Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin and microcrystalline waxes that, when blended together;
create something remarkable – a smooth jelly that has a melting point just above body temperature. The result – it literally melts into skin, flowing into the spaces between cells and the gaps in lipid barrier. Once there, it re-solidifies, locking itself in place.
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly serves two functions: First it helps keep the outside world out – it protects skin from the effects of weather and exposure.
Second, it acts like a sealant to help keep the inside world in – it forms an occlusive barrier to the natural water loss of our skin.
So skin that is dry and chapped is protected from drying elements, enabling skin-softening moisture to build up naturally from within the skin.
Petroleum was first found and extracted from something called rod wax a waste product that had to be periodically removed from oil rig pumps.
The oil rig workers had been using this rod wax in a similar way.