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© 1996 Society of Cosmetic Chemists
Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Vol. 47, No. 1, 41-48


Petrolatum is not comedogenic in rabbits or humans: A critical reappraisal of the rabbit ear assay and the concept of “acne cosmetica”
Albert M. Kligman

ABSTRACT

Synopsis

The objective was to find out whether petrolatum, previously reported to be comedogenic in the rabbit ear model, would worsen acne. Vaseline petrolatum jelly (Vaseline®, Chesebrough-Ponds) and Vaseline petrolatum jelly cream (Creamy Vaseline®, Chesebrough-Ponds) were applied to separate groups of ten acne patients each twice daily for eight weeks.

No evidence of comedogenic potential was found by the follicular biopsy technique. Papulo-pustules significantly decreased in both groups.

Greasiness cannot be equated with comedogenicity. The admonition for acne patients to seek “oil-free” skin care products has no scientific merit with regard to comedogenicity. Cosmetics are an unlikely cause of the relatively high prevalence of post-adolescent female acne.

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© 1996 Society of Cosmetic Chemists
Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists