pet·​ro·​la·​tum | \ ˌpe-trə-ˈlā-təm How to pronounce petrolatum (audio) , -ˈlä- How to pronounce petrolatum (audio) \

Definition of petrolatum

Examples of petrolatum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Common occlusive ingredients include petrolatum, silicones, waxes (like carnauba or beeswax), and most oils and butters, Neuser says. Sabina Wizemann, Good Housekeeping, "What You Need to Know About Occlusives in Skincare," 28 Dec. 2020 Some occlusives, such as petrolatum and shea butter (yes, shea butter is a good occlusive!), are multitaskers that can smooth and soften skin, acting as emollients, another type of moisturizing agent. Sabina Wizemann, Good Housekeeping, "What You Need to Know About Occlusives in Skincare," 28 Dec. 2020 For an extra moisture boost, apply petrolatum jelly before bed, wear white cotton gloves at night to keep cream on and use a humidifier since heating contributes to dry skin. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Wash your hands: Why this year's Global Handwashing Day is more important now than ever," 15 Oct. 2020 This healing cream offers a pretty great bang for your buck, using petrolatum to help restore smooth, soft, healthy skin. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "The best hand creams, according to dermatologists," 20 Aug. 2020 Wnek personally loves Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy, which has the over-the-counter active ingredient petrolatum. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "9 Ways to Get Rid of Dry, Chapped Lips, According to Dermatologists," 16 Mar. 2020 Occlusives are ingredients that lock moisture into skin, including plant butters and waxes (like shea and cocoa butter, beeswax) and petrolatum, Aral explains. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, "What Are Humectants in Skincare? Beauty Scientists Explain," 13 Mar. 2020 Aveeno’s Intense Relief Hand Cream contains oatmeal, moisturizing glycerin and petrolatum, and quickly absorbs into the skin. cleveland, "Dry, cracked hands from all the washing, antibacterial gel? Try these 16 highly-rated lotions," 27 Mar. 2020 Unrefined petrolatum contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are carcinogens, Stevenson says. NBC News, "How to heal dry, chapped lips, according to dermatologists," 20 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'petrolatum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of petrolatum

1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petrolatum

petrol(eum) + Latin -ātum -ate entry 1

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Time Traveler for petrolatum

Time Traveler

The first known use of petrolatum was in 1881

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Statistics for petrolatum

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Petrolatum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for petrolatum


pet·​ro·​la·​tum | \ ˌpe-trə-ˈlāt-əm How to pronounce petrolatum (audio) , -ˈlät- How to pronounce petrolatum (audio) \

Medical Definition of petrolatum

: a neutral unctuous substance that is practically odorless and tasteless and is insoluble in water, that is obtained from petroleum and differs chemically from paraffin wax in containing unsaturated hydrocarbons or naphthenes as well as alkanes, and that is produced in several forms: as
a : a yellowish to light amber semisolid mass used chiefly as a base for ointments and cosmetics, as a protective dressing, and in lubricating greases

called also petroleum jelly, yellow petrolatum

b : a white or faintly yellowish mass obtained by decolorizing yellow petrolatum and used similarly to it

called also petroleum jelly, white petrolatum, white petroleum jelly

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