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Beauty Bullshit Alert: Petrochemicals Are Petrohorribles

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Beauty Bullshit Alert: Petrochemicals Are Petrohorribles

Jessica Assaf

vaseline-450x450_tcm72-298021

Yesterday Alexis dropped some serious #truthbeautyknowledge on the ubiquity of petroleum in our beauty products. Petrochemicals like mineral oil and every other petroleum-derived chemical are not just problematic for the environment, they are extremely harmful to human health and just like those pesky parabens, they are literally in everything! #shocker Here are the facts:

Mineral oil is a known human carcinogen, according to the National Institute of Health:

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 6.36.53 PM
Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 6.36.53 PM

Remember that universally-trusted product Vaseline, a staple in every home that is used for pretty much anything? Do you know what Vaseline really is? All you have to do is read the front label...

Uses: Temporarily protects minor cuts, scrapes, burns; temporarily protects & helps relieve chapped or cracked skin

Active Ingredient: Petroleum 30% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Monostearate, Petrolatum, Fragrance, Polysorbate 80, Peregal O, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Dimethyl Silicone Oil, Tocoopheryl Acetate

Noteworthy observations:

  1. The company has built an entire brand by convincing us that PETROLEUM (a by-product of the oil industry) is good for our skin.
  2.  Petroleum is water-repellent and not water-soluble, meaning all it does is seal a barrier so moisture does not leave the skin. It creates the illusion of moisturized, hydrated skin, even though it's actually just suffocating our pores.
  3. The word "temporarily" in the "product uses" is particularly ironic, because Vaseline might temporarily give you the sense that it is moisturizing, when it is actually just drying out our skin!
  4. In addition to the carcinogenic mineral oil and petrolatum, Vaseline also provides a generous dose of parabens and combines some of the worst chemicals possible to make this popular product.

In other news, you can also find petrohorribles in a wide range of baby products according to The Good Guide:

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pTRU1-8510542enh-z6

Johnson's Baby Cream Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Ceteareth-6, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, Benzalkonium Chloride, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Red 33, Red 40, Yellow 10. May also contain Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid

450
450

ChapStick Ingredients: Petrolatum (44%), Arachadyl Propionate, Camphor, Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera) Wax, Cetyl Alcohol, D&C Red 6 Barium Lake (CI 15850), FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake, Fragrance, Isopropyl Lanolate, Isopropyl Myristate, Lanolin, Light Mineral Oil, Methylparaben, Octyldodecanol, Oleyl Alcohol, Paraffin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Propylparaben, Titanium Dioxide, White Wax

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that petroleum-derived chemicals have addictive properties, so that explains all you #chapstickaddicts out there...

Petrochemicals? More like Petrohorribles.