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The Amazing Versatility of Petroleum Jelly

That ancient tub of petroleum jelly in your mother's medicine cabinet is actually a container of magical possibilities.

Finger with petroleum jelly on it, here are some amazing uses for petroleum jelly

Chances are the amount of money you’ve spent on the skincare potions in your bathroom is roughly equivalent to the cost of a midsize car. But what if you already own an amazing multitasking product, and it costs less than what you spent on this morning’s latte?

Enter the trusty, modest jar of petroleum jelly.

Your mother trusts it, your grandmother has trusted it, and (because it was discovered in 1859), your great-grandmother trusted it, too.

Related: 4 Surprising Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

This interesting substance jelly derives from petroleum—yes, that petroleum. However, it has been filtered to remove any impurities or toxins and is safe to use on the skin.

Petroleum jelly forms a natural barrier around skin cells that traps in moisture and allows skin to heal from within. This is different from your other lotions, which are made from a combination of fragrances, oils, and water. Many lotions even include various amounts of petroleum jelly.

However, while that expensive lotion on your nightstand may smell better, it also has the potential to trap bacteria. Plus, lotions have all sorts of added preservatives and penetration enhancers. Petroleum jelly won’t let you down like that. With that in mind, here are a few ways you’ll fall in love with this widely available option.

1. The best lotion you’ll ever know

Truly. If you live someplace excruciatingly dry, rub the jelly on your feet before bed and then put socks on. Wake up to the smoothest feet ever. If your hands are looking older than you are, rub some jelly on, then throw on a pair of gloves.

2. Cheap lip balm that works

Lipsticks and other lip products may dry out your lips. Rub petroleum jelly on to protect them against chapping.

3. Help heal minor cuts and burns

Use petroleum jelly before applying a bandage to create a protective layer while the wound heals.

4. The best, cheapest makeup remover

Beauty companies love marketing overpriced soap as makeup remover, and just about all of it removes makeup while simultaneously stripping your skin of the oils it needs to heal. Using petroleum jelly to remove makeup will be gentler on your skin. Just apply a small amount to the area around your eyes, being careful to avoid your eyeball, and wipe clean with a cotton swab.

5. An always-on-hand shoe polish

Look like you’re living the high life. Rub a bit on your leather shoes to give them renewed shine.

6. Up your makeup game

Mix petroleum jelly with any pigments for use on your cheeks, lips, or eyelids—or use it by itself for a natural lash look in place of mascara. It can also be used as a highlighter and tinted lip balm.

Related: 10 Productive Things to do While Watching TV

This unassuming bottle is a multifaceted wonder jelly. It does it all—from removing makeup to healing the skin. And the best part? It costs about two bucks. Looks like petroleum jelly is out to save your skin and your wallet.

Be sure to check out other healthy living articles.


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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Post Author

Jennifer Diffley
Jennifer Diffley is a SLC resident. She is a senior copywriter and has her MFA in creative writing from NYU. Jennifer is committed to health, but has an unhealthy fascination with outrageous shoes.