As I smoothed the Vaseline over my lips I hesitated and thought, “did I just poison myself?”
My lips were feeling a little dry this morning and I just ran out of chap stick so without even thinking about it, I got out the Vaseline and used it as a lip moisturizer.
Vaseline has been around for years and is a trusted brand that people have been regularly using on their skin. We think nothing of it because it has been a product we’ve used, our parents used, and our grandparents used. I was even told by our doctor to use it when taking my infant baby’s temperature, in an area we don’t normally talk about in public.
But, more information is coming out about the ingredients in many of the skincare products we have trusted over the years and it is frightening to learn.
Vaseline is the brand name for Petroleum Jelly. Here is the definition of Petroleum jelly:
“Petroleum jelly, commonly known by the most popular brand name Vaseline, is a derivative of oil refining. Originally found coating the bottom of oil rigs in the mid-1800s, it’s a byproduct of the oil industry and therefore an unsustainable resource (read: not eco-friendly).” Oct 21, 2013
Found on the bottom of oil rigs!!!
And I just smeared that over my lips! I might as well have taken a bite because it will absorb into my body just the same.
We assume that if something is for sale that it is safe for use. We think nothing of the ingredients that go into the skin care products that we use. But did you know that there are over 1,000 ingredients that have been banned from use in Europe in their skincare products and only 30 banned ingredients in the United States?
I have always had sensitive skin. I was the kid in the summer who had to wear a hat, t-shirt, and the white zinc oxide over my nose while my sisters got to run around in their bathing suits with their golden skin glowing in the sun.
Many sunscreens gave me heat rash and skin irritations so I have had to pay attention to what products I use my whole life.
But I was still the typical teenager. I washed my face with Noxema, used Sea Breeze toner, and lip smacker lip balms.
It wasn’t until I got skin cancer in my 30’s that I really started paying attention to what I was putting on my skin. I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter and when the doctor told me I had skin cancer, I burst into tears. He had no idea how to handle it.
Luckily it was the mildest kind, basal cell, and they were able to remove it all.
That experience got me to go to the dermatologist on a regular basis and to notice and pay attention to what I was putting on my skin.
I try to use skincare products that are organic and have safe ingredients in them.
But I am still as vain as the best of them and I want to look young and wrinkle free. It is time consuming and expensive to find luxurious skincare that looks, smells, and feels good on the skin and still keeps my skin young and healthy.
So what are the 3 most important things you can do to keep your skin healthy?
- Pay attention to the ingredients that are in your makeup and lotions. Don’t assume it is safe just because it is a brand name or an expensive, well known product. Check out the skin deep section of ewg.org to search for ingredients that are safe https://www.ewg.org/
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and eat hydration rich foods like salads, vegetables, soups, and fruit. Like my coach Star Kechara says, “Fruit makes you cute.” UW Health Org says, “Drinking an adequate amount of water daily is important for overall good health because water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and even excretion. The fact is that skin is an organ, and just like any other part of the body. your skin is made up of cells. And skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling.”
- Sing out loud for 10 minutes a day. Singing is fun and being happy and relaxed is good for the skin. Singing also makes you take deep breaths which leads to more oxygen and better blood circulation and you relax and stretch your face which is all good for the skin. You can also exercise which will get your circulation and oxygen levels ramped up.
Our skin is an organ and we need to care for it just as we would our heart or our lungs. Just like you would not eat a tasty pastry that had miniscule amounts of arson in it because it would damage your body, you should not use skin care products that contain the coatings from the bottom of oil rigs.
There are still natural products you can use and unusual fun ways to care for your skin. And who doesn’t appreciate one more reason to belt out Madonna while in the shower?