Petrolatum, also known as mineral oil, is a cheap by-product of oil refining. It is a gooey mixture derived from petroleum (yes… gasoline) and it is often contaminated with carcinogens.
Just think about all the times you’ve used that ever-so-popular Vaseline – on your baby’s diaper rash or to soothe their chapped lips. That is petroleum jelly!
If you live in Europe, your baby is lucky because it’s banned for use in personal care products and foods. But if you live in the USA and Canada, your baby is at risk because the FDA STILL allows it to be put on babies.
The BIG problem is that the refining process is not regulated in the US or Canada, so you can’t check if it is refined sufficiently and if it’s baby-safe or contaminated with carcinogens.
Where can you find this toxic chemical?
Aside from the popular petroleum jelly, it’s also used in diaper creams, baby wipes, baby oils, and lotions. This chemical is also in creams, moisturizers, hair products and oils.
When you use products on your baby that contain mineral oil, they are blocking the pores and your baby’s skin’s natural breathing process. This way, mineral oil acts as a coating on their skin. It’s probably not exactly what you want to be doing to your baby’s sensitive developing skin.
So, what can you as a mother do to protect your baby?
Check the label for mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffinum, paraffinum liquididum. If you find these ingredients in the product, stay away from them! Instead go for baby safe, water-free baby creams, wipes, oils, and lotions. Because all products made with water will be full of chemicals.