A Beauty Classic Turns 140
Happy birthday, Vaseline! The trusty petroleum jelly we’ve come to love is celebrating its 140th birthday this year. Way back in 1870, a young chemist from Brooklyn noticed how oil workers would smear their skin with the residue from their drills to speed the healing of cuts and burns. He quickly realized the massive potential of this wonderfully gooey skin healer, and took it mainstream. Now that quirky wonder is an American classic, stocked in bathrooms everywhere and sold at a rate of one jar a minute, to be exact. To mark the anniversary, Vaseline is introducing a new Rich Conditioning Cocoa Butter variety. This jelly contains the same base mixture of mineral oils, paraffin, and microcrystalline waxes as the original, but it’s also topped off with nourishing cocoa butter to seal in extra moisture and provide a non-sticky glow. Like all Vaseline creations, it serves about a hundred different skin purposes. We prefer to rub it on after shaving to soften our legs and to dab it on rough cuticles before bed. Applying it is even a bit more convenient, now that the jar has been updated with a flip top.