We’re always looking for beauty products that multitask, so imagine our delight when we rediscovered a household staple that addresses so many of our daily issues. We’re talking about Vaseline, y’all, (which—fun fact—has been around for over 140 years).
Vaseline is made from a mixture of mineral oils and waxes, which, according to our friends at the American Academy of Dermatology, create a protective barrier to help the skin heal and retain moisture. But it also does so much more—from taming unruly brows to slipping rings off swollen fingers.
Whether you’re looking to soothe a cut, rock a glossy lid or a treat a sunburn, here are 39 (yes, 39!) uses for Vaseline.
1. Moisturize head to toe
After showering, apply it anywhere you see dry, flaky skin. For cracked heels, put on a pair of socks to lock in the moisture (and prevent future blisters later on).
2. Remove eye makeup
Don’t have makeup remover at your disposal? Just massage some Vaseline onto your lids and wipe that mascara away using a cotton pad.
3. Highlight your cheekbones
There’s no need for a pricey highlighter when you have Vaseline right in your medicine cabinet. Pat some onto the tops of your cheeks to create a dewy, light-catching look. (Just be careful if you have oily skin–you don’t want to clog your pores.)
4. Change the texture of your cosmetics
Vaseline is a great way to transform your matte or powder products into creams. Just combine the loose pigments with the jelly to create your own custom cream eyeshadow, blush or tinted balm.
5. Counteract split ends
Too much exposure to the sun, heat or chlorine from the pool can cause your hair to dry out, fast. Add a pinch of Vaseline to the ends for extra moisture and shine.
6. Smooth down flyaways
Glossier Boy Brow isn’t the only thing that can help you tame your brows. A small dab of Vaseline on a Q-tip will do the trick just as well.
7. Define your lashes
No mascara, no problem. Apply a little jelly on your lashes and comb through for a natural sheen.
8. Avoid skin stains
The worst part about an at-home hair or nail color is the mess it leaves behind on your skin. A light coating of petroleum jelly around your hairline or your cuticles will prevent any staining from dyes or polishes.
9. Prolong your perfume
Give your fragrance lasting power by dabbing some Vaseline on your pulse points before spritzing on your favorite perfume.
10. Prevent self-tanning streaks
No one wants embarrassing streaks from a self-tanner. Cover any dry spots (i.e., around your knees, elbows and feet) to prevent an uneven application.
11. Create a DIY scrub
A simple DIY for when your skin needs a little TLC: Mix one tablespoon of sea salt or sugar and a spoonful of Vaseline to make your very own exfoliant. Put the paste on your lips (or anywhere on your body that needs smoothing) and gently massage before washing it off. Hello smoother, glowing skin.
12. Keep shampoo away from your eyes
No more wishing you made your dry shampoo last one more day. Just apply some jelly above your eyebrows and watch the suds repel off to the sides of your face and away from your eyes.
13. Remove chewing gum from hair
Remember doing this as a child? Coat the gum and surrounding hair with a generous dollop of Vaseline and gently tug to remove the wad sans snags.
14. Keep lipstick off your teeth
Rocking a bold lip is fun until you realize it’s been on your teeth all day. Prevent this altogether by spreading a thin layer of Vaseline over your chompers before applying your lipstick. The jelly will create an invisible barrier that the color won’t stick to.
15. Create a flavored lip gloss
Remember those fun-flavored glosses of your youth? Make your own by combining a powder-based food mix (e.g., Kool Aid) and some petroleum jelly to create your very own tinted lip gloss.
16. Soothe an itchy scalp
Reduce itching and dandruff by massaging a small amount of Vaseline into your scalp before washing your hair as usual. (Note: Using too much can make it difficult to remove, so make sure you use no more than a dime-size amount; for a deeper clean-out add a teaspoon of baking soda to your shampoo.)
17. Groom facial hair
Calling all moustache aficionados: A spot of Vaseline can keep your facial hair in check. Use it alone or combine it with some beeswax for added hold.
18. Hydrate your under-eyes
In a pinch, a dab of Vaseline will help lock in moisture while you sleep so that you wake up to fresh peepers, even when you run out of eye cream.
19. Relieve irritation
Whether you’re dealing with sunburn or razor burn, petroleum jelly can help. Tip: Stick the jar in the freezer beforehand and apply the cold jelly to your legs, forehead or any irritated spots for instant soothing.
20. Block swimmer’s ear
If you swim a lot and want to keep unwanted moisture out of your ears, try this: Coat two cotton balls with petroleum jelly, mold them to fit each ear and enjoy the rest of your swim.
21. Cure minor injuries
The top use for Vaseline? To heal any minor cuts and burns. Remember it’s best to clean and disinfect the area before application to prevent infections.
22. Relieve diaper rash
If your baby is dealing with diaper rash, clean the area, pat skin dry and put Vaseline over the sore spots to relieve some of the sting.
23. Ease back pain
No heating pad in sight? Heat a scoop of Vaseline in the microwave until it’s warm (two minutes or so) before massaging some onto your back for a warming effect.
24. Help heal new tattoos
Similar to minor cuts and burns, putting jelly on new tattoos can help speed up the healing process by keeping the area smooth and hydrated.
25. Calm any bug bites
Don’t let mosquito bites, wasp stings or poison ivy win. Put some Vaseline on the itchy spots for instant relief. (Tip: It will feel even better if you pop it into the freezer first.)
26. Protect a sore nose
If you’re battling a cold or dealing with allergy season, chances are your runny nose will turn into a red, raw mess. Apply a dab of Vaseline around your nostrils to add moisture back into your skin.
27. Keep chafing at bay
Thick thighs rejoice! No one likes it when their legs rub together to the point of irritation. Put a thin layer over your inner thighs for a silky and pain-free glide. (It's especially crucial during a cardio-heavy workout.)
28. Treat your dog’s paws
If your pet’s paws are feeling a bit rough, help ease the discomfort by smoothing some Vaseline over them after a walk. (Note: Vaseline is pet-friendly and not harmful, but stay cautious that they don't lick their paws.)
29. Remedy for your cat's hairballs
Help a hairball pass through by mixing a ½ tablespoon of petroleum jelly into their food. The oily lubricant will coax the hairball through their digestive system with ease.
30. Open a stuck jar
Whether it’s a pickle jar or a hard nail polish top, putting Vaseline around the stuck lid will help loosen things up for an easier removal.
31. Slip jewelry off easily
No more struggling to take your rings off when your fingers are bloated or putting on a pair of earrings. Apply some jelly over the area for a slip-and-slide effect.
32. Preserve Halloween pumpkins
Make your jack-ó-lanterns last for weeks by putting some Vaseline around the carved areas to slow any rotting.
33. Ward off bugs
The combination of salt and Vaseline helps keep those snails, slugs and ants from ruining your garden. Place some around the edges of your flower pots to keep them far and away.
34. Remove candle wax
Candlesticks a mess? Clean up any dripped, dried wax with some Vaseline. Let it absorb for a few minutes before wiping it all down with a damp cloth.
35. Repair scratches and watermarks on wood
Let your wood shine with a generous coat of Vaseline. Tip: It’s best to let it soak in for 24 hours before polishing the surface.
36. Freshen up leather
Whether it’s a leather jacket or your favorite reading chair, rub Vaseline over worn spots to make them shine again.
37. Make bra straps more comfy
Fact: No one likes an itchy bra strap. Apply some Vaseline on your shoulders to alleviate the discomfort.
38. Clean up smudges
Your mirrors, sunglasses and even belt buckles can get a sparkly clean look with some Vaseline and a little elbow grease to buff the smudges away.
39. Get a fire going
Need some help building a fire? Coat a cotton ball (or a few) with Vaseline and light them up to produce a flame. It’s a simple and quick hack that you can use for grills and backyard pits.
Psst: Some things to keep in mind
Although it’s the G.O.A.T. of healing products, it’s important to use it for external purposes only. Translation: Do not eat or insert it anywhere inside your body. (Using Vaseline as a lubricant can lead to bacterial infections.)
Apart from that, always remember to clean your skin properly and allow it to dry before application. With these simple precautions, you can enjoy the many benefits of Vaseline without risking infections, breakouts or breaking the bank. Because it's pretty much the most affordable multi-use product out there. (Six dollars for a 13 oz jar? Yes please.)