There’s a pretty fascinating history behind petroleum jelly. In 1859, it’s said that Charles Chesebrough came upon a substance called “rod wax” that oil workers had been using to treat their burns and cuts.
After taking samples of this byproduct, Chesebrough traveled back to Brooklyn, New York. He discovered that the residues of petroleum, after undergoing a two-stage distillation process, had some redeemable value. The rest, as they say, is history.
Chesebrough decided to call his new product Vaseline – a combination of the German word for water (wasser) and the Greek word for oil (oleon). Today, Vaseline – and other petroleum jelly brands – are commonplace in households around the world.
As it turns out, there are numerous benefits of the product – benefits that Mr. Chesebrough wasn’t aware of.
Here are 20 amazing benefits of petroleum jelly:
“To all whom it may concern: Be it known that I, Robert A. Chesebrough, of the city, country, and State of New York, have invented a new and useful Product from Petroleum, which I have named “Vaseline;” … – United States Patent No. 127,568: “Improvement In Products From Petroleum.”
1. Adding shine. Petroleum jelly can help restore some of the original shine of leather products. A few seconds after applying a thin layer to the surface, wipe it clean with a cloth.
2. Removing makeup stains. Should you accidentally stain your clothes with makeup, dab a bit of petroleum jelly on the stain. Then wash the garment per usual.
3. Jarring a zipper loose. A stuck zipper is easier to fix after lubricating the affected area with some jelly. After a bit of finagling, the zipper should work.
4. Adding some polish. Dab some petroleum jelly on a piece of cloth to add some shine to wooden tabletops and other surfaces. This will not only add shine, but it will keep the furniture cleaner by repelling dust.
5. Unsticking a nail polish jar. Lubricate the threads on the jars bottle after each use to prevent sticking.
6. Nail shine. If regularly rubbed onto nail plates, they will begin to shine and strengthen.
7. Cuticle care. Use petroleum jelly to lubricate your cuticles occasionally before going to bed. This will prevent the cuticles from drying.
8. A clean manicure. Before applying nail polish, apply some petroleum jelly to the cuticles. This will prevent the polish from getting onto the skin.
9. Styling gel. Rub petroleum jelly between your fingers, apply to the hair, and style as usual. As with any other style gel, don’t use too much.
10. Healing split ends. Apply a bit of the product to dry hair ends and wait 15 to 20 minutes. Petroleum jelly helps to seal the split ends; and after a few uses, the hair’s condition should improve.
11. Dye protection. Applying petroleum jelly to the hairline will protect the skin from hair dye.
12. Makeup gloss. Applying a bit of petroleum jelly to the eyelids prior to putting on eye shadow will add a “wet” look. Also, the product helps the makeup last a bit longer.
13. Shaping the ‘brows. Using a clean brush, squeeze a drop of petroleum jelly and brush in the desired direction. This will keep the eyebrows in the right shape throughout the day.
14. Eyelash styling. Applying a bit of petroleum jelly to the eyelashes before going to bed can help them grow faster and add a bit of thickness.
15. Makeup removal. Saturate a cotton ball with petroleum jelly and use it to remove makeup. This technique works with waterproof makeup, as well.
16. Lip balm. Petroleum jelly is effective as a lip balm, and also protects the lips from chapping and weathering. To “plump up” your lips, add a dab of cinnamon to the product.
17. Baby skin care. Petroleum jelly is a wonderful ointment for treating diaper rash. Prior to applying the product, wash the affected skin area thoroughly and pat dry with a towel.
18. “Tanning.” Lubricating the body’s dry areas with petroleum jelly before applying a bronzer will ensure an even, nice-looking tan.
19. Enhancing scent. Prior to spraying on perfume, apply some petroleum jelly to the skin. This will absorb the perfume and enhance its scent.
20. Delicate skin scrub. A good body scrub involves the use of natural abrasive particles (coffee, cane sugar, sea salt). Mixing in some petroleum jelly with the scrubbing particles will make the scrub a bit easier on the skin.