Petroleum jelly – Wikipedia

Chemical substance used as lubricating agent

Petroleum jelly, petrolatum, white petrolatum, smooth paraffin, or multi-hydrocarbon, CAS quantity 8009-03-8, is a semi-solid combination of hydrocarbons (with carbon numbers primarily greater than 25),[1] initially promoted as a topical ointment for its therapeutic properties.

After petroleum jelly turned a medication chest staple, shoppers started to make use of it for beauty functions and for a lot of illnesses together with toenail fungus, genital rashes (non-STD), nosebleeds, diaper rash, and customary colds. Its folkloric medicinal worth as a “cure-all” has since been restricted by higher scientific understanding of acceptable and inappropriate makes use of. It’s acknowledged by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) as an permitted over-the-counter (OTC) pores and skin protectant and stays extensively utilized in beauty skincare (the place it is typically loosely known as mineral oil).

Historical past[edit]

Authentic US patent software for the Vaseline product

The uncooked materials for petroleum jelly was found in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania, US, on among the nation’s first oil rigs. Employees disliked the paraffin-like materials forming on rigs as a result of it triggered them to malfunction, however they used it on cuts and burns as a result of they believed that it hastened therapeutic.[2][3]

Robert Chesebrough, a younger chemist whose earlier work of distilling gas from the oil of sperm whales had been rendered out of date by petroleum, went to Titusville to see what new supplies had business potential. Chesebrough took the unrefined black “rod wax”, because the drillers referred to as it, again to his laboratory to refine it and discover potential makes use of. He found that by distilling the lighter, thinner oil merchandise from the rod wax, he might create a light-colored gel. Chesebrough patented the method of constructing petroleum jelly by U.S. Patent 127,568 in 1872. The method concerned vacuum distillation of the crude materials adopted by filtration of the nonetheless residue by bone char.

Chesebrough traveled round New York demonstrating the product to encourage gross sales by burning his pores and skin with acid or an open flame, then spreading the ointment on his accidents and displaying his previous accidents healed, he claimed, by his miracle product. He opened his first manufacturing facility in 1870 in Brooklyn utilizing the title Vaseline.[2]

Bodily properties[edit]

Petroleum jelly is a mix of hydrocarbons, with a melting level that relies on the precise proportions. The melting level is usually between 40 and 70 °C (105 and 160 °F).[4][5] It’s flammable solely when heated to liquid; then the fumes will gentle, not the liquid itself, so a wick materials like leaves, bark, or small twigs is required to ignite petroleum jelly. It’s colorless (or of a pale yellow colour when not extremely distilled), translucent, and devoid of style and scent when pure. It doesn’t oxidize on publicity to the air and isn’t readily acted on by chemical reagents. It’s insoluble in water. It’s soluble in dichloromethane, chloroform, benzene, diethyl ether, carbon disulfide and turpentine.[1][6] It acts as a plasticizer on polypropylene (PP),[7] however is appropriate with most different plastics. It’s a semi-solid, in that it holds its form indefinitely like a stable, however it may be pressured to take the form of its container with out breaking up, like a liquid, although it doesn’t circulation by itself.

Relying on the precise software of petroleum jelly, it might be USP, B.P., or Ph. Eur. grade. This pertains to the processing and dealing with of the petroleum jelly so it’s appropriate for medicinal and personal-care functions.

Most makes use of of petroleum jelly exploit its lubricating and coating properties, together with use on dry lips and dry pores and skin. Under are some examples of the makes use of of petroleum jelly.

Medical remedy[edit]

Vaseline model First Help Petroleum Jelly, or carbolated petroleum jelly containing phenol to provide the jelly extra antibacterial impact, has been discontinued. Throughout World Battle II, a wide range of petroleum jelly referred to as purple veterinary petrolatum, or Pink Vet Pet for brief, was typically included in life raft survival kits. Appearing as a sunscreen, it offers safety in opposition to ultraviolet rays.[8]

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends protecting pores and skin accidents moist with petroleum jelly to scale back scarring.[9] A verified medicinal use is to guard and forestall moisture lack of the pores and skin of a affected person within the preliminary post-operative interval following laser pores and skin resurfacing.[10][11]

There may be one case report printed in 1994 indicating petroleum jelly shouldn’t be utilized to the within of the nostril because of the threat of lipid pneumonia, however this was solely ever reported in a single affected person.[12] Nonetheless, petroleum jelly is used extensively by otolaryngologists—ear, nostril, and throat surgeons—for nasal moisture and epistaxis remedy, and to fight nasal crusting. Giant research have discovered petroleum jelly utilized to the nostril for brief durations to don’t have any important unwanted side effects.[13][14][15]

Traditionally, it was additionally consumed for inner use and even promoted as “Vaseline confection”.[16][17]

Pores and skin and hair care[edit]

Most petroleum jelly right now is used as an ingredient in pores and skin lotions and cosmetics, offering numerous forms of skincare and safety by minimizing friction or decreasing moisture loss, or by functioning as a grooming support, e. g. pomade.

Stopping moisture loss[edit]

By decreasing moisture loss, petroleum jelly can stop chapped fingers and lips, and soften nail cuticles.

This property is exploited to supply warmth insulation: petroleum jelly can be utilized to maintain swimmers heat in water when coaching or throughout channel crossings or lengthy ocean swims. It could actually stop chilling of the face attributable to evaporation of pores and skin moisture throughout chilly climate out of doors sports activities.

Hair grooming[edit]

Within the first a part of the 20 th century, petroleum jelly, both pure or as an ingredient, was additionally common as a hair pomade. When utilized in a 50/50 combination with pure beeswax, it makes an efficient moustache wax.[18]

Pores and skin lubrication[edit]

Petroleum jelly can be utilized to scale back the friction between pores and skin and clothes throughout numerous sport actions, for instance to stop chafing of the seat area of cyclists or the nipples of lengthy distance runners carrying free T-shirts, and is often used within the groin space of wrestlers and footballers.

Petroleum jelly is often used as a private lubricant as a result of it doesn’t dry out like water-based lubricants, and has a particular “really feel”, completely different from that of Ok-Y and associated methylcellulose merchandise.[19] Nonetheless, it’s not advisable to be used with condoms throughout sexual exercise as a result of it swells latex and thus will increase the prospect of rupture.

Product care and safety[edit]


Petroleum jelly can be utilized to coat corrosion-prone objects similar to metallic trinkets, non-stainless metal blades, and gun barrels previous to storage because it serves as a wonderful and cheap water repellent. It’s used as an environmentally pleasant underwater antifouling coating for motor boats and crusing yachts. It was advisable within the Porsche proprietor’s handbook as a preservative for gentle alloy (alleny) anodized Fuchs wheels to guard them in opposition to corrosion from street salts and brake mud. “Each three months (after common cleansing) the wheels needs to be coated with petroleum jelly.”[20]


It may be used to complete and shield wooden, very like a mineral oil end. It’s used to situation and shield easy leather-based merchandise like bicycle saddles, boots, motorbike clothes, and used to place a shine on patent leather-based sneakers[21] (when utilized in a skinny coat after which gently buffed off).


Petroleum jelly can be utilized to lubricate zippers and slide guidelines. It was additionally advisable by Porsche in upkeep coaching documentation for lubrication (after cleansing) of “Weatherstrips on Doorways, Hood, Tailgate, Solar Roof”. The publication states “…earlier than making use of a brand new coat of lubricant…” “Solely acid-free lubricants could also be used, for instance: glycerine, Vaseline, tire mounting paste, and many others. These lubricants needs to be rubbed in, and extreme lubricant wiped off with a smooth fabric.”[22] It’s utilized in bullet lubricant compounds.[23] Petrolatum can be used as a lightweight lubricating grease [24] in addition to an anti-seize assembling grease.[25]

Industrial manufacturing processes[edit]

Petroleum jelly is a helpful materials when integrated into candle wax formulation. The petroleum jelly softens the general mix, permits the candle to include extra perfume oil, and facilitates adhesion to the sidewall of the glass. Petroleum jelly is used to moisten nondrying modelling clay similar to plasticine, as a part of a mixture of hydrocarbons together with these with better (paraffin wax) and lesser (mineral oil) molecular weights. It’s used as a tack reducer additive to printing inks to scale back paper lint “choosing” from uncalendered paper shares. It may be used as a launch agent for plaster molds and castings. It’s used within the leather-based trade as a waterproofing cream.



Petroleum jelly is blended with a excessive proportion of robust inorganic chlorates attributable to it appearing as a plasticizer and a gas supply. An instance of that is Cheddite C which consists of a ratio of 9:1, KClO3 to petroleum jelly. This combination is unable to detonate with out using a blasting cap. It’s also used as a stabiliser within the manufacture of the propellant Cordite.

Mechanical, barrier features[edit]

Petroleum jelly can be utilized to fill copper or fibre-optic cables utilizing plastic insulation to stop the ingress of water, see icky-pick.

Petroleum jelly can be utilized to coat the inside partitions of terrariums to stop animals crawling out and escaping.

A stripe of petroleum jelly can be utilized to stop the unfold of a liquid. For instance, it may be utilized near the hairline when utilizing a house hair dye package to stop the hair dye from irritating or staining the pores and skin. It’s also used to stop diaper rash.

Floor cleaning[edit]

Petroleum jelly is used to softly clear a wide range of surfaces, starting from make-up removing from faces to tar stain removing from leather-based.

Pet care[edit]

Petroleum jelly is used to moisturize the paws of canine.[26] It’s a frequent ingredient in hairball cures for home cats.[27][28]

Petroleum jelly is barely soluble in alcohol.[29]

In 2015, German client watchdog Stiftung Warentest analyzed cosmetics containing mineral oils. After growing a brand new detection technique they discovered excessive concentrations of Mineral Oil Fragrant Hydrocarbons (MOAH) and even polyaromatics in merchandise containing mineral oils with Vaseline merchandise containing essentially the most MOAH of all examined cosmetics (as much as 9%).[30] The European Meals Security Authority sees MOHA and polyaromatics as presumably carcinogenic.[30] Primarily based on the outcomes, Stiftung Warentest warns to not use Vaseline or any product that’s based mostly on mineral oils for lip care.

A research printed in 2017 discovered at most 1% MOAH in petroleum jelly, and fewer than 1% in petroleum jelly based mostly magnificence merchandise.[31]


  1. ^ a b “Petrolatum (white)”. Worldwide Programme on Chemical Security and the Fee of the European Communities. March 2002. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  2. ^ a b The Historical past of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly started within the Pennsylvania Oil Fields!, Drake Nicely Museum pamphlet, copyright 1996 by Holigan Group Ltd, Dallas, Texas.
  3. ^ “Vasoline company historical past web page”. Archived from the unique on 30 Could 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2015. …Chesebrough seen that oil staff would smear their pores and skin with the residue from their drills, because it had the property to heal their cuts and burns. He acquired curious and took some Rod Wax house the place he began experimenting with it…
  4. ^ Robert Leach (6 December 2012). The Printing Ink Handbook. Springer Science & Enterprise Media. pp. 254–. ISBN 978-94-011-7097-0.
  5. ^ “Petroleum Jelly”. HCI Wax. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  6. ^ Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) Materials Security Information Sheet (MSDS) Archived 2008-09-07 on the Wayback Machine (June 15, 2007). Inc. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  7. ^ “Polypropylene Chemical Compatibility Chart”. CP Lab Security. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  8. ^ MacEachern, William; Jillson, Otis (1964). “A Sensible Sunscreen – ‘Pink Vet Pet“. Archives of Dermatology. 89 (1): 147–50. doi:10.1001/archderm.1964.01590250153027. PMID 14070829.
  9. ^ “Correct wound care: How you can reduce a scar”. American Academy of Dermatology. 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  10. ^ Khan, Jemshed A. (2008). “CO2 Laser Resurfacing Rapid Postoperative Care Previous to Full Epithelialization”. In Hartstein, Morris E.; Holds, John B.; Massry, Man G. (eds.). Pearls and Pitfalls in Beauty Oculoplastic Surgical procedure. p. 417. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-69007-0_136. ISBN 978-0-387-25389-3.
  11. ^ Jeong, Jeung-Tae; Kye, Younger-Chul (2001). “Resurfacing of Pitted Facial Zits Scars with a Lengthy-Pulsed Er:YAG Laser”. Dermatologic Surgical procedure. 27 (2): 107–10. doi:10.1046/j.1524-4725.2001.00201.x. PMID 11207680. S2CID 6149974.
  12. ^ Brown, A. C.; Slocum, P. C.; Putthoff, S. L.; Wallace, W. E.; Foresman, B. H. (1994). “Exogenous lipoid pneumonia attributable to nasal software of petroleum jelly”. Chest. 105 (3): 968–9. doi:10.1378/chest.105.3.968. PMID 8131586.
  13. ^ Loughran S, Spinou E, Clement WA, et al. A potential, single-blind, randomized managed trial of petroleum jelly/Vaseline for recurrent paediatric epistaxis. Clin Otolaryngol 2004; 29:266–269.
  14. ^ Wang, Y. P.; Wang, M. C.; Chen, Y. C.; Leu, Y. S.; Lin, H. C.; Lee, Ok. S. (2011). “The results of Vaseline gauze strip, Merocel, and Nasopore on the formation of synechiae and extreme granulation tissue within the center meatus and the incidence of main postoperative bleeding after endoscopic sinus surgical procedure”. Journal of the Chinese language Medical Affiliation. 74 (1): 16–21. doi:10.1016/j.jcma.2010.09.001. PMID 21292198. S2CID 25407737.
  15. ^ Repanos, C; McDonald, S. E.; Sadr, A. H. (2009). “A survey of postoperative nasal packing amongst UK ENT surgeons”. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. 266 (10): 1575–7. doi:10.1007/s00405-009-0978-8. PMID 19373485. S2CID 12923860.
  16. ^ “Vaseline”. Lowcountry Digital Library. Archived from the unique on September 3, 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  17. ^ Chesebrough Manufacturing Co (1884). Petroleum: Its Origin, Makes use of, and Future Improvement : a Extremely Fascinating Sketch. Chesebrough Manufacturing Firm. p. 18.
  18. ^ Ted Sedman (2007), D.I.Y. Moustache Wax, Handlebar Membership, retrieved 2017-08-26
  19. ^ “Condoms Reality Sheet”. June 4, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011. The oils in … Vaseline … will make latex crumble.
  20. ^ P. 61 Porsche Proprietor’s Handbook 911 Turbo 911 Carrera WKD91102187
  21. ^ “A brand new use for Vaseline”. {Hardware}. 31 Jan 1890. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  22. ^ P.16 928S Upkeep and Normal Repairs – Service Coaching Middle WKS006021
  23. ^ Fryxell, Glen. “From Ingot to Goal: A Solid Bullet Information for Handgunners”. pp. Chapter 5, Solid bullet lubrication.
  24. ^ “VV-P-236 Petrolatum, Technical”.
  25. ^
  26. ^ “Paw and Pad Care | Okaw Veterinary Clinic”.
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  28. ^ LLC, Aquanta. “Hairballs in Cats”.
  29. ^ Beringer, Paul; Troy, David A.; Remington, Joseph P. (2006). Remington, the science and observe of pharmacy. Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 1077. ISBN 978-0-7817-4673-1. Retrieved 2012-12-30. Solubility–Insoluble in water; virtually insoluble in chilly or scorching alcohol or in chilly dehydrated alcohol; freely soluble in benzene, carbon disulfide, chloroform, or turpentine oil; soluble in ether, solvent hexane, or in most mounted and unstable oils, the diploma of solubility in these solvents various with the composition of the petrolatum.
  30. ^ a b Warentest, Stiftung. “Mineralöle in Kosmetika – Kritische Stoffe in Cremes, Lippenpflegeprodukten und Vaseline – Stiftung Warentest”. www.take a look
  31. ^ Lachenmeier DW, Mildau G, Rullmann A, Marx G, Walch SG, Hartwig A, Kuballa T (2017). “Analysis of mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil fragrant hydrocarbons (MOAH) in pure mineral hydrocarbon-based cosmetics and beauty uncooked supplies utilizing 1H NMR spectroscopy”. F1000Res. 6: 682. doi:10.12688/f1000analysis.11534.2. PMC 5497826. PMID 28721203.

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