Los Angeles - Jennifer Lopez uses it as make-up remover, Beyoncé coats her eyelashes with it and recently actress Joan Collins revealed she dabs a little on her heels and elbows to soften her driest areas.
So what is this miracle, multi-purpose product? Petroleum jelly! Pots of the stuff are a firm fixture in most bathroom cabinets and can be used for much more than soothing dry, chapped lips.
Here, we reveal the most unusual uses for this wonder product:
Instead of layering on lashings of mascara, follow Beyoncé and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini’s lead and apply a little petroleum jelly to lashes for a full and shiny look.
This works well if you have long eyelashes. If not, use a thickening mascara first, then apply it on top.
Make skin shine
Make-up artist Mary Greenwell – whose Hollywood clientele includes actresses Uma Thurman and Cate Blanchett – is never without her trusty pot in her make-up kit.
“If you want a really wonderful glowing look, it’s the perfect product, as it will pick up the light where you want it to. It gives just the right amount of shine and creates a glowing, gorgeous, nude effect,” she says.
“Build colour up before, then dab it on top of the eyelids and cheekbones to give extra sheen, shine and glow, without adding more colour.”
Bollywood beauty Freida Pinto is a fan of the technique to create her dewy look.
Make your ‘lippy’ stick
Another firm favourite of Beyoncé’s is a quick and generous smear of petroleum jelly all over the front teeth. This isn’t to get a brighter smile – it doesn’t have any whitening properties – but the gel acts as a barrier to protect against the dreaded lipstick-to-teeth migration.
For hairy moments
From frizzy to fried to fuzzy, petroleum jelly is the answer to all hair-care conundrums.
For pesky fly-aways after blow-drying or straightening, warm a little of it in between fingers and smooth over the hair. Top hairdresser Lee Stafford also recommends the same trick to inject moisture into split-ends in need of a miracle.
And don’t forget the classic trick of dabbing some on your hairline before dyeing your hair to avoid any fetching purple face stains, too.
Tame unruly brows
Try two bizarre beauty ideas in one – use the classic old toothbrush trick to comb through your brows, followed by a slathering of Vaseline to keep bushy at bay.
Make your manicure last
Any manicurist will argue the importance of soft and supple cuticles for a healthy, strong set of nails.
All it takes is a petroleum jelly application directly to the nail bed once a week to keep your cuticles looking great.
Nail polish losing its shine? A quick slick on each nail will freshen up your manicure in a flash.
Perfect party look
Combine a touch of petroleum jelly with your eyeshadow and the possibilities are endless.
Apply a touch of the jelly on the top of the shadow on your eyelid and blend outwards: this allows the colour to “travel”, making a smoky, subtle effect.
Or mix the shadow powder with jelly before you apply the colour to create a cream-based product, giving longer-lasting colour.
Easy hair removal
Want razors to last longer? Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the blade to prevent moisture from the shower reacting with the metal, which causes the build-up of rust. Or for those who prefer waxing, apply Vaseline to skin post-wax for a cooling effect.
Treat eczema and psoriasis
Supermodel Alek Wek has suffered from the itchy skin condition psoriasis since childhood and found petroleum jelly to be “the only thing that really worked” to ease her irritation.
It has also proven effective in soothing flare-ups of nasty skin conditions, from eczema to nappy rash.
When it was discovered in 1859 by English-born American chemist Robert Augustus Chesebrough, petroleum jelly was celebrated as a “wonder-jelly” that miraculously healed cuts and burns.
More than 150 years later, cosmetic doctor and skincare expert Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh believes the true wonder of petroleum jelly still lies with this original discovery. “It can be a temporary ‘healing plaster’ after minor burns or abrasions injuries,” he says.
“Air does not pass through it, so it’s useful to seal wounds and help stop infections reaching the damaged area.”
He even recommends it as an effective therapeutic product for the aftercare of a cosmetic procedure – in particular, following laser peels. The lack of perfumes or colourants in the standard petroleum jelly formula means there’s a considerably reduced risk of irritation to any open wound.
PS: You can even use it to shine your shoes!
Petroleum jelly’s uses go further than purely cosmetic. Use it to ease off rings stuck on fingers, or to open a tightly screwed-on nail varnish lid.
You can also use it to remove chewing gum from wood and to add the shine back to patent-leather shoes.