25 Magical Uses for Vaseline

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Vaseline is one of those things that we all seem to have lying around somewhere. If you’re like most people, it’s usually pushed to the back of a junk-filled drawer and forgotten, but you might want to have a rummage around and put it somewhere easy to find, because Vaseline is actually an incredible little pot full of surprising uses.

What Exactly Is Vaseline?

Vaseline is the brand name of very pure kind of petroleum jelly.  Petroleum jelly is a blend of mineral oils and waxes.

Petroleum jelly was actually discovered back in 1859 by a 22-year-old British chemist called Robert Chesebrough. Before he fortuitously traveled to a Titusville, a small Pennsylvania town where petroleum had recently been discovered, Chesebrough had been busy making kerosene from whale oil. But that was all to change when he witnessed the oil drillers using a naturally occurring byproduct of the oil drilling process, to heal their cuts, burns and other skin abrasions.

The by product that they slathered onto their skin seemed to speed up the healing process. Chesebrough was intrigued by this novel substance and set out to find out how else it could be put to use. By doing so he turned a waste product into something that is today used all over the world. Smart guy!

But before he could make his millions Chesebrough had to figure out a way to purify the product. While the crude grease was sufficient for the needs of hardened oilmen, it wouldn’t appeal to the American consumer.

Chesebrough spent 10 years perfecting his process of making pure petroleum jelly, and only then did he release it to the public. His unique method involved a triple purification method which removed all of the impurities and ensured that only pure petroleum jelly remained.

Wanting to show how effective his product was at treating burns, and hoping to impress the medical industry, Chesebrough traveled around the state of New York and demonstrated its efficacy by burning himself with acid or an open flame and then spreading the jelly on his skin.

His risky approach paid off and soon the sales of Wonder Jelly, as it was first called, took off.

In 1872, Chesebrough changed the name from Wonder Jelly to Vaseline. The name is thought to originate from the German word for water – Wasser –  and the Greek word for oil – Oleon.

By 1874, one jar of Vaseline was being sold every minute. The humble jar of jelly even found Royal approval in 1883 when Queen Victoria let it be known that she used Vaseline to heal her dry skin, and awarded Chesebrough a knighthood for his efforts.

If It’s Made From Petroleum Is It Really Safe To Use?

Because all of the impurities have been removed from the petroleum jelly, Vaseline is pure, non-toxic, non-irritating and hypo-allergenic. In fact, Vaseline petroleum jelly is recommended by dermatologists and endorsed by the National Eczema Association as a suitable product for use by those with eczema and other sensitive skin conditions.

Other brands of petroleum jelly may not offer the same purity, but if you use Vaseline, you can be certain that you aren’t putting anything harmful onto your skin.

What Are The Main Benefits of Using Vaseline?

Vaseline protects your skin by creating a barrier between dry, cracked or damaged skin and the outside world. In effect sealing it off while it heals. Vaseline locks in moisture and prevents skin from drying out, which is very important when skin is damaged. Damaged skin loses a great deal more moisture than healthy, intact skin, and this loss of moisture causes discomfort and slows down healing. By creating a protective barrier, Vaseline prevents germs from causing infection.

Because it’s such an effective moisture lock, Vaseline is often used to protect chapped lips, and it is helpful for preventing the appearance of fine lines in very dry skin.

Vaseline doesn’t have any hydrating properties of its own. For that you would need to use a seed oil, like coconut oil or olive oil, but it will prevent moisture that is already present in your skin from escaping.

It’s An Oil Will It Clog Pores?

Independent experts from the Journal of Cosmetic Science have verified that Vaseline Jelly is non-comedogenic, which means that it will not clog your pores or cause acne.

Okay then, so now that you know what Vaseline is, let’s take a look at some ingenious uses for this historic product.

1. Make Your Perfume Last All Day

Make Your Perfume Last All Day

Perfume can lose its power pretty quickly, which leaves you having to keep reapplying it. That means that your expensive bottle of scrumptious smelling perfume runs out a lot faster than it should, and you have to buy some more. Manufacturers don’t miss a trick do they?

Well, if you use a little Vaseline before you spray your perfume on, you can make the fragrance last all day.

The perfume adheres to the Vaseline, and that slows down the rate at which the fragrance molecules drift away.

And because Vaseline is completely odorless, it won’t affect the smell of your perfume either.

While wrists are always a popular place to spritz a little fragrance, they’re not the best place to aim for if you want your perfume to last. Between handwashing and the rubbing off on cuffs, perfume applied to your wrist will wear off much faster than perfume applied elsewhere. To get the most from your perfume, apply it to your neck, behind your ears, at your cleavage and on your ankles.

2. Hide Your Split Ends

Are you overdue for a haircut? Are the ends of your hair split or bent and ruining your look? Don’t worry, all you need is a quick slick of Vaseline. Add a teeny amount to the ends of your hair to smooth down split ends and have instant sleek shiny hair.

Don’t apply the Vaseline straight from the pot to you hair. You need to rub it on your hands first so that just a trace amount goes onto your hair, otherwise the Vaseline will weigh your hair down and make it look greasy and stringy. In this case less really is more.

3. Want To Know An Insider Beauty Trick?

Vaseline can replace your highlighting products. It gives a more natural effect that shimmery, highlighting creams and powders.

All you need to do is take a small amount on your fingertip and swipe it over your cheekbones and brow bones to give them a highlighted glow.

Switching to Vaseline as your highlighter, saves you time, money and frustration. You won’t have to fuss around anymore trying to get different contouring creams and highlighters to blend together. And a big tub of Vaseline will last you for years, and costs less than a single small tube of highlighter.

4. Get A Beautiful Shimmer All Over Your Body

The dewy shimmer that Vaseline brings to your face can be replicated all over your body. In the summertime when you’ve got bare arms and legs, or when you’re all dressed up in a revealing outfit for a night out, just rub a touch of Vaseline over your skin to make it shimmer.

You can even mix the Vaseline with some bronzing powder for the ultimate sheen.

5. Stop That Red Clown Nosed Look When You’ve Got A Cold

How annoying is it when all of that wiping and blowing gives your nose a glow like Rudolphs’s?

As well as looking miserable that red skin feels sore, and because it’s so dry it will flake and peel. It’s just what you don’t need to deal with when you already feel lousy.

When a cold first strikes, protect the area around your nostrils with Vaseline. It will keep moisture in and prevent your skin from drying out, and it will stop any runs from causing irritation. Keep topping up your application throughout the day and you’ll prevent that red nose.

If you’ve already got a sore red nose, it’s not too late to turn it around. Regular applications of Vaseline will stop it from getting any worse and give your skin chance to heal.

6. Banish Painful Chafing

Any place that skins rubs on skin, or against clothing, is a prime candidate for a sore and unsightly chaffing rash.

Common places where chafing is a problem include the insides of upper thighs, armpits, and chest area. For runners, nipple irritation is a common concern.

All of these can be prevented or alleviated with a thin smear of Vaseline. The Vaseline prevents skin on skin friction and allows the surfaces to glide past one another without causing any irritation. And Vaseline prevents clothes from chafing as they rub up against your skin.

7. Soothe a Nasty Sunburn

If you forgot your sunscreen and sat out in the sun for too long, then that red skin is going to hurt. The best thing to do to reduce the pain, is to apply some aloe vera gel to replace the moisture that the sun sucked out of your skin and then to cover that with some Vaseline to lock the moisture in place. The Vaseline will also provide a protective barrier over your sunburn and help it to heal.

8. Dye Your Hair Without Dying Your Skin

We’ve all seen DIY color jobs where a dark hair dye has stained the skin and ruined the look. You can prevent this from happening to you by applying a thin layer of Vaseline around your hairline before you pour on the dye. Any stray drips and drops of hair dye will be stopped by the Vaseline barrier and you’ll be left with a clean dye job.

9. Take Off Your Makeup

Vaseline is a great makeup remover. It even removes stubborn mascara with ease. Rub some Vaseline into your skin, then wipe off with a cotton ball.

Wait there’s more! If you fell asleep caked in makeup and now have smeared and stained pillowcases, then you can rub a little Vaseline into the stain and wipe it away with a damp cloth. This works to remove foundation marks from your collars too.  

10. Clean Up Any Paint Stains

If you’ve been carrying out some DIY home decorating, or Pinterest inspired furniture restoration, and inadvertently gotten paint on your clothes or somewhere else that it shouldn’t be, don’t panic. While using solvents like turpentine or white spirit are fine for cleaning your brushes, they make a mess of stains and smear the paint over a wider area,

If you use Vaseline first, it will make paint wet again which allows for easy removal.

Cover the paint stain with Vaseline and wait for it soak in. Then dab away as much of the paint as you’re able to. Follow up with a little white spirit on a cloth to clean off the rest now that the majority of the paint has been removed.

11. Use To ‘Moisturize’ Normal And Dry Skin

While Vaseline can’t add hydration to your skin, it can prevent moisture loss. Your skin provides its own natural hydration, via the sebum that it creates down in your pores. If you use Vaseline to stop that moisture escaping, then you won’t need an additional moisturizer. Which makes for a very inexpensive skin care routine. If you have drier skin, you’ll need to moisturize first, but you can keep that moisture locked in with a thin layer of Vaseline over the top.

12. Stop Nail Polish Bleeding

Stop Nail Polish Bleeding

If there is one thing guaranteed to ruin the look of the nail polish that you just spent twenty minutes carefully applying, it’s color that’s leaked over the edge of your nail onto the surrounding skin. And no matter how carefully you try to get it off with a nail polish remover soaked Q-tip, you always snag a little of the polish on your nail too. Then your try to touch it up, but it never looks quite right.

Well, you can stop that whole song and dance from happening by coating the skin around your nails and your cuticles with Vaseline. Once your nail polish is dry, just wipe it off and watch all of the unwanted polish disappear along with it.

13. Speaking Of Cuticles

Massage a touch Vaseline into your fingernails to soften your cuticles and prevent them from looking dry and ragged. It works just as well as any cuticle cream and it will leave your nails with a nice healthy sheen too.

14. The Lazy Way To Treat Your Feet

Massage your feet with Vaseline and then slip on a pair of cotton socks before you go to bed. When you wake up your feet will be soft and smooth, without any trace of dry skin.

15. Dirt Cheap Clear Mascara

Vaseline is a great substitute for clear mascara. It defines and separates your lashes and unlike mascara it doesn’t cause any damage. Mascara causes lashes to dry out, break off and fall out. Vaseline won’t do any of that.

You’ll need a clean mascara wand, then just dip it into a little Vaseline and sweep over your lashes. Finish off your look by combing the wand through your eyebrows to tidy them up and add a sleek shimmer.

16. Reuse Crumbling Eye Makeup

If you’re eyeshadow is cracked and crumbling, and a pure pain in the you know where to use, you can make it into a fabulous cream eyeshadow with a smidge of Vaseline.

Just get a cheap contact lens case and scrape your powder inside, then add a little Vaseline and mix it up.

17. Make Your Own Summer Time Makeup

Vaseline can be mixed with Mica and other powdered pigments to create a range of translucent makeup products for pennies. You can make eyeshadow, blush, shimmery lip color and sun kissed bronzers. If you want a less translucent look, add some black or white eyeshadow to create a little more depth.

18. Hide Scuff Marks

Scuff marks ruin the look of your leather shoes, purses, boots, jackets and furniture. You can make all of your leather look like new again by rubbing the scuff with some Vaseline.

19. Perfect Your Fake Tan

Fake tan is notorious for streaking and gripping onto areas of your skin where it just looks completely wrong and screams FAKE!

Vaseline will help you to get a smooth tan without all of the silly bits.

Use Vaseline around your hairline to stop your blond hair turning orange. Apply to your wrists, ankles, heels and knees. And don’t forget areas that crease, like your inner elbows and cleavage.

Once you’ve got your Vaseline on you can apply your tanner with confidence.

20. Perfect Little Traveling Companion

When you’re traveling you don’t want to have to haul twenty different skincare and body care products along with you. Vaseline can replace so many of those products, all in one handy little tub that takes up no room at all. Use it to remove your makeup and cleanse, moisturize, exfoliate (with a packet of sugar from the coffee tray), fix your hair, protect dry lips, and condition your nails and cuticles, etc.

21. Removes False Eyelashes With Ease

To prevent tugging at your eyelids and damaging your natural eyelashes, coat false lashes with Vaseline and let it soak in. It will loosen the glue and allow you to remove the fakes without leaving your eyes sore and irritated.

22. Make Putting Your Earrings In A Snap

Sometimes earrings just won’t go in. They catch and no matter how much you push they resist going in. It’s usually because there is some swelling within your piercing. If you dip the tip of your earring posts into Vaseline, they will glide through the holes without any trouble at all. And the Vaseline will coat the hole and help the swelling to subside. Vaseline is particularly helpful when you wear earrings made from cheap metals. It creates a barrier between the earring and your skin and prevents any contact dermatitis and crusty ears.

23. Remove Stuck Rings

When it’s hot and your hands have swollen up, your rings dig in and ouch it hurts. All you want to do is get those shiny instruments of torture off your fingers, but nope, they’re stuck in place. Not to worry, Vaseline is once again ready to ride to the rescue. With a quick slick of Vaseline those rings will slide off without a hitch.

24. Make A Sugar Scrub

Don’t waste money on overpriced exfoliators. Most of them are too harsh and damage your skin anyway. All you need is some dirt cheap Vaseline and some equally dirt cheap table sugar.

Just mix a little of both together and get rubbing over anywhere that needs exfoliating. Your face, your lips, your hands, elbows, knees, feet. Go nuts. It’s so cheap you can afford to.

25. Prevent Blisters And Sores

Don’t let your new shoes rub at your heels and make walking a misery. Apply a layer of Vaseline to any part of your foot that your shoes are rubbing on. The Vaseline will prevent the friction and protect your skin.  

A tub of Vaseline costs around $4. That’s really good value considering all of the uses that you can put it too. And because you only need to use tiny amounts, it will last for a very long time!

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.