From food to lotion, petroleum by-products are nearly everywhere. Keep reading to learn how to make healthier decisions around petroleum use.
Petroleum is extracted from beneath the land or the ocean floor and is removed with giant drilling machines. The modern oil industry started in the 1850s and the invention of mass-produced cars increased petroleum extraction in the early 20th century.
Because petroleum needs to be refined to produce gasoline, there are several petroleum by-products that have been incorporated to our day-to-day lives since. After all, why not profit off of the byproducts of the gas industry?
Nowadays, Petroleum is in all plastic, nail polish, make up, many moisturizing creams and even hair conditioners. It is in food products, candles, perfume and house paint, taking over our homes and main wellness products. Should we be concerned?
Although many petroleum derived ingredients are FDA approved, we don’t believe we have used petroleum by-products for long enough to prove them safe. Recent research suggests links of petroleum based products with health concerns for humans. Some examples are synthetic fragrances, known as endocrine disruptors, colorants being linked with brain disfunction, and mineral oil being linked to immune system disorders.
Besides that, consuming products containing petroleum byproducts helps sustain the fracking industry. We know it is possible to safely take care of our skin without the use of petroleum byproducts, honoring ingredients that are readily available on earth’s surface and that don’t require major refining and exhaustion of natural resources .
In the skin, petroleum in the form of Vaseline or Silicone “locks” in the skin moisture in a way that does not allow it to breathe like natural oils do. Coating the skin can cause acne and irritation.
In haircare, silicone creates a coat on hair that does not allow it to breathe, creating breakage in the long term.