Did you know that in many private label skincare products there lurk ingredients derived from petroleum? Petroleum- the same stuff our car oil and plastic come from! Incase you didn’t already know this: your skin has absolutely no need for petroleum, or any of the ingredients that come from it. Zero. None. The only reason it’s in your skincare is because of the low cost to the manufacturer. They’re in there to make the product feel moisturizing, lubricating and protective, but in reality, petroleum based skincare products and ingredients do your skin more harm than good.
Perhaps one of the most well known petroleum derived ingredients we use on our skin is petroleum jelly. People use this on their skin as an emollient and protective layer, and to soothe exceptionally dry skin. But while that layer of petroleum jelly feels protective and soothing, there is actually nothing moisturizing about it. It does not contain any of the essential fatty acids necessary to actually provide moisture to your skin cells, but because of its texture and ability to coat the skin, it gives off the impression that it does.
So what do you use instead of petroleum jelly? Simple: raw shea butter. Just like petroleum jelly, raw shea butter provides a thin, protective layer on the top of the skin that guards against harsh elements and other factors you may be wanting to protect your skin from. But unlike petroleum jelly, it is also rich in moisturizing, skin soothing and hydrating essential fatty acids that help your skin stay plump, soft and firm. It also contain antioxidants that fight fine line and premature aging causing free radicals, which petroleum jelly also does not do.
The other popular petroleum based skincare ingredient to avoid is mineral oil. Used in private label skincare products ranging from lotions to lipsticks, this is an ingredient that your body is literally unable to metabolize. Additionally, some studies suggest that mineral oil contains contaminants that might be carcinogenic- and remember, anything you put on your skin will eventually get into your blood.
Instead of using private label skincare products that contain mineral oil and/or petroleum jelly, use plant lipids like raw african shea butter, and carrier oils like jojoba and tamanu oil instead of mineral oil. Look for cosmetics that feature pure plant fats instead of petroleum based mineral oil to actually receive the moisture, vitamins and essential fatty acids your skin deserves.