Vaseline is a multi-purpose, occlusive balm that works for just about anything and everything your skin may need. Lip balm, moisturizer, cracked heels, chapped skin…the list goes on. Is there anything it can’t help? Well, maybe acne depending on your skin type. Here’s what you need to know about using Vaseline for your acne…and why you may not want too.
The American Academy of Dermatologists does not recommend using Vaseline for acne. Why? Vaseline can trigger breakouts for acne-prone skin and it can clog your pores. So if you have acne-prone skin, you’ll want to stay away from slathering Vaseline all over your face. But, if you have dry, sensitive skin, Vaseline could be a really great option for you. Vaseline still and will always be a great option for dry, chapped skin all over the body!
Vaseline states that their products are non-comedogenic and non-pore clogging. But the American Academy of Dermatologists advises that their products are comedogenic and can clog pores for acne prone skin types. The key here is acne prone skin types. The AAD still advises the use of Vaseline for dry skin, chapped skin, injured skin and as a way to heal diaper rash and dry cuticles. It’s a thick, fragrance free balm that’s great for locking in moisture and exactly what dry or sensitive, injured skin needs.
Vaseline’s strength lies in it’s occlusive properties. Meaning, it does not add moisture to the skin but locks it in. So when you use it, your skin should be hydrated with moisturizer or oil before applying the Vaseline so that it can lock in that hydration. Alone, it’s nowhere near as effective or helpful.
The key to using Vaseline is looking at your skin type. Vaseline may be really beneficial for sensitive, dry skin types when used all over the face. But will yield different results for acne prone and oily skin types. If you have acne prone or oily skin, avoid slathering it all over your face.
Vaseline can be a really great option for dehydrated, dry and sensitive skin. If your skin is dehydrated or you have a compromised skin barrier, acne can be a side effect of that. A compromised skin barrier can result in oily skin, redness and acne. It can happen when you’re over exfoliating and treating your face with harsh products.
So, slathering Vaseline all over your face may help with your acne because it can work to improve and repair your skin barrier. If you have dry, sensitive skin and notice that you’re breaking out, you may have a compromised skin barrier. A repaired and healthy skin barrier = no acne.
If you’re using Vaseline on your body, then it’s good for everyone and everywhere! The only time you want to be careful is when you’re using it on your face and for that, go based on your skin type. For instances like dry skin, lips and cuticles, Vaseline is a great, effective and affordable option for everyone.
Avoid Vaseline on your face if you have oily or acne prone skin as it can be comedogenic. Avoid Vaseline as a way to treat sunburns and burnt skin. Since it’s oil based, it can aggravate your symptoms and worsen the injured area. Very important – avoid Vaseline if your skin is dirty!
Vaseline is an occlusive that will lock in whatever is on your face. So dirt, oils and sweat? If you apply Vaseline over that it will get locked into your skin and likely cause you to break out.
A clean, moisturized face is really important if you’re using Vaseline.
There is a small chance you could be allergic to petroleum jelly, the main ingredient in Vaseline, though it’s very uncommon. Aquaphor is another occlusive salve that is similar to Vaseline. Aquaphor contains petroleum jelly and lanolin, a derivative from sheep’s skin that many people can be allergic to. So if you use the two interchangeably keep that in mind. It’s rare to be allergic to Vaseline but not impossible so if you find it to be irritating, stop using it.
If you’re using Vaseline for dry cuticles, cracked heels or chapped skin, the best time to use it is after the shower to trap in that moisture. If you’re using it on your face or body, it’s best to layer it over a hydrating moisture. Even when you’re using it as a lip balm! Vaseline alone is not hydrating.
Vaseline locks moisture so pairing it with a moisturizer will allow it to deeply hydrate your skin. This way, it locks in all the benefits from your moisturizer. Whereas alone, it’s not very effective at hydrating.
Once you have figured out the right way to use Vaseline for your skin type, it’s a really beneficial and versatile product! For dry, sensitive skin it can really be an amazing ingredient to help lock in moisture and repair the skin. For acne prone skin it’s better suited for things like dry cuticles, cracked heels and on the body for chapped, dry skin. Vaseline is so affordable and has so many uses, everyone can use it and benefit in one way or another!