The Development of Barrier Cream
Barrier creams of one sort or another have been used for centuries. Indeed, it is probable that the ancient Egyptians experimented with skin care barrier cream concoctions over 3000 years ago. Certainly the ancient Romans used various creams and lotions for cosmetic and skin protection over 2000 years ago.
However, it was not until 1872 that the traditional barrier cream that we know today was formulated.
During 1859, Robert Augustus Chesebrough, a young, British born chemist, was in Titusville, Pennsylvania visiting the oil fields looking for useful by-products of this newly discovered fuel. Here, Chesebrough noticed that the oil rig workers had an unconventional method of treating the cuts that they frequently suffered during the course of their hard manual work.
“Rod wax” collected around the pump rods on the oil wells. This sticky waste product had to be routinely removed as it hindered the efficient running of the equipment at the well head. Chesebrough soon observed that workers with fresh, open wounds often scooped up a dollop of the abandoned rod wax and applied it over their injury instead of using bandages. The rod wax, Chesebrough was told, not only stopped the bleeding, but it also seemed to help heal the wound.
It is presumed that this quality of rod wax was discovered by chance. Perhaps a worker responsible for removing the waste from the pump rod heads had suffered cuts and realised that the injuries on his hands, that were covered with this otherwise unwanted waste, healed quicker than the cuts he suffered on other parts of his body.
Whatever the original method of discovery, Chesebrough was quick to realise the potential of this new product.
For over 10 years, Robert Chesebrough refined and perfected the new health care “petroleum jelly” as it was to become known.
Using himself as a guinea pig, Chesebrough even cut and burnt his own body in order to test the various guises of the petroleum jelly that he was devising. Chesebrough’s use of the oil-based jelly was not confined to rubbing it on the skin. He also experimented with taking a teaspoonful a day to aid inner body well-being. Indeed, Chesebrough was hopeful that he had stumbled upon a wonder, cure-all treatment.
Working mostly from home, Chesebrough soon realised that he needed additional storage capacity to hold the increasing quantities of jelly substances that he was producing. To solve this problem, the young chemist turned to a common household object, the flower vase.
Emptied of foliage and water, the vases proved to be excellent vessels in which to hold the ever growing quantities of the petroleum jelly. In fact, so useful were these vases that Chesebrough devised the name Vaseline to refer to his fledgling medicinal product (“elaion” being the Greek word for oil).
By 1872 Vaseline had been patented and the traditional barrier cream came to the marketplace.
Chesebrough’s initial claims that the petroleum jelly was a miracle cure-all, stating that it had even aided his recovery from pleurisy, were not substantiated by scientific studies. However, Vaseline is today recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an approved, over-the-counter skin protectant.
Petroleum jelly’s main attribute is protecting the skin from direct contact with grime, dirt, irritants and sources of infection.
Unfortunately, as beneficial as petroleum jelly is, today’s modern lifestyles has impacted its usefulness.
Traditional barrier creams need to be reapplied each time you wash your hands. Traditional barrier creams usually leave the skin feeling greasy and can block the pores and inhibit natural perspiration. Manual dexterity can also be impeded, especially if your hands are left feeling sticky or slippery. When worn under protective clothing such as gloves, the residue of traditional barrier creams left on the skin can become clogged.
Technological advancement and the need to find more cost effective solutions has lead to a new approach to skin protection.
Today, Derma Shield has superseded traditional barrier creams and it leaves the skin feeling natural and clean – leaving you to go about your household, or work based, tasks without leaving a greasy film on everything you handle.
Derma Shield’s modern mousse based application is water resistant and remains effective for four to five hours – even after repeated washing. If you work where hygiene is of the utmost importance, or you just want to keep your home spotless, now there is no need to reach for the barrier cream tube every time you wash your hands.
As an additional property, Derma Shield’s protectant properties not only inhibits contact with skin irritants but it also moisturises and aids recovery of existing skin damage. This is particularly important for people who suffer from contact dermatitis or skin dryness.
Certainly, skin protection has progressed considerably since the oil well days of 1859. The ancient Egyptians, well known for their innovations, would have surely approved of the advances that Derma Shield has introduced to supersede traditional barrier creams.
Progress Your Daily Skin Care Routine Beyond Traditional Barrier Creams
Derma Shield’s modern, laboratory tested ingredients take barrier creams to a new dimension. Derma Shield contains pharmaceutical grade Aloe vera and Vitamin E which nurtures whilst its moisturisers treats existing skin dryness. In addition, its microscopic protective layer provides an effective barrier against allergens, helping alleviate the source of contact dermatitis. One grease-free application will normally last for up to five hours despite frequent washing. With no greasy residues left on the skin, Derma Shield is safe to use in and around the home – even if you are handling food or working in a sterile environment.
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