Is Petroleum Jelly Bad for Your Skin?

Michael reaching for goat milk soap

Early in 2006, I had all my children (6 at the time) in the bathtub. While they were playing around, I picked up the bottle of baby wash I had always used. For the first time ever, I looked at the ingredient list.

I was horrified when I realized that it was full of nasty ingredients. There were chemicals, preservatives, and petroleum-based chemicals. None of them were natural ingredients I wanted on my children's skin.

I immediately decided that I was never going to buy another bottle and that I would learn how to make my own soap. Thus began my soapmaking journey that would lead to the launch of Goat Milk Stuff.

Ocean Goat Milk Soap
"Love the Ocean scented soap. Your soaps are so moisturizing. And they are free of harmful chemicals. I tried another goat milk soap brand and it actually left my skin itchy. They had too many chemicals in theirs. Love all your products." - Jeanette F.

Is Petroleum Jelly Good for Your Skin?

A lot of people ask me why I was so upset about the fact that there were petroleum-based chemicals in the baby wash. After all, most people have been told that petroleum jelly is good for your skin. There are even lots of online hacks that use petroleum jelly to help dry skin. In particular, people are told to put petroleum jelly on their feet before bed.

I disagree that petroleum jelly is good or healthy for your skin. I have no desire to put anything made from crude oil (no matter how refined) on my children's skin or on my skin. That doesn't seem natural or healthy to me. Nor is it sustainable for the environment. Because it comes from crude oil, petroleum jelly is not a renewable resource. So if you're concerned about saving our environment, petroleum jelly is not for you!

Indigo Using Goat Milk Lip Balm
"I absolutely love the Unscented Lip Balm! So smooth and a tube lasts a long time. I used to use Vaseline and palmers cocoa butter but they don’t compare to the GMS lip balm. Thank you for making such wonderful products!" - Kathy B.

6 Reasons Why You Won't Find Petroleum Jelly in Any Goat Milk Stuff Products

1. Petroleum jelly may potentially prevent the elimination of toxins. Your skin releases a lot of toxins. Petroleum jelly creates a barrier that seals off your skin. This barrier can prevent your body from releasing toxins. These toxins then remain in your body and may be harmful.

2. Petroleum jelly may potentially cause yeast infections. Petroleum jelly is promoted because it can seal off your skin from water and air. This may prevent windburn and help your skin stay moisturized. But there is a flip side to being sealed off. Petroleum jelly doesn't allow your skin to fully breathe. Petroleum jelly can create a warm, moist place on your skin. This is a perfect environment for yeast and fungal infections. And it's especially true if you're using petroleum jelly as diaper rash prevention.

3. Petroleum jelly may potentially clog pores. Cosmetic grade petroleum jelly is classified as "non-comedogenic". That means it is not supposed to clog pores and worsen acne. However, petroleum jelly provides a moisture barrier. And so there is the potential for it to trap dirt and oil which can clog pores. There also seems to be a lot of people who have found that petroleum jelly worsens their acne. More studies appear to be needed to clarify this issue.

Jade holding Unscented Solid Goat Milk Lotion small stick
"I purchased the Unscented Solid Lotion stick to help heal the dry flaky skin on and around my two week old tattoo. Everything else I had tried was not working for me. I needed something natural and with no petroleum, no alcohol, no scent. I remembered your products and ordered immediately. The first application worked wonders. I am loving this lotion!" - Larissa

4. Petroleum jelly is difficult to remove from your skin. Petroleum jelly is not water-soluble, so it is difficult to wash off your skin. This can lead to build up and irritation.

5. Petroleum jelly doesn't actually add any moisture to your skin. Many people believe that petroleum jelly adds moisture. It doesn't. It simply seals everything off and gives a false sense that your skin is hydrated.

6. Petroleum jelly needs to be highly refined to remove all contaminants. Petroleum jelly often contains a variety of contaminants. This includes carcinogenic ones that need to be removed. Vaseline brand is reputed to do a great job removing these contaminants. But some of their competitors may not be so diligent. So be careful.

Rosemary Mint Shampoo Goat Milk Soap
"I recently started using your goat milk soap for face, hands and body and I love them. I wanted to start using all natural ingredients and environment safe products. I have sensitive skin and I love how soft my skin is after using and its great for my eczema. There's no irritation at all even with using the soap that is scented, and they smell so good. I have very fine hair and I need a shampoo that produces volume with a touch of thickness. So I decided to try your goat milk soap shampoo as well and I'm so happy I did. I love the product Rosemary Mint. It smells good, makes a rich lather and makes my hair shiny and full of volume and easily brushes through. I also dye my hair and the color stays well. I am very happy with your soaps and shampoo. You have a customer for life." - Lynn P.

Keeping Your Skin Healthy Without Petroleum Jelly

When it comes to taking care of my family's skin, I want to use products that are natural. I want to feel that our skincare is healthy for my family. I don't believe petroleum jelly is beneficial as a skincare option. It's not an ingredient I want to use on my skin or on my children's skin.

We live in a world that is full of toxins. It is important to me that I eliminate as many of these toxins as I have control over. That's why we eat healthy foods and use Goat Milk Soap on our skin.

But there are still contaminants in the air and in the items that we come in contact with. One major way that our body eliminates these toxins is through our skin. That's why it's so important to keep your skin healthy and nourished. Healthy skin can function as intended to keep your whole body healthy.

Indigo holding Cold Relief Solid Goat Milk Lotion
"I just love the Cold Relief Solid Goat Milk Lotion. The scent really opens up the nasal passages. I really like that it’s in a lotion form. The solid lotion is so much better then using a petroleum base product." - Debra B.

Petroleum jelly creates a barrier over our skin. This barrier prevents our skin from performing optimally. And that is why I avoid using petroleum jelly on my family's skin.

7 Responses


Like she said …. Do your own research and it is a personal choice. I do believe what she is saying about petroleum jelly it is disgusting! And I do not buy the goat milk products I just came across this add in doing my own research. I personally do not ever use petroleum jelly products as my daughter suffers from mast cell activation and dysautonomia and other conditions and the petroleum jelly only makes her suffer more! Not ALL DOCTORS ARE RIGHT! THEY ARE ONLY HUMAN TOO!


@Brittany – your comment’s 2years old, I doubt you’ll see it, but for others- petroleum jelly or vaseline is a byproduct of the oil industry & found in crude oil. It also has mineral oils&waxes in it.EWW! It DOES NOT MOISTURISE. It sits on top of your skin so water doesnt escape, your skin can’t breathe nor shed its old skin cells. Try washing it off your hands,it’s impossible-now imagine what the heck it’s doing to the delicate skin on your face&its pores.How are you going to get that gunk off your face properly,or your child’s delicate skin made worse with eczema?Vaseline&petroleum jelly have been found to contain a group of carcinogens that can damage reproductive organs&cause cancer.Why anyone would put a thick,waterproof crude oil on their face,body,eczema or lips blows my mind.People are now being told to put it on their leather shoes to protect the leather-&you want to put it on your&your child’s delicate,sensitive face &/or body?!?! There’s so many safe creams,moisturisers,etc out there-why would you put a product from the crude oil industry on you or your child? 1comment here is from “Brittany” who says her pediatrician says all of this authors claims about petroleum jelly are wrong & she’s just just trying to upsell her own product.I wonder what products the pediatrician is getting incentives for,every time she puts her patients onto them? Do your own research everyone-proper research-&see how terrible petroleum jelly really is for you&your children.AND EXZEMA!!!

PJ at Goat Milk Stuff

Lauren – I’m so sorry. It can be confusing. Have you seen this page?

Lauren Hovey

I’ve been told (by many pediatricians) to put petroleum jelly on my infants eczema rash but it seems to irritate it. I’m so confused as to what actually will help.

Tawanna Hunter

I agree, petroleum is horrible, my uncle used it for years and his feet are so dried up they look like a big raisin. AND gosh I cant believe people believe doctors,they will give you all the unhealthy things to keep you as a patient because there is no money to be made from healthy people.

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