Vaseline

Strengths: Inexpensive and widely available; very good hand cream; a handful of good body lotions for dry skin.

Weaknesses: Many of the body lotions have average formulas that don’t compete with drugstore brands such as CeraVe, Olay, and Eurcerin; the body lotion with sunscreen does not supply sufficient UVA protection, leaving skin vulnerable to the sun’s most aging rays.

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.

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