Vaseline is pure petrolatum. This rich emollient got a bad reputation because it’s derived from crude oil but it’s not petroleum.
How is petrolatum different from petroleum? Massively. Petrolatum undergoes a strict purifying process that removes all its toxic before it’s added to skincare products.
The end product has a completely different molecular structure that doesn’t resemble petroleum in the least. They’re two completely different substances. It’s just not fair to blame petrolatum for the sins of petroleum!
What does petrolatum do?
Petrolatum is a godsend for dry skin. A FDA-approved skin protectant, it creates a protective barrier on the skin. This barrier has three jobs:
- Moisturizing: It slows down water loss, helping to keep skin hydrated for longer. Petrolatum is occlusive, but not completely impenetrable. Some water can still escape from your skin – just way more slowly than it would otherwise.
- Strengthening: It strengthens your protective barrier, so harsh temperatures and irritants won’t break it down. While it’s at it, it also helps keep germs, pollutants, and other crap out of your body.
- Skin–Protectant:It temporarily protects injured skin from harmful sources that can cause rashes, scratches, and all kinds of things that slow down the healing process.
If you’ve got dry skin with a broken protective barrier (cue flakiness, redness, and all kinds of irritations), studies show petrolatum is moisturizing enough to nurse it back to health fast.
It’s protective properties make it soothing, as well. Your skin will heal much faster, if it can better withstand the attacks from all the irritants that are trying to break it down every single day.
Is petrolatum safe for skin?
Yes. Contrary to popular opinion, Petrolatum is one of the safest things you can use on your skin. Studies show it’s virtually non-sensitizing.
Petrolatum is highly purified and doesn’t contain any of the fragrant components, resins, pollen traces, or any of the other common allergens you can find in lots of natural alternatives.
Petrolatum is NOT petroleum. Cosmetic grade Petrolatum-the ONLY kind allowed in cosmetics-is highly refined and 100% safe. It deeply moisturizes skin and protects it from further harm. Just don’t use it together with comedogenic ingredients.