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Vaseline is one of the oldest commercial moisturizers known to man and was first formulated in 1865 by the chemist Robert Chesebrough to fight dry skin. (1) It is composed of unadulterated petroleum jelly that has a thick wax-like consistency.
Vaseline imparts intensive moisture to the skin and locks it in by forming an impervious layer over the skin for prolonged hydration.
However, there is so much more to this wonder product, and this article will throw light on some of its most ingenious uses.
Uncommon Uses of Vaseline
Here is a list of surprising uses of Vaseline:
1. Allows for a tidy manicure
When applying nail paint, some of it usually gets spilled beyond the edges onto the surrounding skin, which can be a hassle to remove.
You can save yourself the misery of post-application cleanup by rubbing some Vaseline around your nails before you start painting them. Its thick waxy consistency prevents the nail paint from sticking to the skin, and you can simply wipe it off for a clean finish.
Plus, Vaseline is deeply hydrating and helps soften your cuticles.
2. Makes hair dyeing less messy
Hair dye is usually runny and tends to trickle down onto the forehead, temples, ears, and neck and can stain your skin. These stains can be very difficult to get rid of, but a simple trick can spare you the nuisance.
Apply a thin layer of Vaseline along the front and back boundaries of your scalp before you put on hair color. This will keep the dye from getting absorbed into the skin and will allow you to be a little messy without worrying about stains.
3. Eases makeup application and removal
Vaseline can be used as a base for your eye makeup and as a makeup remover. It forms a smooth base that allows the eye shadow and eyeliner to glide smoothly on your lids. Also, your makeup products will stick to the Vaseline and stay in place for longer.
When it’s time to get your makeup off, gently rub Vaseline all over the face and eyes. It will break down the stubborn cosmetic products so that they come off easily.
Use a tissue to wipe your skin clean, followed by a thorough rinse with soap and water.
4. Makes your perfume last longer
Vaseline can help increase the staying power of your perfume by absorbing and binding the fragrance to your skin. It is a fact that moisturized skin holds perfume much longer than dry skin.
Just rub a bit of Vaseline on your pulse points such as the wrist and neck before spraying perfume on them. These areas are warm and throbbing, which helps diffuse the aroma all over your body.
5. Removes chewing gum from hair
Anyone who has ever got gum stuck in their hair will attest that it is extremely difficult to get it out. If you are in a similar fix and thinking of chopping a chunk of your precious tresses, don’t!
Instead, reach for a tub of Vaseline and massage a generous amount into the gum to break up its elasticity. Make sure to separate that section of your hair from the rest so that you don’t end up spreading the gum to other areas.
Once the gum loosens up a bit and starts coming off, use a paper towel to wipe it from the hair. You will have to reapply the Vaseline and continue rubbing it in the gum until all of it is removed.
6. Soothes nappy rash
The skin under the baby’s diaper receives little ventilation and remains smeared with feces or urine for long periods. The repeated use of soap to rinse their soiled buttocks and the tight grip of the diaper lining further irritate the sensitive skin.
All these factors lead to the development of diaper rash, which can be quite discomforting for the little one and, by extension, for the parents as well.
Vaseline can help soothe the rash and make it heal quickly. It forms a protective shield over the irritated skin while also moisturizing it. (2)
7. Prevents shampoo tears
Vaseline can also help keep shampoo from getting into your baby’s eyes.
All you need to do is apply a liberal amount to their eyebrows before giving them a bath. The viscous jelly acts as a protective shield that wicks away the shampoo lather.
8. Loosens the cap of nail polish and glue bottles
The caps of nail polish and glue bottles usually get jammed as the product accumulates around them and dries up over time, forming a tight seal.
One way to prevent that from happening is to apply a little bit of Vaseline all around the rim of the bottle and under the cap. The impervious layer of sticky petroleum jelly will prevent the buildup of product around the bottle opening so that the cap does not get stuck.
9. Shines your leather shoes and bag
Vaseline can help remove stains from your leather goods while also giving them a glossy finish and a little bit of water resistance. This cheap and easily available ingredient can help polish your old shoes and bags to make them look good as new.
All you need to do is apply a small amount to a clean soft cloth and gently rub it on the leather surface.
10. Unfastens your rings, zippers, and shower curtains
Vaseline helps grease metallic objects that have become jammed to make them slide easily.
So, if you are finding it difficult to take off your ring from your fingers, just smear a generous amount of Vaseline all over it and twist it to get the product between the metal and the skin. Doing so will help loosen the ring, and then you can gently pull it off your finger.
Similarly, if your zipper got stuck, just apply Vaseline over its teeth and then jiggle the slider with a light hand so that it becomes loose and moveable.
This lubricating agent can also be used to grease the rod of your shower curtain so that it slides more easily.
11. Prevents your doors and window panes from squeaking
Vaseline works as a great lubricant to grease the squeaky hinges of your doors and windows. Just apply it on both sides of the hinge to make it glide over smoothly without making any noise.
12. Stops battery terminal corrosion
The batteries installed in cars and various household appliances often leak a corrosive fluid that can collect around the terminals and shorten their working life. Plus, this battery acid is quite toxic for humans and the environment.
Applying Vaseline to the battery terminals can help prevent the battery fluid from corroding them.
What Not to Use Vaseline For?
- Do not use Vaseline on freshly done tattoos as it draws their ink, fading or ruining the design. It also clogs your pores, which can cause breakouts and prolong the skin healing process.
- Do not use Vaseline for acne and rosacea as it can aggravate these conditions by clogging your pores and suffocating your skin. It forms a thick sticky layer over the skin that traps oil, dirt, and other impurities in your pores and triggers infections. Since it isn’t water-soluble, Vaseline blocks out moisture, making your skin excessively dry. Plus, it forms an impervious seal that denies proper ventilation to the skin. (3)
- Do not use Vaseline for treating fungal skin infections. It is quite occlusive, which means it seals moisture into the skin, further promoting fungal growth rather than inhibiting it. Fungi need humid conditions to grow, and Vaseline helps create a conducive environment for that. A better alternative is coconut oil, which is credited with some antifungal properties.
Can Vaseline Thicken Eyebrows?
No, there is no evidence supporting the claim that Vaseline can help your eyebrows grow.
All it does is moisturize and condition your brow hair to make them soft and shiny. This can make the brows appear fuller but does not actually result in any additional hair growth.
Vaseline is a cheap and easily available ingredient that can benefit you in more ways than one. For the longest time, people have limited its use to mere skin moisturizing, but it has so much more to offer.
Try the above-mentioned uses of Vaseline to make the most of this wonder ingredient.