When I was a kid, I had the worst dry hands imaginable. Every winter they cracked and bled and my dad bought everything he could to help relieve them – corn huskers lotion, udder cream, you name it. What finally worked was Vaseline.

Vaseline became my “go-to” item for burns, dry lips, and make-up removal, and I used it to lubricate the joints of my flute. At some point, though, around the time I became a know-it-all 15-year-old, I was seduced by Maybelline and Cover Girl and Bonnie Bell and Clinique and all their fancy ads with beautiful women with beautiful skin. Vaseline was hick, podunk, so uncool.

Thousands of dollars and 30 years later…

This winter has been particularly cold and I’ve spent more money, as usual, on this lotion and that lotion, trying to combat my dry aging winter skin. Then I remembered the jar of Vaseline in the back of the medicine cabinet – I’ll bet it’s four years old at least – and the days when my dad slathered it all over my knuckles and put gloves on my hands before tucking me in bed. I put some on my face before going to bed and what do you know? I woke up with soft cheeks, and gone were the lines under my eyes that made me look haggard and worn.

Not bad for a $1.29.

You know my propensity to Google almost anything. Well, a quick Google for Vaseline generated almost 7 million results. Vaseline is almost as popular as duct tape (which produced a little more than 7 million results). I didn’t realize Vaseline had such a variety of uses beyond softening skin and making flutes easier to pull apart.

I particularly like this article, written by Charlie Bradley, of a list of alternative uses for Vaseline: Household Hints: Helpful Uses for Vaseline 

I thought hint #3 was interesting: “The Cheating Spouse’s Best Friend – Vaseline helps to remove lipstick, makeup, and mascara stains from clothing before the stain sets in. Rub a generous coat of Vaseline over the stain and pat the stain with a soft wet cloth of plain water.”

Vaseline has many non-clandestine uses, however, never ever under any circumstance use Vaseline with a condom or this nurse will find you and kick your ass:

Of course the makers of Vaseline have a website: Vaseline – Keeping Skin Amazing. I think the “amazing” part’s a bit much, but the petroleum jelly does keep it soft, that’s for sure.

Vaseline is so amazing that it should partner with duct tape and bring about world peace. Imagine the possibilities!

OK, so maybe world peace is a stretch, but Vaseline has brought some peace to me personally. I often get caught up in the fancy stuff or look for solutions beyond my medicine cabinet, so to speak. Vaseline is a gentle reminder that I find the best solutions in simplicity, by simply breathing and remembering that life is only as complicated as I choose to make it. I’ve got “amazingly” soft skin and it only cost me $1.29. I want an equally amazingly soft soul and heart.

And with that, I want to send out a BIG happy birthday to my dad who turns 77 today! I love you, Daddy! Thanks for finding the solution to my cracked and bleeding hands and for all the other times you mended my body and heart. I’ve been telling you this all my life, but it’s still true: you’re the best dad ever.


5 thoughts on “Vaseline

  1. Happy birthday to your dad, and to my mom who turns the big 7-0 today.
    My dad’s cure all was bag balm (vaseline smells better). Sadly I have discovered that I am allergic to all things with petroleum products in them, can’t wear plastic against my skin (I couldn’t wear the brace when I sprained my ankle), no petroleum in any of my lotions, lipsticks etc etc. It’s a pain in the rear. Un-petroleum makes a great substitute for vaseline if ever you find yourself with dry cracked hands and can’t use vaseline (Jason’s aloe vera lotion is great too).

  2. You already have amazing soul and heart…and understanding, and drive and determination. And I can tell even though I don’t know you in person:)

  3. Oh, yeah, Vaseline is the best makeup remover ever. Keeps the lashes in good condition, and that’s a good thing because I abuse them pretty badly with curling and mascara!

  4. A very prominent dermatologist in Portland told a friend of mine that the best remedy for dry skin on your face is Vaseline. I thought, like most people do, ick. But all of a sudden I am very sensitive to most make-up and skin creams (thanks to eating only natural foods now, I think) so last night I used Vaseline and it really worked ! No more expensive face cream for me. Thanks Lynn.

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