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What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Vaseline® for Dry Skin?

Alex Tree
Updated May 21, 2024
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The inexpensiveness and longevity of Vaseline® is a major pro for many consumers. In addition, people often value the versatility of Vaseline® products. A potential drawback of using this lotion for dry skin is its greasiness, especially if too much product is applied in one spot. It can also be difficult to remove from both skin and clothing. Lastly, some people are skeptical of using Vaseline® for dry skin because of the myths and questionable safeness of the product.

Vaseline® is a relatively simple and inexpensive product to produce, and this savings is often passed along to consumers. In addition, one jar or tube tends to outlast a similar amount of lotion or cream by months, sometimes years. For people on a budget, using Vaseline® for dry skin helps stretch the wallet. Even if it is not the preferred product for dry skin, Vaseline® usually does not expire quickly and can be kept in storage for emergency uses.

Unlike many skin lotions that are designed to be used on just the face or body, Vaseline® can be used all over. Some people use it for dry skin on the feet, hands, or lips. In addition to being a skin moisturizer, some people opt to use Vaseline® on their eyelashes or teeth to make them shiny. There are literally hundreds of uses beyond the recommended ones, like creating lip glosses, removing makeup, and preventing carved Halloween pumpkins from drying out. For safety reasons, however, moisturizers should be used only according to the directions on the label.

Some people find the consistency of Vaseline® to be greasy and the product itself difficult to remove. They are therefore not comfortable using it as a remedy for dry skin. As an oily petroleum jelly product, Vaseline® can be difficult to remove with water alone. Many people prefer not to use it for dry skin due to its texture or simply prefer not to use it on certain parts of their bodies, such as the face.

The safety of using Vaseline® for dry skin is debatable. Some people argue that it clogs pores and the chemicals that Vaseline® is derived from are not healthy for human skin to absorb. From an anecdotal perspective, many people believe the use of Vaseline® has been linked to acne breakouts and other negative skin conditions. Despite these concerns, Vaseline® is still considered safe and is approved for use by many governments.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and BeautyAnswered contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
By lluviaporos — On Jun 11, 2012

@croydon - I think it depends on how it is used. If you've got really dry skin and you only put the Vaseline on it for a little while then remove it, I think that can really help. It traps the moisture in your skin so that it can heal.

I have a friend who gets really rough skin on his elbows and knees and he uses Vaseline without any issues.

I don't really think it's a good idea to use it for things like eyelashes though, simply because I think it grows bacteria really easily, so any Vaseline you put near your eyes (or most things that get put near the eyes for that matter) can be a risk of eye infection.

By croydon — On Jun 11, 2012

@pastanaga - It's good for things like that because the skin on the feet is so thick and it's not going to get clogged up or anything.

I don't know if I'd use it for similar problems elsewhere though. I'm not worried about the chemicals, because people have been using it for so long now I think if it was really dangerous that it would be known about by now.

But it is very heavy and it can easily clog up your pores if they are on thinner parts of your skin. Your skin is pretty delicate actually if you put something on that which prevents it from breathing you can really upset it, which is the opposite of what you intend.

By pastanaga — On Jun 10, 2012

My mother uses Vaseline, or more usually generic petroleum jelly to get rid of cracks on her feet. She tends to wear sandals during the summer and they dry out her feet. Really, she ought to just moisturize her feet regularly, but she doesn't always have time.

So, sometimes her heels will crack, which is really painful, particularly since she's on her feet all day. For a while she didn't know what to do about it and would just try putting dry skin lotion on it, but it never seemed to fix them.

Then she got a tip from a doctor and tried putting Vaseline on it instead. She'd smear quite a thick layer on it and then slip a couple of socks over the top and wear them for as long as possible, at least overnight although on the weekend she would try to keep it going for a couple of days.

It almost always stops the cracks from hurting very quickly and then they heal up really fast. I would definitely recommend it for that purpose.

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and BeautyAnswered contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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