Petroleum jelly / Vaseline and your eyelashes

Many people who have tried it, say that putting petroleum jelly on your eyelashes can make them grow longer and fuller. There’s no science behind that claim. So, if you want to try, you should see how well it has works after 2 to 4 weeks, and then you will know.

First, a bit of history. Petroleum jelly was invented in 1859 by a chemist called Robert Chesebrough. He spent his time extracting kerosene from sperm whale oil. When the first oil wells were dug, he realised there wasn’t much future in extracting oil from sperm whales (fortunately!) And he travelled to Pennsylvania to learn about the new miracle product. While he was there, he noticed that workers on the drilling rigs were using a kind of wax, which was an offshoot of the oil production, to smear onto cuts and burns. It seemed to help them heal more quickly. He extracted petroleum jelly, which was the active ingredient in this wax, and he called it Vaseline.

He had a rather dramatic way of demonstrating the benefits of his new invention! He would burn his own skin with acid or over a flame, in front of an audience, and then rub his petroleum jelly on the injured skin. He would then show other injuries which were healing well. He claimed this was the result of the use of his Vaseline. Well, it must have worked, because he survived all these injuries to die at the age of 96. Apparently, he was so keen on his product that he ate a spoonful every day. (Yuck!).

Anyway, back to the effectiveness of petroleum jelly. One claim made for it is that it can make your eyelashes longer and fuller.

The way it’s meant to work on eyelashes is in two ways. One way is to give some extra strength to the base of the hair, so that it isn’t so inclined to fall out. The second way is to moisturise the hair, because petroleum jelly certainly has rich moisturising characteristics, and this prevents the hair from breaking.

Vaseline can be used instead of mascara. In fact, it gives kind of ‘just out of the shower’ lustre to your eyelashes. If you are trying to restore your eyelashes to maximum health and strength – in other words, you’re in the down-time period without any eyelash extensions on – then you want to be trying to avoid mascara which can make your eyelashes dry and brittle. So, Vaseline may be an acceptable alternative to you, and at least it does some good. (Vaseline is also useful for removing existing mascara.)

One thing to be aware of is that Vaseline can lead to clogged pores, because it’s oily and thick, and if you allow a build-up by not removing it and cleaning your eyes thoroughly on a regular basis, it can lead to puffiness and even dark circles under your eyes, if you’re not careful. A very few people can have allergic reactions to Vaseline.

This is roughly how you should apply Vaseline.

  • First, make sure your eyelid area is completely clean and the lashes are free of any residue from past applications or mascara.
  • Dip a Q-tip into a little bit of petroleum jelly, and then apply that along the lash line, being careful not to get it into your eye.
  • Finally, rub some Vaseline between your thumb and index finger, and then slowly apply it to your eyelashes (but be careful not to pluck any of them out in the process!)
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