We have all heard the talk that petroleum is bad for our skin. But is it really true, and why does it matter? While you can find petroleum in many tattoo skin care products, it isn’t always listed as petroleum. Ingredients like mineral oil, paraffin oil, or petroleum jelly are all actually petroleum based.
Petroleum is widely used in a variety of skin care and tattoo aftercare products, (but not ours!) because it often feels like an amazingly effective moisturizer, creating a thick barrier on the skin that doesn’t allow water penetration. This old-school philosophy believes that petroleum-based products work the best to heal a new tattoo. However, at Susie Q Skin, we believe there’s a better way.
According to the website, safecosmetics.org, the number one health concern for petroleum is cancer: “The National Toxicology Program (NTP) considers PAHs as a class to contain reasonably anticipated carcinogens; the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists 14 PAHs as probable or possible carcinogens and one PAH as a known carcinogen. A study on Long Island, NY, found that those women with high levels of PAH-DNA adducts had a 50 percent greater risk of breast cancer. The formation of PAH-DNA adducts, an indicator of PAH exposure, is linked to cancer development.” A tattoo is an open wound. Applying a cancer causing agent to your tattoo is like mainlining the absorption of the dangerous chemicals.
According to a 2011 study done by Women’s Health, “There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person. “ Their conclusion is that “The increase in MOSH concentration in human fat tissue with age suggests an accumulation over time. Cosmetics might be a relevant source of the contamination.”
When you apply petroleum skin care products, it is absorbed into your skin. That means any amount of petroleum products are directly entering your bloodstream, being absorbed into your cells, and being stored in your fat layer.
In skin care products, petroleum creates a thick texture and a slick glide. Think of products like Vaseline Intensive Care or Aquaphor that are thick, gooey and stick really well to your skin.
When you’ve just had your skin repeatedly penetrated by a tattoo needle, you really want some way to calm all of your agitated nerve endings! First, you wash with some harsh antibacterial soap (just kidding!), before you slather on a thick ointment for some instant feel relief. Ahhhhh, feel the relief…
Then, all your clothes start sticking to your goo-covered arm, leg, back or wherever. Suddenly, lint, dust and food crumbs magically appear lodged in your ointment. If that wasn’t bad enough, you’ve started feeling dry again. You crave that relief, so you add another layer of a thick petroleum salve to your newly-tattooed skin. This is how the cycle of addiction begins with petroleum-filled skin care products.
A great example - think of the Carmex we all used when we were younger. Dry lips felt so much better at first when you slicked them up with the petroleum-based Carmex. But then after a little while, your lips became dry again so you sought relief by reapplying more Carmex.
Then your lips would become dry again. You needed to add more! Soon the jar was empty, so you’d take a trip to the store to buy more. BAM! You just became the dream customer for petroleum-based skin care products. Use them, use them once more, use them again, then buy some more until you’re poor. Lots of money for them; damaged, dried-out skin for you.
While these products temporarily give a feeling of relief, they are actually strangling your skin. Petroleum and its counterpart ingredients are considered “occlusive” which means these products do not allow air to access your skin. It is basically the same as wrapping your skin in plastic. Petroleum does not allow your skin breathe (which means your skin CANNOT heal), and it actually dries out your skin rather than moisturizes it. Petroleum-based products, or even products that contain any petroleum at all, will leach out the natural moisture in your skin, while preventing your body from absorbing any moisturizers.
Skin is your biggest organ and everything that comes in contact with your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. Everything from air pollutants to fragrances to detergent from your clothes. Think of your skin as constantly eating everything in comes in contact with. In this way, we feed our skin and body healthy ingredients such as cold processed coconut oil and organic jojoba oil by applying them topically.
When you use petroleum based skin care products, your body is absorbing petroleum. Petroleum is a petrochemical and contains zero nutrients for your body. So on top of strangling your skin and not allowing anything healthy to penetrate the dermal layer, petroleum based skin care products also deliver petrochemicals directly into your bloodstream.
Petroleum and estrogen…..In recent years there has been a lot of media talk about estrogen and how increased levels can affect both your fertility rate and the rate of cancer. An excess or imbalance of estrogen in both men and women has serious negative side effects, only one of which is cancer. According to studies, petrochemicals (ie: petroleum) is directly linked to Ethylene Oxide, which makes 1,4 Dioxane as a by-product. 1,4 Dioxane is known to cause cancer.
Petrochemicals also contain high levels of xenoestrogens, which basically mimic your natural estrogen. As a male you do not want extra estrogen in your system for obvious reasons. As a female, additional estrogen or chemicals that affect your estrogen levels can increase various cancer rates (breast and ovarian just to name two), and can affect your hormone levels. This will not be listed on your skin care ingredient deck but it is not something you want to put on your skin, much less a brand new tattoo.
Susie Q Ink Oil and Ink Salve have been specifically designed WITHOUT the use of petroleum. All Susie Q products are worthy of royalty, and chock-full of ingredients we would use on our own skin.
Susie Q Ink Salve is made using 100% natural butters and oils. Organic, cold processed coconut oil is the first ingredient in our Ink Salve. Coconut oil is commonly used today for many reasons. In skin care, it works as a great moisturizer that provides wonderful nourishment for your skin.
Cold processed means that the coconut oil was not heated above 110 degrees during the extraction process. This allows all the of natural enzymes to remain present in the finished product.
The second ingredient in Ink Salve is organic castor oil. Castor oil is nature’s answer to petroleum. Castor oil provides great glide and skin feel, meaning that it feels great on the skin. The combination of castor oil and coconut oil creates great glide, and helps to protect your skin while still allowing it to breathe and heal naturally. No suffocation of your pores, no being addicted to petroleum products. We believe this is the best lotion to use on tattoos, new and old.
At Susie Q Skin, we remain committed to creating only the healthiest, most natural skin care products possible. Don’t be fooled by the promise of better skin by petroleum-based products any longer. Your tattoo and your skin will thank you.