Doctors have been recommending petroleum jelly (petrolatum) for well over a century for effective relief of skin burns, dry chapped skin, irritated skin, etc. It’s also a very common ingredient in skin moisturizers and is considered non-toxic when used in a highly refined grade. Some estimate that petrolatum appears on the ingredient list of 15 to 40 percent of moisturizing cosmetics, lotions and creams. While some manufacturers – in pursuit of organic or natural labels – promote petrolatum alternatives, others swear by its ability to moisturize and heal. Petrolatum’s ‘secret’ is that it seals off the skin from water and air and locking in natural moisture, giving the skin time to heal itself without interference or interruption. In some circumstances, it may be more beneficial to allow the skin to ‘breathe’ by absorbing external moisture, but by and large, petrolatum is cheap, generally safe and easy to mix into the roster of products we use every day.
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