The difference between petrolatum and petroleum jelly is in the use of these names. Petrolatum is the North American term for petroleum jelly.
Petroleum jelly is a mixture of various natural waxes and mineral oils. It is common as an ointment in healing wounds and burns. And also, we use it for cosmetic purposes. Both names, petrolatum and petroleum jelly refer to the same semi-solid creamy compound of hydrocarbons. It is common for its healing properties.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Petrolatum
3. What is Petroleum Jelly
4. Petrolatum vs Petroleum Jelly
What is Petrolatum?
Petrolatum is the North American name for petroleum jelly.
What is Petroleum Jelly?
Petroleum jelly is semi-solid hydrocarbon compound which has a waxy nature. Earlier, people used it as an ointment for healing wounds and burns. But now, it has many other applications such as for cosmetic purposes, to treat genital rashes, diaper rashes, and chest colds. The history of this medicine first started in 1859. A young chemist named Robert Chesebrough found oil workers in a small town in Pennsylvania using this compound to heal wounds and burns. There, they called it “rod wax”. Therefore, being curious about this waxy compound, he began to study about its healing properties. As a result, he found a lighter and transparent jelly. Later, this became what we call Vaseline petroleum jelly. And, he named it as “wonder jelly”.
Petroleum jelly is a mixture of various natural waxes and mineral oils. These compounds are helpful in moisturizing the skin, repairing and relieving the dryness of the skin, etc. The melting point of this jelly is nearly similar to the body temperature of the human. In its liquid form, this compound is flammable. Most of the times, this jelly is colorless. But sometimes it has a light yellow color. In addition, it is translucent. Due to its waxy nature, it is insoluble in water but is soluble in organic solvents such as dichloromethane, chloroform, benzene, diethyl ether and carbon disulphide.
What is the Difference Between Petrolatum and Petroleum Jelly?
- There is no difference in chemical composition and physical properties between petrolatum and petroleum jelly because both names refer to the same compound. The only difference is that petrolatum is the North American name for petroleum jelly.
Summary – Petrolatum vs Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly is a waxy compound that is useful in healing wounds and burns or in the production of different skin care products. There is no difference between petrolatum and petroleum jelly except the use of these names. Petrolatum is the North American term for petroleum jelly.
1. “What Is Petroleum Jelly & What Is It Used for?” Vaseline. Available here
2. “Petroleum Jelly.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 June 2018. Available here
1.’5203398970′ by Ishikawa Ken (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr
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