Why Vaseline is Bad For Your Lips.

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Why Vaseline is Bad For Your Lips.

My love affair with makeup began when I was around 13, but I never had the best skincare regimen. If I had done my makeup the night before, and had to be somewhere early the next morning, I just slept in my makeup– I’m literally cringing right now.

The past year to year and a half is really when I started getting into more natural skincare and being consistent about it. Now, you can occasionally catch me online at 2 am researching all about the ingredients that go into commonplace skincare items.

One thing that annoys me the most is the use of petrolatum– also known as petroleum jelly, white petrolatum, soft paraffin, and mineral oil– in skincare, but more specifically in lip balms, such as Vaseline. It’s so rare to see a lip balm without these ingredients. Sure, they’re deemed safe, but just because they’re safe doesn’t mean they’re beneficial.

Now, a little disclaimer: I’m not an expert or professional of any kind when it comes to this stuff, but we do live in an information based society where finding information is as easy as pressing your fingertips against a keyboard.

It’s possible that Vaseline and other petroleum jelly based lip balms work beautifully for your lips, and if that’s the case then by all means, keep using what you love and works for you. This is simply what I’ve researched and also learned through trial and error.

1. Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of crude oil refining |

It is the coating that is found at the bottom of oil rigs. Sure, Vaseline is highly refined, but still, that doesn’t sound like something I want to put on my lips. Plus, there are a lot of cheaper alternatives to Vaseline and you never know how refined that product may be. The reason Vaseline is so highly refined is because the components that are removed from it are toxic and in some cases carcinogenic.

2. Can trap in the bad stuff |

Because petroleum jelly is so thick, it creates a thick barrier that can trap things like dirt and bacteria into your skin and lips– that’s never a good thing.

3. Doesn’t actually moisturize |

Again, petroleum jelly creates a thick barrier that keeps any air or moisture from getting in, and it’s not hydrating on its own. The only thing it does is lock in moisture, but if you suffer from dry lips you’re probably looking to add moisture because you don’t have any to begin with. So, petroleum jelly is really not doing anything for your lips at all.

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Why Vaseline is Bad For Your Lips.

I used to use Vaseline on my lips all the time, but realized it just stayed on my lips like a film, and didn’t actually moisturize my lips. That’s when I started researching and began using products out there containing those natural ingredients.

My lips are still pretty naturally dry, but they don’t flake, peel, or bleed (especially in the winter) like they used to. I know a lot of my lip dryness is because I wear matte lipsticks A LOT, which can be really drying. Still, my lips are much better now that I stopped using lip balms with petrolatum. Before, I had to constantly slather Vaseline on my lips throughout the day, but now even if I don’t moisturize them for a day or two, they don’t freak out and look raisiny or begin to peel.

If you suffer from dry lips and use Vaseline, Aquaphor, Blistex, or anything that contains paraffin, petroleum jelly, petrolatum, or mineral oil, I would try switching to a lip balm that contains natural oils instead. I’ll be doing a post on lip balms that I use that have really helped my lips out soon. Even though it’s rare to find a sans petroleum jelly mainstream brand lip balm, it’s not impossible!

These are my favorite petroleum jelly free lip balms that have helped me out a lot.

Put down the Vaseline, back away, and try out these lip balms instead. Guarantee you, you won’t miss the petroleum.

Do you use Vaseline on your lips? Does it work for you? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Ugh my friend is convinced that Vaseline is “the best lip balm ever” and I’m like NO hunny, NO. It just like makes your lips glossy and has the illusion of moisturised lips but it does absolutely nothing!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    • Hahah I know! I cringe when someone I know puts Vaseline or Aquaphor on their lips. I made my whole family throw away their chapsticks and bought them better ones.

  • Yeah I’ve heard that vaseline doesn’t do anything for your lips. I’ve never got in to using vaseline for anything, when I was younger I always used one of those Nivea lip balms in a stick form or there was a brand in Europe by the name Labello that was really popular.

    • The feeling of Vaseline on the lips is just so off putting so I don’t know why it’s such a popular lip balm.

  • I used to use Vaseline on my lips for years, but thankfully around 3 years ago I found the Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm and haven’t looked back. It’s amazing! Now I only use Vaseline on my heals to stop my sandals from rubbing :)
    Merry Christmas xxx Claire

    • I haven’t tried the Nuxe Reve De Miel lip balm, but hear amazing things about it. I really want to try it! Vaseline is really good to prevent blisters :)
      Merry Christmas to you too!

  • So true. Vaseline is great if you’re going skiing or something and just want to create a barrier so your lips don’t get too dry. But if I want to moisturize my lips that’s definitely not what I use!


    • Yeah, exactly! It’s not something you should put on your lips if you’re trying to moisturize them.

  • Great post! Haven’t use Vaseline in ages because it is not good for you.

    • Same! I still see soo many people using it on their lips and it makes me cringe.

  • Wow, I had no idea Vaseline was so bad for your lips!

  • Amen to this post, wish more people knew! I’ve never ever gone near Vaseline for my lips… just a big NOPE haha! xx

    Daniela | MissNewBeauty.net

    • Haha you’re lucky! I bought all the hype over putting vaseline on your lips, but wish I had done my research first!

  • Amen to this hun! i stopped using vaseline 10 years ago/ I struggle to find any lip balm that works for me? which natural lip balms would you recommend? xo

    • Honestly, I love using coconut oil the most because it works the best for me! I also really like the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. I’m working on a post talking about all of the lip balms I like to use :)

  • I agree with the title wholeheartedly – it just doesn’t work! I use bepanthen (which is a nappy rash cream as my main lipbalm in the eve!) it contains lanolin, and my day to day lipbalm is Lanolips! That stuff works!

    • Ooh I’ve never heard of Bepanthen before. I really want to try Lanolips!

      • Bepanthen is a nappy rash cream generally found in the baby care section – but it’s blooming marvellous as lip balm!

  • This explains everything. haha , I was a diligent user of Vaseline in my tween years but over time, I think my lips became so accustomed to using it that when I randomly tried a different lip product, I had an allergic reaction. When I got older, I realised it doesn’t actually moisturise so I’ve ditched it since then.
    ~Weng wengiful

    • I’m glad you’ve ditched it! I always see people recommending these and it makes me cringe lol.

  • I agree with you, although sometimes i like to slather on a mineral oil based balm over top of a non-mineral oil based one so then I get the benefit of adding in moisture plus a sealant.

  • Leah GRH

    I agree. I sometimes use Vaseline on my lips but it doesn’t seem to do much of anything. I’ve found it works best to seal in moisture during the winter. So I’ll moisturize my lips with something good and then put Vaseline on top. It’s also good for adding shine.


  • Loo Loo Leo

    I’ve always had this strange distrust about vaseline even though I’ve never used it. I don’t know why, maybe it was the name (it sounds like something purely chemical that could be found in your garage) or just the overrated hype about it. But I’m glad I read this article, since I have naturally dry lips I should keep an eye out on the ingredients from now on. Thank you.

    • Haha it does sound super chemically. Definitely keep an eye out on the ingredients! So many brands put things that actually make things worse or make you think they’re working, but they really aren’t.

  • My mom always told me not to use vaseline on my lips too! She told me that she knew someone who used vaseline on her lips daily and eventually, her lips became darker. Ever since, I stopped using this product and opted for lip balms to do the job instead.

    Elle | http://www.azedelle.com

    • Oh my gosh! Just another reason not to use it on the lips. I definitely prefer other lip balms instead. They tend to work a lot better for me!

  • Steph

    Ive always used Vaseline for my lips. It works better then anythin I’ve tried. Real Vaseline is 3X purified is it really that bad to use?

    • I’m glad it works for you! Since real vaseline is heavily purified, it should be safe to use. The fact that it’s from the coating found in oil rigs just doesn’t sit well with me. If it’s the only thing that works for you then I would keep using it. Everyone’s lips are different! Personally, it did nothing for me, and just made things worse.