Vaseline. Chances are you have some in your medicine cabinet or at the very least, you are aware of its existence. With the blue lid and greasy texture this is a product I've always known about, but other than on my lips, what would I use it for?
First of all, the word "Vaseline" is used as a generic for petroleum jelly; in Portugal, the Unilever products are called Vaselina, and in Brazil, they call it Vasenol.
Vaseline was created by a chemist who clarified kerosene from the oil of sperm whales. In 1859 Robert Cheesebrough began a search for new materials for his fuel (simply not enough sperm whales at the market). His search took him to the oil fields of Titusville, Pennsylvania, where he learned about what the locals called 'rod wax'. Rod wax was a residue workers had to remove from oil rig pumps periodically to prevent blockage. They had been using it to heal cuts and burns. Intrigues the chemist took samples back to his lab in Brooklyn. Cheseborough extracted petroleum jelly from the rod wax and called it Vaseline. It was made by the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company until the company was purchased by Unilever in 1987.
Petroleum jelly is hugely versatile, and it’s used all over the world to protect and heal dry skin, from dry, cracked hands to hard skin on heels, as well as for beauty purposes, like softening the lips or highlighting the cheekbones!
Ready to get a little lubricated? Here are some unexpected ways you can start using your Vaseline and making the most of this versatile product.
Prevent Lipstick On Teeth
If you know, you know. Some of us always get lipstick on our teeth and it's embarrassing. When I was getting my makeup done for a wedding and the makeup artist smeared vaseline on my teeth before applying the lipstick. Since then I have done the same and I've never had red on my teeth again.
Remove A Stuck Ring
This happened to me last summer and I panicked. The feeling of being unable to get your ring off is not a good one. Reach for your Vaseline, apply liberally to your finger making sure to get it under the ring if possible, and gently pull.
Remove Gum From Hair
Resist the urge to panic or cut the hair. Isolate the section with gum stuck in it and begin to massage the vaseline liberally into the hair. Take breaks from rubbing it into the gum and rub a dry cloth or absorbent towel into the hair to remove any excess. You are trying to break down the gum with the Vaseline and it will take time, but works. Usually takes less than 10 minutes when I have had to do it.
Soothe An Itchy Scalp
Do you get dry patches on your scalp that lead to itching and irritation? Rub a little dab of Vaseline in to reduce the pain.
Soften Dry, Cracked Feet
My go-to home remedy for my feet. Before bed, get a pair of socks you don't care about and don't be shy, slather your heels and toes with Vaseline. Put on the socks (which will never be the same again) and go to bed. Repeat as required. You will see a noticeable difference.
Pro Tip: In the winter you can use Vaseline on your dog's feet too. In my experience Vaseline worked better than the expensive balm I picked up at the pet store.
There's nothing worse than what I like to call chub rub. Summer brings sundresses... and painful inner-thigh chafing. You can massage Vaseline into any areas likely to be exposed to rubbing or friction such as the groin, inner thighs, neck, nipples, armpits, ankles, or at the base of the spine.
If I have dry or painful cuticles I follow the same practice as I do with my feet. Get a pair of magic mitts and liberally massage Vaseline around your cuticles. Put on the gloves and go to bed. By the next morning, your fingers won't feel as sore, you won't have any further damage and the healing process will have begun.
If you suffer from dry hands or feet, you can use Vaseline to achieve soft subtle skin easily. I have a DIY for one that is really easy to make and leaves your skin feeling ultra moisturized. Simply mix in 1/2 teaspoon of Vaseline with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar for a moisturizing hand scrub. If you want more, simply double or triple the measurements. This scrub can last for a week and a little goes a long way!
Since shaving causes stress to the skin use Vaseline after you shave to soothe skin add a layer of protection to prevent irritation and further damage.
Pro Tip: Keep your razors like new by smoothing a very thin layer of Vaseline onto the blades between uses. Make sure they're completely dry first to prevent rust.
Vaseline has got you covered. If you want to get all your makeup off without a heavy chemical near your eye, give a dab of Vaseline a try. It's gentle on your skin and works well.
Moisturize Your Lashes
This one I would never have thought of but I started to lose lashes as I aged and I don't want to wear mascara all the time. Simply apply Vaseline to your lashes before bed to keep them soft and strong. If you want to make your lashes look longer without makeup, a little dab will do the trick. Mine look darker and wetter when I do!
Pro tip: Vaseline can also be used to safely remove your false eyelashes and get rid of the glue they sometimes leave behind!
On Unruly Eyebrows
My husband has quite the eyebrows and while they aren't unibrow, they can use a little help. He just dabs a little on each brow to smooth them down when he doesn't want to trim them.
Stop Hair Dye Stains
Ever had your ears stained when dying your hair at home? Draw a line of Vaseline across your forehead and spread it on your ears to avoid this problem. Make sure not to get any on your hair or on your hairline, it will prevent your hair from absorbing the color of the dye.
When Painting Fingernails and Toenails
Same idea as the hair dye here. Nail polish can't go through Vaseline so outlining your nails before you paint will work wonders. Use a Q-tip to outline your nails, this way any paint you get outside the lines will wipe off with ease.
Pro Tip: put Vaseline around the edge of the thread on the bottle. This way your polish will open with ease the next time you use it.
Ditch your highlighter for the day and use Vaseline as your highlighter! Apply a small amount on your cheeks and under-eye area for a dewy look.
Under Your Perfume
Sick of losing your signature scent so quickly? Simply apply a dab of Vaseline to your pulse points and the scent will last longer!
As An Eyeshadow
Add a little Vaseline to any old powdered eyeshadow for a creamy new product. I tried this one out with an eyeshadow I loved but shattered. Mix a dollop of Vaseline in with the powder and you have a smooth new product.
For Split Ends
If you have split ends, they can't be fixed with anything other than a cut. If you don't want to cut or can't get an appointment for a while, cover them up. Simply massage into your tips. Less is more here and you don't want to saturate. I find that massaging Vaseline into my fingertips until it's melty and then massaging it in works best.
Random Tips For Around Your Home:
- Keep your carved pumpkin longer at Halloween. Simply rub Vaseline anywhere you cut to seal it and slow down the rot.
- Before winter starts, disconnect the terminals and clean them with a wire brush. Reconnect, then smear with petroleum jelly. The jelly will prevent corrosion and help keep the battery cranking all winter long.
- What are you painting? Rub Vaseline where you don't want the paint to stick and wipe it off after. Works well on windows.
- Vaseline helps remove many oily, waxy stains from fabric. Rub it into the stain and wash as usual.
Instead of WD-40
- Before you reach for the stinky stuff, try the oily stuff instead. Vaseline has worked wonders on creaky doors, stuck drawers, and stiff locks at my house!
- Mix Vaseline with a little salt and spread where you don't want the slugs to go - works well on plant pots.
Revive Dried Leather
- Has the old baseball mitt seen better days? Revive your aged, dried leather with Vaseline. Simply cover said item with vaseline, including all the seams and stitches. Then let it sit overnight to really absorb all the good stuff. Use a soft cloth to wipe off any excess Vaseline. If you feel it warrants another session, go for it, you won't be disappointed with the results.
- It's no replacement for the real thing but a dab of Vaseline has gone a long way in getting my dry shoes, handbags, and wallets looking new again. Rub it in with a soft cloth and buff away.
Water Marks/Scratches On Wood
- The damage can't be too great for this to work, but all you need to do is liberally add Vaseline to the damaged area and leave overnight. The next day rub off any excess with a soft cloth.
Keep Glue Fresh
- If you don't use your glue often, it runs the risk of drying out. Add a dab of the good stuff (Vaseline) under the cap and around the rim. It will prevent drying while also making sure the lid doesn't glue itself shut.
- If you live where it gets cold, you know what a pain a frozen lock can be. Once a year, I apply a thin layer of Vaseline to both the locks and keys at my house. After doing so, put the key into the lock and work it back and forth to coat the mechanism. The Vaseline will keep excess moisture (which can potentially turn to ice) out of the tumbler.
On Outdoor Lightbulbs
- Be proactive. Next time you need to replace your patio light, rub some Vaseline on the thread. You won't regret your choice when it comes time to unscrew it.
Protect Tools From Rust
- Tools are expensive. Get the most out of yours by smoothing a thin layer of Vaseline onto the dry blades and edges. The Vaseline will help and keep rust and decay at bay.
I'm sure there's more - what did I miss?