The best skin moisturizer is probably the one that your mom, grandma, and great-grandmother have known for a long time. It only costs $7 to add it to your own collection (if it’s not already part of it). Petroleum jelly, best known by the brand name Vaseline, has many uses, from soothing dry skin to helping style eyebrows. However, before you use Vaseline as a moisturizer, there are a few things you should know about its properties and how it interacts with your skin.
Is Vaseline (aka oil wax) really good for your skin?
Petroleum jelly got a bad name during the clean beauty revolution because it started out as a byproduct of petroleum; however, it’s very refined and completely safe (and often recommended by dermatologists), especially for people with dry skin. Dermatologist Sandra Lee, MD, aka Dr. Pimple Popper and founder of SLMD Skincare. “In some ways, that’s great, because this kind of thick formula can strengthen the skin barrier, making it less likely that water will evaporate from the skin and dry it out. However, this is not true. with all skin types.”
Want to know more about all-star ingredients and the many uses of Vaseline for skin? Continue scrolling.
Benefits of Using Vaseline (aka Petroleum Jelly)
1. It helps to lock the moisture in
Petroleum jelly is as thick as peanut butter, so it’s not necessarily something you want to apply all over your body like a lotion, but it’s a great choice for areas like elbows, knuckles, and dry or prone lips. dried. Dr. Lee. “In winter, many of us need to switch to more moisturizing products, so it’s normal to increase our use of lube during the winter months,” she says. “I personally have very dry skin, so I can tolerate a thin layer of mineral oil under makeup, but people with really oily skin will probably hate this. It’s definitely a product. being more greasy can make it more difficult to apply makeup or other skin care products.” a little more difficult.”
2. It helps heal cuts and scrapes
Dr. Lee recommends using a lubricating oil to moisturize dry heels, cracks or fissures around fingertips, and cracked corners of the mouth before bed. It’s helpful with these because it can not only help prevent chapped skin, but it also helps moisturize those areas and is safe to use almost anywhere on your body.
“This non-irritating, sealing product is a great choice for preventing chapped lips, soothing irritated skin, and even treating clean skin wounds,” says board-certified dermatologist. received Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, previously told Well + Good. “With no potential for skin allergies, it protects the skin by creating an artificial barrier and protecting the skin, holding in moisture, allowing the skin to heal.
3. You can use it in your makeup routine
Ever heard of soapy brows, in which you use a bar of soap as a way to stroke your arches onto your face? Welp, we will make you a better one. By dabbing a petroleum jelly product onto the arches, you can help style your brows without the risk of skin irritation.
And, bonus points: Simran Sethi, MD, medical director of RenewMD Beauty & Wellness and founder of Skin by Dr. Simran Sethi, says kerosene can also be used as an eye makeup remover. However, there is a caveat. She says that using a cleanser or some sort of restorative skin care product afterwards is a must for long-lasting hydration in the skin.
4. It works as a dry spot treatment
As said before, while you may not want to apply Vaseline from head to toe, it can work as an A-plus point treatment for people with dry skin. “You can use lube on your elbows, knees, and anywhere else you feel your skin is drier. It’s great if you have eczema, as it can help reduce and control flares. related outbreaks,” said Dr. Lee.
That said, Dr. Sethi notes that Vaseline doesn’t necessarily remove dry skin. It simply creates a skin barrier. “Vaseline cannot and does not provide hydration because hydration can only be developed, replenished, and retained when a skin care product contains medical-grade ingredients that are capable of being absorbed and absorbed from the skin. skin barrier (epidermis) into the dermis layer of the skin, which contains all of the skin’s components. innovation happens,” she said. In other words, you still need a good moisturizer in your skin care routine.
How to use Vaseline on your skin
So you’ve decided to apply mineral oil to your skin— great! Here’s how to do it properly.
- Choose a product like Vaseline or Aquaphor.
- Evaluate the area that you are trying to treat. If it’s a larger surface area, you’ll need more product than if you’re treating a smaller area like your lips. Remember: A little goes a long way and you want your skin to feel a bit flaky and not like you get on PJ spheres.
- Using a cotton swab or some kind of tongue depressor, take some lube out of the can (you don’t want to get bacteria from your fingers into the vial) and apply it directly to your skin (especially if you’re applying cuts) or apply thinly with fingertips to affected area.
When should Vaseline be used?
1. If you have eczema or psoriasis
If you have conditions like eczema or psoriasis, you want ingredients that are moisturizing and soothing. “Mineral oil and petroleum are non-sensitizing ingredients,” Y. Claire Chang, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology previously told Well+Good. “Cosmetic grade Petrolatum has been highly refined from its original form into a pure, safe ingredient, and I often recommend petroleum-based products, such as Vaseline and Aquaphor ointments, to help heal.” wounds, dry skin and eczema.”
2. If you have dry skin (not greasy)
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, Dr. Lee does not recommend using kerosene. “It’s a safe product to use as often as you want if you’re not prone to acne, and once you’ve determined that it doesn’t cause acne,” she says. “It can clog your pores and promote pimples or the growth of milia, which are actually small cysts on the surface.” Other skin types really benefit from using it as a spot treatment for super dry skin.
So yes, using Vaseline on oily skin can cause acne complications. Dr. Sethi offers this advice and adds that you should only use Vaseline on oily skin if you have some type of skin lesion, cut or wound. Otherwise, it’s not necessary as there is no benefit to using Vaseline on acne.
“Acne treatment requires medical-grade ingredients that are able to cleanse the skin, not strip the skin of essential moisture, and ingredients that must be able to penetrate the dermis of the skin to replenish and promote skin regeneration cycle, treat all skin problems. , Dr. Sethi said. “Vaseline doesn’t offer any benefit and has the potential to collect more debris that can aggravate acne-prone skin.”
3. If your skin is peeling
A common question is whether Vaseline can stop skin flaking. Short answer: yes and No. Dr Sethi says: “Vaseline can temporarily stop skin flaking because it acts as a skin barrier or ‘film’ to protect the skin from external aggressors. However, the only way to really repair skin from flaking is to use products that penetrate the skin and provide skin-regenerating benefits, so make sure to combine that. Think of it this way: “Vaseline is like an external ‘guard’, if needed, to keep the epidermis intact while the skin begins its full healing and recovery process,” says Dr. Sethi said.
Frequently asked questions about Vaseline
Now that you’re informed about when to use lubricants, let’s dive into some frequently asked questions.
Should you apply Vaseline on wet or dry skin?
Dr. Sethi says you can apply mineral oil to wet or dry skin. Either way, don’t expect Vaseline to absorb into the skin. “Vaseline cannot penetrate the skin,” says Dr. Sethi. “It has too high a molecular weight to do so. It simply acts as a barrier to the skin if the skin is damaged (i.e. a rash, cut, wound or burn).”
Dr. Sethi also notes that kerosene does not provide sun protection. So make sure to keep your skin out of direct sunlight when using it or any other type of skin care product that doesn’t contain full-spectrum UV protection.
Does Vaseline help with wrinkles?
Vaseline can do many things, but unfortunately wrinkle reduction is not one of them. “While Vaseline can certainly act as a temporary shield on your skin barrier, it does not provide any benefit to the skin renewal cycle, which is what replenishes collagen and elastin. . helps prevent and smooth wrinkles,” explains Dr. Sethi. “Only skin care products that meet medical standards or have been clinically proven to penetrate the dermis of the skin can heal wounds quickly.”
What are the side effects of using Vaseline?
“Vaseline is not harmful to the skin,” says Dr. Sethi. There are no side effects when using it on reg. Again, it simply acts as a protective film or shield for the skin and is triple purified and hypoallergenic. Likewise, nothing will happen if you use too much Vaseline because it doesn’t really penetrate the skin. So if you accidentally apply more than you want, don’t sweat it. However, you don’t want to make a habit of putting a thick layer of Vaseline on your skin. This can cause debris to sit on the surface of the skin, potentially clogging pores, says Dr. Sethi.
Our editors independently select these products. Purchases through our links can earn Good+Good commissions.