Petroleum Jelly: What is Petrolatum and Its Benefits

LAST UPDATED: JAN 17, 2023 / By Nura / IngredientsLibrary

What is petrolatum made of or where does it come from?

Petroleum jelly or also known as petrolatum is a thick, colorless and greasy substance that made from mixture of waxes and mineral oils which form semisolid gel-like materials. It has water-protective barrier properties. Meanwhile, petroleum vs petrolatum is totally a different thing. Petroleum is a fossil fuel or mixture of hydrocarbon that were used to propel vehicle and produce electricity. And petrolatum is another name for petroleum jelly.

Petroleum jelly also one of the most effective moisturizers that you can find on the market as it has occlusive properties. Occlusive works by forming a moisture layer on top of the applied area in order to lock-in the moisture or water from leaving your skin. This can provide major help in reducing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Find out more about the benefits and dangers of petroleum jelly in the writing below.

Petroleum jelly vs Vaseline, is Vaseline the same as petroleum jelly? What is a Vaseline?

Many people thought that Vaseline same as petroleum jelly and if you are wondering whether is petroleum jelly and Vaseline the same thing? You should now that Vaseline is a brand name, and Vaseline ingredients consist of 100% pure petroleum jelly.

Please read this Vaseline safety usage before applying it to the skin

+ Is it suitable to use petroleum jelly for minor burns? Or Vaseline on cuts or burns area?

Petroleum jelly should not be use as first aid for burns since it is non sterile, occlusive and may lead to infection. Petroleum jelly only suitable to be use for subsequent dressing for minor burns. Petroleum jelly have an occlusive property so it can help in soothing dry skin and reducing chaffing.

+ Does it harmful to ingest petroleum jelly, is petroleum jelly safe especially when applying it at the lip area? Is Vaseline edible?

Vaseline isn’t edible because it contains mineral oil which can cause digestive upset if ingested. This petroleum jelly dangers to your digestive if large portion of it get into your system. You should only use Vaseline or petroleum jelly for topical purpose, especially for chapped lips, flaky skin and also suitable to be used on dry lines around eyes area.

+ Is Vaseline good for skin rashes?

Vaseline contain petroleum jelly and it has occlusive properties that create a layer of barrier to prevent moisture loss from the skin and at the same time provide relief from diaper rashes in babies and soothe the skin.

+ Can I use petroleum jelly on my hands and can I use it around eye areas?

As we know the thickest skin layer is located at your hand and also your feet. Meanwhile the thinnest skin layer is located around the eye areas. So, it is safe to use petroleum jelly for all these areas in order to provide deep moisturization. As we age, we tend to be active in daily needs such as gardening and washing dishes, and at the same time our skin barrier strength tends to decrease over time. This will lead to dry and cracked skin that turn into lines and wrinkles formation. It is recommended to apply petroleum jelly after all these gardening and washing dishes activities in order to retain moisture on the hand skin. This will help to lock-in moisture on the skin and improve your barrier strength.

+ Does petroleum jelly clog your pores?

You will notice that this jelly has heavy and thick texture, but it also has fast absorbance rate into the skin this it will not clumping inside your pores and instead, it leaves them clear.  You can apply petroleum jelly after shower because of its occlusive properties, it will help your skin from drying out especially in winter season or if you live in desert-climate country. But if you have oily skin or acne-prone skin concern, please avoid using petroleum jelly because it only works for clean and dry skin. Oily and acne-prone skin normally have active bacteria infestation on it, and if you apply petroleum jelly on that kind of skin, it only make it worse.

+ Is Vaseline antibacterial?

Vaseline has range of products that specifically design for antibacterial purpose such as Vaseline Antibacterial Hand Moisturizing Lotion, Vaseline Jelly Germ Safe, Vaseline Clinical Care Hand Cream + Anti-Bac and Vaseline Expert Care Dry Hands Rescue Hand Cream. It is important to dry and clean the skin before applying petroleum jelly on it to avoid infections.

+ Are there any Vaseline petroleum jelly side effects when applying it on the skin?

For sensitive skin user, it is advisable to do patch test first before applying Vaseline to your skin as some sensitive skin can develop certain allergies when using petroleum-based products. If there any sign of irritation and adverse reaction appears after 48 hours of patch test have been done, means that you have Vaseline allergy and please stop using the product. Do get a proper advised from dermatologist to get a better skincare product replacement.

+ Refine vs Unrefined Petroleum Jelly

Choose a refined petroleum jelly since it safe from carcinogenic substance. You can find this by searching for USP grade petroleum jelly which adhere to United States Pharmacopeia standards and meet FDA impurity restrictions. USP grade also known as BP in Britain and Ph. Eur in European Region.

Unrefined petroleum jelly is said to have polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in it which have potential to trigger breast cancer.


In the article above, we have explained whether is petroleum jelly same as Vaseline, and is Vaseline safe for your skin? Petroleum jelly is a wonder ingredient that can be used for all sorts of purposes. You can find petroleum jelly in many different types of skin and beauty products that use ‘petrolatum’ as their INCI name. It has been used for many years and has proven to be a popular choice.

Petroleum jelly can be found at virtually any grocery store or drug store, but you’ll find it most often in the beauty section especially in dry climate countries. Many people often use petroleum jelly on their lips, hands, and face to help protect their skin. It can be used as an ingredient to soothe dry skin, helps protect against the development of chapping and cracking skin, also helps keep lips healthy and moisturized.

The benefits of Vaseline on face are endless as the ingredients in Vaseline is 100% pure white petroleum jelly, so it can help hydrate dry skin, can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve skin elasticity and moisture retention, antibacterial protection and lastly, it can help in healing chapped lips.