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Does Vaseline Help Acne? Uncovering the Petroleum Jelly Paradox

Acne is a common skin condition affecting millions of people worldwide. With countless acne remedies available, it's no surprise that people are curious about the potential benefits of using Vaseline, a household staple, to treat acne. In this blog post, we explore the question, "Does Vaseline help acne?" by examining the science behind petroleum jelly and its effects on our skin.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Vaseline can provide skin barrier repair and moisturizing benefits but may clog pores and worsen acne for some individuals.

  • The suitability of Vaseline as an acne treatment depends on individual skin types and reactions.

  • Monitoring your skin's response to Vaseline or any other acne treatment is crucial to determining the most appropriate skincare regimen for your needs.

  • Alternative acne treatments or comprehensive systems like Exposed Skin Care offer a more targeted approach to managing acne.

Man fingers getting vaseline from tub

Understanding Vaseline: A Brief Overview

Before diving into the central question, it's essential to understand what Vaseline is and its general uses.

What is Vaseline?

Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly, is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. It is an occlusive agent, meaning that it creates a physical barrier on the skin to prevent water loss. This property makes Vaseline an excellent moisturizer, often used to treat dry skin, minor burns, and wounds.

Vaseline and Acne: The Science

Now that we better understand Vaseline's properties let's explore how it interacts with acne-prone skin.

The Acne-Causing Culprits

Acne develops due to a combination of factors, including:

  • Excess oil production

  • Dead skin cells clogging pores

  • Bacteria (specifically, Propionibacterium acnes)

  • Inflammation

Vaseline's Role in Acne

In theory, Vaseline could help acne by providing a moisturizing barrier that prevents skin from becoming too dry and irritated.

However, the occlusive nature of Vaseline can also contribute to clogged pores, leading to acne breakouts for some individuals.

Woman with acne on her face

Pros and Cons of Using Vaseline for Acne

Let's examine its pros and cons to better understand whether Vaseline is a suitable treatment for acne.


  • Moisturizes skin: Vaseline can help prevent dryness and flakiness, common issues for those with acne-prone skin.

  • Protects the skin barrier: Vaseline can aid in protecting the skin barrier, which may reduce irritation and inflammation.


  • Clogged pores: Vaseline's occlusive properties may cause clogged pores and exacerbate acne for some people.

  • Unsuitable for oily skin: Those with naturally oily skin may find that Vaseline makes their skin feel greasier, leading to further breakouts.

Should You Use Vaseline for Acne?

Ultimately, whether or not Vaseline will help acne largely depends on the individual and their skin type.

For some, Vaseline may provide a moisturizing barrier that reduces dryness and irritation without causing breakouts.

However, for others, Vaseline may lead to clogged pores and worsen acne. It is essential to monitor your skin's reaction and consult a dermatologist if you are unsure whether Vaseline is the right choice for you.

Considering a Complete Acne Treatment System: The Exposed Skin Care Solution

Instead of relying on a one-ingredient product like Vaseline, which may not be suitable for all acne-prone skin types, it is worth considering a comprehensive acne treatment system, such as Exposed Skin Care.

This system offers a holistic approach to managing acne, combining the best of science and nature to provide an effective and safe solution.

Exposed basic kit

Features and Benefits of Exposed Skin Care

For over 20 years, Exposed Skin Care has helped more than 400,000 people achieve clear skin. The treatment system offers numerous benefits, including:

  • High-quality ingredients and manufacturing: Exposed Skin Care products are manufactured in the United States and Canada, ensuring the highest product quality and safety standards.

  • Proprietary, scientifically based formula: Combining the best ingredients from science and nature, Exposed Skin Care provides a spa-quality, prescription-strength skin care experience at home.

  • Effective acne treatment without risks: This system treats acne as effectively as prescription medications without the hassle or risks associated with regular dermatologist visits.

  • Suitable for both men and women: Exposed Skin Care caters to the general skincare needs of both genders.

  • Effective for teens and adults: The treatment system works equally well for teenagers and adults experiencing acne.

  • No lifestyle changes required: Exposed Skin Care is designed to clear your skin without the need to change your diet or established routines.

  • Affordable and convenient: The treatment system is more cost-effective than visiting a dermatologist and ships right to your door for a simple, twice-daily skincare routine.

  • Industry-leading guarantee: Exposed Skin Care offers an unconditional money-back guarantee on your first Member kit within one year of purchase, reflecting their confidence in the product's effectiveness.

  • Friendly, responsive, and reliable customer support: Exposed Skin Care provides excellent customer service, with representatives available at 1-866-404-7656 to assist with orders, questions, or concerns.

Choosing a complete acne treatment system like Exposed Skin Care can provide a more comprehensive and effective solution to managing acne instead of relying on a single-ingredient product like Vaseline.


The answer to the question "Does Vaseline help acne?" is not a straightforward yes or no. While Vaseline can offer some benefits, such as skin barrier repair and moisturizing effects, it may not be ideal for those with more severe forms of acne, such as cystic acne or deep pimples. Its occlusive properties may contribute to clogged pores, leading to more acne for some individuals, particularly those with oily skin.

Instead of solely relying on Vaseline, it is essential to consider alternative acne treatments or comprehensive systems like Exposed Skin Care. These treatments can target various aspects of skin repair, leading to fewer breakouts and healthier skin overall. By selecting the right products for your skin type, whether it is oily or non-oily, you can effectively treat acne and improve your skin's overall condition.

If you're considering using Vaseline as your usual moisturizer for acne-prone skin, it's crucial to carefully consider the pros and cons and to closely monitor your skin's reaction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Does Vaseline help acne scars?

A: Vaseline can help keep the skin moisturized, promoting healing and minimizing the appearance of scars. However, it is not specifically formulated to treat acne scars. Products containing ingredients like retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids, or vitamin C may be more effective in treating acne scars.

Q: Can Vaseline cause acne?

A: Vaseline may cause acne for some individuals, as its occlusive properties can contribute to clogged pores. However, this varies depending on the person and their skin type.

Q: Can I use Vaseline as a spot treatment for acne?

A: While it is possible to use Vaseline as a spot treatment for acne, it is not recommended due to its potential to clog pores. Instead, consider using products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur as spot treatments.

Q: How should I apply Vaseline to my acne-prone skin?

A: If you decide to use Vaseline on acne-prone skin, apply a thin layer to clean dry skin, focusing on particularly dry or irritated areas. Avoid applying Vaseline directly to active breakouts, as it may exacerbate them. Monitor your skin's reaction and discontinue use if you notice an increase in breakouts or irritation.