Petrolatum for chapped lips: a boon or bane?


Think chapped lips are only a worry for the winters? You might want to give it another thought! Lips are prone to becoming dry, chapped, and even burning when not taken care of. In fact, habits like constantly biting and licking the lips along with constant sun exposure and certain medications can irritate and dry the lips too. Thus much like your skin and hair, lips also need your care and attention throughout the year.

But do we really know the right way to pamper our lips? Unfortunately for many, the answer is no. This is because for decades we have been accustomed to using petrolatum, as the only solution for chapped lips. While petrolatum may seem like the go-to product for lip care, it does not really do much good to the delicate skin of your lips in the long run. Wondering why? Let us explain.

What is petrolatum?


Petrolatum also called petroleum jelly is a by-product of petroleum refining. For years, it has been used in personal care products like lip balms as a moisturizing agent. 

How does petrolatum ensure your lips are not dry? 
Petrolatum has a melting point that is close to our body temperature and softens as soon as it is applied to the lips. It forms a thin, protective layer on the lips which is water-resistant and also acts as a barrier against evaporation of skin’s natural moisture and foreign particles.

Is petroleum jelly good for lips?


Petrolatum has been lauded as the ultimate solution for chapped lips for generations. However, this cabinet staple must be avoided for various reasons. Here are a few:

-Petrolatum does not moisturize your lips
Petrolatum just creates a film on your lips that does not let the moisture escape. It does not have its own moisturizing properties.

-Petrolatum is not a permanent solution for your dry lips
Petrolatum or petroleum jelly being an occlusive gives you an illusion of hydration and moisture. The layer that it forms does not let your skin breathe or self-regulate its moisture content. This leads to recurring spells of dryness and an endless cycle of reapplication of petroleum jelly.

-Petrolatum might be toxic
Petrolatum is derived from petroleum which is a toxic crude oil. A lot of times petrolatum is not fully refined and may be contaminated with toxic chemicals which are harmful for us.

-Petrolatum may cause an allergic reaction
If before the application of petrolatum, your lips are extremely chapped or bleeding then chances are the application of petrolatum may trap dirt and might contaminate your lips, and cause an allergic reaction.

-Petrolatum may clog pores around the mouth
Petrolatum is known for creating a layer over your lips. Often we end up applying the petroleum jelly around the mouth region. This may clog pores and lead to breakouts.

-Petrolatum is inert and does not penetrate skin
Unlike pure vegetable oils, petrolatum does not carry nutritive ingredients like vitamins for your skin. Neither does it penetrate skin to heal it from within. This topical quick fix therefore has a longer shelf life but doesn’t have health benefits for your skin (plant derived raw ingredients have shorter lives but are healthier for skin) 

-Petrolatum is not eco friendly
Since petrolatum is derived from fossil fuels, it is not a nature-friendly ingredient. Thus it is advised to opt for natural alternatives to petrolatum for chapped lips.

How can one heal cracked lips?
Whether you are looking for a quick remedy for dry chapped lips or a long term sustainable method to take care of your lips, it is important to opt for a lip balm or lip butter that is natural. This is because natural formulations are free of toxic and synthetic ingredients that may do more harm than good. Also, natural lip care formulations use natural ingredients like cold-pressed oils and essential oils that heal chapped lips from within and gradually reduce the need to reapply the product.

What is the Oleum Cottage recommended solution for chapped lips?


At Oleum Cottage, we have got the best natural and organic ingredients and created three lip butters namely Rose Allure Lip Butter, Perky Peppermint Lip Butter, and Citrus Orange Lip Butter. Each of these lip butters is free of petrolatum or petroleum jelly, paraffin, or mineral oil. They are also made sans synthetic colors, essence, or flavoring.

Our butter is made of ethically harvested Beeswax, unrefined Cocoa, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond oil and Castor oil. Together these ingredients repair the lips from within, without letting them fall into recurring dry spells as petroleum-based alternatives do.


Additionally, Rose oil in Rose Allure Lip Butter has antioxidative properties with an exotic and energising fragrance that helps fight inflammation and enhances the health of the lips, Peppermint oil in Perky Peppermint Lip Butter improves blood circulation giving the lips a fuller appearance and also heals wind chapped lips, and Orange essential oil in Citrus Orange Lip Butter has anti-inflammatory properties which reduces lip pigmentation with regular use.


Hope this blog helped you to understand that petrolatum or petroleum jelly is a big no for your chapped lips. If you are still unsure and have a query then please do share them with us in the comments section below.


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