The ever-so-popular petroleum jelly (also known as petroleum) has been used since the late 1800s for wound healing and burns. Petroleum jelly is comprised of waves, mineral oils and hydrocarbons in a semi-solid vehicle. Petroleum jelly has been a staple in numerous households worldwide for various ailments including dry skin, rashes, nosebleeds, and cosmetic purposes.
History of Vaseline:
Initially discovered in a small rural town in Pennsylvania, the raw material for petroleum jelly was discovered out of frustration as it this thick emollient forming on the oil rigs would lead to malfunction. However, workers quickly discovered the benefit of this paraffin-like material when used on cuts and burns. The raw materials were later refined by a young chemist, Robert Chesebrough, who then later created a company in Brooklyn, NY called “Vaseline”. The benefits of petroleum were quickly discovered as it was devoid of natural fragrance, was insoluble in water (creating a natural barrier for the skin), translucent, fails to oxidize when exposed to air and does not readily react with other chemical reagents.
Petroleum is excellent for use in holding wax and one of the more popular ingredient for both beard and mustache wax. Found to mix well with beeswax and easily spread into the mustache and beard, petroleum jelly may further improve the integrity of the hair and maintain the strength of the hair cuticle.
[Wound healing and burns]
Vaseline (name brand) and Aquaphor (name brand) contain petroleum and have been found to be extremely beneficial for wound healing and superficial skin burns. As a dermatologist, petroleum jelly is my go-to for postoperative wound care after any dermatologic procedure—both medical and cosmetic. Petroleum jelly promotes rapid, uncomplicated healing with avoidance of potential irritation or allergic reactions (may be seen with use of topical antibacterial ointments). Maintaining a moist environment with a thick emollient and forms a barrier against water and environmental exposure is crucial l in wound healing.
[Make-up remover and corrector]
Vaseline is a product that contains petroleum jelly that has been utilized for many years in the cosmetic industry as a make-up remover, hair dye protector, chafing healer and cuticle protector. Vaseline may also be mixed with various foundations or eyeshadows to turn the powders into a cream for easier application. To help make your perfume last a little longer, I found that applying vaseline to the application points prior to spraying the perfume may help the scent linger a little longer.
Dry skin occurs in all ages and skin types and may lead to the dreadful itch-scratch cycle which is frustrating for many. Prevention of dry skin by modifying bathing habits and application of a thick emollient such as vaseline is my top recommendation. Dry skin, especially in the elderly, is fragile and thirsty for moisture with loss of natural ceramides and lipids in the skin barrier. Hydration of the skin, especially after showers is essential. I recommend greasing your body after showers with petroleum jelly, leaving your skin feeling silky smooth after showers. Ingredients are safe and effective and gentle for patients with sensitive, dry skin.