Any chemical (or in a more general sense, any substance) created from gas or petroleum. They are often used to change the texture and viscosity of lubricants and cosmetics, or to prevent products from drying out prematurely.

Propylene glycol, benzene, and parabens are common types of petrochemicals. While most people can use products with these ingredients without any negative effects, some people react poorly to these substances. Side effects can include skin irritation and itching.

Some lubricants are marketed as “”petrochemical-free,”” as their formulas do not use any petroleum-derived substances.