We're pretty sure every woman in our family going back a couple of generations has had a plastic tub of petroleum jelly sitting on the bathroom counter. When you walk into your mom's room and see that she's purchased the jumbo tub this time, something just doesn't seem right, but that's all you've ever known so you decide it's no big deal. Newsflash, IT'S A BIG DEAL!
Petroleum jelly is literally an environmentalist's nightmare: petroleum in jelly form sitting inside a container made of petroleum in plastic form. Let's not even mention that this jelly product gets put on your lips every night where it's sure to be partially ingested and absorbed into your body. We're stopping there before the downward tailspin continues!
A few things about petroleum jelly you may not know
Petroleum jelly isn't just called that; it's actually made from petroleum. And yes, by petroleum we mean that black stuff found at the bottom of an oil well.
In its pure form, petroleum jelly doesn't have any contaminants and is supposed to be safe. However, it can have carcinogenic impurities such as poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which (conveniently for manufacturers) companies don't have to remove or disclose. We're not saying that the specific jar of petroleum jelly sitting in your cabinet is unsafe, but why even take the risk?
Although petroleum jelly makes you feel like your skin is healthy and moisturized, it's actually doing the opposite! It's a product that repels water, so instead of bringing natural moisture to your skin, it creates a water-repellant barrier and suffocates your pores by keeping all air and moisture out. This also means that any toxins or impurities you had in your skin before applying the product, stay inside as well.
Rosemary-mint rub sounds way better than petroleum jelly crap
Lucky for everyone, there are lots of natural and eco-friendly alternatives to petroleum jelly that are actually healthy for your skin, so go out there and take your pick! Some ingredients to look out for that hydrate your skin naturally are beeswax, coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter.
We're currently in love with Indigo Wild's Zum Rub. We're still trying out their different "flavors," but our favorite so far is their rosemary-mint. The product says you can "rub it on elbows, frizzy hairs, lips, heels, cuticles, tattoos, anywhere that's dry," so get to moisturizing! The best part... check out this list of ingredients: certified organic sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, beeswax (natural, not refined or bleached), carnauba wax, goat's milk, shea butter, essential oils, and vitamin E.