use vaseline after you have applied your regular moisturizer, but you may not be a fan of putting too many layers on your skin.
When you learn about vaseline’s ability to lock in moisture on your skin, your first idea may be to apply it to a freshly washed face that has not been dried with a towel yet. But while that may actually help your skin stay moisturized, it also puts you at risk of developing bacterial or fungal infections from the water. Your face needs to be thoroughly dry in case you decide to apply vaseline after washing.
Acne is a problem that millions of people are dealing with, and petroleum jelly is one of those products that are believed to help with acne breakouts but actually make matters worse. By now, you already know that vaseline locks in the moisture in your skin, but besides moisture, it will also lock in everything else, including excess oil and dirt that you have not thoroughly removed before applying vaseline.
4. Clogged Pores
The thick texture of petroleum jelly and its chemical structure make it one of the worst skin care products for anyone prone to clogged pores. The manufacturers of the most expensive brands of petroleum jelly claim their product is non-comedogenic, but if you are buying generic affordable petroleum jelly, there is a huge possibility it will have a comedogenic effect on your skin.
5. Prevents Skin From Breathing
Your skin needs fresh air to regenerate, stay youthful, and maintain its look and texture. Vaseline takes ages to absorb into your face and stays on top of your skin for ages, preventing your skin from getting enough air to function properly. Plus, for many people, a thick layer of vaseline can feel suffocating, which is not a feeling you want to get from your go-to skin care product.
If your skin is prone to allergies or you have a known allergy to petroleum and its byproducts, then you should use vaseline with caution or avoid using it at all. Moreover, in addition to causing skin allergies on its own, petroleum jelly can also make you more prone to developing a skin condition even from skin care products that don’t contain any vaseline.
7. Cancerogenic Properties
Top vaseline manufacturers may use the most refined ingredients in their petroleum jelly, but it’s still worth remembering that vaseline is a byproduct of crude oil. Even though crude oil itself is 100% natural and is derived from the earth, the refinement procedure and vaseline’s chemical composition make it impossible to claim that petroleum jelly does not have any cancerogenic properties at all.