Petroleum jelly, petrolatum or soft paraffin is a semi-solid mixture of
hydrocarbons (with carbon numbers mainly higher than 25), originally
promoted as a topical ointment for its healing properties. Its folkloric
medicinal value as a "cure-all" has since been limited by better scientific
understanding of appropriate and inappropriate uses (see Uses below).
However, it is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) as an approved over-the-counter (OTC) skin protectant and
remains widely used in cosmetic skin care.