Truth About Lip Care: Is Petroleum Jelly Good for Your Lips?

Chapped, cracked, and dry lips are a common wintertime issue for everyone. If you’ve wondered if you can use petroleum jelly to moisturize your lips, then you’re right. It hydrates and smoothes your lips as a moisturizing agent. Let’s explore what petroleum jelly is and the benefits it provides for your lips.

Key takeaways:

What is petroleum jelly?

Petroleum jelly is a type of moisturizer called an occlusive. It is a blend of natural waxes and mineral oils. Petroleum jelly is also known by the brand names petrolatum and Vaseline. Petroleum jelly helps seal in the moisture in your skin. Humectants draw moisture from the surrounding air; occlusive materials do not.

When you apply petroleum jelly to your lips, it acts as a protective barrier and prevents moisture from escaping. It doesn’t add moisture to your skin or lips; it just locks it in. Petroleum jelly is one of the most effective occlusive moisturizers available on the market.

What benefits does petroleum jelly provide for your lips

Petroleum jelly provides several benefits for the lips, including:

  • Moisturizing. Petroleum jelly is an occlusive. As a result, it can support moisture retention and provide lips with hydration and comfort.
  • Protecting. It helps shield the lips from the sun and cold weather, as well as keep the lips from drying out or cracking.
  • Healing. Petroleum jelly can help heal chapped and peeling lips. It can also help to relieve the symptoms of angular cheilitis. This is a type of infection that affects the corners of the mouth.

Ingredients to look for when choosing a petroleum jelly product

Your lips are delicate and always deserve the best. That’s why ingredients are really important. Choose a product with ingredients that will protect and soothe your lips. Here are some ingredients to look for:

  • Petroleum. The main ingredient is always petroleum. It is an occlusive, thick ointment that creates a barrier of defense. Petroleum locks in moisture and keeps the elements at bay, so your lips can stay soft and healthy.
  • Sun protection factor (SPF). The skin on your lips is thin and can quickly get sun-damaged. The higher the lip SPF, the more protection it provides. For everyday use, choose a petroleum jelly with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic simply means that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Opt for a hypoallergenic product if you have sensitive skin.
  • Added ingredients. Petroleum jelly products often come with added ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamins. These ingredients can provide extra nourishment, protection, and hydration for your lips and skin.
It's important to note that there are ingredients you should avoid that can dry your lips further. Try to steer clear of products that contain fragrances, alcohol, dyes, or other additives. These ingredients can irritate your lips.

Can you make petroleum jelly at home?

Many people love petroleum jelly because it's one of the most versatile skincare products, and it's quite easy to make it at home. Here's what you'll need:

1/4 cupCoconut oil
2 tablespoonsBeeswax

Follow this simple method to create your own homemade petroleum jelly:

  1. In a small pan, over medium heat, warm beeswax, and coconut oil until melted.
  2. Stir until the ingredients are melted and combined.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  4. Pour the mixture into a clean container and let it cool completely.

It’s often easier to use beeswax pellets rather than a beeswax block. Pellets are usually easier to measure and melt more quickly. Make sure you select yellow beeswax pellets rather than white ones. White pellets typically go through a refining process, which removes a lot of their natural qualities.

The homemade petroleum jelly may not be as shelf-stable as store-bought petroleum jelly. Therefore, we recommend using it within the season and making a fresh batch each time to ensure safety and efficacy.

Possible side effects

In most cases, petroleum jelly is well tolerated. But like with any new topical product, allergic reactions are always possible. To find out how your lips will respond, first perform a patch test if you have extremely sensitive skin.

Lip edema or a burning feeling on your lips are indications of an allergic reaction. Petroleum jelly can also leave a greasy and heavy feeling on your lips that some people might not like. If you’re wondering if it can clog pores, the answer is no. Because of its non-comedogenic designation, it does not clog pores.

Petroleum jelly is an affordable and safe product. This widely available product is usually used to help heal dry lips and skin. It’s occlusive, so while it can help seal moisture into your lips, the product can’t add moisture that is not there. Petroleum jelly always works best when it is used with a humectant, such as shea butter or aloe vera.


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