Choose An Alternative to Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly has always been well-known for it’s ability to act as a protective barrier and moisturizer for our skin. And sure, it does seem to provide temporary relief from irritation or dryness. But, there are natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that are just as, if not more, effective and even healthier for you, too.

I remember on cold winter days, when I was a little girl growing up on the Southside of Chicago, mothers smearing petroleum jelly all over their children’s faces to protect them from the mean bite of the frigid air. My mother would sometimes rub petroleum jelly onto my ashy hands, feet, legs, knees and elbows. Petroleum jelly has always been well-known for its ability to act as a protective barrier and moisturizer for our skin. And sure, it does seem to provide temporary relief from irritation or dryness. But, there are natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that are just as, if not more, effective and even healthier for you, too.

Petroleum jelly or petrolatum, is an ingredient that is often found in personal care products. It is used as a moisturizing agent. When properly refined, petroleum has no known health concerns. But, according to data that I found on safecosmetics.org, petroleum is not always properly refined in the US, which makes it vulnerable to  contamination from toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are fat-loving chemicals that can accumulate in breast tissue. Several individual PAHs as well as other chemical mixtures containing PAHs have been classified as human carcinogens. [1] Scary, right?

Often times skincare professionals and Dermatologists will suggest using moisturizing creams that contain petroleum jelly to address extreme dryness resulting from sunburn, chafing, and prescription acne topicals such as- Retin A, Renova, Tretonoin, and Differin. And many may argue this, but petroleum jelly has the potential to clog pores. Petroleum jelly is occlusive – meaning it sits on top of the skin locking moisture in, which can be great, but ingredients like petroleum jelly, can prevent the skin from drawing moisture from the air; traps sebum and harmful bacteria; and keeps the skin from getting rid of toxins.

The good news is, there are natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that are beneficial to the skin. Alternative ingredients like mango and shea butter are also occlusive, but are far more safer and gentle on the skin. Plant oils do not rob the skin of moisture. They soothe, soften and heal.

Our Top 3 Favorite Alternatives to Vaseline and Other Petroleum-Based Brands

Waxelene Petroleum Jelly Alternative Tube, 5 Ounce

  • Non-petroleum based, all natural, eco friendly, biodegradable, no GMOs
  • Skin moisturizing, protection, and lubrication for lips, feet, face, hands, etc …
  • Protection from chafing, friction, wind burn, and cold
  • Soothes minor burns, scrapes, flare ups from Eczema, Psoriasis, and more

*If you are allergic to beeswax this product is not for you.

Kopari Organic Coconut Melt – All-over Skin Moisturizing, Under Eye Rescuing, Hair Conditioning + More With 100% Organic Coconut Oil, Non GMO, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Paraben Free and Sulfate Free 7.0 Oz

  • 100% ORGANIC COCONUT OIL – Kopari uses 100% pure, organic
    coconut oil sourced from the Philippines. Coconut is full of fatty
    acids (Lauric, Capric and Caprylic), vitamin E, antioxidants and
    restorative proteins.
  • GREAT FOR ALL HAIR & SKIN TYPES – Contains
    plenty of Vitamin E and protein to moisturize and protect your skin and
    hair. Works especially well for those with oily, dry and sensitive skin.
    Loaded with fatty acids to help seal moisture and lauric acid to combat
    inflammation.
  • KOPARI TAKES COCONUT OIL TO THE NEXT LEVEL- Kopari takes
    coconut oil’s many benefits to the next level by incorporating
    innovative natural ingredients that enhance the performance of
    traditional coconut oil. They use the right blend of pure ingredients with
    cutting-edge chemistry to enhance the benefits of coconut oil. This
    secret sauce delivers better results than conventional products.
  • MADE IN THE USA – These products are manufactured
    using only the best ingredients and made in sustainable,
    solar powered labs in Southern California. Kopari products are Non
    GMO, Sulfate free, Cruelty free and Paraben free.

Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum, Multi-Purpose Jelly, 3.5 Ounce

  • Provides a rich moisture barrier to protect skin
    from chafing and irritation while offering petroleum-free hydration
  • Formulated with pure plant oils and all botanical waxes
  • 100% vegetarian ingredients
  • NO: parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances
*If you are allergic to beeswax this product is not for you.

[1] Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). (2009). Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-03/documents/pahs_factsheet_cdc_2013.pdf Accessed January 24, 2018.

 

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Show Your Neck Some Respect

The most delicate areas on our bodies, the skin of our necks, décolleté and bust, are also the most neglected areas of our bodies. “Due to lack of care and protection, they’re usually the first areas to start sagging and developing age spots,” says Louise Peck, Ph.D. and founder of HydroPeptide in a recent article entitled, “Neck Deep” featured in DaySpa Magazine (Oct. 2010). “The skin on the neck is thin, has virtually no subcutaneous fat, is prone to loss of moisture and circulates blood poorly,” said Peck.

The skin on our necks, décolleté and bust should be treated with the same amount of care that is given to our faces. Though the skin on our bodies tend to differ slightly from that of our faces; the neck, bust and décolleté skin is more fragile. They must be cleansed twice daily, moisturized and protected with SPF 30. Since aging of the skin is connected with a loss of moisture, use products that are extremely hydrating. It’s actually best to use products that are formulated for the face. Hydrating serums, because they penetrate deeper, work great. Simply expand your product application to these areas. In an effort to defy gravitation, it’s best to apply products in an upward, outward direction.

Show Your Neck Some Respect

Look for products, foods or supplements that contain these ingredients:

  • Essential oils containing vitamin F including grapeseed and evening primrose oil, which increases fatty acids providing greater moisture.
  • Nut/Seed oils such as walnut, sunflower and flaxseed.
  • Green tea provides antioxidant protection and increases circulation.
  • Lactic acid gently exfoliates and reduces melanin production.
  • Vitamin A promotes cell turnover.
  • Vitamin C provides antioxidant protection and helps even skin tone.

Originally published on Be Well Blog Oct. 28, 2010

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3 Simple Tips to Relieve Dry Hands

We love Shea Butter Hand Cream by L'OCCITANE
We love Shea Butter Hand Cream by
L’OCCITANE

Do you have a hand cream that you love?

Typically, our hands show signs of aging even more than our faces. Scary, right? You may want to invest some time into caring for them on a regular basis. Start with these simple tips:

1. Get rid of harsh, drying hand soaps: Choose moisturizing bars or liquid soaps that contain hydrating oils like olive oil or argan oil would be best.

2. Exfoliate frequently: Sit a small jar of brown sugar scrub on your sink so that it is easily accessible. Two or 3 times a week, after washing your hands, use a small amount of scrub to dissolve dead skin cells. This will help your moisturizing hand creams to penetrate much better. See our DIY Brown Sugar Scrub tutorial to learn how to make your own.

3. Moisturize: Always have a tube of hand cream handy in your purse, at your desk, in your bathroom. As soon as you wash your hands, apply cream. Totalbueaty.com recommends a few good ones. Here’s what they say are some of the best performing hand creams.

Our massage therapist, Donna of DSKMassageTherapy.com, loves Helping Hands Hand Cream by Lush.
Donna of DSKMassageTherapy.com, loves Helping Hands Hand Cream by Lush.

-Avon Skin So Soft Renew & Refresh Age-Defying+ Hand Cream
-L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
-Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream

We would love to know what hand creams you think are the best. Please share in the comments below.

 

 

7 Top Skincare Mistakes

Julie+ColorCaring for our skin should be second nature right? Wrong! While some of us instinctively know what our skincare needs are, others fall short in this department.

Below is a list of some popular mistakes and suggestions on how you may better care for your skin.

1. Over Cleansing

Some of you may like having that “squeaky clean” feeling after washing your face. But, that feeling is usually an indication that you have stripped your skin of much needed oils. No matter how oily your skin may be, it is important to leave some amount of oil in tact as it provides nourishment and protection for our skin. Cleanse once a day; in the evening time using the correct cleanser for your skin type.

2. Using Too Much Moisturizer

Moisturizer should feel good on your skin. It should not feel too oily or greasy. Your skin should feel comfortable, not dry or tight. Do not apply directly under your eyes as the thinner skin will absorb too much moisture causing puffiness or fine white bumps to appear.

3. Over Exfoliating

Careful not to over exfoliate. Exfoliating too often can lead to redness and irritation. Using scrubs that contain ground nutshells can be too harsh for the skin. Look for gentle over-the-counter exfoliators that contain fruit enzymes or if you prefer a scrub choose one with cornmeal such as ilike Organics Rosehip Exfoliator.

4. Using the Wrong Face Mask

It is important that you choose face masks based on your skin type. Clay masks are for oily or blemish-prone skin. They help by regulating sebum (oil) production and treating acne by fighting off bacteria. Try glo Therapeutics Refining Mask. The best mask for dry skin types are hydrating or mud mask as they supply the skin with nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. If your skin is dry and lack luster then you would like glo Therapeutics Restorative Mask.

5. Choosing Not to Wear Sunscreen

Everyone needs sun protection- Black, White, or Yellow. It doesn’t matter what your ethnic makeup is the sun can have some negative effects on your skin. Sunscreen is needed even on the cloudiest days. Yes, we all could use vitamin D and the sun is THE best source. Therefore we are required to get at least 1 hour worth of sunlight without protection each day. But, after that… cover up. Be sure to choose Broad-Spectrum suncreens with a SPF of at least 15. If you are a lighter complexion then you may need to reapply your sunscreen every hour. If you are a darker complexion then you need to reapply your sunscreen every two hours.

6. Going to Bed with Makeup On

Sleeping in makeup wreaks havoc on your skin. Think about it… you’ve been wearing makeup all day. Environmental debris, oil, and dirt has gotten trapped in the makeup becoming an ideal playground for bacteria. I know that you are tired, but muster up the energy to wash your face before turning in at night.

7. Not Giving Products Enough Time

A very common mistake is trying new products too often. In order to see the true effect that a product has on your skin, you need to try it for at least 3 months. Keep in mind, however, that if a product irritates your skin, then cease using it immediately. Also, because our skin care needs change with the season, so should your product regime. For example, if you are oilier during the summer months, then you will need to use a cleanser formulated for oily skin. If you are dry during the winter months, then you will need a cleanser formulated for dry skin.