Dry or Eczematous: Anything truly better than petroleum jelly?

ZinkZink Member
I sometimes use petroleum jelly for dry skin patches, I have psoriasis in my family so I need to look out for it.  Petroleum Jelly works quite well.

In your opinion, is there anything significantly better to use than straight petroleum jelly? 8 hour cream? Anything?


  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    I note from the Derm magazine that new treatments for that are arriving all the time. 
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  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    If you look at the designed studies evaluating new materials for decreasing TEWL, Petrolatum is usually the "gold standard" that the tested materials try to emulate. I do recall Moringa Butter being one of the best.

    I suppose the question is why do you want to move away from Petrolatum? Is it an ussie with the purported safety? Much of the bias is unwarranted, but conversely, this bias has spawned a huge market for petrolatum replacements. If it were just to find a "better" product, I think you are there already. You may want to consult a Physician or consider adding a topical corticosteroid.
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  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    That depends on what you mean by "significantly better". From a performance standpoint, as @Microformulation said, Petrolatum is the gold standard. But it is also heavy and greasy. There may be other materials that work almost as well but don't feel as bad. Certainly, there are formulas that do.
  • @Microformulation Moringa butter is an interesting one, yet one would think there'd be mixtures of polymers etc that would perform better than petrolatum? Applying pure moringa butter is also a bit impractical, it's too hard on its own.

    You could also imagine that there would be products that nurture the skin barrier by provides certain amounts of lipids in certain ratios such as certain cermaides, linoleic acid, palmitic acid and cholesterol. Combined with some petrolatum or another barrier forming TEWL reducing agent it could be superior to petrolatum alone.

    Guess I need to make it at prove it's better than pure petrolatum ;)

  • DoreenDoreen Member
    edited January 2018
    I used to apply petrolatum as well for dry skin/eczemic laesions, I agree that the heavy, greasy feel doesn't feel nice, though it is superior in reducing TEWL.
    Now I make a lighter cream for during the day (with esters like isoamyl laurate) and a buttery cream or anhydrous butter during the night (for the latter I make whipped butters, 75% shea, 22,4% oils, 2,5-5% behenyl alcohol, 0,1% tocopherol or BHT).
    It's just my opinion, but to me the whole 'skin nurturing' thing is just marketing BS. I've used creams with cholesterol/ceramides etc, but I have never noticed a significant difference.
    I do however like the effect of oatmeal. It seems to calm the skin.

    I agree with Microformulation: maybe it's best to visit your GP. The addition of a class I or II corticosteroid could be an option.
  • Doreen81. There's fairly strong evidence that certain ratios and amounts of lipids do strengthen the skin barrier over time. Of course, you need a product with adequate amount of each ingredient, and that's where the bullshit comes in with brands putting 0.001% of a ceramide in the middle of the ingredient list due to the 1% rule. Nor do any brands I know of supply 3rd party pr batch analytics verifying the amounts used.

    I don't need corticostereoids, just wondering if there are superior alts to P.

  • One should try Ostrich oil and see what is the outcome. @Doreen81 you may give it a try including it in your day cream or night butter!
    @Zink you should try it too  ;)
  • lanolin is another option but never tested it versus petrolatum TEML.
  • Unknown Member
    edited February 2018
    @Zink you should try vaseline lotion in my opinion petroleum jelly is best but you should try vaseline it's is also better :)

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  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @ethelcurtis - Vaseline is petrolatum

  • The question is if your mixture of ceramide/cholesterol/fatty acid is able to penetrate into the SC. You may need a vehicle.

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