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Benefits and Dangers of Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly is a semi-solid, jelly-like substance. This thick, waxy pate is used as a skincare product and treatment for minor scrapes and cuts.

Petroleum jelly is made from the mixture of mineral oils and is packaged as Vaseline. Petroleum which is the main ingredient of petroleum jelly helps seals in the skin with a water protective barrier. This help keep the skin moisturized.

The purity of petroleum jelly depends on the manufacturing process. The refined ones are usually safe. Unrefined petroleum jelly might contain harmful ingredients.

Benefits and Dangers of Petroleum Jelly

Benefits of Petroleum Jelly

Heals Skin Scrapes And Burns

Petroleum jelly helps keep the skin moist during post-surgery healing.(1) The surface it is applied should be cleaned and disinfected, or else bacteria or other pathogens might get trapped and become a hurdle in the healing process.

A Good Moisturizer

Petroleum jelly is an excellent moisturizer. It prevents the skin from drying out. It can be applied on the dry nose during cold or allergy.

Cracked heals get soft and moistened after applying petroleum jelly. Soak feet in warm water with some salt. After drying them out apply petroleum jelly and wear clean socks.

It can be applied on cleaned hands and to chapped lips as well.

Prevents Diaper Rash

It has been shown in a study, that petroleum jelly reduces the incidence of diaper rash in the babies.(2) The skin should be cleaned and dried before applying it.

Petroleum jelly protects by forming a barrier which helps the skin from constant exposure to moisture, preventing the occurrence of rashes.

Help in Removing Eye Make-Up

Petroleum jelly is safe to be used around the eyes and can help in removing eye makeup.(3)

Apply in on a cotton bud and gently wipe out the makeup. Make sure your eyes are closed during the process.

Acts as a Lube

If a ring is stuck to your finger, apply some petroleum jelly and you will find it easily comes out. Make sure you apply some of it under and around the ring.

For stuck door hinges apply some jelly on the hinge and swing the door a few times. Wipe off the excess jelly.

Prevent Skin Staining

When applying hair color, apply petroleum jelly along the hairline to prevent the hair dye from staining the skin. Similarly, it can be used in the case of nail paints.

It Helps In Managing Eczema

A study shows that petroleum jelly might prevent the outbreak of eczema in the newborn.(4) Eczema is a skin condition which causes itching, irritation, and scaly patches.

Dangers of Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly should be used externally only as it can lead to side effects if ingested or inserted.

The side effects linked with petroleum jelly are,


People with sensitive skin can develop allergies when petroleum jelly is applied.

Always keep an eye on any irritation or rashes when using a new product.


If petroleum jelly is applied on moist or unclean skin, it can lead to bacterial or fungal infections.

It is not recommended to use it as a lubricant as it can increase the likelihood of infection. Petroleum jelly can be difficult to clean and to wash away.

Clogged Pores

People with oily skin may break out when petroleum jelly is applied. Make sure you clean and dry your skin properly before applying jelly.

It can clog pores and lead to acne, especially with frequent use.

People with acne or oily skin should actually avoid using petroleum jelly.

Aspiration Risk

Petroleum jelly is used to ease chapped nostrils, but doing so it could cause breathing difficulties. Never apply it internally especially those suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Petroleum jelly is an affordable, multipurpose skincare product. It is not a substitute for other skincare products.

It has certain drawbacks, so use it cautiously. Consult a dermatologist in case of any query regarding the usage.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 10, 2019

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