18 Unexpected Vaseline Uses You Didn’t Know You Needed (And 2 To Ditch)

18 ingenious ways to use Vaseline petroleum jelly

Vaseline. It’s a household staple most people know and love for its ability to heal dry, cracked skin. But did you know this 150-year-old wonder jelly can do so much more?

Thanks to TikTok, Vaseline, the waxy jelly substance our grandmothers swore by, has recently soared in popularity again.

Explore 18 surprising uses for Vaseline petroleum jelly (and 2 you should avoid) that will transform your beauty routine, solve everyday household problems, and leave you wondering how you ever lived without this little tub of magic.

1. Vaseline On Face

slugging with vaseline
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Vaseline itself doesn’t actually provide hydration. Instead, it acts as an occlusive agent. Think of it like a tiny, protective shield. Vaseline seals in existing moisture on your skin, preventing it from escaping throughout the night. This trapped moisture is what hydrates and plumps your skin. For Vaseline to work its magic, you’ll want to use it as the final step in your nighttime skincare routine. Apply your usual moisturizers and serums to your face first, then lock it all in with a thin layer of Vaseline. This is a beauty trend known as “slugging.” This ensures your skin gets the hydration it needs before Vaseline creates its protective barrier.

2. Soothe Dry Skin Patches

rough elbows Vaseline use
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Vaseline can be your secret weapon in combatting dry skin patches – especially on lips, elbows, and heels. While it doesn’t directly add moisture, Vaseline acts as a sealing agent. Apply Vaseline directly to the dry areas to soothe and lock in moisture.

3. Makeup Remover

remove makeup with vaseline
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Here’s another reason to keep a tub of Vaseline in your bathroom or dressing table. Believe it or not, Vaseline can gently remove most makeup, even mascara, without being harsh on your skin. Apply a small amount to a cotton pad and gently massage it over your makeup, avoiding the delicate eye area. While it might take a bit longer than makeup remover, Vaseline can be effective, especially for those on the go or with sensitive skin. Just be super careful not to get any Vaseline in your eyes, which can cause irritation.

4. Perfume Primer

apply vaseline before perfume for longer lasting scent
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Here’s a trick to make your perfume last longer. Apply a tiny amount of Vaseline to your pulse points (wrists, inner elbows, neck) before spritzing your fragrance. Vaseline creates a barrier that can help trap the perfume’s scent molecules for a longer period.

5. Tame Flyaways

tame flyaway hair with vaseline
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A tiny amount of Vaseline, gently applied to flyaways and frizzy hair, can help tame them and create a smoother look. Apply a small amount to the hair, leave for 20 minutes, and then comb through for softer hair with a subtle shine.

6. Lip Scrub

homemade lip scrub with vaseline
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Combine a spoonful of granulated sugar with a dollop of Vaseline to create a gentle exfoliating mixture. Gently massage the scrub onto your lips in circular motions, focusing on any dry or flaky patches. Once you’ve buffed away dead skin cells, tissue off and rinse with warm water to reveal smoother, softer lips.

7. Tinted Lip Balm

homemade diy lip balm with vaseline
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Whip up your own custom lip balm with this easy DIY recipe. Start by scooping a dollop of Vaseline into a clean, empty container. Then, grab your favorite lipstick shade and slice off a small sliver. Mix the lipstick piece into the Vaseline using a clean utensil until it’s fully incorporated and reaches your desired tint. And just like that, you’ve got a personalized lip balm in your favorite shade.

8. Body Scrub

body scrub with coffee
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Combine equal parts coffee grounds with Vaseline in a bowl. Gently massage the scrub onto dry areas like elbows, knees, and heels, focusing on stubborn dryness. The coffee grounds act as an exfoliant, removing dead skin cells, while the Vaseline provides a touch of moisture. Once you’ve achieved the desired level of smoothness, wipe away the scrub with a damp washcloth and take a warm shower to remove any excess oil.

9. Shield Your Nails

cuticle and nail care
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Pamper your fingertips and say goodbye to pesky hangnails. Apply a tiny dab of Vaseline directly to your cuticles. Vaseline creates a thin layer that helps shield your cuticles from external irritants like harsh soaps or dry weather. This reduces the risk of damage and keeps them healthy.

10. Easy Manicure Clean-Up

applying nail polish
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Enjoy a flawless at-home manicure without the cleanup hassle. First, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the skin surrounding your nails to create a barrier that catches any accidental polish spills. Then apply your polish as usual. Once your manicure is dry, simply wipe away the Vaseline (and any polish clinging to it) with a tissue. No nail polish remover is needed. This trick saves you time and keeps your manicure looking neat and professional.

11. Brow Gel

apply brow gel
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In a pinch, Vaseline can actually double as a brow tamer. A tiny amount goes a long way here. Simply dip a clean spoolie (brow brush) or cotton swab into a touch of Vaseline. Then, brush the spoolie or swab through your eyebrows, gently combing the hairs upwards and into your desired shape. The Vaseline will provide a subtle hold, keeping your brows in place and adding a hint of shine for a groomed look.

12. As A Highlighter

as a highlighter
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Dab a tiny amount of Vaseline onto your fingertips. Less is definitely more in this case – too much can leave your skin greasy. Pat the Vaseline gently along your cheekbones, focusing on the high points of your face that naturally catch the light. This creates a subtle sheen that mimics the healthy glow of naturally dewy skin.

13. Protect Minor Cuts and Scrapes

minor scrapes and wounds
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Vaseline can create a barrier to protect minor cuts and scrapes from dirt and infection. Apply a thin layer after gently cleaning the wound with water, soap, or antiseptic. This petroleum jelly acts as a protective seal, keeping out dirt and reducing the risk of infection while the wound heals naturally. Clean wounds heal best, so proper hygiene is key before applying Vaseline.

14. Protect Your Feet from Blisters

prevent blisters with vaseline
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Vaseline can be a valuable weapon in your preventative arsenal for athletes and anyone prone to blisters. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to high-friction areas like your toes and heels before putting on your shoes to reduce the friction that causes blisters. It acts as a lubricant, creating a smooth barrier between your skin and your shoes. This can be especially helpful for new shoes or activities that involve a lot of rubbing. Vaseline won’t prevent blisters entirely but can help decrease your chances of developing those painful bubbles.

14. Defend Against Diaper Rash

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Vaseline can be a helpful addition to your diaper rash prevention routine. Here’s how it works: Vaseline creates a water-repellent barrier on your baby’s skin. This barrier helps shield their skin from irritation caused by moisture and friction from diapers. Frequent diaper changes and proper cleaning are still essential for preventing diaper rash.

15. Lubricate Zippers

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Stuck zipper? Rub a little Vaseline on the teeth to get it moving smoothly again. The petroleum jelly acts as a lubricant, reducing friction and allowing the slider to glide effortlessly back and forth.

16. Shine Shoes

shoe shine with vaseline
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While not a traditional shoe polish, Vaseline can offer a quick shine in a pinch. Buff your shoes with a small amount of Vaseline using a soft cloth. The petroleum jelly fills in minor scratches and creates a temporary protective layer, resulting in a subtle shine. However, keep in mind that Vaseline won’t provide long-lasting protection or nourishment for leather shoes. For a more durable shine and to maintain the health of your leather, consider using a dedicated shoe polish and conditioner.

17. Protect from Hair Dye Stains

woman coloring hair
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Apply a thin layer of Vaseline along your hairline, reaching from your forehead to your temples and around the back of your ears, before coloring your hair to prevent staining your skin. Once your hair coloring is complete, wipe away the Vaseline and any hair color with a tissue.

18. Earring Helper

woman wearing earring
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Struggling to get those earring studs in? Dab a tiny amount of Vaseline on both your earlobe and the earring post itself. The Vaseline acts as a lubricant, making the earring slide smoothly through your piercing hole.

1. Do Not Use Vaseline To Treat Sunburn

do not use vaseline on sunburn
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Contrary to popular belief, Vaseline is not recommended for treating sunburns. While it may seem like a soothing option, Vaseline is actually an occlusive agent. This means it creates a barrier on the skin that traps heat and moisture. Trapping heat can worsen the discomfort and potentially prolong healing for sunburns, which are already inflamed and irritated. Opt for cooler options like aloe vera gel or fragrance-free moisturizers to soothe the sunburn and promote healing.

2. Do Not Use Vaseline Internally

petroleum jelly
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Vaseline is not meant for ingestion. Avoid using it as a lubricant or for any other internal purpose.