Everything You Need to Know About Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline) – Bright Packaging and Raw Materials
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ARTICLE - Everything You Need to Know About Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)

on August 23, 2022


The History of Petroleum Jelly

Bottle of Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly, or more commonly known as Vaseline, is a byproduct from the refining process of petroleum in the oil industry. In 1859, it was discovered that the oil rig machinery would collect this residue called rod wax, and it was a nuisance to the oil workers because it caused their equipment to malfunction. Robert Chesebrough, and American chemist, noticed that the workers were using this substance to heal their cuts and burns, so Chesebrough saw this as an opportunity. He started to collect the rod wax and began the process of refining this substance over a couple of years. He discovered that by distilling the thinner oils from the rod wax, he could create a light transparent gel which he patented in 1865.


By 1872, Chesebrough opened his own factory and called the product Vaseline, which is now used as a generic trademark, or proprietary eponym (when a brand name is used synonymously with a class of products.) Since then, many other factories were opened and Chesebrough stayed president of the company until 1908, and in 1955 the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company merged with Pond’s Extract Company to become Chesebrough-Ponds, Inc. Eventually in 1987, this company was bought by Unilever.


What is Petroleum Jelly?

Hands holding Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes. It goes through an extensive refinement process, which allows the substance to be safe to use on your skin. It helps seal your skin with a water-protective barrier, which allows your skin to heal and retain moisture. Now the product can be found in a range of products such as moisturisers, lip balms, conditioners, baby care, and other beauty products. 


What are the Benefits and Uses of Petroleum Jelly?


Healing of minor scrapes and burns

Little Boy with Plaster on Knee Minor Cut

As mentioned before, petroleum jelly is great for keeping the skin moisturised which could help speed up the healing process for minor cuts and burns. Just make sure that the affected area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before applying the petroleum jelly, as there may be bacteria and pathogens that could get trapped, and ultimately slow down the healing process.



Red haired woman with moisturised skin

For your face and body, using petroleum jelly will prevent your skin from drying out by forming a protective layer. You could also use it for a dry nose during the flu and allergy seasons, as well as on cracked heels by soaking your feet in warm water, applying the petroleum jelly generously on the affected area and finally putting on some cotton socks. Petroleum jelly has also been well known for being a safe moisturiser for babies - it could reduce the occurrences of diaper rash.


Animal Paws

Dog paw pads

The paw pads of dogs are prone to becoming cracked and may be a source of of extreme discomfort for them. After they have gone for a walk or are in a restful mood, make sure to clean their paws, dry it and apply some of the petroleum jelly. You should apply a very thin layer as they may lick their paws, and too much ingested petroleum jelly may cause them to have an upset stomach.


Makeup and Stain Removal

Curly haired woman removing her makeup

Since petroleum jelly is made up of mineral oil and waxes, it can break down makeup very easily. The slick consistency of petroleum jelly makes it very easy to remove makeup, and it is especially gentle around the eyes. You don’t need to tug very hard at your skin in order for the makeup to come off. You can also use it as a barrier for your skin when you are dying your hair or painting your nails. The petroleum jelly will protect your skin from being stained, and you can just wipe it away after you are done with the hair dye or nail polish application.


Lubricant for Stuck Objects


Woman struggling to remove her ring needs a lubricant

Whether you have a ring that is stuck on your finger, or a squeaky door hinge, you can add some Vaseline as a lubricant to slide the ring off or stop the squeak.


Use as a Base for Skincare Recipes

Woman getting a facial mask

To make a face mask, adding a few drops of tea tree essential oil per tablespoon of petroleum jelly or vaseline, is believed to help with acne as it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. You can also add a pinch of turmeric or cinnamon which can act as a gentle exfoliator.


You can use different essential oils depending on what you would like the outcome to be, and you are also not limited to just making a face mask. You can make lip balms, hair treatments, and various other skin treatments by using petroleum jelly as a base.



Cautions of Petroleum Jelly

Hands holding a tub of vaseline

Petroleum Jelly such as Vaseline is safe to use and does not contain any harmful ingredients, on condition that it is in a purified state. However, unrefined petroleum jelly could contain some potentially dangerous contaminants, so you need to make sure that you get it from a reputable source.




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