Lemon juice, baking soda, petroleum jelly…we’re always hearing about these alternatives to traditional skincare products, but are they safe? And are they effective at keeping skin hydrated and smooth? We spoke to two dermatologists to find out.
1. Petroleum jelly
You probably remember your grandmother or mother slathering on the Vaseline. Turns out, petroleum jelly is indeed a home run for your face.
“As we age, the skin on our face gets thinner and less elastic, which can lead to dryness,” says Mamta Jhaveri, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at John’s Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The best thing you can do is moisturize your skin. We prefer moisturizers to be thicker to lock in moisture.” Petroleum jelly, she continues, is very thick and has close to zero water in it, meaning, it doesn’t evaporate and let moisture out. Instead, it creates a barrier to lock in skin’s existing moisture.
For optimal hydration, use it after the shower, when skin is a little damp. And lest you be worried that petroleum jelly will cause acne, a study in the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists debunked that theory. However, says, Dr. Jhaveri, if you have oily skin or rosacea, she recommends using a lighter moisturizer which says on the label that it’s “non-comedogenic,” or doesn’t clog pores.