Decoding The Label: Petrochemicals

Wednesday, 6 June 2012



Now this is one of the ingredients that really creeps me out. 


Petrochemicals are derived from crude oil... yep, the stuff that is made to produce fuel for our cars! So no wonder why it makes me want to put down any product that contains it. 


One of the most well known petroleum jellies is Vaseline. Back in the late 1800s, rig workers found that it would malfunction their rigs, but would cause their burns and cuts to quickly heal. A chemist named Robert Chesebrough created the first Vaseline product using it. 


Ingredients like mineral oil and paraffin, which are petroleum based, form a barrier and can clog pores because the skin can't breathe. Petroleum, or petrolatum, is found in a lot of cheaper skincare. Because it doesn't penetrate the skin, it won't moisturise properly. It will just give the illusion of moisturised skin.


Many body oils contain mineral oils, or Paraffinum Liquidum as they like to call it. This is why your skin will still feel oily hours after applying it. It's not because it's moisturising, but rather it doesn't penetrate and sink into the skin. Look instead for plant based oils. Also check your lipbalms, as they are likely to contain mineral oil. 


Had you ever heard of this before in skincare?
XO



8 comments:

  1. Petrochemicals give me the creeps as well, I tend to stay WELL away! xx

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    1. Isn't it scary! Too bad it's in some good lip balms :(

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  2. Sounds like something I want to stay away from, ewww!

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    1. Doesn't it sound so scary!!! It's amazing what they put into our beauty products

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  3. Yes, I definitely heard of this before! My dad drills this into my head. He hates commercial moisturisers and cosmetics in general because he believes that most (if not all), contain petrochemicals. It's sad that many people don't realise it. The best way to avoid it is to go for organic makeup I guess.

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    1. Your dad is a smart man! Sadly just because something is organic, it doesn't make it any less safe. Those shifty little PR people!

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  4. You are all so naive and need to learn your chemistry. Mineral oils used in skin care/makeup are refined and rid of all the raw nasties (no carcinogens) in crude oil for it to be cosmetic grade. Due to it's very low freezing point it is still a liquid at low temperatures which means it won't get trapped onto your skin. The biggest benefit of using mineral oils in makeup is that is it well known to have wound healing properties, no allergies and hydrating. Yes if used on very oily skin it can be a little comodegenic but there are plenty of natural oils that are worse- like coconut oil!! Organic makeup is good but not necessarily the best.

    If you ask me I would be more worried about Parabens in my products as they are actually known to cause cancer...rather than the odd pimple a mineral oil may do.

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