Difference between Vaseline and glycerin

Difference between Vaseline and glycerin

The Difference between Petroleum Jelly and Glycerin is given here. Vaseline and glycerin are substances widely used for skincare, both can be confused, but they have key differences that you should keep in mind when purchasing them.

The petrolatum is a mixture of hydrocarbons that is obtained after refining a heavy part of oil and glycerin is an alcohol with three hydroxyl groups that are produced by the digestive degradation of lipids. It is presented as a liquid at a temperature of 25ºC. Keep reading…

Difference between Vaseline and Glycerin in tabular form

Differences Vaseline Glycerin
Definition Petrolatum is a mixture of hydrocarbons that have more than 25 carbon atoms. These are known as long chains. They are obtained from the refining of heavy oil. Its composition changes according to the refining and the type of oil used. It is alcohol composed of three hydroxyl groups. It comes from the degradation of lipids during digestion and is an intermediate product in alcoholic fermentation.
Origin It comes from the refining of oil. It comes from the treatment of fat of natural origin.
Effects on the skin Forms a barrier to retain water in tissues minimizing evaporation of water from the skin. Glycerin helps with the hydration process because it is a powerful moisturizer.
Function in creams It is used in thicker or butter-like creams. It is the desired texture for dry skin, suffering from atopic dermatitis or for elbows, heels, and knees. It is used in creams with a light texture to refresh the skin and relieve irritations. It does not leave an oily trace on the skin, it is suitable for oily or combination skin that prefers light creams.
Effects and mechanism of action It is an emollient and occlusive substance, that is, it retains moisture in the skin. Its occlusive properties form a barrier that retains water in the tissues and minimizes its evaporation. It is a hygroscopic substance, that is, it captures water. It moisturizes the skin thanks to the hydroxyl in its formula, in contact with water, form hydrogen bridges that attract water to the outer layers of the skin.

The combined use of these two agents allows the skin to be moisturized by allowing the skin to absorb moisture from the environment and, at the same time, preventing said moisture from evaporating due to ambient conditions.


It is a homogeneous mixture of saturated hydrocarbons with chains of more than 25 carbon atoms, known as long chains. They are obtained from the refining of a heavy oil fraction. Its composition varies depending on the kind of oil and the refining procedure. As it is a mixture, it has an undefined melting point. It becomes soft at 36ºC and becomes liquid at 60ºC. It reaches a boil when it exceeds 350ºC. It is hydrophobic and is less dense than water. It is used as a base in cosmetic products.

What are the benefits of Vaseline?

Known as jelly or petroleum jelly, it is a product that has many uses. It is usually dense, odorless, yellowish, transparent, or white depending on the refining process used. It is used as the base of many cosmetics in its dense form, but in its liquid form, it is used to care for and restore objects.

For dry skin

Vaseline helps relieve dry skin, for this, you must apply it at night. It is not recommended to use it during the day, as its oily touch can be uncomfortable during the day.

For the cracks

If you suffer from dry heel cracks, just apply a coat of petroleum jelly. Let it air dry and cover with socks to act overnight.

For the knees and elbows

If your knees and elbows have darkened from dryness, apply petroleum jelly after bathing with a gentle massage. If you want to exfoliate these areas, you just have to mix Vaseline with fine salt or sugar. Apply in circular motions. You can also use it to remove dead callus cells on feet.

For after waxing

Relieves the burning of the skin after waxing by hydrating it and reducing friction in the sensitive area.

For lips

You can apply it as a moisturizer on chapped lips. You can also mix it with chocolate or coconut oil to make your own homemade balms.

To remove the cuticle

In manicures and pedicures, it is applied to the nails to remove cuticles and small pieces of dead skin accumulated around the nails.

To remove make-up

Rub petroleum jelly on your face gently and remove it with a tissue, you will be able to clean your makeup easily.

For creamy eyeshadow or blush

Mix a little Vaseline with your eyeshadow powder or blush and apply on the eyelids and cheekbones.

To combat dandruff

Apply petroleum jelly to your scalp before washing your hair. Leave on and wash as you normally do. It is believed that this stops flaking and itching, as the area is deeply hydrated.

To avoid dye stains

Apply petroleum jelly to the entire hair root that goes from your forehead to your neck, that way the dye will not stain your skin.

Curious uses

  • To polish animal and synthetic leather accessories.
  • To prevent the enamel from clogging.
  • To polish wood and hide scratches and cracks.
  • To repel insects if mixed with citrus aromas.
  • To prevent oxidation.
  • To soften the rubber.


It is alcohol composed of three hydroxyl groups (-OH), it is one of the main products produced by the digestive degradation of lipids and is an intermediate product of alcoholic fermentation. It is part of the triglycerides and phospholipids. It is a liquid at room temperature, it is colorless and hygroscopic. Its viscosity is high and it has a sweet taste. Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele was the first to isolate this compound from olive oil and the first to discover that natural fats and oils contain glycerin. It is used to make toilet soaps because it increases its detergency and has the property of softening and lightening the skin. It is used to make soaps, as an antiseptic, and as an inhibitor of enzymatic changes in the fermentation of creams, pastes, and ointments.

What are the benefits of glycerin?

Glycerin, a viscous and transparent liquid, comes from vegetable oils and is a key ingredient in different cosmetics. It is a saponifiable liquid, so it is useful to make moisturizing and friendly soaps for your skin. Among the benefits we have:

Keeps the skin hydrated

It has moisturizing properties that draw water into the dermis and help keep it nourished. Its use is recommended if you suffer from scaly skin, dermatitis, or dry skin. You can even add extra liquid glycerin to your daily moisturizers.

Fight dermatitis

Relieves dermatitis and eczema of the skin. It has antibacterial properties that clean the skin and stimulate the regeneration of damaged tissues and wounds on the skin.

For acne

It has disinfectant and bactericidal properties that eliminate one of the main causes of acne breakouts. It also keeps pores clean and prevents skin breakouts.

To slow down the aging

It retains water on the skin, this prevents it from drying out and prevents contamination from negatively affecting it. By keeping your skin moisturized and protected, you can curb the appearance of wrinkles. Differences between Petroleum Jelly and Glycerin.

Curious uses

  • Glycerin softens and keeps the skin young.
  • It is used in confectionery to moisten the fondant, prepare chocolates and ice cream.
  • It acts as an antiseptic in soaps made to prevent infection in wounds.
  • It is used as an excipient in some medications and is the main component in laxative suppositories.

Differences between Petroleum Jelly and Glycerin

  • Petroleum jelly is derived from petroleum.
  • Glycerin is a derivative of vegetable or animal oils.
  • Petroleum jelly is a mixture of saturated hydrocarbons.
  • Glycerin is alcohol composed of three groups –OH or hydroxyl.
  • The composition and appearance of petroleum jelly vary depending on the type of oil it comes from and its refinement.
  • Glycerin is colorless and liquid at room temperature.
  • Glycerin is very viscous.
  • Vaseline is creamy, almost solid.
  • Vaseline holds water on the skin. It stops.
  • Glycerin draws moisture from the environment to the skin, constantly moisturizing it.

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