Petroleum jelly might have a divisive reputation, but Dr. Helen trusts it (and uses it!) to target many skin concerns. Here are five of them

Ask people their thoughts on petroleum jelly, and there will no doubt be divided opinions. While many people have relied on this bathroom cupboard essential for years, others claim that it is loaded with toxic chemicals that make it dangerous to use.

As a dermatologist, I can safely say that petroleum jelly poses a low, if any, risk when it comes to exposure to carcinogens and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for topical use. It also happens to be one of my favorite skincare buys. I keep small jars of them *everywhere* – from my purse to my car – to address any skin concerns on the go. Not only is this product versatile, but budget-friendly, too.

It’s clear that more and more people are starting to embrace petroleum jelly, with the much-loved Vaseline Original Healing Jelly taking a top spot in the 2021 Allure Readers’ Choice Awards. This is because of its affordability and multitasking abilities.

Here are five ways to use it for healthy, comfortable skin.

As makeup remover

If you need to fix a makeup mistake or remove it completely, petroleum jelly is able to dissolve it easily and gently. It is also safe to be used around the eyes.

As a lip balm

Possibly one of its most popular uses, it’s effective at preventing the delicate skin on the lips from becoming chapped and flaky and sealing in moisture.

As a moisturizer

Being non-comedogenic, this stuff won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts. In fact, ‘slugging’ is a beauty trend where people add petroleum jelly as the last step in their routine for plump skin when waking.


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As lash and brow conditioner

If you want to make your lashes and brows soft and shiny, look no further than a tub of petroleum jelly! The mineral oil acts as an effective, wallet-friendly conditioner.

As a healing balm

For minor wounds, petroleum jelly can aid in the healing process. It can help to keep the area moist and, thereby, prevent the formation of scabs (which can extend recovery time).