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  • Petroleum jelly, petrolatum or soft paraffin is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons (with carbon numbers mainly higher than 25), originally promoted as a topical ointment for its healing properties.

  • Petrolatum is a flammable, semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons, having a melting-point usually ranging from a little below to a few degrees above 100F (37C).

  • It is colorless, or of a pale yellow color (when not highly distilled), translucent, and devoid of taste and smell when pure.

  • It does not oxidize on exposure to the air, and is not readily acted on by chemical reagents. It is insoluble in water. It is soluble in chloroform, benzene, carbon disulfide and oil of turpentine.

  • Petroleum Jelly is largely obtained as the residue remaining after the distillation of substantially non-asphaltic crude oils.


  • Most petroleum jelly today is consumed as an ingredient in skin lotions and cosmetics. Although petrolatum is less expensive than glycerol, the most common active lubricating ingredient in skin lotion, it is not used in expensive lotions, because it is not absorbed into the skin, resulting in a greasy feel.

  • Petroleum jelly is commonly used as a personal lubricant.

  • Petroleum jelly is used to moisten plasticine, as part of a mix of hydrocarbons including greater (paraffin wax) and lesser (mineral oil) molecular weights.

  • It can be used as a softener for cuticles and lips.

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