Is your favorite skin remedy BAD for you? How petroleum jelly can ‘suffocate pores, aggravate acne and cause pneumonia’

By  Sadie Whitelocks

PUBLISHED: 08:20 EST, 25  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 17:19 EST, 25 October 2013

Petroleum jelly is widely considered a  bathroom cabinet essential for its skin-soothing properties, but one New York  dermatologist warns that it could be doing more bad than good.

Dr. Alan Dattner, founder of  HolisticDermatology.com told the Huffington Post that the ointment – a  by-product of the oil industry – can suffocate pores, aggravate acne and even  cause a rare form of pneumonia if inhaled.

He points out that of all the petroleum  jellies on the market, Vaseline is probably the safest as it is  ‘highly-refined’, whereas cheaper alternatives are more likely to contain  cancer-causing chemicals.

Bathroom cabinet essential: Petroleum jelly is known for its skin-soothing properties, but one New York dermatologist warns that it could be doing more bad than good 

Bathroom cabinet essential: Petroleum jelly is known for  its skin-soothing properties, but one New York dermatologist warns that it could  be doing more bad than good

 

‘Vaseline supposedly has all of these  [components] removed,’ Dr. Dattner says.

‘But there are probably plenty  of petroleum  jelly imitators, and one doesn’t always know the extent  that they’re removed.’

Indeed, a spokesperson for the Vaseline,  which launched in Brooklyn, New York, in 1870, told MailOnline that it only uses  FDA approved-petroleum jelly.

‘The brand prides itself on its rich skin  healing heritage. For over 140 years, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly has helped heal  and protect millions of people and families around the world.’

Its website states that applying Vaseline on  a regular basis will help ‘heal dry skin’ as well as ‘protect minor cuts’ and  ‘reduce the appearance of fine, dry lines.’

Some  products are absorbed into the skin, so it’s nice to use something that you  wouldn’t mind putting into your body’

However, celebrity make-up artist Katey  Denno, whose clients include Christy Turlington and Amanda Seyfried, is  not a  fan of petroleum jelly, whatever the brand.

‘It’s an inexpensive way for a formulator to  offer the appearance and immediate feel of hydrated skin,’ she said.

Like Dr. Dattner, Ms Denno claims, if used to  often, the gel can irritate the skin because of its thick texture that merely  ‘seals in the dirt.’

She recommends always washing and cleansing  the skin before applying any form of moisturizer to avoid  breakouts.

Giving his verdict, Dr. Dattner says it is  best to opt for more natural products. His top skin healing ingredients include  beeswax, coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter and cocoa butter.

‘Remember that some of these products are  absorbed into the skin, so it’s nice to use something that you wouldn’t mind  putting into your body.’

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