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Uses for Vaseline: Unleashing the Versatility of this Product

Medically reviewed by:
 Dr. Lucy Chen, MD – Board-Certified Dermatologist

Dr. Lucy Chen, MD – Board-Certified Dermatologist

Dr. Lucy Chen, MD, is a highly regarded board-certified dermatologist with a wealth of expertise in skin health, surgical dermatology, and cosmetic dermatology. She is known for her commitment to patient care and her dedication to advancing the field of dermatology. Her journey is marked by academic excellence, specialized training, and a genuine dedication to […]

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By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024
vaseline petroleum jelly, uses for vaseline, apply petroleum jelly,
vaseline petroleum jelly, uses for vaseline, apply petroleum jelly,

Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly, has been a household staple for over a century. This multi-purpose ointment, discovered by Robert Chesebrough in the late 1800s, has proven to be an essential product with many uses. From skincare to home maintenance, Vaseline offers many practical applications that can simplify your daily life. In this article, we will explore the diverse uses of Vaseline and uncover its hidden potential.

What is Vaseline?

Vaseline, a versatile petroleum-based product, has gained popularity due to its numerous applications. It is made from a mixture of mineral oils and waxes, resulting in a smooth and semi-solid texture. Vaseline has been a household staple for many years due to its ability to create a protective barrier on the skin, locking in moisture and promoting healing. Its simple yet effective formula has made it popular for individuals of all ages and skin types.

Skincare Applications

Moisturizing Dry Skin

One of the most common uses of Vaseline is as a moisturizer for dry skin. Its occlusive properties help lock in moisture and prevent water loss, leaving your skin soft and supple. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline on dry areas, such as elbows and knees, before bedtime for maximum hydration.

Healing Cracked Lips

Dry and chapped lips can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Vaseline can provide immediate relief and aid in the healing process. Simply apply a small amount of Vaseline to your lips regularly, especially before bed, to keep them moisturized and prevent further cracking.

“Especially heading into the drier, winter months, using Vaseline on the lips will help prevent lips from getting chapped, cracking and bleeding,” says Dr. Lucy Chen.

Softening Rough Feet and Hands

Vaseline can be a lifesaver if you suffer from rough, calloused feet. Soak your feet in warm water for a few minutes, then gently exfoliate with a pumice stone. Afterward, apply Vaseline generously and put on a pair of socks. Leave it overnight, and wake up to noticeably softer and smoother feet.

“For those that wash and sanitize their hands frequently, I recommend Vaseline on rough knuckles, on the sides of the fingers, and callouses on the palms at night, then put on a pair of gloves,” says Dr. Chen.

Removing Makeup

When removing stubborn makeup, Vaseline can be an excellent ally. Dab a small amount of Vaseline onto a cotton pad and gently wipe away makeup, including waterproof mascara. Its emollient properties effectively break down even the most resilient makeup products.

Nurturing Cuticles

Dry and cracked cuticles can be painful and unsightly. Apply a small amount of Vaseline to your cuticles and massage gently. This nourishes and hydrates the area, promoting healthier nail growth and preventing painful hangnails.

Beauty Enhancements

applying petroleum jelly, rub vaseline, nail polish, damp cloth, custom cream eyeshadow
applying petroleum jelly, rub vaseline, nail polish, damp cloth, custom cream eyeshadow

Creating a Dewy Glow

Mix a small amount of Vaseline with your liquid foundation or highlighter for a natural and radiant glow. Apply it to the high points of your face, such as the cheekbones and bridge of the nose, to achieve a luminous and dewy complexion.

Defining Eyebrows

Taming unruly eyebrows can be a challenge. Apply a tiny amount of Vaseline to an eyebrow brush or clean mascara wand, then comb through your eyebrows to shape and define them. This simple trick will keep your brows in place throughout the day.

Highlighting Cheekbones

If you want to accentuate your cheekbones and add a touch of glow, apply a small amount of Vaseline to the tops of your cheekbones. This creates a natural highlight that catches the light and gives your face a subtle radiance.

Enhancing Lashes

For luscious and well-defined lashes, try using Vaseline as a lash enhancer. Apply a small amount to your lashes before bed, using a clean mascara wand or a cotton swab. Regular use can help nourish your lashes, making them appear thicker and healthier.

Household Hacks

Lubricating Sticky Mechanisms

Uncooperative doorknobs or squeaky hinges can be bothersome. Apply a small amount of Vaseline to the affected areas and work it into the mechanism. Its lubricating properties will help restore smooth movement and eliminate annoying squeaks.

Removing Watermarks

Watermarks on wooden furniture can be stubborn to remove. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the watermark, let it sit for a few hours, then gently wipe it away with a soft cloth. The Vaseline will rehydrate the wood and diminish the appearance of the mark.

Polishing Leather Goods

Leather items, such as shoes or bags, require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. Apply a small amount of Vaseline to a clean cloth and rub it onto the leather surface in gentle circular motions. This will moisturize the leather, restore its shine, and help prevent cracking.

Preventing Rust

Metal objects, especially those exposed to moisture, are prone to rust. Applying a thin layer of Vaseline to metal surfaces can act as a protective barrier, preventing rust formation. Regularly inspect and reapply a dab of Vaseline as needed to keep your metal items rust-free.

Restoring Old Furniture

If you have antique furniture that has lost its luster, Vaseline can help restore its beauty. Apply a small amount of Vaseline to a clean cloth and gently rub it onto the wooden surface. This will nourish the wood and revive its natural shine, giving your furniture a new lease on life.

Health and First Aid

Health and First Aid
Health and First Aid

Relieving Chapped Skin

Vaseline can provide instant relief for chapped and irritated skin. Apply a thin layer to the affected area to soothe dryness and promote healing. Its gentle formulation makes it suitable for sensitive skin, making it an excellent option for individuals of all ages.

Soothing Sunburns

Sunburns can be painful and uncomfortable. Applying a generous layer of Vaseline to sunburned areas can provide relief by moisturizing the skin and creating a protective barrier. However, it’s important to note that Vaseline does not offer sun protection, so it’s crucial to apply sunscreen before sun exposure.

Protecting Minor Cuts and Burns

For minor cuts and burns, use Vaseline which can act as a barrier against bacteria and promote faster healing. Clean the affected area, apply a thin layer of Vaseline, and cover it with a sterile bandage. This will help prevent infections and aid in the recovery process.

Preventing Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is a common concern for parents with young children. To prevent and soothe diaper rash, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to your baby’s clean and dry bottom during diaper changes. The Vaseline will create a protective barrier that helps prevent irritation caused by wetness and friction.

Fast Facts

DefinitionVaseline is a brand of petroleum jelly, a semi-solid mixture derived from petroleum, used for various purposes.
Cosmetic UsePrimarily used as a moisturizer to soothe and protect dry or chapped skin. Can also be used on lips and minor cuts.
Impact on Skin TypesSuitable for most skin types, including dry and sensitive skin. May be comedogenic for some acne-prone individuals.
Potential BenefitsProvides intense hydration, helps seal in moisture, and creates a protective barrier.
DrawbacksMay feel greasy, not suitable for all skin types, and may clog pores for some users.
Recommended UsageApply as needed, especially after bathing or when skin feels dry.
CompatibilityGenerally safe, but avoid using with ingredients that exacerbate pore-clogging.
PrecautionsPerform patch test for sensitive skin, avoid applying to open wounds, and discontinue if irritation occurs.
Who Should UseSuitable for individuals with dry, chapped, or sensitive skin.
Usage FrequencyUse as often as needed; frequency depends on individual skin moisture levels and environmental factors.
Works Well WithCompatible with most skincare products; can be layered over serums or used as a lip balm.
Don’t Use WithAvoid using with products containing potential irritants or comedogenic ingredients.


1. Is Vaseline safe to use on all skin types?

Yes, Vaseline is generally safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin. However, performing a patch test or consulting a dermatologist is always advisable if you have specific concerns or allergies.

2. Can Vaseline be used as a substitute for lip balm?

Absolutely! Vaseline is an effective alternative to lip balm, as it helps moisturize and protect your lips from dryness and chapping.

3. How long does Vaseline last on the skin?

The longevity of Vaseline on the skin can vary depending on factors such as the amount applied, skin and facial hair type, and environmental conditions. Generally, it forms a protective barrier that can last for several hours.

4. Can Vaseline help heal tattoos?

While Vaseline can be used as a moisturizer for new tattoos, following your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions is essential. They may recommend specific tattoo ointments that are better suited for healing.

5. Is Vaseline an effective lubricant for hinges?

Yes, Vaseline can be used as a lubricant for hinges and other mechanisms. Its greasy texture helps reduce friction and restore smooth movement.


Vaseline’s versatility and affordability make it an indispensable product in any household. Whether for skincare, beauty enhancements, household hacks, or first aid, Vaseline has proven to be a reliable solution for a wide range of everyday needs. So why not unlock the full potential of this remarkable product and make it a staple in your daily routine?


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