October 04, 2013 4 min read
We could probably give you 100 reasons why we don't use petrolatum in Battle Balm pain relief cream. But, we would probably bore you to the point of internet surfing somewhere else. And that's no good for either of us!
Do us a favor. Go get your current topical pain reliever. Pull out whatever topical analgesic liniment, gel, balm, oil, ointment, cream, or paste that you use regularly. Look at the ingredients label. Have you looked at it before? Maybe. Maybe not. (A long time ago, I never bothered to read product labels. I thought that if it was good enough to be sold in the USA, it was good enough for me. Boy, was I wrong!)
We're not going to name any names, but there's a big four-legged animal of a company out there that uses paraffin petrolatum as a base for their famous topical analgesic. At Battle Balm, we think petroleum (and most of its derivatives) belongs in machinery, not on people. We strongly feel that natural, earth-friendly ingredients are better for your body, better for the environment, and better for the planet.
1. It's incredibly cheap - Cheap gets people's attention. But, the word cheap rarely shares the same sentence as the word quality. Paraffin petrolatum is a waste product of oil refinement. It's stuff that no one really wants anymore...hence, the oil industry practically gives it away. Now, if we cared more about our profit margins and less about you, we would put paraffin in all our products. But we do care. We care about you, the planet we live on, and the impact our decisions will have on the future. Also, we'd rather be known as a company striving to make quality our first priority.
2. It's a "probable human carcinogen" - This means that paraffin petrolatum has been linked to cancer in the body. Said another way, clinical studies have found some correlation between paraffin petrolatum and cancer. The European Union’s Dangerous Substances Directive (UNECE 2004) repeats exactly what I just said, paraffin petrolatum is a probable carcinogen. And Europe has much stricter regulations dealing with paraffin petrolatum in cosmetic products than here in the U.S. Battle Balm is not willing to roll the dice on your health or ours. (We use what we sell, too!)
3. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - Does that sound like something you want to rub on your skin? Let's call them PAH's and let us tell you that these are just some of the contaminants found in petrolatum. Plus, research has shown that PAH's screw with your DNA. Yes, it causes damage to your cells...hence, possibly warping them to the point of becoming cancerous...you remember reason #2 above?
4. Possible allergic reactions - Skin is a sensitive organ. It absorbs and deflects molecular compounds. In scientific speak, it's a semi-permeable membrane. Now think about how paraffin petrolatum is made...ok, most people don't know how. We're not experts either, but there are toxic chemicals involved in the distillation process of crude oil into useable materials. This gives a greater chance of a portion of toxic particles filtering into the pain relief product you hold in your hand, correct? Allergic reactions to petrolatum can arise, such as watery eyes, runny nose, pruritis, local skin rash and inflammation, trouble breathing, wheezing, etc. Not everyone has a chemical sensitivity, but we err on the side of caution and leave the possibility of multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome (MCSS) out of our formula for your safety.
5. Environmental safety - What impact does petroleum processing have on the environment? We're not quite sure. But, have you ever seen an oil spill that was good for the environment? We don't want to see more paraffin in our environment. We don't want to see more of it in our trash, in our garbage dumps, and certainly not more of it leaching into our ground water that we drink. We're trying our best to leave the world better than we found it. If we can make even a small positive environmental impact by using natural and organic ingredients instead of paraffin petrolatum, we will.
Why put anything on your skin that's not natural? There are so many toxic chemicals that we come in contact with on a daily basis. At Battle Balm, we believe that one of the keys to good health is to reduce our consumption of potentially harmful substances. There are safe, effective alternatives available today, and if you're looking for the best topical pain relief out there, you need to look no further than the website you're currently on!
Skin - Wikipedia
Is Petroleum Jelly Safe?
Side Effects of Petrolatum
Allergic Contact Dermatitis Caused by White Petrolatum on Damaged Skin
The Battle of Cosmetic Laws: European Union vs. Canada
Signs You're Allergic to Petroleum
Allergic Reactions and Chemical Sensitivity
Is Your Moisturizer Causing Skin Cancer
What's In It Wedneday: Aquaphor
Naturally Thinking: Beware of Fossil Fuel on your Skin
The relationship between genetic damage from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in breast tissue and breast cancer