What’s wrong with Vaseline?

Maybe we were the only house in the 80s with a large never-ending glass jar of Vaseline in our bathroom, but I doubt it. Ours smelled like baby powder. I shudder to think how often it was slathered all over me as a child. How bad is it? I asked myself this question after hearing my cousin highly recommend it as a belly oil to her expecting sister. So here we go…

Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is one of the waste materials generated during the process of making gasoline. Obviously this fact alone should make you pause before spreading this grease all over your body or worse, your baby.

For acne-prone people, the mineral oil in petroleum jelly stops up your pores, leading to whiteheads and breakouts. For anyone who prizes their skin’s elasticity, petroleum jelly breaks down collagen in your skin over time, leading to the loss youthful plumpness. Since making it requires carcinogenic chemicals, the E.U. requires strict controls on products containing petroleum jelly. (We lag behind, yet again, on this issue.) It’s not just that you are using an industrial chemical filled with chemical fragrances, but the manner in which it is refined requires the use of highly toxic chemicals. The makers claim the final product is safe, and there are no conclusive links to it causing cancer, but who wants this refined version of greasy gasoline on their person?

In case you don’t feel sick already, Dr. Oz warns women that spreading petroleum jelly products on their lips leads to accidental consumption, which is “essentially the same as drinking gasoline” and can cause digestive issues.

But what about dry patches of skin? Petroleum provides a barrier on the skin – it keeps outside things from penetrating the skin AND also keeps sweat, salts, and other products of human metabolism from evaporating or being eliminated from the skin. This is why, contrary to popular belief, putting it on wounds, burns and sunburns is a bad idea.

What is a natural way to treat dry skin? Itchy pregnant bellies? Baby’s eczema? Chapped lips and hands? Ashy elbows and knees?

Skin normally has a natural layer of oil that helps protect it from the environment and keeps it soft and supple. When your skin gets dry, it’s generally a from a lack of natural oils. Here are a few lifestyle tips for maintaining your own oil levels:

1. Don’t bathe…too often, too hot or for too long.
2. Don’t use sudsy soap. It’s got sulfates that strip your skin of all oils.
3. Ditch synthetic clothing. Often an unsuspected irritant that prevents proper air circulation and traps bacteria.
4. Drink more H2O. It goes right to your skin.
5. Eat your Kale, and other foods with Vitamins A and C which are known to protect skin from the elements.
6. Eat Avocado, seeds and nuts rich with essential fatty acids which lube your skin from the inside out.

Mother Nature’s answer to petrolatum is Pure Raw Beeswax, which combined with some lovely oils and a number of seed butters, makes a perfect thick non-greasy balm for healing dry cracked irritated skin. Try out a tin or tube of our Bumble Balm for yourself.

A few more methods for your arsenal:
For makeup removal, we use NO EVIL. It’s 100% pure olive squalene. Works beautifully to remove even heavy eye makeup without scrubbing or any irritation.

And our Massage in a Bottle {Mother} is perfect for those baby bumps. But try Bumble Balm for very itchy skin.

Chapped hands love Land of Milk & Honey. It’s heavy and keeps skin moisturized for a long time.

By Molly Watman

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