What You Should Know About Your Petroleum Jelly

In these corona pandemic days we are washing our hands more than was usual, so keeping skin moisturized and protected is important. Thankfully everyone has a jar of petroleum jelly.

And here is what you should know about your petroleum jelly


1. The most commonly known brand of petroleum jelly is Vaseline and was patented in 1872 by Robert Chesebrough.
2. Petroleum jelly is also called petrolatum and is a mixture of mineral oils and wax, which form a semisolid jelly-like substance.
3. In theory there are no differences between petroleum jellies. Some makers use the highest quality ingredients and a special purification and filtration process and others have small variations in consistency, smoothness, and even fragrance.
4. In general there does not appear to be a difference in safety between petroleum brands so you can pick any brand you like. Just read the label to be sure it is 100% petroleum jelly and as with any other product you use on your skin, monitor initial uses for signs of allergy or rashes.
5. Petroleum jelly can be used from “head to toe”. It can be used in your hair, it can be used around the eyes to reduce the appearance of fine lines, it can be used to soothe chapped lips, can be rubbed into cracked hands, and it can be used on elbows, knees, legs, belly and buttocks. And it is very good for lubricating cracked heels.
6. Petroleum jelly is one of the cheapest beauty products you can buy. It is a lip gloss, it a cheek shine and can accentuate cheekbones and create a beautiful glow. It can be used to remove eye makeup and some say, if applied before you dab your perfume on-your perfume will last longer.
7. Petroleum jelly is used by some people on wounds because it does protect an open wound by acting as a barrier between the wound and the environment; ultimately preventing infection. However, be careful to let the skin dry and to clean the skin properly before applying petroleum jelly to prevent fungal or bacterial infections.
8. It is very good as a protection against the elements, especially in cold months petroleum jelly locks in natural moisture and oils that your skin needs to stay hydrated and prevent cracking, itching and that very unattractive ashy look.
9. It is the most commonly used product by parents to help their babies in nappies or diapers. A small amount that is applied to the skin will lock in moisture and keep out wetness – helping to soothe irritation and help prevent nappy rash
10. While petroleum jelly has many uses, it should be for external use only. Do not eat or insert petroleum jelly!

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The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo