People always talk about big body changes that happen in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc. I never used to think much of it; but when I hit my early 20’s and my body started holding onto weight, forcing me to change the way I ate and start exercising (both good things) I realised there were big truths in what they said.
When I turned 30, nothing major happened but then suddenly last year, my skin profile completely changed in winter. My usually perfect skin routine was no longer working, and I started trying alternatives, while trying not to break the bank.
In my early 20s I had Fraxel laser treatment done on my face for acne scarring. In the waiting room of my chosen dermatologist, was a group of middle-aged women, all there for laser treatments to target wrinkles and aging skin. As I innocently sat and waited quietly, the women were all exchanging their anti-aging routines. I wish I had been taking notes, but even without pen and paper, there was on thing I heard that I’ve never forgotten.
The topic was moisturiser and one of the women said that she covers her face in Vaseline every day and if she could, she’d never take it off. She worked from home, so “she could”. I can’t remember my exact thoughts, but it was probably somewhere along the lines of, ‘that crazy kook’.
Fast forward to 2018 and the age of Instagram, I started following Dr. Sherene Idriss, a New York based dermatologist. One of her top tips has been that not all your products need to cost a fortune and she often recommends Vaseline as an eye cream, so naturally I started to try it (As I documented here). So, when the winter of 2019 hit Joburg and my face suddenly switched to dry and turned patchy, as I was smoothing some Vaseline around my eyes before bed, I thought – why not try it on my entire face?
Long story short: I did, and I woke up the next morning with soft hydrated looking skin. Within a week my dry patches had cleared. So now every night I diligently slather my face in Vaseline and walk around my house with shiny skin. Whose the crazy kook now?
What’s in Vaseline and how does it work?
Vaseline is pure petroleum jelly, which is a blend of mineral oils and waxes. It was discovered by Robert Chesebrough in 1859 and since then has had a history of keeping skin protected. It is said to work by creating a barrier between cells in your skin, locking in moisture, speeding up your skin’s natural recovery process – repairing from within.
According to Vaseline’s website, the Journal of Cosmetic Science has proven that Vaseline is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores, irritate your skin or cause acne.
My experiences and Vaseline use tips
Vaseline has been an amazing night moisturiser for me this winter. I have been doing this for almost a month and have noticed positive change in my skin. It is smoother, softer and feeling less tight and irritated. My dry eczema looking patches have cleared, and the breakouts I started suffering at the change of the season have cleared too. The huge downside is that if you have a partner, the chances of them wanting an oil slicked face beside them at night is slim. If you are going to try this, my tips are:
- Switch to a silk pillowcase so that the Vaseline doesn’t get completely absorbed by your pillow.
- Wash said pillowcase weekly (Although there doesn’t appear to be residue on my black Dear Deer one, it’s natural that there would be).
- Apply it at least an hour before bed so it has time to settle into your skin.
- If you want to get fancy, add a few drops of Bio-oil to the mix. I first apply a thin layer of Vaseline all over, then drop a few drops of bio-oil into my hands and rub it over the face down to my neck. (The positive changes in my skin were prior to this addition).
If you try it, let us know and share your skincare/ moisturising/ kooky tips in the comments below.
Feige is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to code things, design things, and all things beauty.