Why Do They Put Vaseline on Boxers' Faces?

The tradition of putting Vaseline on a boxer’s face before a fight has been around for many years. Although its origins are unclear, the reason why Vaseline is used in boxing is clear: to protect the fighter’s skin from cuts and scrapes while they are in the ring.

But beyond providing protection, Vaseline also serves another purpose in boxing – one that is often overlooked. By covering the face with Vaseline, a boxer’s opponent may have difficulty seeing their facial expressions, giving them an advantage in the ring.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why Vaseline is used in boxing and what effect it can have on the fight. We’ll also discuss the potential risks and consider the alternatives to using Vaseline.

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vaseline for boxing

What’s Vaseline?

Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly, is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes. It is often used in cosmetics products as well as in some medical applications. Because Vaseline has healing properties, it can help protect the skin from irritation or injury due to scraping or rubbing against clothing or equipment. In boxing, Vaseline helps to reduce any damage that may occur from punches or kicks and help with injuries that may arise during a fight.

Is Vaseline Illegal in Boxing?

No, Vaseline is not illegal in boxing. While there are some boxing organizations that have banned the use of Vaseline, it is generally accepted that Vaseline can be used in boxing as long as it is applied during the fight by a cornerman or a boxing referee.

Why Do Boxers Put Vaseline on Their Faces?

There are several reasons why boxers use Vaseline before a fight. One of the main benefits is to protect their skin from cuts and abrasions during the bout. The thick consistency of Vaseline helps to form a barrier between the skin and any potentially abrasive elements, such as a leather glove or an opponent’s punch.

Furthermore, Vaseline can help to reduce the amount of sweat on a fighter’s face, which can cause irritation and can impair vision. By coating the entire face with Vaseline, boxers are able to keep sweat away from their eyes, which prevents any potential blindness during the fight.

Finally, Vaseline can help to mask a boxer’s facial expressions, making it more difficult for their opponent to predict their next move. This small advantage can make a big difference in the ring and can even be the deciding factor in who wins a match.

Does Vaseline Help in a Fight?

Vaseline can certainly help a boxer in the ring, but it is important to remember that it only offers limited protection. While Vaseline may provide some cushioning against punches and kicks, it will not completely shield them from injury or defeat. Additionally, there are potential risks with using Vaseline on the face before a fight – including skin irritation and difficulty breathing.

Ultimately, while Vaseline can make a difference in a boxing match, it should not be relied on exclusively to provide protection or advantage. Boxers should be aware of the potential risks associated with using Vaseline and must also take into consideration their opponent’s skill level before making any strategic decisions.

Are There Any Risks to Putting Vaseline on Your Face?

Although Vaseline is generally safe to use, there are a few potential risks that boxers should be aware of. For example, it can block the skin’s pores and cause breakouts or acne. Additionally, some people may have an allergic reaction to Vaseline, so it’s important to test a small amount of the product on your skin before using it on your face.

Are There Alternatives to Putting Vaseline on Your Face?

If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of putting Vaseline on your face, there are several alternatives that can provide protection and reduce sweat without the use of petroleum jelly. For example, some boxers use a combination of rubbing alcohol and witch hazel to both protect their skin and reduce sweat. Additionally, some fighters opt for using face wipes or even special creams specifically designed for boxers.

What Famous Boxers Use Vaseline?

Throughout the years, some of the world’s greatest boxers have used Vaseline as part of their pre-fight routine. From legends like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier to more recent fighters such as Anthony Joshua and the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, many famous pugilists have relied on Vaseline to help protect their skin and keep sweat away from their eyes.


Vaseline has been a staple of boxing for generations, and it’s easy to understand why. By forming a protective barrier on the skin and reducing sweat, Vaseline can help fighters stay safe in the ring and maintain an edge over their opponents. Although there are potential risks associated with using Vaseline, it can be a great tool for boxers who are looking to gain an advantage in the ring. With proper use and a bit of practice, Vaseline can be a powerful tool for any boxer.