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A Doctor Answers Question on Wrinkle Cream For the Eyes

Should You Be Using Vaseline as Under-Eye Cream?

There are many methods for dealing with those fine lines that develop around the eyes, but is Vaseline suitable to use as eye cream? We asked a board certified doctor to weigh in on the matter and here's her advice.

I have noticed the fine lines around my eyes becoming not so fine. I know it is just basic aging, but I would like to slow the process down. My sister said to put petroleum jelly (she uses Aquaphor) around my eyes at night. I've never used an eye cream before and am not really a fan of petroleum jelly — it just doesn't seem like a good idea to put a petroleum product on my skin, especially by my eyes. Is it safe? Will my body absorb dangerous chemicals?
Concerned About Chemicals

I'm going to admit that I had to do some reconnaissance in my local drugstore to research this question. This research involved reading the labels of both regular petroleum jelly and Aquaphor (a Eucerin product). I also did the inevitable Google search for "Aquaphor" and for "fine lines and wrinkles." As a woman in her early 30s, this question interested me a bit personally as, like the reader, I am definitely noticing some little lines and crevices on my face! To learn more about the aging process and if you should be treating it with Vaseline, keep on reading.


Fine lines and wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. As we age, our skin becomes thinner, drier, less elastic, and less able to protect itself from damage. As a result, we develop fine lines that eventually lead to wrinkles. Besides age, other important causes of premature aging or development of fine lines and wrinkles include exposure to ultraviolet light, smoking, and repeated facial expressions. Too much ultraviolet light exposure (either due to being in sun or tanning beds) markedly speeds up the aging process and is the primary cause of premature wrinkling. Smoking can also accelerate the normal aging process of the skin and is thought to be secondary to changes in the blood supply of the skin. Finally, repeated facial expressions such as smiling, frowning, or squinting your eyes can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. But please, don't stop smiling.

In terms of your question, using petroleum jelly or Aquaphor around the eyes is not recommended. The label on the Aquaphor tube states "When using this product do not get into eyes" and that the intended uses for the product include protecting minor cuts, scrapes or burns, and relieving chapped or cracked skin or lips. I even looked at a tub of regular old petroleum jelly and the same warning in regards to the eyes was printed on its label as well. Aquaphor contains more than just petroleum jelly (it contains mineral oil, ceresin, lanolin alcohol panthenol, glycerin, and bisabolol). The Eucerin website FAQ section even addresses the use of Aquaphor and states, "As a general rule, use Aquaphor when skin is healing. Aquaphor intensively moisturizes, soothes and protects dry, cracked or irritated skin while it helps heal. Aquaphor will also help prevent chafing and chapping." Thus, according to the labels, these products are safe to put on your skin, but are for external use only and should not be used near the eyes.

There is a bevy of non-prescription fine line and wrinkle creams out there that can range from budget-conscious prices to break-the-bank prices. Additionally, most of these product lines have creams that are specifically designed and tested for safety for use on eye fine lines and wrinkles. I personally use an eye cream that was formulated under the control of dermatologists and ophthalmologists (specialized eye physicians). Even though these formulations are for use on the skin around the eyes, I still do my best to keep it as far from my eyes as possible by applying it in front of a mirror.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." The best way to prevent premature aging or slow an already occurring aging process is to protect your skin from the sun. This means limiting your time in the sun, wearing protective clothing and hats, and always using sunscreen, even in Winter. Also, stay out of those tanning beds; not only do they accelerate the aging process, but they greatly increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Also, you can choose skin products that contain sunscreen and look for products that block both UVA and UVB. Keep moisturized and well hydrated by moisturizing your skin and drinking plenty of fluids. And finally, don’t smoke! You can still improve your skin tone and texture and prevent future wrinkles by quitting smoking!

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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Join The Conversation
Darren15381682 Darren15381682 3 years
I have had trouble for years with dry, red skin around my eyes due to allergies etc and the only thing that has eliminated this is good old vaseline petroleum jelly, I only wish I had known how good this stuff is around eyes years ago, it would have saved me a lot of money on other crap. Go for it, if I can use it with my sensitive skin and allergies, I'm sure anyone can !!!!!
Patricia15066963 Patricia15066963 3 years
I'm 60 I have been using Vaseline for 10 years...around my eyes and on any rough patches they may pop up...I swear by it...I have tried other products that were worthless...I only have lines when I smile...they go away when my face is at rest...I always pass for a much younger woman..go for it
Emily-Bibb Emily-Bibb 3 years
I've actually been curious about this...Thank you :)
Deb14960636 Deb14960636 3 years
Petroleum is a great product for oil rigs, not for my skin. Almond oil or coconut oil is much safer and works equally well as a moisturizer and cleanser. If you eat organic why would you put Vaseline on your body
marisaoswald marisaoswald 7 years
Don't know if this applies, but I use lubricating eye gel at night, and over 50% of the ingredient is white petroleum.
else411 else411 7 years
Where I live, the women use vaseline. It works for all ethnic groups. Ex's grandma was 102 and looked 65/good 70. The women in my family 50/60's all use it and get asked if they are at least 10 yrs younger. I use it and get asked if I'm in my late 20's. I would call this an off label use.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
Even if it shouldn't be used by your eyes, I LIVE for Aquaphor in the winter... I use it on my lips, chapped noses from blowing my nose, my elbows and knuckles... its glorious stuff
le-romantique le-romantique 7 years
Those tanning beds are BRUTAL... I used to frequent them when I was 18-20 for awhile, but when I noticed my friends looking 40 when they're 20.. it really woke me up. I still see them now going often (21-22 years old) and they look horrendous... oh well, at least they're happy "now". I enjoy the sun (how can I not when I live in Florida), but I make sure to at least apply some type of sunscreen daily, and have been lotioning my entire body daily since I was 16. People always tell me how young I look, and I intend to hear that compliment for at least 30 more years!
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