On a winter afternoon in a small village of Bogura, Abdus Samad returned home almost limping from his field work early. His wife pointed at his feet and gave a little cry seeing him bleed from cracked heels.
Abdus Samad is a day labourer, who works in the village chairman's paddy field and barely makes enough to feed his family at least twice a day. But, on the days when his feet are cracked badly and even bleeds, his family is left with no options but to starve. This is not the daily life struggle of only Abdus Samad, but many other farmers like him in remote villages who suffer from chronic skin issues, which if left untreated could turn sever.
Luckily, within a few days, Abdus Samad's wife got to know about a free medical camp in the village and visited there with her neighbors. A doctor informed her that common skin problems, including cracked heels can be prevented using Vaseline petroleum jelly. From then on, villagers with skin complications started regularly going to the village center, where Unilever organises free health camps, in which expert dermatologists and doctors diagnose chronic skin conditions, such as cracked heels, extremely dry skin, small cuts or wounds, skin rashes etc.
"Before, I was ashamed to show my skin rashes to my family. But after coming to this camp, the doctors gave me a free checkup and taught me how to take care of my skin with Vaseline," says Amina Begum happily, a paddy field worker. People in the Northern regions of Bangladesh, like Bogura live in challenging climate conditions, where low temperature and dry periods prevails during winter. The healing camps set up by Vaseline act as a first line of defense in similar regions where chronic skin conditions are rife.
Entrusting the power of the brand, skincare experts recommend Vaseline as an authentic petroleum jelly formula, which was first refined over 150 years ago. Vaseline's fragrance-free 100 percent pure petroleum jelly has become a household staple over the years. It is a mixture of natural waxes and mineral oils, which is used to protect and heal dry skin, minor wounds, cracked heels, and for beauty purposes, like softening chapped lips.
With more than 100 years of legacy, this globally renowned brand is now celebrating its 150th anniversary of helping to improve the skin health across the world.
The history of Vaseline Jelly starts in 1859, when Robert Chesebrough travelled to Titusville, a small town in Pennsylvania. That's where oil workers had been using rod wax, an unrefined form of petroleum jelly – then just a simple by-product of the drilling they were working on – to heal wounded or burnt skin. Curious about its healing benefits, young chemist Robert Chesebrough began to study the substance then known as 'rod wax'. Through various processes of refinement and purification, he distilled a lighter and transparent gel, which he then patented in 1865 and is the Vaseline Healing Jelly we know today.
When people talk about petroleum jelly, they're usually referring to Vaseline Healing Jelly – the product originally refined by Chesebrough. It was originally called 'Wonder Jelly', and Chesebrough decided to rebrand the product as Vaseline Jelly – a combination of the German word for water (wasser) and the Greek word for oil (oleon). And so in 1872 the brand Vaseline Jelly was born.
Owing to its strong commitment of improving skin health, since 2015, Vaseline launched a social awareness initiative titled 'Vaseline Healing Project', which provides free doctor consultations, skin treatment and Vaseline petroleum jelly to poverty-stricken communities. It has also provided training to 600 doctors and 1,200 nurses on ways to prevent different dermatological problems and maintain healthy skin by using petroleum jelly. This initiative has been successful in positively impacting the skin health of more than four lakh underprivileged Bangladeshi people.
Moreover, Vaseline has taken initiatives to help Hajj pilgrims through their 'Hajj campaign'. For preserving skin moisture in the Middle Eastern hot and dry climate, while abiding Hajj rules of using fragrance-free substances, Vaseline has donated healing kits, which consists jars of 100 percent pure Vaseline petroleum jelly and Hajj guidelines to all passengers of Biman Bangladesh Airlines. The brand aspires to ensure a healed and healthy skin for everyone everywhere for many years to come.