The Vaseline debate
Some people swear by Vaseline, hailing it the ultimate lifesaver among beauty products. It’s a simple multitasker and has been around for centuries, meaning even your great-great-grandmother is likely to have used it. But does the fact that it's stuck around for so long really earn it a place in every bathroom? Some people worry it clogs pores while others claim using it on your lips actually only serves to dry them out even more. So what’s the truth?
First of all, it’s important to understand exactly where Vaseline comes from. Eco-warrior beauty fans will probably have already shunned it, as it’s far from environmentally friendly. The first reference to petroleum jelly as Vaseline was made in 1859, when chemist Robert A. Chesebrough came across the gooey substance, which was causing oil rigs to seize up.
Petroleum jelly produced by Vaseline is triple purified, however other brands won't necessarily go through the same process. The filtering and distilling process is important because it cleans the product and removes the air bubbles before it makes it onto the shelf and into your beauty bag.
So let's start off with the pros of incorporating Vaseline into your beauty regime. For starters, it's inexpensive and comes in handy travel-size pots, so it won't break the bank or your bag.
It's also incredibly versatile - people use it to soothe cracked skin on everything from lips to heels and elbows. It also makes a nice sticky base for applying loose glitter make-up and can be used to smooth unruly brows. Some even swear it helps their eyelashes grow, so coat them in Vaseline overnight (just make sure it doesn't get into your eye!). Other uses include as a lip gloss, for making teeth appear shinier and removing make-up.
Now, let's come to the cons. As mentioned before, it's not environmentally friendly, as it's a minor by-product of the refining of crude oil. But as this process would go on with or without the need for Vaseline, it's unsure whether not using it would have a great effect.
However, many people also worry it could directly impact their health in a negative way. Some say it clogs their pores, while others deem it unsafe, claiming the chemicals in Vaseline are dangerous for the skin. It can also be too greasy for those who suffer from oily skin and can be difficult to remove.
It's important to remember that Vaseline does not actually serve to give your skin any moisture. It might feel soothing, but really it's just creating a protective shield from the elements, so don't be surprised if using it on already dry lips doesn't clear the problem up.
Overall, it comes down to preference. If you've familiarised yourself with the ingredients in Vaseline and the process behind making it and still feel happy to use it, there is no solid evidence this will harm you. On the other hand, if you'd rather try an all-natural product, you might just have to shell out a little more - a small price to pay for peace of mind!