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Will Vaseline Cause Acne? (Everything You Need to Know)

Vaseline has been a household name for decades. Known primarily for its moisturizing properties, it is commonly used to treat dry skin and minor wounds. However, a question often emerges regarding Vaseline and acne: will Vaseline cause acne? 

It's an important question that needs to be answered, especially for those with acne-prone skin or existing skin conditions. This article will examine the ins and outs of Vaseline's role in skincare and its effect on acne.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Vaseline is an occlusive moisturizer that can lock in moisture but may also clog pores, especially for oily skin.
  • While Vaseline can offer basic skin protection and hydration, it is not specifically formulated to treat acne and may even exacerbate it in some cases.
  • Using Vaseline on your face is generally safe, but if you have acne-prone or oily skin, you may want to consider other options for skincare.
  • Specialized products like Exposed Skin Care offer targeted solutions for acne treatment that do not clog pores and are effective for managing the condition.

Finger pushing through tub of vaseline

What is Vaseline?

Vaseline is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons, commonly known as petroleum jelly. Created initially as an ointment to heal cuts and burns, Vaseline has found a secure place in almost everyone's skincare product shelf.

It is primarily composed of mineral oils and waxes. This makes it an occlusive agent, forming a physical barrier on the skin that locks in moisture.

The Many Uses of Vaseline

  • As a moisturizer for dry skin
  • To soothe chapped lips and eyelids
  • As a barrier ointment for minor cuts and burns
  • To help with dryness and irritation in various skin conditions
  • In cosmetic applications like makeup removal

Does Vaseline Clog Pores?

A common question of people who take their skincare seriously is whether or not Vaseline will clog pores. Pores are tiny openings in your skin that release oils and sweat. When these pores get clogged, acne and other skin conditions can develop.

Suitable for Different Skin Types

Your skin type—dry, oily, or combination—can affect how Vaseline interacts with your pores. For instance, oily or acne-prone skin may need a more careful approach than dry skin.

Girl looking at her face with table mirror

Non-Comedogenic Properties

Vaseline is considered non-comedogenic, meaning it should not clog or block your pores. However, if applied over dirty or oily skin, it might trap the impurities and lead to breakouts.

The Layering Technique

If you apply a thin layer of Vaseline, it is less likely to cause problems. A thick application, on the other hand, may exacerbate clogging issues.

Vaseline and Skin Conditions

Not all skin conditions are the same, and neither is the effect of Vaseline on them. Here's how Vaseline may interact with specific skin conditions:

Acne-Prone Skin

The term "acne-prone" refers to skin that is susceptible to acne breakouts. While Vaseline is non-comedogenic and shouldn't clog pores, applying it over already oily or acne-prone skin may exacerbate the condition.

Young woman with towel on head looking at her pimples

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is a more severe form of acne that involves deep, painful cysts. Although Vaseline won't treat cystic acne, it may help with dryness and irritation caused by powerful acne treatments like retinoids.

Sensitive Skin

Vaseline can also be useful in cases of sensitive skin that is prone to irritation. Its barrier-forming capabilities can protect the skin from becoming more irritated.

Vaseline and Hydration: The Connection

Hydration plays a critical role in the health and appearance of our skin. It is crucial to keep the skin moisturized to prevent dryness and flakiness, which can lead to additional skin problems.

How Vaseline Helps

Vaseline can help keep the skin hydrated by forming an occlusive layer on the skin. This locks in moisture and keeps the skin soft and supple.

Adding to Your Skincare Routine

Adding Vaseline to your skincare routine can offer many benefits, but it is essential to understand what Vaseline is best used for. For example, it can be a lifesaver for chapped lips but may not be suitable as a primary facial moisturizer for all skin types.

Woman happily doing her skin care routine

The Active Ingredients Dilemma

When discussing whether Vaseline will cause acne, it is crucial to consider its role in the presence of other active ingredients in your skincare routine.

Ingredients Like Retinoids and Acids

If your skincare routine includes active ingredients like retinoids or acids, Vaseline can relieve the dryness and irritation these ingredients can cause. However, it should not replace these treatments.

Potential Interactions

Vaseline may earn its keep by keeping your skin moist, but it can potentially interfere with the absorption of other skincare products if not used correctly.

The Benefits of Using Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

If you're grappling with acne and considering various acne remedies, Exposed Skin Care is a game-changer that can be an excellent addition to your skincare regimen.

Exposed Skin Care Expanded Kit

With a range of products explicitly designed to treat acne, it offers multiple advantages:

  • Advanced Formulation: Unlike common skin care products that may only focus on superficial treatment, Exposed Skin Care products are scientifically formulated to penetrate skin cells and treat acne at its root.
  • Doesn't Clog Pores: One of the main concerns with using Vaseline for acne is whether it will clog your pores or cause acne. With Exposed Skin Care, you don't have to worry about that. Its products are designed to not clog pores, thus reducing the likelihood of breakouts.
  • Effective Moisturization: While Vaseline is an occlusive moisturizer that can help your skin by creating a physical barrier, Exposed Skin Care also offers hydrating products that are both safe and effective.
  • Tackling Acne Scars: In addition to treating active acne, the line also helps reduce acne scars, a frequent aftermath of cystic and common acne types.
  • Compatible with Other Products: You might like Vaseline for its versatility, but when treating acne, instead of just preventing skin irritation, Exposed Skin Care shines. It can safely be used alongside other skincare products, including petroleum jelly on your face.

A targeted approach is often the most effective way to manage acne. With millions of people worldwide dealing with this prevalent skin condition, Exposed Skin Care products offer a tailored solution that addresses the symptoms and underlying causes of acne.


When it comes to the debate on whether or not applying Vaseline will help acne, the jury seems to be out. While Vaseline can act as an occlusive moisturizer that locks in moisture, it can also risk clogging pores, especially for those with oily skin.

Its thick consistency can create a physical barrier that, while protecting the skin, might also trap impurities and cause breakouts. If you notice increased acne or other issues, it might be wise to stop using Vaseline on your face and reconsider your skincare choices.

On the other hand, there are targeted skincare solutions that provide tips and remedies specifically designed for acne-prone skin. These treatments go beyond surface-level solutions to tackle the root cause of acne.

For example, products like Exposed Skin Care offer a tailored approach that minimizes the risk of clogged pores or causing acne, focusing instead on treating the condition effectively.

In summary, while Vaseline is a popular household item and a multi-purpose ointment, its potential benefits for treating acne may be limited and dependent on your skin type.

If you want to manage your acne effectively, consider using specialized products designed for this particular skin condition, and possibly avoid using Vaseline. With the right approach and products, you can manage acne in a way that aligns with your skin's unique needs.


Does Vaseline clog pores?

Vaseline is a thick, occlusive moisturizer that can lock in moisture but may also clog pores, especially in those with oily skin.

Can Vaseline be used to treat acne?

While Vaseline can hydrate and protect the skin barrier, it is not specifically designed to treat acne and may not be suitable for acne-prone skin.

Is it safe to apply Vaseline on my face?

It is generally safe to use petroleum jelly like Vaseline on the face, but those with acne or oily skin may want to avoid using it as it can cause breakouts.

What can I use instead of Vaseline for acne?

For targeted acne treatment, consider using specialized products like Exposed Skin Care designed to treat acne without clogging pores.