Ways to Get Petroleum Jelly Off Skin

Petroleum jelly keeps the dye off your skin, but it likes to stick around.

Photo: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Petroleum jelly is a lifesaver when you're dyeing your hair. Apply a little to your hairline, neck and ears, and it will help keep those irritating drips and drops of dye from staining your skin when the dye doesn't go quite where you intended. Unfortunately, after the dye's been rinsed away, the petroleum jelly might still be stuck stubbornly to your skin. That's not the kind of glow you want your skin to have, but taking it off is easier than you might think.

Dry Cloth

Use a soft, dry washcloth to remove as much of the excess jelly as possible. When you're wiping away the petroleum jelly around your hairline, wipe from the hair down so you don't rub the greasy jelly into your hair. If that happens, you're stuck trying to get it off both your skin and your hair.

Baby Wipes

You may be shaking your head at this idea, but think about it: Baby wipes are made to remove some pretty stubborn messes from delicate skin. They're gentle enough to use on your face, so give them a shot. Wipe all around your hairline, again wiping in the opposite direction from your hairline, and scrub your ears and neck. If a little petroleum jelly got in your hair, wipe the roots with a baby wipe as well. If you're reluctant to buy baby wipes just to remove petroleum jelly once, here's another reason to keep them around: They work great as gentle makeup removers. Just wipe and toss at the end of the day.

Baby Shampoo

You may think you need something tougher to remove that sticky jelly, but baby shampoo is made to get icky stuff like spit-up out of babies' fragile hair. Like wipes, it's designed to be used on delicate skin, and the skin on your face deserves to be pampered. Get back in the shower or wash your skin and hair in the sink, using water as hot as you can stand -- the heat helps melt the jelly and lift it off your skin. Put some baby shampoo on a washcloth or in your hand and lather up anywhere the petroleum jelly is. Rinse it well and repeat at least once.

Dish Soap

If the petroleum jelly is still sticking around or you don't have access to baby shampoo, try dish detergent. There's a reason all of those commercials talk about the way dish soap removes greasy food from dishes. It's designed to cut grease, and that's essentially what petroleum jelly is. Wash with the dish soap just like you did with the baby shampoo, but be extra careful not to get it in your eyes. Unlike baby shampoo, which is made to be kind to your eyes, dish soap can be very irritating. If you do get some in your eyes, rinse them with cool water until the burning stops.

Rubbing Alcohol

Even after all the petroleum jelly has been removed from your skin, you may be left with a greasy-feeling residue. Dampen a cotton ball or the corner of a clean, dry washcloth with rubbing alcohol and rub it over your skin.

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