Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Case for All-Natural

We've had a few conversations on Chaptastic about the merits of organic/all-natural vs. petrolatum lip balms. Some people claim that petrolatum (derived from the fuel petroleum; terms used interchangeably) doesn't really work as a moisturizer and that it causes irritation. Others swear by it, praising petrolatum as a great skin protectant and insisting that it's innocuous. Chaptastic has reviewed both kinds of balms, usually expressing a preference all-natural.

Personally, I'm on the fence. I use a dab of Vaseline at night but tend to prefer all-natural lip balms, which may seem contradictory. But I find that most lip balms that use petrolatum as a base ingredient tend to contain multitudes of other unpronounceable and scary-looking ingredients, whereas Vaseline has pretty much just the one scary ingredient.

Today I read the most compelling argument for keep all-natural. It's common sense: "Whatever you use, you will ingest small amounts of the product". So maybe ingesting petroleum and a variety of synthetic ingredients, however little at a time, is not the best decision. In fact, I wonder how much we swallow a year! Anyone want to bust out the math and appalling analogy (ex, a person eats enough lip balm in one year to grease all the axles in the Indy 500)? Or maybe it doesn't make a difference in the long run, considering all the other crap we put into our bodies.

What do you think?


Blogger Keith said...

Thank you for post this..It pretty much answers my question that I had emailed you..I do not think using petrolatum is really unhealthy..I really like to put it on at night before i go to bed over a layer of some other lip balm.
It would be interesting to see how much we actually ingest on a yearly basis of lip balm products..

I believe that ingesting petrolatum based products are the least of most peoples worries..Eating fast food is much worse for your insides, than petrolatum, but that is just my 2 cents..

Others comments??

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. I am a smoker, I drink gallons of Diet-coke, etc. Ingesting small amounts of Vaseline is truely the least of my health worries. Something is gonna "get me" & I highly doubt that it'll be "Vaseline Overdose" on my death certificate.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women ingest approximately 4 pounds of lipstick in their lifetimes. Scary!

8:59 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

that is quite a bit..i didnt think it would be that much

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

injestion of petrolatum is absolutely fine in small amounts, worst case you get diarrhea, cramping etc. I once met a man who's entire family was given a table spoon of vaseline/Petrolatum every night before bed and all 9 children continued this throughout thier adult lives. All claimed to be healthier and stronger for it. Purely anecdotal but still interesting. The distillation of the waxy petrolatum is not related or a by product of the refining of oil therefore does not exhibit many of the highly toxic characteristics of some of the other oil refining/distilling process. With all the fast food, refined sweeteners, processed food we put in our bodies petrolatum based products would be the last of my worries.

9:05 PM  

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