Years ago I watched a TV show. In that show there was a Dutch man with his Filipino wife. They both had two kids.
I can’t remember what it was about. I think it was about mixed marriages. During a scene the man bathed his children. Afterwards he smeared a thick layer of Vaseline on the skin of the children. ‘These half-bloods have special skin’, he explained, ‘That’s why they should be rubbed with Vaseline every day.’
Maybe I found this TV scene too bizarre. Maybe that’s why I still remembered it. Well, those children were rubbed every day with a good layer of Vaseline. And that just didn’t seem right to me.
Trust me, I like Vaseline. I always have several jars at home, especially at this time of the year. I use it for my dry lips and for slugging. Yet I have heard that you can close your skin too much with it, which makes it suffocate. But did you know this is a myth? I didn’t until recently! I found out that Vaseline is better for your skin than I thought before.
What is Vaseline?
Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly, is a substance that comes from petroleum. That is a type of oil.
Petroleum is formed when plant and animal life deep in the Earth’s crust are exposed to extremely high pressures or temperatures. Vaseline is made from this oil and is discovered in 1872. Since then it has been sold as a standalone product and used in cosmetics.
Is vaseline good for your skin?
Many people don’t know that an incredibly amount of research has been done on the moisturizing properties of Vaseline. And believe it or not, it really does bring great moisture to your skin!
Because Vaseline has an occlusive effect. This means that it puts a layer over the skin so that moisture can disappear from the skin less. This really helps to improve a damaged skin barrier, for example with dry skin or eczema.
In addition, it never causes an allergic skin reaction. So it’s also very suitable for sensitive skin.
Misconceptions about Vaseline
I’ve always understood that you should use Vaseline in moderation. Your skin would silt up and that would give you pimples. But that turns out not to be true:
- Vaseline doesn’t completely seal the skin as many people think. Your skin doesn’t suffocate.
- Vaseline almost never causes pimples in humans. It doesn’t clog your pores.
The downside of Vaseline
Unfortunately Vaseline is very sticky and it gives you a shiny head. And after long-term use your skin can become too hydrated. This can cause all kinds of processes in your skin to run less optimally. So here are a few tips for using Vaseline:
- Use it at night to make your shiny skin less noticeable.
- Moisten your skin before applying it.
- Apply a thin layer on top of your moisturizer.
Front Photo by Jacob Lund