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Tag: mineral oil

What’s So Bad About Vasoline?

One of my girlfriends recommended a lotion to me recently, but as soon as I read the ingredients, I knew I would never use it because the first thing listed was mineral oil.

What’s so bad about mineral oil, the friend asked?

Save this product for automotive or household repairs.

Well, for starters, mineral oil and Vasoline Petroleum Jelly are byproducts from refining oil. Yep, they are pulled out of the sludge found at the bottom of the barrels at oil refineries. They are literally “toxic waste.”

My friend persisted: Why shouldn’t you put petroleum products on your skin?  She believed her skin felt softer after using petroleum products, particularly on rough patches of eczema.

Let’s start with the fact that our skin is our largest organ. Skin cells breathe and metabolize just as all of our body cells do, and they absorb chemicals through contact. Adding chemicals to your skin will increase your overall toxic load in your body which could hasten the onset of a health crisis.

Slathering mineral oil or petroleum jelly on skin smothers skin cells and prevents efficient cellular respiration. While you might feel an immediate softening effect, or even feel as if the product is moisturizing, you are in fact simply putting a layer of inorganic oil over your cells and trapping moisture underneath the skin while not allowing any more moisture to enter.

Our bodies were designed to efficiently rid the system of toxins through discharges from the bowels and urinary tract, mucous from the nose or throat, and perspiration and cellular respiration through the skin. Sealing off the skin thwarts this process and traps toxins inside the body.

Zum Kiss Shea Butter Lip Balm is petroleum free and feels great on lips!

Petroleum is found deep underground, often a mile or more below the surface where life exists. For the course of human history, petroleum has been inaccessible and unused until very recently. Mammals did not evolve to need or use petroleum or its byproducts as part of achieving health. Just because Vasoline is a familiar brand doesn’t mean it is safe to use. Marlboro is a familiar brand, too, but that doesn’t mean its products are any safer for having been around for a century.

I cringe every time I hear of another pediatrician recommending feeding a child spoonfuls of mineral oil as a misguided constipation remedy. Mineral oil does not rinse off cleanly; it leave a residual layer of petroleum, which is what makes things slippery. I can’t imagine smothering the cells of the digestive tract with a clinging film in any way helps to improve digestion. It might ease constipation by greasing the chute, but it inhibits nutrient absorption through the intestines in the process. A destructive trade-off, if you ask me.

A recent Huffington Post article by Rebecca Adams brought a comment from a reader addicted to using Vasoline on her lips. She felt disgusted at the thought of how much petroleum she must have directly ingested over the years, but couldn’t think of a safer replacement for her dry lips. I’m a fan of Zum Kiss Shea Butter Lip Balm for safely moisturized lips.

Try almond oil for moisturizing skin for a safe, natural skin softener that heals while it softens and  does not inhibit cellular respiration.

Almond Oil: A Good, Safe Skin Moisturizer

Hello, I’m Elizabeth and I used to be a Johnson’s Baby Oil junkie.

All through my teens I slathered my freshly showered skin with mineral oil before toweling off every day, and each summer I covered myself in the oil to bake in the sun on a lawn chair in the yard. I cringe now to think of myself back then.

Those were in the days before I realized that Johnson’s Baby Oil is actually mineral oil, a byproduct of refining petroleum linked to organ system toxicity. Even worse, the fragrance added to Johnson’s Baby Oil is considered highly hazardous and can lead to immunotoxicity. I shudder to think of how much toxic petroleum I’ve absorbed through my skin and added to my toxic load just from my mineral oil addiction. Maybe it’s not such a surprise that I developed an auto-immune disorder at thirty.

Our state is known for its dry air, and going without daily moisturizer makes me start to itch, but now I am aware enough to choose safe, natural skin care products that enrich my skin rather than the petroleum industry. Mineral oil is simply not safe to use on skin for adults, or for babies, either.

Lately, I’ve been splashing pure sweet almond oil on my wet skin after showering and am loving the smooth, silky feeling it is leaving me with all day. Unless you are allergic or sensitive to almonds, almond oil can be a good choice to moisturize skin and hair, particularly curly hair. Pure sweet almond oil has a toxicity rating of zero in the Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep database of personal care products and cosmetics, but beware of blended products as they may also contain other more toxic ingredients.