6 health-related uses of the popular “Vaselines” or “Petroleum Jelly”

Experts explains why Vaseline and other petroleum jelly products deserve a spot in your medicine cabinet.

Vaseline petroleum jelly

When you think of multi-use yet simple products, what comes to mind? Maybe vinegar, which can do everything from kill germs in your kitchen to ease sore throat pain. Or maybe lemons, which can whiten your socks while keeping insects away. How about petroleum jelly, which, granted, is oil-based and isn’t all-natural like vinegar and lemons. But this inexpensive, unassuming goo that you probably remember seeing in your grandmother’s house should be in in your medicine cabinet, too. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. It’s a low-cost way to treat atopic dermatitis, which is a form of eczema that often affects babies

A 2014 study found that parents cut their baby’s risk of atopic dermatitis in half when they moisturized them at least five times a week. All the moisturizers tested proved effective at preventing the skin condition, but Vaseline was the most affordable.

2. It can soothe your sore nose

When your poor nose gets red and raw during a bout with a cold or flu, dab a little petroleum jelly on the tender area to keep the skin protected and moisturized.

3. It will keep cockroaches out of your home

Got coackroaches? Place bait (ripe fruit or cheese) inside a jar, and smear petroleum jelly on the inside of the jar. Insects can get in, but it becomes too slippery for the critters to walk and get out; it’s a humane trap.

4. It’s an age-old diaper rash prevention strategy

Here’s the advice straight from the popular Mayo Clinic: “If your baby gets rashes often, apply a barrier ointment during each diaper change to prevent skin irritation. Petroleum jelly and zinc oxide are the time-proven ingredients in many diaper ointments.”

5. Protect your cracked and dry heels during harmattan

When the cold harmattan air or the physical demands of sandal season leave your heels cracked and dry, slather them with Vaseline at bedtime, cover them in socks and wake up with softer, smoother heels. Women have been doing this for generations.

6. It’s an earring and razor lubricator

This one may qualify as more of a beauty tip, but if you have pierced ears and haven’t worn earrings for a while, a little Vaseline on your lobes and the earring will help it glide through more painlessly. For razors, apply a thin layer on dry razor blades to prevent rusting.

 

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Adapted from Mother Nature Network

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