Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Petroleum Jelly Controversy

I have a Vaseline addiction... I apply it on my lips approximately 8-10 times a day: I apply it when I get out of the shower, I apply it prior to eating (one of my many quirks-I cannot eat with dry lips), I apply it multiple times during the day, as well as before I go to sleep and I have even applied in the middle of the night!

One night a few summers back, I was sleeping at my boyfriend's house and I had forgotten my Vaseline. So I went to the corner store and bought a no-name petroleum jelly product packaged exactly like my beloved Vaseline; however, when I opened it and applied it to my lips, all I could smell was oil. It smelled like my mechanics garage. I was baffled-why would it smell like that? Had it gone bad?

So what
is petroleum jelly? In a nutshell, petroleum jelly is a mixture of hydrocarbons (hydrogen and carbon) which are semi-solid at room temperature. It is odorless when properly refined. It was originally discovered on oil rigs in Pennsylvania in 1859, and patented in 1872.

So what is the big controversy? The major concern with petroleum jelly is Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are contaminants found in petroleum jelly. PAHs are linked to cancer, as well as other ailments. Refined petroleum jelly is lower in PHAs.

In Europe, petroleum jelly is banned for use in cosmetics unless it is 100% pure, however in the United States there is no requirment for refinement in cosmetic products, which means any amount in any purity is allowed to be used. The same petroleum used in shoe polish can be used in cosmetics!

Petroleum jelly in it's purest form is considered safe but there is no way to know how the petroleum was manufactured. One thing to look for is the words "skin protectant" after the petroleum listing, this is an indication that the petroleum is refined and meets FDA requirments for drug applications.

Basically, you have to make your own decision about petroleum jelly. It is hard to avoid as it is in many, many products. I have just purchased un-petroleum, a jelly made from pure plant oils and all natural waxes. It is free of petroleum, paraffin, mineral oil, artificial fragrances, and parbins. I will do a follow up post to tell you how I like it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday's Product of the Week:

Little Goddess Creme Blush

If you want to look healthy and awake, the one product you can not skip is blush. Blush can do many things from making your skin look youthful and radiant, to creating definition and shape. There are many blush formulations from powder to tints. My favorite is cream blush. I like cream blush because it melts into your skin and looks natural instead of looking like you have powder sitting on your skin. Little Goddess Creme Blush creates a nice healthy flush like you were just out for a jog. It is buildable, you can have a translucent glow or build it up to an intense color. 

Available in 5 shades: 
Golden Mauve and Champagne Peach contain shimmer. Available at