Petroleum Jelly does not expire. It does not chemically react to air. It will be unchanged indefinitely if you store it away from extreme heat. It is a combination of waxes and mineral oils that make up thick semi-solid oil.
Every time you touch it you may leave behind germs that make it smelly, so get a fresh jar every 1-2 years. This is the reason there is a 2 year shelf life stamp on the jar.
Physical Properties of Petroleum Jelly
Made from a combination of hydrocarbons, its melting point varies with the proportions. The melting point is around 50 degrees Celsius. It does not break down unless exposed to very high heat or fire.
Color depends on how refined the jelly is. It may be colorless, translucent, or yellowish and lacking taste and odor when pure.
It does not undergo oxidation. Not soluble in water due to its semi-solid nature. However, petroleum jelly dissolves in turpentine, benzene, dichloromethane, carbon disulfide, chloroform, and diethyl ether.
It has a myriad of uses, with most arising from petroleum, its main ingredient. Petroleum works by offering a protective layer on your skin which seals in the moisture.
It acts as a moisturizer for your hands, face, and any other part of your body. After taking a bath, applying petroleum jelly helps to lock in the moisture, which prevents your skin from drying.
For cracked heels and feet, you are soaking your feet in salty water, applying the jelly, and wearing socks before bed helps.
Other body uses include applying on cracked lips, dry nose area, and even on hands after you finish your gardening routine. The FDA considered it a cosmetic.
2. Heals skin burns and wounds
Because of its ability to lock in moisture, petroleum jelly is used on skin wounds and even burns. After surgery, clean the affected area before applying the jelly.
3. Stain Prevention
In case you want to dye your hair, a thin layer of Vaseline along your hairline protects you from staining. Besides, you can use it when applying nail polish to prevent staining on your nails.
4. Removing stuck objects
When a ring sticks on your finger, petroleum jelly can act as a perfect lube to help get it out. Applying a layer of oil around the affected area helps to smoothly remove the stuck object so keep some in survival kit.
Other benefits include using on pets. After a walk, you may clean your dog’s paws and apply some. Besides, you can use it to ensure the scent of your spray lasts longer by applying the jelly as a foundation.
It does not go bad if kept unopened and away from heat.