Petroleum jelly in closer detail

Petroleum jelly is a subtle balance of liquid and solid hydrocarbons.
The crystalline structure of the substances in its composition is one of the basic qualitative elements. The role of the amorphous solid hydrocarbons is, in fact, to retain in a sufficiently dense fibrous mesh, oily hydrocarbons of a generally high molecular weight (see photos below).

The resulting substance can be likened to a thick two-phase colloidal gel.

The stability of the whole is obtained by the choice of perfectly adapted microcrystalline structures which act as a stabilising agent the same way as an emulsifying agent acts in water/oil emulsions for example.

Various structures in infinite quantity

The composition of highly refined constituents and their physical properties vary considerably according to the origin of the raw material and the refining methods.

The solid or liquid elements of the hydrocarbons may contain 16 to 60 carbon atoms with significantly different molecular weights; therefore, the possible structures are extremely varied and their number practically infinite.

It is this extreme complexity which gives petroleum jellies their quality, their unique aspect, their unctuousness, their delicate fibrous texture along with all their other, very specific properties, so much appreciated by formulators.

Codex petroleum jellies are not petrolatum

Petroleum jellies obtained from blending three principle high purity materials are not petrolatum.

The INCI designation of the AIGLON petroleum jellies is “Paraffinum Liquidum (and) Cera Microcristallina (and) Paraffin”. These three INCI references are not included in the CMR (cancerogenous, mutagenous and toxic for reproduction) product list of the Cosmetics Directive nor in the CLP (classification, labelling and packaging) regulations. Petrolatum figures in this list.

According to the requirements of the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients which lists and assigns the INCI names of cosmetic ingredients, there are two possible designations depending on the manufacturing method of the petroleum jelly:

- if the product is manufactured by blending paraffin oil, wax and mineral paraffin, then the INCI name of the mixture is composed of all the INCI names of the ingredients (Paraffinum Liquidum (and) Cera Microcristallina (and) Paraffin).

- if the product is manufactured by directly refining the crude oil or its derivitives, its INCI name is “petrolatum”.