Petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly), long term safety of topical application?

I always wonder if certain ingredients that are beneficial short-term, are also good in the long run. I remember reading about a certain cold cream that wrecked women's faces in the 1950s (sadly I can't find the source).

What happens if you use petrolatum on your face daily for years? Could it change your skin's ability to produce skin barrier regulating molecules (ceramides etc)? Are there any potential downsides?

Have you seen any studies or anecdotal evidence regarding long term use of petrolatum?


Comments

  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited October 2019
    Anecdotal evidence: have been using moisturiser with 9% of petrolatum under my eyes for the last two years. The only "side effect" I noticed is that I have no crow feet at all (even when I forget to apply it occasionally). Petrolatum is amazing though :)
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    ...The only "side effect" I noticed is that I have no crow feet at all...
    That's quite obvious because petrolatum jelly is an official, proven, and approved bird deterrent ;) . Seriously!
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Maybe the birds know something about Petrolatum that human's don't 
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • I learn something cool here every day ?
  • Haaaaaahaaaaa!  #Pharma I don't know if he gets it??
    I know what you are saying, but petrolatum has been around for a lot longer than anything we use today.
    I think the thing you were thinking of was arsenic. Ladies used to put Arsenic on their faces to make them whiter as that was the fashion. And yes they became so white they ended up in the morgue!
    Its a pity its so traceable, I have wanted to put it into my exes salt container a few times LOL.
    This may be a bad analogy, but if you use too many laxatives, your digestive tract becomes lazy and it will not work properly as its had something working far more efficiently for it for many years. So I think your question has a lot of merit.
    However,#Zink don't worry after 50 yrs old no-one notices you anymore anyway so who cares what you look like.  Can't wait!!
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • Cst4Ms4Tmps4Cst4Ms4Tmps4 Member
    edited November 2019
    @Zink
     

    "Cold cream" technically is any cream that is refrigerated and the evaporation of water. Not necessary the ingredients.

    I didn't say it!  :D  This is an excellent source of cosmetics history!

    https://cosmeticsandskin.com/aba/cold-cream.php

    I hope it is real and factual though.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited November 2019
    @Dr Catherine Pratt? Guess I miss something here (lost in translation or overworked?), sorry ;( .
    Petroleum jelly is safe. Legend has it that the guy who "invented" Vaseline (IIRC he, I unfortunately forgot his name/company, didn't but was owner of a large petroleum company and actually died not that long ago) eat a spoonful petroleum jelly every day till his last breath. Said it helped his digestion (paraffin oil which is chemically very similar is used for that purpose) and maybe, just maybe, was the source of his health and long life (the petroleum or his good digestion remains elusive :smile: ). Since petroleum is derived from crude oil, early and less pure fractions/distillates were/are certainly unhealthy or worse (think diesel fuel or oil spill, respectively). Modern, purified aliphatic hydrocarbons are safe as can be. Like Catherine said, there were a lot of 'actives' in cosmetics in days past which contained heavy metals, poisonous plant extracts, or *gosh* were even radioactive!
    This brings me to @Cst4Ms4Tmps4 Nice link! Thanks for sharing! Can't vouch for everything (because it's not in my expertise) but there's a fair deal of truth in it.
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited November 2019
    A friend of mine shared Cosmeticsandskin link with me last Friday and I have been binge reading it since then. I even made my own cold cream based on the formula I found in Happi. I actually replaced 30% 30% of 35%) of mineral oil with petrolatum (because there’s no such thing as too much of petrolatum jk) and this stuff can dissolve waterproof mascara!


    I don’t have ceresin, I replaced it with ozokerite. And same with behenic acid, swapped to stearic. Still works. Such a cool vintage thing :)
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    My favourite base formula for cold creams is the one from Dermatologische Magistralrezepturen der Schweiz:
    Beeswax                         8
    Hydrated peanut oil      17
    Refined peanut oil      ~50
    Castor oil                       5
    Water                          ~20
    Also contains antioxidants and sometimes a small amount of sodium dodecylsulfate. The peanut oil - hydrogenated peanut oil part can easily be swapped in part of fully with liquid paraffin - petroleum jelly whereas the emulsifier may be omitted (better 'cooling' effect i.e. emulsion inversion) or replaced with something else for increased stability or a nicer feel.
    I also like to include some cetyl palmitate and cetyl alcohol like it's done in many traditional cold cream formulas.
    These cold creams are actually very versatile and efficient for such simple composition. Greater for cold windy weather and calloused hand/feet, less for aesthetic cosmetics such as day creams.
  • Wouldn’t it separate or you add TEA too? I am very new to such products but find them fascinating.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    No TEA. REAL cold cream does neither contain an emulsifier nor emulsifying wax. Some add it or use small quantities of sodium lauryl- or laurethsulfate to help the emulsifying process and increase emulsion stability but the trick of cold creams is that they are stabilised only by wax which increases the oil phase's melting point so that the 'emulsion' is more like a semi-solid lipid sponge filled with water. Once applied on skin, the card house collapses, liberating water and causes a slight cooling effect. Modern cold creams have nothing to do with this kind of old-school cold cream.
  •  (because there’s no such thing as too much of petrolatum jk)
    How much petrolatum before you find it too greasy?
    for both night and day creams
  • It’s very individual for everyone and most people would say I am wasting petrolatum here but I use up to 7% for night cream and 3-4% for day. It heavily depends on other ingredients and for example adding octyldodecanol ‘tames’ petrolatum (although a friend of mine who has much more experience than I do is of opinion that instead of taming petrolatum I should just use less) and you can add more. It’s one of my favorite ingredients and I think if you use it right it’s less greasy than many veg oils.
  • I am using retinol now, and my skin is extremely dry, so I made 10% (total oil please 2%) petrolatum moisturizer for night. It’s quite heavy.
  • Have you tried the retinol alternative, Bakuchiol?
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • Not yet. Have been looking at it for a while but it’s outrageously expensive so I decided to go old fashioned way.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I suspect Bakuchiol is more hype than real performance. The supporting evidence that it matches retinol is weak.
  • Yes I am sure we will find out within time! The reason everyone is going mad for it is because you can put it in your lotion and walk outside in the sun with it, and as you know you cannot do that with the real retinol!
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • Retinol shows drastic improvement. It removes acne (if any), makes pores look smaller, evens out skin tone, reduces ‘texture’ and I heard reduces fine lines but I don’t have them to comment on it. It comes with some problems of course but it feels to me that there’s no free cheese. Bakuchiol sounds a but too good to be true.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    edited December 2019

    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29947134

    www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjd.16918

    The major difference was that Bakuchiol was applied twice daily and Retinol was applied once daily.  So it would appear that Bakuchiol yields results similar to Retinol, but you must use twice as much or twice as often as Retinol to achieve similar results.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited December 2019
    @MarkBroussard - This study would have been more compelling if they included a control. A reasonable conclusion from the study as performed is that neither Retinol nor Bakuchiol improved upon what the control cream did by itself. It seems strange that an obvious control wasn't included.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Perry:  Yes, it would have been more compelling if they had included the control for the cream.  I guess they were operating under the assumption that the the effectiveness of retinol is well-established by other studies.  But, on a head-to-head comparison, it would appear that Bakuchiol's effectiveness is similar to Retinol, albeit it requires twice as much to achieve similar results.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
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