Veganism is a practice that has surged in popularity over the past few years. It involves abstaining from using or consuming animal products or by-products. Veganism can be distinguished into several categories.
A ‘strict vegetarian’ or dietary vegan is someone who does not eat meat, dairy products, and eggs, as well as any other substances that are derived from animals.
On the other hand, ‘ethical vegans’ are people who, in addition to maintaining a vegan diet, oppose the use of any animal product for any purpose.
While petroleum jelly does not contain any direct animal products, it is made from oil, and some brands that manufacture petroleum jelly test their products on animals.
Table of Contents
- Everything You Need to Know About Petroleum Jelly
- So, is Petroleum Jelly Vegan?
- Vegan Alternatives To Petroleum Jelly
- Why Go Vegan In The First Place?
- Is Petroleum Jelly Vegan: A Conclusion
Everything You Need to Know About Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly, which is also known as petrolatum, is a mixture of waxes and mineral oils that are combined to form a semi-solid, jelly-like substance — hence the name.
It has not undergone many changes in the formula and texture since it was discovered in 1859 by Robert Augustus Chesebrough. He noticed that oil workers would use a gooey kind of jelly to heal their burns and wounds
He eventually manufactured and marketed this jelly as Vaseline.
The benefits of petroleum jelly come from its primary ingredient: petroleum. Petroleum helps seal your skin and heal it using a water-resistant barrier, which helps your skin better retain moisture and recover quickly.
The Benefits of Petroleum Jelly
There is a vast array of benefits that using petroleum jelly can provide.
Perhaps the most common is that it can help your body heal minor burns and surface-level scrapes quicker. A study has shown that petroleum jelly is very effective at retaining moisture in the skin after surgery, which means that it is excellent for less severe skin injuries.
Before you apply petroleum jelly to an injury, make sure that it has been cleaned and disinfected to avoid bacteria. This will prevent a myriad of other pathogens from becoming trapped underneath, which will slow the healing process down significantly.
Another common use for petroleum jelly is as a moisturizer, especially after a bath or shower. It is an occlusive moisturizer that is capable of preventing your skin from becoming dry and can also be used for dry noses during allergy season.
A less commonly known use for petroleum jelly is a makeup remover. As oil is a very effective way of removing makeup, petroleum jelly can safely be used around the eye area.
The Dangers of Petroleum Jelly
Many people will be happy to know that petroleum jelly does not have many adverse side effects, and is only unsafe under some quite specific circumstances. Regardless, it is worth mentioning them anyway.
The most important thing to remember about using petroleum jelly is that it is made for external use only. This means that it should only be applied to your skin, face, or hair, and should not be consumed, orally or otherwise.
This also means that you should avoid using petroleum jelly as a lubricant during intercourse or for personal intimate times. Many people reported bacterial vaginosis after using petroleum jelly as a lubricant.
As petroleum is an allergen, those who have sensitive skin or are allergic to petroleum should stay away from petroleum jelly and should keep an eye out for any adverse reactions such as irritations when trying a new product.
As we mentioned earlier, if you do not clean and disinfect your wounds before applying petroleum jelly, you can trap bacteria within them. This can cause some rather severe infections. A contaminated jar of jelly will also spread bacteria. Ensure that you are not polluting your container of petroleum jelly.
So, is Petroleum Jelly Vegan?
Most folks are likely familiar with the name brand for petroleum jelly known as Vaseline. While there are many other brands of petroleum jelly with different names, they all generally are made from the same ingredients.
The process of determining whether or not petroleum jelly is vegan is actually rather simple, as it has only one ingredient listed: petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly is a combination of waxes and mineral oils, meaning that it does not comprise any animal products. This makes it, as well as Vaseline, vegan.
However, if you follow a stricter philosophy of veganism, you may be disappointed to know that Vaseline may not be vegan when it comes to animal testing. Unilever is the manufacturer of Vaseline. While Unilever does not test their completed products on animals directly, some of their suppliers might test on animals. Even though the company itself does not, they may source products that aren’t necessarily cruelty free.
This has been a polarizing topic of debate amongst vegans for quite some time. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be coming to an end any time soon.
Whether or not you feel that Vaseline is vegan is entirely up to you and the philosophy of veganism that you follow.
Vegan Alternatives To Petroleum Jelly
In the spirit of inclusivity, skincare and self-care brands have been producing alternatives to petroleum jelly that are plant-based. Botanical ingredients that are derived from plants can be used as a vegan alternative to petroleum jelly. They also soothe the skin just as effectively as their less-vegan counterparts.
Not only are these purely botanical ingredients super effective, but they are also actually safer to the planet. They’re more environmentally friendly as well, which is often one of the main motivations behind veganism.
Vegan petroleum jelly is already used in a variety of different skincare and health care products, from body butter to lip balms. They’re found at most health stores or online.
A great example is the Alba Botanica “Un-Petroleum” Multipurpose Jelly:
Why Go Vegan In The First Place?
Veganism can be perplexing to anyone who is not already following some sort of vegan practice.
So we’ve decided to provide a little clarity.
The health benefits are plentiful, thanks to the fact that vegan diets consist of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts. Many of these foods provide the body with much-needed fiber, essential nutrients, and antioxidants. The lack of animal products and by-products means a decrease in the intake of trans and saturated fats.
This reduces fat intake also reduces your risk of experiencing health problems such as heart issues and blood pressure.
Is Petroleum Jelly Vegan: A Conclusion
Petroleum jelly may not be entirely vegan. Depending on who you ask, there is no doubt that it provides some significant health benefits.
Are you determined to get a 100 percent vegan petroleum jelly? Opt for some plant-based alternatives.
Check out related posts on our blog!
What are your thoughts on the topic of “is petroleum jelly vegan”?
Thanks so much, Ashley! xoxo
Thanks for stopping by, Margot!
I didn’t know this about petroleum jelly! Great research, babe!
Such an interesting post about petroleum jelly.
Thanks for sharing.
You’re most welcome, Charity!
Thanks for the clarification, Sophie!
It’s great that you offered an alternative! But I’m pretty sure that most vegans would not consider a product vegan if the company couldn’t guarantee that the ingredients are CF x
This is such a great post. I did not know that Vaseline was not 100% vegan. Thanks so much for sharing!
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