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What is Vaseline? And its Uses

Among the paraffinic hydrocarbons, petroleum jelly (also known as “petrolatum”) certainly plays a fundamental role Obtaining from the residues of petroleum distillation; petroleum jelly represents an ingredient mainly exploited in the cosmetic sphere the pharmaceutical field as an excipient of ointments, creams and ointments.


It is the petroleum gel par excellence: in this regard, it should note that the term used- albeit improperly – indicate the entire category of petrolatum.

Vaseline owes its name to R. CheseBrough, who, towards the 1860s, was able to produce some samples of paraffin derivatives. The term Vaseline is composed of one German and Greek, respectively: Wasser (water) and delight (oil).


Petroleum jelly is not confused with liquid paraffin, also known as petroleum jelly. And chemically different products with other characteristics, although they are both petroleum derivatives.


Characteristics and Chemical Analysis of Vaseline

It is a heterogeneous mixture of saturated and minimally unsaturated paraffinic hydrocarbons, with a fluid, semi-solid and solid consistency, obtained from petroleum through special fractionation and purification treatments

It is soft, waxy to the touch and greasy; the structure appears amorphous and homogeneous. Generally, petroleum jelly is Odorless and Colorless; sometimes, it is translucent-semitransparent yellow.

It melts at temperatures between about 40 and 45 ° C. The hydrocarbon compound does not oxidize in contact with air and is chemically inert, so it appreciates in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical fields.

It is easy to understand how petroleum jelly is insoluble in water and soluble, on the other hand, in solvents such as benzene, chloroform and aromatic hydrocarbons in general.


Stages of Vaseline production

Some lubricating fractions are obtains from the distillation of oils, which are subsequently subject to refining. At first, the obtain particles were processed with sulfuric acid, then neutralize with soda and washed. Next, these are bleached with particular bleaching coals in the last refining step and, finally, filtered.

It is possible to get different types of paraffin from petroleum intends for other uses.

Types of Vaseline

Commercially speaking, the different types of this petroleum jelly can distinguish according to the area of origin or color. Therefore, based on this latter classification, it is possible to determine:

White Vaseline

White Vaseline is a remarkably delicate and first-rate aliphatic hydrocarbon extensively used as an emollient and lubricant. In addition, it’s miles used as an excipient within the pharmaceutical field, despite the fact that in a few pills, it may also be one of the main additives.

Yellow Vaseline

Yellow petroleum jelly is greater oily than white petroleum jelly and potentially more risky. In addition, yellow petroleum jelly has essential impurities, a number of that are considered dangerous to health.

Brown petroleum jelly:

Brown petroleum jelly extra polluted through residues from the petroleum refining technique. It isn’t always used both within the pharmaceutical or in the beauty field.


As cited, petroleum jelly is broadly used inside the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry, but no longer handiest due to the fact there are numerous other domestic makes use of and no longer of this substance.

The primary uses of this substance are in short illustrated beneath.

Medical-pharmaceutical use

In the pharmaceutical area, petroleum jelly is broadly used as an excipient with an emollient and lubricating action to prepare creams, ointments and ointments.

A typical example of the use of petroleum jelly in the pharmaceutical field gives by the galenic preparation of salicylic acid-based ointments (salicylic petroleum jelly) with keratolytic and antifungal action.

White petroleum jelly is also part of the composition of drugs for ocular use in association with liquid paraffin. These drugs indicate the presence of dry eye states.

Cosmetic use

Given its emollient properties, petroleum jelly is also widely used in cosmetics (INCI nomenclature: Petrolatum), where it operates in the formulation of a large variety of products, such as:

Gels, balms and sticks for dehydrated lips ;

Lip glosses and lipsticks;

Body hygiene products;

Shaving preparations ;

Massage oils ;

Body creams;

Hair conditioners.

Spread at the skin, petroleum jelly creates a kind of protective movie (occlusive film), able to decreasing trans-epidermal water loss.

Did you know that

At one time, petroleum jelly is used as a lubricant for condoms: presently, the use of petroleum jelly for this purpose has long past into disuse. As it reacts with the latex of the condom, deteriorating it.

Other Uses

1.The uses of petroleum jelly – especially in the vast world of DIY – are many, some of which could describe as somewhat questionable.

In this concern, it must note that do-it-yourself remedies – especially when put into practice in the attempt to treat pathologies . Should be avoided, since in these cases, the doctor’s consultation is essential.

2.The same applies to uses of petroleum jelly outside the usual indications, generally shown on the packaging of the same product.

3.In fact, on the market, it is possible to find pure white petroleum jelly for cosmetic use, which, usually, is used in the “treatment” of dry and chapped skin .Or as a protective and anti-friction remedy to be applied in areas of skin subject to continuous rubbing.

4.We also remind you that petroleum jelly can use at the end of the execution of a tattoo directly on the affected area, both by its emollient properties.

5.And by its ability to create a protective film in correspondence with the same tattoo. In addition, the formation of the occlusive movie is beneficial to protect the skin (already irritated and inflamed) from external insults.However, in reality, the use of petroleum jelly in this area is now falling into disuse.

As a result, a growing number of tattoo artists prefer to recommend to their customers the application of other products, such as, for example.

6.These soft pastels use for a diaper change. In addition to exerting a protective action on the skin, these pastes endow with soothing properties, elasticizing and regenerating.

7.Finally, petroleum jelly can also produce industrial lubricants, shoe creams, anti-rust products, etc. The type of petroleum jelly use in these industrial environments is very different from that for cosmetic use.That can  purchase and used on the skin (always respecting the indications and the correct way of service).

Side effects

Generally speaking, petroleum jelly appears to be a product well tolerate by most individuals.

Although this does not mean that it is not capable of causing unwanted effects.
Using petroleum jelly topically (pure or in cosmetic products or pharmaceutical preparations) could cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Where to buy Vaseline?

Vaseline and, in particular, white petroleum jelly can use on the skin as described above found in various physical and online stores, pharmacies and para pharmacies. When you decide to resort to petroleum jelly, remember the importance of buying quality products, relying on serious retailers. It is also advisable to be wary of products of dubious origin and with an excessively lower price than the market average.

Also Read: What are Giant Pimples?

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