Dear Sasquatch: OMG, Vaseline Cancer!
I have been using Vaseline on my lips and skin for years. I’m a student, and it’s so much cheaper than all the expensive products out there. But a few people have told me it causes cancer. Are they right?
Short answer: No. No studies link petroleum jelly to cancer.
I think part of the appeal of this myth is that petroleum these days has such evil connotations that it feels almost instinctual that anything with that word in it would cause something equally horrendous—cancer. I mean, OMG, you’re practically putting gasoline on your skin, right?! And when you have two things that are ubiquitous, cancer and petroleum jelly, it’s easy to believe there’s a cause-and-effect relationship.
But in this case, there isn’t.
Your friend may say that no studies proving a link doesn’t mean the link doesn’t exist. It might just mean studies need to be done. Of course, this also means that there isn’t reason to believe there is a connection between petroleum jelly and cancer.
Beyond the issue of evidence is also the issue of chemistry. You may have noticed that petroleum jelly doesn’t get soaked into the skin like other moisturizers. This is because its constituent molecules are too big to pass that barrier. So the jelly isn’t even getting into your body to cause cancer in the first place.
Which is a good thing for me considering how much I use for my greaser look at ‘50s car shows.
Do you have a question for Sasquatch? Need advice? An answer to a question that’s been puzzling you? Beauty tips? Ask in the comments section or send an email to [email protected]. Skeptical Sasquatch is now on Twitter (@skeptisquatch) and Facebook.