Know Your Ingredients: Petrolatum

jar vaseline

What it is
Petrolatum, also called vaseline, is derived from petroleum.

What it does
Petrolatum creates a barrier on the skin that reduces the amount of water that evaporates through it, thus keeping it hydrated. It also makes skin soft.
In addition, it can reduce inflammation and help skin heal.

Side effects
Petrolatum is generally considered to be safe.

(Source: Acta Dermato-Venereologica, November–December 2000, pages 412–415)
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  1. says

    My chem teacher said petrolatum works really well as a moisturizer. I’ve been talking with her about makeup and skincare stuff I’ve learned from you! I’m going to tell her about your blog too.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, it does. It’s one of the best moisturizing ingredients available on the market. :)

      And that’s great that you’re discussing cosmetic science. You should tell her to do a short lesson about it in class too. :) And thanks for telling her about my blog, I appreciate it.

          • says

            She said it’s a great idea and she’ll teach it next year. She told me that she actually invited a cosmetician to be a guest speaker about cosmetic ingredients but the speaker had a last-minute business trip or something. Shucks, I really wished the speaker could have came! Now there’s no time left in the school year for it. :[

            • beautifulwithbrains says

              Janessa, what a shame about the speaker not being able to come. That would have been so interesting. :( But it’s great that’s she’s gonna teach cosmetic science in school. I’m sure the students will enjoy that and hopefully will learn to appreciate science more. I think your teacher is awesome. Had I suggested something like that to my old science teacher, he would have thought it a waste of time *rolls eyes*

              • says

                As I read that, I could picture an old balding man rolling his eyes lol! Yup, my teacher is very nice. She says “good morning and have a good day” every day to all her classes. :] And I like to talk to her and she listens even if she has stuff to do. Sometimes I feel bad I bother her so much but she said she doesn’t mind.

  2. says

    hm but even though it is considered to be safe, i still try to avoid it since it is a side product from gasoline. so no…. i try to use it as little as i can//Azure
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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Azure, I understand your concerns, but although it is true that it is derived from oil, it undergoes a refining process to get all the contaminants out of it. At the end of this process, petrolatum is a different substance from petroleum and completely safe.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Aida, yes, you can. Petrolatum is a very effective moisturizer that can be used all over the body, lips included. I’m not sure why it would darken lips though. I used it often as a lip balm and never had that problem.

  3. olayinka says

    Av used a lot of cream it seems no one is workin for my skin. Right nau,someone introduced me to one cream cald,sebamed for normal to oily skin I don’t knw if I shold go for ths or can u hlp me pls

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Olayinka, just give it a go. If it works well for your skin, then there’s no reason not to use it.

  4. olayinka says

    Thnx. Appre8. I don’t knw if glycerin nd rosewater is good as d way pple is talkin abt it. I need ur opinion,serioisly don’t knw wht to do.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Olayinka, are these the only two ingredients in the product? Glycerin is used to draw water from the environment into the skin. Rosewater is an emollient that makes skin soft and smooth. I’d say the product is a basic moisturizer and I don’t think it will hurt your skin at all.

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