Topics today will include;
- Cautionary ingredient (to avoid)
- Natural alternative: (Shea butter)
- Foods for detoxing
- Local exercise video
Also known as: Mineral oil, soft paraffin, mineral jelly, petrolatum, paraffin wax, propylene glycol, (light) liquid paraffin - the list goes on - the most commonly used words for it is Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly.
Petroleum is a white, odourless by-product of crude oil. When crude oil is processed and refined into gasoline (petrol, diesel) a useless by-product is left behind called petroleum. As it doesn't look like the oil industry are going to stop fracking and refining crude oil any time soon, this unsustainable waste product is going to be around, at high volume, for a long time. So the main reason ‘skincare’ brands use it is because it’s very cheap and there’s plenty of it.
There are components in crude oil that are considered as carcinogenic but are said to be removed during the refining process. Although measures are taken to remove these carcinogenic components, it’s not guaranteed that ALL will be removed. Petroleum jelly has an oily/ greasy consistency that gives the illusion of it being a good moisturiser but in reality it has NO nutritional benefit for the skin or hair. Also the molecules, of the jelly, are far too big for the skin to absorb and often it sits on the outer layer of the skin, forming a barrier. This barrier stops water and other environmental elements from penetrating the skin but also makes it harder for the skin to breath and release toxins, which can result in spots and other unsightly and uncomfortable reactions.
Some companies state that they take extra measures to ensure the jelly is ‘safe’ by filtering and refining it multiple times but at the same time, some companies will not take those measures. Although some petroleum jelly may be ‘clean’ in the sense that harmful toxins have been removed and it is a completely nutrient and mineral dead by-product (kind of ironic considering one of its names is mineral oil), NO petroleum jelly is natural therefore shouldn't be a part of a healthy Clean & Natural lifestyle.
Any of these look familiar? These are just some that we could get our hands on, we advise that everyone is aware of what they are using by checking the label. A good rule to go by is, if you can't understand or pronounce any of the ingredients, it probably isn't good for you or your skin but you can always do an internet search about them.
A good example of worrying effects of Petrochemicals used on the skin, is of the little boy who was the original inspiration for Clean & Natural Cosmetics. Poor little 18mth old chap was showing signs of eczema as a toddler, and like most worried parents do, he was taken to the Doctor to find out what could be done to help relieve his suffering. Below is his mother's account of events.
"As with most children, he was given three products to use: Oilatum bath additive (parrafinium liquidum); E45 Emollient (White Paraffin Aqueous Cream); and a steroid cream (1%). When the bath additive was put in the water, the petrochemical fumes were over-powering which was very off putting anyway, but as the Dr had prescribed these products, it was thought that instructions should be followed. However, less than 20 seconds of little one being in the bath, he was scratching and screaming louder and louder in agony...when taken out of the bath, he had blisters on his legs from the Infant bath additive product the Dr prescribed him! It was horrendous!
Next, instructions were to use the E45 cream on his skin after the bath, which was done, and yes the skin felt more smooth and slightly soothed, but probably only half an hour later, his skin was dry and itchy again..."
The above E45 cream, being a water-based cream, meant that the moisturising ingredients (ie water) in the product had evaporated, and only left the irritating and drying petroleum oily by-product on his skin. Lastly, was the steroid cream...
"...Used to soothe our poor little baby's discomfort, it did actually work and he stopped scratching. However, after five days' use, instructions were to stop using the steroid cream, which was done, but then the eczema came back almost immediately. It was a complete vicious circle and never seemed to have a hope of ending...until we found some natural alternatives!" Mum, ACM Sep 2015
As his mum stated above, she and her husband did find some Clean & Natural alternatives. They found that the difference it made to their little boy's skin was almost immediate as soon as they stopped using the prescribed products. Luckily, they had not been using the prescriptions for very long so it was a straight forward transition. Although it worked for this family, unfortunately, we can never guarantee that it will work for everyone. Because everybody's skin is different, results may vary. However, after reading the above information, it is worth a try to end the terrible suffering some kids, and adults, have to endure.
Shea butter is an excellent alternative. People often use petroleum jelly because of its thickness, its 'protective' barrier and because it's cheap. Shea butter is a thick moisturiser from the nut of the shea tree (a tree that doesn't flower for 20 years and can live up to 200 years). This tree (and the butter) is said to hold the key to youth and shows, in some cases, to promote the production of collagen within the skin, which is responsible for plump youthful looking skin. Shea butter also helps to protect the skin from environmental factors such as wind, sun and other natural free radicals and is high in vitamins A, E and F which help to promote the skin to regenerate. This wonderful moisturiser has the ability to form a protective barrier and also the ability to NOT block the skins pores due to the molecules being small enough to be absorbed into the skin. The only downside, for petroleum jelly users making the switch to shea butter, is that the butter is slightly more expensive.. but we believe that money shouldn't be an issue when it comes to health. The choice of what you use is, obviously, up to you so we hope you make the right choice and ALWAYS understand what you're using!
More on the dangers of petrochemicals: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/let-food-be-your-cosmetic-coconut-oil-outperforms-dangerous-petroleum-body-care
We've put together a list of foods that will aid you in your detoxing journey;