When it comes to health and beauty aids, it doesn’t get much better than petroleum jelly. Often known by the brand name Vaseline, the product has a myriad of uses, such as makeup removal, moisturizing your face and hands, and even healing scrapes and burns (via Healthline) — though you want to avoid using it on a sunburn. It can even help heal your nails. But before you slather on more of the stuff, here’s what using too much Vaseline does to your body.
Sure, it’s slick and thick, but what is Vaseline actually made of? Well, it’s made from a mix of waxes and natural mineral oils, which gives it its solid, somewhat gel-like consistency, according to Byrdie. It’s used to treat everything from scabs and scars to eczema and rashes. Thing is, Vaseline might not be the wonder product that it’s touted to be — if you use too much of it, that is.
So here’s the thing about using a vat of Vaseline. Although it’s considered safe to use, there are elements in it that have been removed that could be carcinogenic, per HuffPost). This happens during the refining process, when potentially toxic ingredients are removed from the oil. And while Vaseline has supposedly removed all of this bad stuff, who knows if that lookalike brand touting itself to be as good as Vaseline has gone through the same stringent process?
Here are some other health risks from using too much Vaseline
While Vaseline can be your dry skin’s BFF, putting on too much might create more problems. It can cause breakouts in people who are acne-prone, per the American Academy of Dermatology. That’s because it can suffocate your pores and prevent them from breathing.
Many people use Vaseline as a makeup remover. But putting it on your face (and more specifically, on your eyelids), can make your vision blurry if it accidentally gets into your eyes (via Healthline). The good thing is that a little goes a long way, so if you want to rub some Vaseline on your eyelashes, a little dab will do ya.
Then, there’s the issue of breathing in Vaseline. Although many people might use it to relieve the dryness inside their nostrils (or to help a chapped, stuffy nose feel better again), inhaling Vaseline isn’t safe, per the Mayo Clinic. In fact, if you use Vaseline on your nose for long periods of time, you could cause lung problems, such as lipoid pneumonia, a serious lung inflammation (via National Institutes of Health). It’s caused by the inhalation of fatty substances — like Vaseline. If you’re having problems breathing, and you’ve been using petroleum jelly by your nostrils, you should contact your doctor right away.
While Vaseline has a ton of great uses, be careful about how often and where you smooth it onto your skin, so that you always get the most beautiful (and healthiest) results.
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