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Dr. Alpana Mohta Ranka, MD, DNB, IFAAD, is a dual-board-certified dermatologist with over 90 research publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.


Does Vaseline Clog Pores? A Dermatologist's Perspective

So, does Vaseline clog pores? As a board-certified dermatologist, in this article, I provide a thorough exploration of this question, considering various skin types and usage methods.

An abstract image of Vaseline depicting whether it clogs pores or not

What is Vaseline?

Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is a combination of mineral oils and waxes. Known for its moisture-locking capability, it's used for dry skin treatment, healing minor skin injuries, and more. Originating in 1859, Vaseline has evolved into a staple in skincare routines​​.

Vaseline and Pores

Pores are small skin openings for oil and sweat release. Clogging these can lead to skin issues like acne. There's debate about whether Vaseline, with its makers claiming it to be non-comedogenic, can clog pores. While it's formulated not to, its barrier effect on the skin might trap existing oils and impurities, especially in certain skin types.

Does Vaseline Clog Pores? Is Vaseline Non-Comedogenic?

While Vaseline is labeled non-comedogenic, for all means and purposes, the occlusive effect that it has can still block pores. Therefore, for oily or acne-prone skin, Vaseline might not be the best choice, potentially leading to acne breakouts by trapping oil and dirt​​. In contrast, people with dry, sensitive, or eczema-prone skin often benefit from its hydrating properties.

Vaseline for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Vaseline is particularly beneficial for dry or sensitive skin. It provides effective moisture retention and protection against harsh conditions, making it a favorable choice for those with eczema or psoriasis.

Application Tips

  • Cleanse First: Always apply Vaseline on clean skin.

  • Thin Layer: A thin layer prevents heavy build-up.

  • Patch Test: Essential for sensitive skin; consult a dermatologist if needed.

Vaseline Alternatives

For those concerned about Vaseline's effects, non-comedogenic alternatives are available. Look for products with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides.


  • Can Vaseline be used on acne-prone skin?  Caution is advised due to the potential trapping of oils.

  • Is Vaseline suitable for all skin types?  Beneficial for dry and sensitive skin; less so for oily or acne-prone skin.

  • How often can Vaseline be used?,  Daily use is okay on clean skin and in moderation.

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