Is Petroleum Jelly an Effective Moisturizer? – LifeSavvy

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Most of us associate Vaseline with deep hydration. However, it makes your skin feel silky smooth and protects it from the elements. Still, he is not a reliable old friend moisturizer. how it is possible?

What exactly is petroleum jelly?

Petroleum jelly, or petroleum, is simply a by-product of crude oil refining. Commonly known as the Vaseline brand, it was discovered in the mid-1800s by chemist Robert Chesbrow during a visit to Pennsylvania’s oil fields. Upon his arrival, local oil drillers told him about the jelly-like substance they call “rod wax” which they were regularly removing from under the oil veins.

However, instead of disposing of it, workers have been using it as a healing cream for cuts and burns. He persuaded Chesapeake to take some samples back to his lab in New York for further testing.

After years of experimentation and thorough investigation, Chesapeake succeeded in extracting refined petroleum jelly, and thus, began the production of our beloved Vaseline.

These days, you’ll find petroleum in a variety of products, including lotions, soaps and cleansers.

Do you use petroleum jelly as a moisturizer?


A woman puts Vaseline on her lips with her finger.

Africa Studio / Shutter Stock.

Generally considered a treatment for a wide range of skin problems, Vaseline is especially appreciated for its moisturizing properties. As a result, many people often reach for their jars when they feel their skin needs some hydration.

Petrolitum acts as a protective barrier that encloses in moisture and prevents damage from cold weather, which can often leave your skin dry and shiny. This is where things get lost in translation.

Since petrolatum blocks water, it is an excellent sealing agent. However, it is not a hemostatic, meaning it does not retain moisture. Therefore, Vaseline has no nourishing or moisturizing properties.

In one study, researchers wanted to determine the different levels of hydration from skin lotions, water, glycerol and petroleum jelly. Water and lotion were found to produce the most hydration, while petroleum jelly was the least effective substance tested.

This explains why applying Vaseline to chapped lips or cracked noses does not work. It doesn’t matter how many times you use it, your skin doesn’t get better, and you have to go back for more.

Petroleum jelly is a temporary solution that will prevent dry skin from deteriorating, but it is not very helpful as a treatment. That’s why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using petroleum jelly on acne-prone skin, as it can cause breakouts or further irritation.

This does not mean that petroleum jelly is a useless product. Your skin can benefit from its use if used properly and in combination with other products and techniques.

How to use petroleum jelly to moisturize your skin.

To maximize the benefits of Vaseline, you need to know what not to do. First of all, you should never apply petroleum jelly on unclean skin, especially if you have a minor wound. The hidden properties of the substance can seal any basic dirt or bacteria, which can prolong or hinder the healing process or cause a breakout.

Original Blue Cell Vaseline.

This is the same product that your grandmother used to use and it is just as useful now as it was when it was time to retain moisture in your skin.

Since Vaseline is not a moisturizer, you should use it with lotions or nourishing creams to get the desired results. Remember, just because your skin feels soft when you squeeze some Vaseline doesn’t mean it’s actually long-term. You want to use it to seal in moisture.

The following skin care routines will help you get the most out of Vaseline.

  1. Cleanse and wash your skin thoroughly.
  2. Apply your moisturizer or lotion of your choice to hydrate your skin. Doing this after a shower or bath will help the skin absorb excess moisture and prepare for petroleum jelly.
  3. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to trap moisture.

In addition to this routine, we recommend that you make sure you are drinking enough water. Vaseline really shines when it’s helping your skin retain its natural moisture, so hydrate from the inside out.

Everyone’s skin is different, so what works for you may not work for you. If after a few days your skin does not improve or new dry spots appear, you may want to try some different products or consult a dermatologist.

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