It’s scary to think that your everyday products can give off such a reaction when simply going from inside to outside. A favorite item of many, Aquaphor is well-known for keeping skin hydrated, healing cuts and burns, and moisturizing dry, cracked skin. While other occlusives tend to simply seal in moisture, the cult-favorite product contains more than just petrolatum. Formulated with pantenol, glycerin, and lanolin, Aquaphor also draws moisture into the skin to keep it hydrated for longer.
However, the petroleum it contains is what makes its safety questionable. As an occlusive, petroleum traps moisture into the skin, which is why it’s great for slugging. But this also means it can trap in heat from direct sunlight, initiating irritation or inflammation. If you’ve never experienced sunburn with petroleum jelly on your arms, for example, there’s a reason for this, too. While certain parts of our body can have about seven layers of skin to protect it, the lips only have three to four, making it susceptible to more damage.