"Petroleum is a BIG issue that often is not addressed with skin and allergy issues!"
The above comment caught my attention as I perused the feedback from a readers interest survey I had put out at the end of 2019. (Take the survey here.)
What did she mean? What personal experience did this woman have that prompted her to share her story with me? Here's what she wrote:
"It wasn't until someone mentioned in a blog post about a petroleum allergy that the light bulb went on for me and all the allergy issues I've had for over 30 years."
Hold up. Thirty years?! That's a long time to suffer from unexplained allergies. What did she do? Read on...
"I had changed my diet, eliminated most chemicals in the house and diet, used essential oils for many things, but still had issues that were not resolving. MadeOn has been a huge game-changer for me over the years, but the focus on petroleum (which is in just about everything!!) has helped the most. Still have issues not resolved that probably won't be until I can get all my mercury fillings replaced, but my skin is a lot better since removing as much petroleum as I can." Rhonda, January 8, 2020
What exactly is Petroleum?
Petroleum (you'll recognize it as Vaseline or Aquaphor) is a derivative of oil refining; it's a byproduct of the oil industry. It's been used as a treatment for everything from dry skin to diaper rash.
What doesn't Petroleum work for Dry Skin?
Here's the problem: for one, it may contain other harmful chemicals (read more on that here). Also, it could block your pores and cause break-outs. While it might feel nourishing at first, there's really nothing nourishing about it as it doesn't absorb into the skin.
What can you use instead of Petroleum?
According to this article, the answer is in our store:
"Products containing beeswax, coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter and cocoa butter seal in moisture and don't come with some of the risks of petroleum jelly."
You *could* take a patch test
Patch tests can tell you what you're allergic to. Here's how they work: very small quantities of potential allergens are applied to your skin and covered with small patches. The patches stay on your skin for two days before the doctor removes them. If you have an allergy for something you're being tested for, the skin under that particular patch will be inflamed when the patch is removed or in the days after removal of the patch. Here's the irony, though. The allergen being tested is often placed in the small cavity with petroleum. So if you have an allergy to petroleum... I suppose you'll test positive for all the allergens tested.
The good news is that petroleum as an allergen is somewhat rare. It does affect our friend Rhonda and there are certainly reasons to avoid it. If you're looking for an alternative, look no further than Beesilk.