Is Vaseline good for your eyelashes?
Vaseline is one of those cure-alls. Made of purified petrolatum, it’s a powerful skin protectant that seals in moisture like no other ingredient. But is Vaseline good for your eyelashes? In this post, we’ll cover everything you should know about using Vaseline on your lashes or near the eyes. We’ll explain its safety and benefits and suggest how to use it for healthy lashes.
Table of Contents
- What Does Vaseline Do for Your Eyelashes?
- Is It Safe to Use Vaseline on Lashes? Expert Opinions
- Benefits of Using Vaseline on Eyelashes
- How to Apply Vaseline on Eyelashes Safely?
- Potential Risks and Side Effects
- Additional Tips on Vaseline Usage for Eyelashes
- Bottom Line
What Does Vaseline Do for Your Eyelashes?
Vaseline is the brand name for the world’s first petroleum jelly product. Also known as petrolatum, it’s a thick ointment with powerful moisturizing and protective capabilities.
The name Vaseline is to petroleum jelly and the name Kleenex is to tissues. In the US, it’s considered to be a topical medication that protects minor cuts and scrapes and prevents skin dryness.
You can find petroleum jelly in many products, including moisturizers, lip balms, eye creams, and even ophthalmic eye ointments. The reason why petroleum jelly is so popular in cosmetics is because it’s a powerful occlusive. Occlusives are ingredients that repel water. When a layer of them is applied to the skin's surface, they don’t allow water to escape, which helps keep the skin hydrated.
Is It Safe to Use Vaseline on Lashes? Expert Opinions
Some controversy over the years has plagued Vaseline, so it makes sense to worry about its safety. The good news is that using Vaseline on the lashes is perfectly safe if you do it carefully.
It’s considered one of the most gentle and inert ingredients, which is why it’s used in medical settings to help with wound healing and is even recommended for sensitive skin conditions like eczema.
Most petroleum jelly in the US is medical-grade, so it adheres to stringent purity standards. This includes Vaseline brand petroleum jelly undergoing a triple-purification process to ensure that it’s gentle and safe. Without that purification process, petroleum jelly can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are considered carcinogenic.
As for the eye area, Vaseline is considered eye-safe. The worst that can happen is that it may cause blurry vision if you get some in your eyes. That said, using high quantities may clog the meibomian glands, and you want only to apply it when your eyes are clean to prevent the Vaseline from trapping mites or bacteria near the eyes.
Benefits of Using Vaseline on Eyelashes
Here are the key reasons you might want to use Vaseline on your lashes or around the eye area.
- Moisturizing: As an occlusive, Vaseline seals moisture inside the skin, so it can help moisturize the lash line and the skin around the eyes, especially after a shower.
- t’s gentle: Vaseline is one of the mildest and most gentle moisturizing products you can find, so it’s a safe choice even for those with sensitive skin.
- Lubricant: Because of its slippery texture, Vaseline is an effective lubricant that can help condition your lashes to keep them flexible and prevent breakage.
- Protective: Vaseline not only seals water into the skin or hair but is also protective and can help keep pathogens out.
- Treat dry eyes: As a moisturizer and lubricant, petrolatum can also help treat dry eyes, although it’s important to choose an eye-safe product.
- Adds a bit of heft: When you don’t want to use mascara, a layer of Vaseline on the lashes can temporarily add some thickness.
- Adds a gloss: As with many other oily ingredients, Vaseline is a little reflective to give the lashes a pretty sheen.
- Helps hold a curl: Applying Vaseline before or after curling the lashes has become a popular “lash lift” hack, and some users find that it can help their lashes hold a curl.
- Makeup removal: You can also use Vaseline to remove your makeup, especially if you use waterproof makeup products.
How to Apply Vaseline on Eyelashes Safely?
Applying Vaseline to your lashes isn’t too complex of a process, but we have a few suggestions to ensure the best results.
Make sure to start with clean eyes and lashes since you don’t want the Vaseline to trap any germs against your skin or lash line. You can wash your face normally or use a dedicated cleanser like in our Lash Bath Kit. If you wish, you can also apply a lash serum or eye cream at this point.
Pick up a small amount
You only need a minuscule amount of Vaseline for the lashes - about the size of a grain of rice. Add a little more if you’d also like to apply it to your eye area. Use a cotton swab or a clean lotion scooper to pick up the Vaseline. To avoid introducing bacteria into your tub, don’t use your fingers.
Apply to the lashes
Next, apply the Vaseline carefully to your lashes. You can use a finger (make sure your hands are clean!) and then wipe it gently over the lashes in downward motions. You can also apply a spoolie brush or cotton swab to the lashes from below like you would mascara.
Use it as an eye cream
If you still have some Vaseline left, you can use your ring finger to apply it over the eyes gently. Keep the pressure minimal as you apply, or consider tapping it on.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Vaseline is one of the safest products out there for the skin and lashes, but there are still a few potential risks to keep in mind.
- Because it’s so occlusive, Vaseline may trap bacteria or mites against the skin or lash follicles. If your lashes and skin aren’t clean when you apply it, you may be putting yourself at risk of infection or styes.
- Vaseline can cloud your vision if it gets in your eyes, although this is easy to resolve with an eye rinse.
- While not well-documented in the literature, it’s possible that using large amounts of petroleum jelly around the eyes may lead to milia.
- Some ophthalmologists caution that petroleum jelly can clog the meibomian glands. In some cases, it’s recommended as a treatment for dry eyes caused by meibomian gland dysfunction.
Additional Tips on Vaseline Usage for Eyelashes
So, we covered all the key aspects of using Vaseline for your lashes, but we have some recommendations to help you get the most out of this little hack.
- Look for the USP symbol near the top of the drug label listing to ensure you use a medical-grade, purified petroleum jelly product like the original Vaseline ointment.
- If you suffer from dry eyes, consider using eye drops with petroleum jelly to solve two issues simultaneously.
- To keep your Vaseline clean, never stick your fingers directly in the tub. Always use a clean scoop or disposable swab to dispense it.
- Don’t forget to clean your lashes before applying Vaseline.
- Skip the Vasline if you wear lash extensions. Petroleum jelly can break down the adhesive that keeps eyelash extensions in place, so you may experience lash fall. This can be a nice conditioning treatment if your eyes recover from extensions.
- Don’t have false expectations. Petroleum jelly is great for conditioning the lashes but is not a growth miracle.
Vaseline is a humble yet powerful little product. You can use it on your lips, nails, and even eyelashes. It traps moisture in the skin, conditions the lashes, and can add a bit of a sheen and lift. It’s not a lash growth treatment; you must apply it to clean skin to avoid sealing in bacteria. You probably already have some sitting around the house, so give it a try!
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