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Is Petroleum Jelly Good for the Skin?

Keep What's Yours

Most moisturizers add moisture to your skin or attract water molecules to rehydrate it, but petroleum jelly doesn't. In fact, your skin can't absorb it. So why does your skin love it so much? Petrolatum works like a zipper for your skin, sealing in moisture that's already there. With a protective layer of petroleum jelly on your skin, your body won't waste a drop of moisture.

Say Goodbye to Chafing

Petroleum jelly leaves a moist film on your skin -- a big plus if you're worried about chafing. That's why parents like to rub it on their babies when they get diaper rash. Next time you get ready for a run in your jogging shorts, dab some petroleum jelly on your inner thighs and run carefree.

Get Rid of Skin Irritation

Have you ever taken your jewelry off at night and found dry, red patches where your rings and bracelets once rested? You may not think of it as chafing, but it's a very similar kind of skin irritation -- and that means petroleum jelly can help fix it. Next time you take off your jewelry at night, wash your hands and layer on some soothing petroleum jelly.

Apply Like a Pro

Applying petroleum jelly to uber-dry skin won't help as much as rubbing it onto moisture-rich skin. After all, you can't seal in moisture that's not there! The smartest time to layer on the petrolatum is right after you exit the shower. Pat yourself dry -- don't rub, or you'll rub off all the healthy water molecules -- and immediately rub some petroleum jelly over your skin. Dab it on your lips before you brave dry winter winds or scorching trips to the beach to keep your lips healthy, too.

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