Eli5: How does Vaseline work?

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I heard it can be bad for your skin to but in general I’m just curious. Is it bad? I mean I’ve seen it work on numerous people and how it traps moisture in skin?

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It’s good for some things and bad for others. It does an excellent job of trapping moisture, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad. Follow the instructions!

It’s basically a type of oil/fat/lipid. It just kinda stays on your skin and prevents water from evaporating. So use it right after a shower to trap all the moisture.

Side effect is that (1) it leaves skin feeling oily because vaseline doesn’t really get absorbed and (2) oils are notorious when it comes to clogging pores. Your body’s own natural oils clog up your pores and cause acne, a synthetic oily lotion isn’t going to help with that for some people.

Vaseline is a petroleum jelly, it comes from crude oil. Its a hydrocarbon meaning it’s a mix of carbon and hydrogen. The same thing petrol or gasoline is made of just a heavier distillate. It’s an oil. Oil and water don’t mix you can see this if you’ve ever mixed vegetable oil and water. The same principle applies when used on your skin. It doesn’t moisturize but can act as a barrier to lock in moisture.