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Is Petroleum in Skincare Really That Bad?

Petroleum Jelly

Curious whether it's time to ditch that petroleum jelly? Here's everything you've been wanting to know about petroleum based ingredients in your skincare so that you can decide for yourself.

Petrolatum (and related petroleum ingredients like petroleum jelly, mineral oil, microcrystalline wax, paraffin oil, and paraffin wax) is a byproduct of the oil industry that was discovered in oil rigs in the 1800s.

Petroleum-based ingredients are made by refining crude oil—a non-renewable resource (meaning not sustainable)—and can be contaminated with traces of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (1). According to the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services determined several PAHs are known animal carcinogens and probable human carcinogens, which are cancer-causing agents (2).

Fully refined petroleum in skincare is unlikely contaminated with significant amounts of PAHs, though this is unregulated in the United States. In fact, the United States FDA bans about 11 ingredients in cosmetics (3), while the European Union prohibits about 1,300. Yet we're biologically the same (read: you should be weary as a consumer, and take it upon yourself to scrupulously evaluate ingredients).

The European Parliament and Council on Cosmetic Products restricts the use of petrolatum in skincare “except if the full refining history is known and it can be shown that the substance from which it is produced is not a carcinogen (4).”

It's possible that PAHs found in petroleum are unlikely to be absorbed through the skin or bioaccumulate if accidentally or incidentally swallowed (such as lip products containing petroleum). But why risk it? There are a plethora of nontoxic and renewable ingredients that can be used instead to effectively moisturize the skin, without the risks to people and the planet posed by PAHs!

Ranger Balm was created as a better, cleaner, eco-friendlier, and uncomplicated solution for those looking to swap out the petroleum, no matter your skin type. Our multipurpose balms are consciously crafted with non-toxic, natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free and sustainably sourced plant-based ingredients, specifically chosen for their ability to hydrate and soothe even the most dry, sensitive, and eczema-prone skin.

Our Original Multipurpose Balm is a perfect swap for petroleum based products, and can be used for dry patches, lips, cuticles, hands and feet, dry ends, untamed brows, flyaways, face and body moisturizer, scalp and hair mask, cleansing balm, makeup remover, baby balm, belly balm, beard balm, and so much more.

Our ingredients:

Organic sunflower seed oil, a natural emollient rich in linoleic acid, phytoceramides, and vitamin E, used for its anti-inflammatory and barrier restoring effects, and to hydrate the skin while helping to strengthen and preserve skin barrier integrity.

Organic grapeseed oil, a byproduct of the wine-making industry, a natural emollient rich in linoleic acid, resveratrol, and vitamin E, used for its high antioxidant activity which helps to protect the skin from the harmful effects of solar radiation, reduce the appearance of scars and discoloration, and combat the signs of aging. Moreover, it provides antimicrobial activity that may have an inhibitory effect on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus  a specific type of bacteria often over-colonized on eczema-prone skin.

Organic virgin coconut oil, a natural emollient rich in lauric acid, known for its excellent moisturizing and antimicrobial properties. Its high lauric acid content may help to fight Staphylococcus aureus – a specific type of bacteria often over-colonized on eczema-prone skin – and Propionibacterium acnes   also known as acne-causing bacteria.

To achieve our smooth and creamy texture that's ultra hydrating yet never sticky or suffocating, we use non-GMO sunflower seed wax, a vegan occlusive that effectively replaces the need for animal-derived and fossil fuel-derived barrier protection (such as lanolin, beeswax, and petroleum) to help seal in the skin’s natural moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss.

So are you ready to make the swap? Try Ranger Balm now and get 10% off your first order.


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