Why A Petroleum-Free Lip Balm Should Be Top Of Your List (And Deciem’s NEW Abnomaly Petrowhat? Balms)

When I was at school the number one accessory wasn’t a Spice Girls pencil case, the latest issue of Sugar Magazine or even an Adidas backpack: it was a huge pot of Vaseline, carried around from class to class like it was a precious commodity. What started as a few girls bringing small tins of the transparent gloopy balm as a way to add shine and luster to their lips, quickly evolved into it being super cool to buy the biggest pot of petroleum jelly you could find and sharing it (rather hygienically) with the entire class like some kind of passage to popularity. Little did we know back then what else those massive tubs of Vaseline could be used for, but over the years the brand have capitalised on the fact millions of men and women globally reach for the jelly as a way to look after their delicate bits. We’ve had tinted versions, scented versions, limited edition versions and even collaborations with some luxury names, but that doesn’t change the fact these little pots are not exactly good for your lips.

Contradictory to popular belief, studies have shown that Vaseline offers no medicinal
benefit (it has been thought to speed up healing and even protect from the sun over the years!) nor is it absorbed by the skin. Petroleum jelly’s effectiveness
in accelerating the healing of cuts and burns stems from its ‘sealing effect’, which inhibits germs from getting into the wound, while it’s ability to
keeps skin supple is simply done by preventing the skin’s own moisture from
evaporating. It neither attracts moisture or hydrates, but actually can actually prevents the skin
from absorbing moisture from the environment, which (over a longer
period of time) causes skin to become dull and dehydrated.

It pains me to see this unsustainable bi-product of oil extraction hailed as such a hero, when it’s actually damaging to the environment and the skin. It can also disrupt the bodies process of toxin elimination, potentially trapping them under the skin, as well as slowing cellular regeneration (damaging collagen, elastin and connective tissue) and contributing to the
appearance of aging. It’s comedogenic, meaning it blocks pores, so if you suffer from irritated / dry / acne-prone skin then petroleum jelly is your worst nightmare! I’ve been discussing the downsides of this household staple for many years, but finally there are viable alternatives that offer the same look and feel as Vaseline without the detremental effects – including Deciem’s new Abnomaly brand.

Totally free from petroleum and available in four delicious varieties (coconut, guava, pineapple and scent-free boabab,) the super-saturated and long-lasting skin balms are filled with a high concentration of skin-identical Amino Acids in a Plant-derived Squalane and Baobab Oil base. The result is a formula that helps to protect, hydrate and repair dry skin without any negative consequences – for the skin or the environment. The balms are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, as well as being free from silicones and alcohol; they look fab, smell fab and leave a great sheen on the lips while helping to tackle dry skin. You don’t have to worry about them causing more problems than they solve, plus you can use the balm all over your body to tackle dry patches or irritated skin – I’ve been using the coconut version on cuticles and bite marks to help soothe and hydrate, alongside popping one in my bag for a hit of lip hydration in the sun.

Also Vaseline does offer a simple way to add sheen or protect skin from outside irritants, the downsides in my opinion far outweigh the positives. I’m totally here for the new wave of alternatives and think everyone should have a petroleum-free balm in their repertoire.

You can get the Abnomaly Petroleum What? balms via the Deciem website and stores now, priced £7.00 each.



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  1. LoveAnna
    July 3, 2018 / 2:46 pm

    My cousin is a Neal's Yard therapist and you should hear her on the subject of Vaseline! I confess to a small tin in my makeup bag for smoothing over eyebrows so they don't develop a life of their own but I wouldn't use it anywhere else. I shall definitely be paying a visit to this website ?

    • Hayley Hall
      July 4, 2018 / 7:41 am

      I think it's great for superficial purposes, environmental impact aside, but for everything else it's in the sin bin!

    • Hayley Hall
      July 3, 2018 / 6:04 pm

      And how many don't have a clue about their detremental effects!

  2. Rebekah
    July 4, 2018 / 3:16 am

    I had absolutely no idea about the dangers of vaseline or petroleum in general. I own a big pot of knock-off vaseline which I use exclusively across my hairline when dying my hair, and I didn't think it would do anything other than act as a barrier between my skin and the dye itself. As someone with dry skin, I'm definitely going to be looking at other ways of keeping it away from my skin from now on. While I don't think a small tube works out very cost effective for what I'm using for (I'm considering picking one up for my lips in the winter, though!), I definitely won't be rushing for my vaseline knock-off again in a hurry! Rebekah Gillian | https://rebekahgillian.co.uk/

    • Hayley Hall
      July 4, 2018 / 7:56 am

      Using it on your hairline is absolutely fine – it's only there for 30 mins and for that purpose it actually works really well, you just need a barrier. But for lips and dry bits, definitely find an alternative!

  3. Jenny Cole
    July 5, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    I found this really interesting to read. In my teenage years/early twenties, I would regularly use Vaseline on my lips to try and stop them feeling dry. But I noticed I was getting a lot of breakouts around my lip and chin area, presumably where excess Vaseline was rubbing off onto the skin. I didn't really work this out until I decided to try using a different lip product and realised that the breakouts stopped. So it's good to understand more about the problems with petroleum jelly and know that there are good alternatives out there to try.Jenny xxwww.jaffacat.co.uk

  4. Heather O Gorman
    July 10, 2018 / 3:21 pm

    I prefer Burt's Bees on my lips but Vaseline is a lifesaver for me especially when I get colds or hayfever. If I sneeze a lot my nose cracks from being constantly pulled at with tissue and vaseline is the only thing that keeps it from being sore. I need to find an alternative but none I've tried works.

  5. Julia G
    July 13, 2018 / 10:47 am

    I found this really interesting to read, I've heard before that vaseline isn't actually good for the lips but had no idea of its detrimental effects on the lips until reading this post. It's only in the last year that I've moved away from using it as a lip balm and reading this makes me glad that I did! The flatlays on this post are stunning too, equally amazing content and photos to accompany, great post! http://www.beesytimes.co.uk

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