Born in Brooklyn in 1870, Vaseline® is now present in over 70 countries and celebrated as one of the top hand and body brands globally.
Helping to Heal Skin Through The Centuries
The Vaseline® brand was built on the healing efficacy of Vaseline® Jelly. Formulated in 1870, this “Wonder Jelly” has been healing dry skin for over 150 years.
Today, what started with a jar of Vaseline® Healing Jelly has grown into an expansive product portfolio that includes Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotions and Vaseline® Lip Therapy™ tins. However, The Healing Power of Vaseline® Jelly can still be found inside the products that Vaseline® makes. We invite you to go back in time and learn the origins of the Vaseline® brand, and how after a century of healing it became one of the most celebrated skin care brands around the world.
A Breakthrough Discovery
Robert Augustus Chesebrough, a 22-year-old chemist, traveled to Titusville, Pennsylvania and discovered something amazing. He learned about a natural, waxy ingredient, rich in minerals from deep within the earth, which had visible skin-repairing properties.
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Inspired by this, Chesebrough brought samples of the substance back to his chemistry lab in Brooklyn and began experimenting and re-formulating it, hoping to find a solution to heal and protect the skin.
After several years of testing and perfecting the extracting technique, in 1865 Chesebrough patented his purification method, marking the birth of the triple purification process unique to the Vaseline® brand.
The VASELINE® Brand Is Born
In 1870, the product we know and use today was officially born as Chesebrough began to distribute this pure petroleum jelly under the brand name of Vaseline® – one of the first branded products in North America.
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In the same year, Chesebrough opened a factory in Brooklyn, New York and toured the entire state in a horse-drawn carriage to promote this "miracle" product.
By 1874, just two years after its branding, one tin per minute of Vaseline® Jelly was being sold throughout the United States. That's over 1,400 tins a day!
Trusted by All
People started to discover the safe and diverse uses of pure Vaseline® petroleum jelly, and soon nearly every household in North America had a jar in their medicine cabinet. New mothers used it on their babies for diaper rash, while workers exposed to extreme cold weather used it to relieve their dry, chapped skin.
A Wartime Staple
Vaseline® became a staple for the American soldiers fighting in Europe. Ideal for soothing sore feet in the trenches, it was in such high demand that many young men would write home, asking their families to send more.
“Handiest Thing In The House”
Used both for first aid and cosmetically, it became a ubiquitous household brand.
Supporting The Frontline
During WWII, soldiers sustained serious injuries from burns, so Chesebrough Manufacturing Company was commissioned by the Surgeon General to produce a sterile antiseptic dressing containing petroleum jelly.
"The Wonder Jelly"
Reader's Digest called Vaseline® "The Wonder Jelly".
Vaseline® Lotion Is Launched
Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotion was launched in the USA in 1968, for both dry skin, and as an after-sun moisturizer.
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A few years later, a new era was born with the development of the Vaseline® Intensive Care™ "Working Hands of America" campaign featuring people from all walks of life with different occupations, all clapping and joining hands across mountains and valleys.
Vaseline for Lips and Hands
After the great success with body lotions, Vaseline® began to expand its offering by introducing Vaseline® Lip Therapy® and Vaseline® Hand & Nail Formula.
Taking Steps Towards Sustainability
We switched the plastic material used in our Vaseline® Healing Jelly jars from polystyrene (PS) to polypropelene (PP).
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Since 2011, polypropylene plastic (PP) has had recycling challenges and our Healing Jelly jars currently include a “check locally” How 2 Recycle label. However, in July 2022, How 2 Recycle upgraded the status of certain PP formats (like the kind used in our Healing Jelly Jars) to “widely recyclable”. So our Healing Jelly jars are now considered recyclable pursuant to the How 2 Recycle program and our labelling will be updated shortly to reflect this change. To learn more about H2R’s 2022 decision to upgrade PP’s status from “check locally” to “widely recyclable”, visit this page.
Bringing Skin Healing Where It’s Needed The Most
Aiming to provide skin healthcare to every body, everywhere, the Vaseline® brand partnered with Direct Relief to create the Vaseline® Healing Project. Since the program was launched, we’ve been providing people around the world access to critical skin health care in areas with acute needs or in the wake of natural disasters.
Less Plastic per Lotion Bottle
Lotion packs were reengineered to use less plastic, avoiding the equivalent of 2.3M of Vaseline® 20.3oz bottles (the redesigned format) (130 metric tons of plastic) in the US from 2018 to 2022.
Skin Health For All
Vaseline® reached its first goal of helping to heal the skin of over five million people worldwide through The Vaseline® Healing Project (VHP).
Increasing the Usage of Recycled Plastic
Vaseline®'s Intensive Care Lotions were relaunched with new packaging, improved formulas and bottles made of 50% recycled plastic. More details on our approach to plastic here.
The Healing Power of VASELINE®
UNMATCHED PASSION AND DEDICATION TO SKIN HEALTH
Since the very beginning of our story, the Vaseline® brand has been helping people achieve healthier skin. Our products today are the result of decades of skin research, and our mission is clear and never complete: we want to develop accessible, everyday skincare products, provide access and education to skin health care to those in need, and help everyone, everywhere keep their skin healthy so they can keep up with the demands of life.