The truth about petroleum based beauty products
It’s everywhere: in your fuel tank, in our water bottles, and even in our moisturizer. But what do
we really know about petroleum?
Petroleum is a fossil fuel, which we all know is used most commonly to power cars. It’s non-renewable, procured through drilling, and is one of our planet’s most debated commodities. Aside from your common petrol, petroleum can be found in other forms such as mineral oil, petroleum jelly, and as numerous petrochemicals that can be found in everything from shampoo to baby oil to personal lubricant. Petroleum jelly is a natural by-product of drilling for crude oil, and was first officially discovered in 1859 by Robert Chesebrough who purified the waxy substance stuck to oil rigging and gave it a brand name: Vaseline.
Petroleum jelly was originally touted as a cure-all (which has since been debunked), and is still sold as a moisturizer and sanitizer, something to provide a cleansing barrier against bacteria. What petroleum actually does is coat the skin, which does prevent bacteria from reaching something like a scrape, but also traps existing bacteria, prevents the skin from breathing and releasing toxins, and prevents skin cells from regenerating.
As previously stated, petroleum coats the skin, preventing it from detoxifying, regenerating, and breathing properly. This can cause your skin to prematurely age, even skin as supple as an infant’s, and can cause skin irritation such as rashes. Babies and children are particularly sensitive to what they’re exposed to, and according to SAFbaby.com by the age of two your child has already accumulated 50% of its risk of developing cancer. Petroleum has been linked to a number of cancers including breast cancer, and a by-product of the petrochemical ethylene oxide called 1,4 Dioxane has been reported to be a carcinogen.
Going eco-friendly and organic is the best way to ensure that you’re using petroleum-free products, but always remember to read the labels carefully! Below are a few petroleum-free baby products to help keep your baby safe:
Arbonne — made from natural ingredients, their products range from baby oil to nappy cream, to shampoo. From £12.00
Greenbaby—their petroleum jelly is made from coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax and organic olive oil, and their products are free of all the nasty’s, including SLS, parabens, and synthetic fragrances and preservatives. From £2.94
Pure Baby Skin Care—not only are their products free from parabens, petrochemicals, and other harsh additives, but their website gives a rundown on all of the commonly-used cosmetic chemicals, and what they can do to your body. From £2.95
Mindful Mum has teamed up with Arbonne to offer one lucky reader a full baby skincare set worth £66! Find out how to enter the competition here.
Photography: Ishikawa Ken @Flickr