Is Petroleum Jelly Good for Skin?

Overview

Petroleum jelly's been around forever, an inexpensive staple of drug stores. With all the fancy serums, creams and ointments, people still buy the cheap stuff because it's inexpensive and it works. Championed by dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, the substance totally benefits your skin in a range of conventional and outside-the-box uses.

Moisturizing

Petroleum jelly gives you instant moisture for chapped skin, making this especially effective in chilly winters when winds and freezing temperatures leave you feeling raw and red. Ladies with eczema can use petroleum jelly as a daily moisturizer to ward off eczema attacks. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends petroleum jelly because it has few preservatives that irritate the already sensitive skin.

Irritation Helper

Petroleum jelly isn't just an all-purpose moisturizer. Skin that gets chafed or irritated can become particularly sensitive and responds well to petroleum jelly. "Marie Claire" writer Maria Eugenia Miranda recommends petroleum jelly to alleviate irritated skin caused by soap buildup on hands, which develops when you wash up without removing your rings. Chapped lips, dry heels and other uber-sensitive skin spots also benefit from a dab of this stuff, notes dermatologist Heidi Waldorf in "Good Housekeeping."

Considerations

As petrolatum is turned into petroleum jelly, it could pick up contaminants. Petroleum jelly has a rating of 0 on a 1 to 10 scale in the Environmental Working Group's "Skin Deep Database," meaning it's considered to pose no hazards. However, the rating is calculated using less than 10 percent of information about petroleum jelly's ingredients. If you're super conscious about using chemical-free products, you may want to bypass this beauty product in favor of all-natural aids.

Outside the Box

Cosmetic scientists at The Beauty Brains recommends alternative uses for petroleum jelly. Make your mani last longer by dabbing a bit of petroleum jelly at the base of your nails or cover up before you work out by rubbing some jelly on areas sensitive to chafing. You can also use a bit of petroleum jelly as a conditioner or to seal a split end before you hit the stylist or to style your hair in a pinch.

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