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Key ingredients to avoid (Part 1): Petroleum Jelly

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 ♦ Petroleum Jelly ♦

Welcome to our new Web Series!

In this series, we introduce key ingredients you should avoid in your skin and body care and great alternatives to replace them. Our skin absorbs about 60-70% of what we put on it, so the ingredients inside our Skin Care are really important to keep our body clean and healthy.

Licensed acupuncturist, Vanessa M. Ho of Healing with Zen explains in this video how Petroleum Jelly works and why you should look for alternatives for it. 

She gives some great alternatives to Petroleum Jelly. What are your favorite natural ingredients?


Petroleum Jelly is a widely used ingredient in many skincare products as well as an extremely well-known savior to several skin issues when housed in the familiar Vaseline bottle. We have been using this ingredient for so long that we hardly ever stop to think about what it truly is and how it interacts with
our skin. Petroleum is a paraffin-like substance that is derived from fossil fuels. Petroleum Jelly’s origins are rooted in the oil-rigging business where a jelly- like substance would build up on pump joints during the oil extraction process. This wax-like substance serves to create a barrier on top of the skin to trap in
moisture, however, it does not fully nourish the skin. It is simply a layer that does not allow the skin to breathe. Although petroleum jelly is commonly used to treat dry skin, it has no nourishing benefits and encourages the skin to stop producing as much of its own moisture, thus creating a cycle of continuous reapplication.
Some healthy alternatives to petroleum jelly are:
1. Shea or Cocoa Butter
Shea butter is enriched with calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc to name a few. Shea butter is anti- inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Cocoa butter is enriched with a plethora of fatty acids and antioxidants and is similar to petroleum in that it creates a barrier on the skin. However, this butter nourishes the skin as it moisturizes and allows the skin to breathe and heal.
2. Colloidal Oatmeal
Colloidal Oatmeal contains Vitamin E, Fatty Acids, Antioxidants,  and Polysaccharides which all work together to heal the skin and reduce inflammation. It is especially great for those who suffer from eczema.
Colloidal Oatmeal also holds water very well due to the starch in oatmeal.
3. Beeswax
Beeswax is produced by bees to preserve their honey storage. This natural moisturizer acts as a humectant that draws water out of the air and into the skin. The barrier that it forms is breathable but still
– If you’re interested in Skincare and Food ingredients that help you cool down this summer, check out our last Web Series here.
– If you’re interested in more Skin Care alternatives, read our blog post about 5 Oils and Alternative treatments for your skin.
– Want to do even more for your skin? No problem. Learn more about Facial Gua Sha here.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with our video updates, and stay tuned for next month’s helpful acupuncture video with more natural health information and wellness tips.

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