After a long period of thin brows being popular, many people are trying to grow fuller eyebrows. Unfortunately, there’s little to no evidence that any of the ingredients in Vaseline, which is a brand name for petroleum jelly, can grow thicker or fuller eyebrows.

However, Vaseline is very moisturizing and may actually help eyebrows look fuller and thick, even if they’re actually growing at the same rate. Vaseline can also be used as a surprisingly effective brow gel.

Keep reading to learn more about what Vaseline can do for your eyebrows.

Sadly, Vaseline isn’t a magic elixir that’s going to grow your eyebrows until they look as full as Cara Delevingne’s iconic pair.

Vaseline is made of mineral oil and wax (aka petroleum jelly). These ingredients can help hydrate dry skin and hair, and moisturized hair may grow more effectively.

Vaseline can also give your brows a fuller appearance. The thick jelly can coat each strand, thereby making it appear thicker, and helping it to stay in place.

Vaseline and petroleum jelly are essentially the same thing. Unilever, the company that manufactures Vaseline, uses high quality, filtered petroleum that meets pharmaceutical standards.

Petroleum jelly is technically a natural product, since it’s made from resources found on the earth — oil, specifically.

Though there’s no research claiming that Vaseline will truly grow your eyebrows, it’s not harmful to give it a try. Vaseline is very moisturizing, so it can help relieve dry or flaky skin — and hair that’s hydrated is less likely to break off.

To use, take a tiny amount of Vaseline from the jar using your hands and rub it on and around your eyebrows, taking care to coat the full brow. They’ll feel smooth and look shiny.

The American Academy of Dermatology says that Vaseline is safe to use on the eyelids and may be especially hydrating when the skin is wet. Some people even use it on their eyelashes.

However, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, the American Academy of Dermatology does not recommend petroleum jelly, as it can clog pores and potentially cause breakouts.

Make sure the Vaseline you’re using on your skin or eyebrows is fragrance-free, as the brand does have certain products containing fragrance, which can irritate the skin.

You can use Vaseline to shape your brows. Here’s how:

  1. Comb your brows with a spoolie (eyebrow brush) or clean mascara wand.
  2. Apply a small amount (less than a pea) to your eyebrows.
  3. Brush your brows upward, and shape them using a spoolie or clean mascara wand.

Because Vaseline is sticky, it can hold your eyebrows in place, but it’ll still come off easily with cleanser and water when you’re ready to remove it.

Styling tip

It’s best to use Vaseline on clean eyebrows that haven’t been penciled in, as the slippery nature of Vaseline can cause the pencil to smudge.

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Vaseline is generally considered safe, but there are a few potential side effects to watch out for:

  • Allergies. Vaseline is hypoallergenic and nonirritating, according to the brand’s website, so while it’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, there have been a few cases of reported allergies to white petroleum.
  • Clogged pores. Petroleum jelly, sometimes referred to as petrolatum, can also clog pores and may result in acne.
  • Contamination. Vaseline has a long shelf life, but can become contaminated with bacteria. This can happen if it’s used vaginally or if it comes in contact with unclean hands.
  • Pneumonia. Check in with your doctor before using Vaseline in and around the nose area. Research suggests that in some cases, inhaling mineral oils may cause aspiration pneumonia.

There isn’t research concluding that applying Vaseline to your eyebrows will help them grow. However, petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline) is safe to use on your eyes, and even eyelashes.

The mineral oil in the jelly will help condition your brows and leave them soft and shiny. Vaseline works as a brow gel, too. After applying the product to your eyebrows, you can comb through and shape them with a spoolie or clean mascara wand.

It’s best to avoid Vaseline if you have oily or acne-prone skin, as it can clog pores. Other potential side effects include:

  • contamination of the jar
  • in rare cases, an allergic reaction
  • a small risk of developing aspiration pneumonia if the jelly is inhaled