Here it is: the classic petroleum jelly that has been available since, believe it or not, 1872. It almost goes without saying that we’ve learned a monumental amount about skin care and physiology since then, but it also must be stated that Vaseline remains one of the safest, most benign cosmetic ingredients ever created, and there’s no research to the contrary. Topical application of petrolatum can help the skin’s outer layer recover from damage, reduce inflammation, and generally help the skin heal (Sources: American Family Physician, October 2008, pages 945–951; Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, May-June 2008, pages 247–251; and .Acta Dermato-Venereologica, November–December 2000, pages 412–415). This isn’t the only option and it’s better when mixed with a range of ingredients that current research shows are essential for all skin types to be healthy, but for occasional use on stubborn dry spots, including lips, Vaseline remains a reliable, inexpensive option that’s widely available.
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly serves two functions: First it helps keep the outside world out - it protects skin from the effects of weather and exposure. Second, it acts like a sealant to help keep the inside world in - it forms an occlusive barrier to the natural water loss of our skin. So skin that is dry and chapped is protected from drying elements, enabling skin-softening moisture to build up naturally from inside the skin itself.
The Vaseline brand is perhaps among the oldest and most well-known around the world. Since the advent of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly in the late 1800s, the brand has been synonymous with treating dry, chafed, cracked skin. Although petroleum jelly is among the best ingredients for preventing moisture loss and healing dry skin, it must be said that skin requires more than one ingredient to look and function at its healthy best. To that end, Vaseline has branched out from its original, ointment-like petroleum jelly to a line of body creams and lotions that contain a range of helpful ingredients for dry skin. Their body-care formulas aren't the most exciting around, but there are some good options. Adding to the handful of commendable products are Vaseline's widespread availability and relatively low price point.
This is definitely a line to shop carefully, because many of the body lotion formulas aren’t all that great; in fact, most of them pale in comparison to competing brands sold at the drugstore. Despite Vaseline’s history, they’re not consistently keeping pace with what modern research has shown is necessary to significantly improve dry skin. If you focus on their best products, you can find some bona-fide beauty bargains but again, this isn’t a line to shop blindly.
For more information about Vaseline, owned by Unilever, call (800) 475-7084 or visit www.vaseline.com.