Petroleum is a by-product of the oil industry and used in the beauty industry because it is a cheap ingredient. You will find mineral oil in lipsticks, baby lotions, oils and lubricants. It is often promoted as a healing moisturiser but this could not be further from the truth. Initially your skin will feel silky smooth but your skin does not absorb petroleum so the results are superficial. Petroleum creates a barrier and this is bad news if you are applying to a wound. Initially petroleum jelly may help keep out infection by creating a barrier on the skin but it can also have the opposite effect and trap in the germs. It is known to clog pores and block the skin’s ability to moisturise itself. Repeated use may set off skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis and for this reason I never use it on my eczema.
When buying an alternative to petroleum jelly choose products with ingredients such as olive oil, almond oil, wheat germ oil, grape seed oil, sunflower seed oil, rose hip seed oil, apricot kernel oil, jojoba, coconut oil, cocoa butter or shea butter.