Hi, I'm new here. I stumbled on a web site talking about safety in cosmetics, and it raised an issue about something I am using - petroleum jelly.
Just to give you some background - I had no problems with my skin as a kid and few problems with acne, but as a teenager, my siblings and I all began to have red, painful, itchy rashes on our faces. The skin on the rest of our body was fine, and none of us have eczema or psoraiassis or any recognized, diagnosable condition.
My mother was taking us to the dermatologist on a bi-weekly basis. He would perscribe something, we'd react to it, and he'd perscribe something else.
When I went off to college, I tried to get my perscriptions refilled at the college pharmacy. The pharmacist was shocked at what the dermatologist was having me take (I can't remember now), and refused to refill it. Since that time, I've been very leery of dermatologists and have only seen one, to treat a case of ringworm.
Since that time (I'm now 40), my siblings and I have all tried various methods to deal with our skin. We have all found that if we keep our skin cleansed and well-moisturized, we don't have problems with the rashes. However, finding products that don't create skin reactions is a challenge. I personally have had some success for a few years with a product, then my skin starts reacting to it, and I switch, only to have new reactions a few years down the line. Most recently, I went from Olay for a few years, to Eucerin for a few months, to Cetaphil for a few years. When I started having problems with Cetaphil, I started to despair - since that's the stuff that's supposed to be practically pure of anything. (BTW, my bro and sis have been to dermatologists as adults, and Cetaphil has been what they've been recommended to use).
In desperation, I started washing my face with water and moisturizing with petroleum jelly, for about a year now. (I rinse really well after I moisturize). It is keeping my skin flare-up free for now, but I am reading about the toxins in it.
I don't know what else to do. I've tried the home stuff - vegetable shortening, olive oil. Not only doesn't it seem to prevent flare-ups, but my skin gets really greasy from it. Even companies listed on the Safe Cosmetics web site seem to contain so much STUFF in them, that I'm afraid of my skin's reactions.
Any ideas about what I can do? Or where I can go for advice or help? (I'm also on a limited budget)