What is Petroleum Jelly, and What is It Used For?

Find out more about the history and surprising uses of Vaseline® petroleum jelly.

Find out all you need to know about Vaseline petroleum jelly here, including its uses and what it is made of.

Take a peek inside any medicine cabinet and you’re sure to find a little jar of petroleum jelly. Usually nestled inside those classic blue containers, Vaseline® Jelly has become a household staple over the years – but how much do you really know about the history of petroleum jelly and the various uses of Vaseline®?
What is Petroleum Jelly, and What is It Used For?
Amazing Vaseline uses, and how it’s made
  • 1
    What is Petroleum Jelly?
    The history of Vaseline® Jelly starts in 1859, when Robert Chesebrough travelled to Titusville, a small town in Pennsylvania. That’s where oil workers had been using rod wax, an unrefined form of petroleum jelly – then just a simple by-product of the drilling they were working on – to heal wounded or burnt skin.
    Curious about its healing benefits, young chemist Robert Chesebrough began to study the substance then known as ‘rod wax’. Through various processes of refinement and purification, he distilled a lighter and transparent gel, which he then patented in 1865 and is the Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly we know today.
  • 2
    What is Vaseline® Jelly?
    When people talk about petroleum jelly, they’re usually referring to Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly – the product originally refined by Chesebrough.
    It was originally called ‘Wonder Jelly’, and Chesebrough decided to rebrand the product as Vaseline® Jelly – a combination of the German word for water (wasser) and the Greek word for oil (oleon). And so in 1872 the brand Vaseline® Jelly was born.
    Vaseline® Jelly has been making it easy for people of all ages to take advantage of the benefits of petroleum jelly for more than 140 years. Even with the change of name, Vaseline® Jelly is still a true ‘Wonder Jelly’ that tackles dryness from the inside out, providing deep healing moisture and leaving your skin feeling soft and supple.
  • 3
    What is Petroleum Jelly Made of?
    Petroleum jelly is a mixture of natural waxes and mineral oils that together lock moisture in skin, moisturizing it to repair and relieve dryness.
    If petroleum jelly is made of waxes and oils, what is Vaseline® Jelly made of? The original ‘Wonder Jelly’ is made from 100 percent triple-purified petroleum jelly, while Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotions contain micro-droplets of Vaseline® Jelly and other effective moisturizers that target natural moisture loss throughout the day.
  • 4
    What is Vaseline® Jelly used for?
    Vaseline is hugely versatile, and it’s used all over the world to protect and heal dry skin, from dry, cracked hands to hard skin on heels. As well as healing the skin, there are many uses of Vaseline that you might not know about, like softening the lips or highlighting the cheekbones!
    Here are just a few helpful Vaseline uses that could help you in a pinch:
    • Healing Cracked Heels
    • Vaseline can be used as a home remedy for dry and cracked heels. Just smooth Vaseline Petroleum Jelly over your heels and slip on a pair of clean cotton socks before bed. Leave it on overnight and you’ll start to notice results the next morning.

    • Smoothing Unruly Hair
    • Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is great at keeping frizzy hair under control and sealing dry split ends. Rub a small dab through the problem areas of your hair for instantly smoother hair. You can even use a small amount to shape and smooth out your eyebrows.

    • Softening Lips
    • Protecting dry, chapped lips is one of the simplest uses of Vaseline, and it’s especially effective in cold or dry weather. Applying a very small layer of Vaseline can help your lips retain moisture and keep them from drying out.

    • Highlighting Cheekbones
    • Use Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to give your skin an appealing glow. Achieve a dewy finish with just a dab of Vaseline around your cheek bones.

    Vaseline® Jelly is triple-filtered, ensuring it is truly free from impurities. This means that is often used to protect and repair the skin. Moms love it for preventing diaper rash, but it can also be used to protect minor cuts and burns, to soften skin, and to lock in moisture in dry, cracked skin. Vaseline® Jelly works from the inside out, repairing and protecting dry skin and locking in moisture, making your skin feel and look good!