Petroleum jelly is extracted from natural petroleum. This natural raw material was discovered in 1859 by oil miners in Pennsylvania. Natural crude oil is a hard black wax, while petroleum jelly is a by-product in the oil production process. It goes through various processes until it achieves a transparent outlook. petroleum jelly is a mixture of non-polar semi-solid hydrocarbons, which are well-known ingredients in skin healing and have a positive effect on human skin. It creates a protective barrier on the skin, preventing the skin from losing moisture.

Besides, Vaseline is a mixture of oil waxes in pure form, minerals and some microcrystals. That makes the texture of Vaseline smoother than petroleum jelly. As a result, they are applied to many different products such as lotions, body lotions, waxes, etc. Vaseline works to protect dry, cracked skin, minor cuts and scrapes.



Petroleum Jelly

Vaseline is an oil wax. The material is characterized by high purity because it has undergone several purification times and has been completely removed from impurities.

It is a transparent wax that is formed during the production of crude oil.

The discoverer

Robert Cheeseborough, 1859

The Oil Miners, 1859


Pure petroleum wax, minerals and some microcrystals

Mixture of semi-solid hydrocarbons


Smells like lavender and baby oil

Smells like oil and gas


Usually produced in the form of lotions, ointments, body lotions

Usually produced in solid wax form


Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly is a by-product of oil production, consisting of mineral oil and paraffin wax. Therefore, petroleum jelly smells like oil and natural gas, it is sometimes called white kerosene or white paraffin. Petroleum jelly (or petrolatum) creates a protective barrier on the skin and thereby helps retain moisture. However, it can cause some side effects, typically clogging skin pores which can lead to breakouts.


Vaseline is known as the brand name of an oil wax. In 1859, Vaseline was manufactured and used for medical purposes by the young chemist Robert Cheeseborough. Later, the Vaseline brand was acquired by Unilever, but its name remained the same. This is a semi-solid product and has been known as an ointment since the last century. Vaseline is one of those products that is known to many people for various purposes such as protecting the skin from dryness and cracking, and quickly healing minor cuts, scrapes and burns.

Conclusion: Key differences between Vaseline and petroleum jelly

  1. Vaseline is a pure preparation of petroleum jelly, used for various purposes such as lotion, body lotion, etc. While petroleum jelly is a transparent wax consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons, which are used as lubricant.
  2. Vaseline is composed of pure petroleum wax containing minerals and microcrystalline wax. Therefore, it has a very fine texture. On the other hand, petroleum jelly is a natural petroleum-based preparation, consisting of a mixture of semi-solid and transparent hydrocarbons.
  3. Vaseline smells like lavender oil or baby powder; and petroleum jelly has an odor similar to kerosene and gas.
  4. Vaseline is manufactured and sold in many different product forms on the market such as body lotion, ointment, lip balm, etc. But petroleum jelly is mainly produced and consumed as a solid in small or large tubes.

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