Petroleum jelly is a mixture of hydrocarbons which become semisolid at room temperature. The most common petroleum jelly brand is Vaseline. It is widely used as a personal product, used to heal burns and chapped or dry skin.
Petroleum jelly is a hydrocarbon blend that has a melting temperature within a few degrees of the body temperature of a human. It is not to be confused with glycerine, a substance with similar consistency and appearance. Petroleum jelly is hydrophobic and insoluble in water, while glycerine is incredibly hydrophillic. The reason your skin feels moist after applying glycerine is that the glycerine attracts moisture directly from the air and makes your skin feel wet.
Petroleum jelly was once marketed as a miraculous cure-all, but many of those claims have since been debunked. Originally designed to be a healing balm for cuts, scrapes, burns and blisters, petroleum jelly itself has no medicinal impact on the healing process for these minor injuries. It does, however, provide a sort of seal around the wound, preventing germs and debris from entering the wound. Petroleum jelly is often used to aid the healing process for minor injuries and to provide relief from chapped or dry lips and skin.
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