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How Vaseline grew to become a €1 billion beauty brand


150 years young, the skincare staple continues to grow sales globally through a combination of cutting-edge innovation, social media success and tried-and-tested reliability.

Products from Vaseline’s Radiant X collection, including Nourishing Body Lotion and Hydrating Body Oil. Packaging is golden on a dark blue background.

Vaseline is found in pockets, purses, bags and bathroom cabinets the world over. Best known for its original jelly, the 150-year-old brand is enjoying a renaissance in the 2020s, winning a new generation of consumers.

As one of Unilever’s 30 Power Brands – those representing just over 75% of our turnover – Vaseline delivered double-digit growth in 2023, recently passed the milestone of €1 billion turnover in 12 months, and its growth momentum continued in our Q1 2024 results.

This performance is due in part to the power of social media. Vaseline’s iconic jelly has become a viral sensation, with the brand mentioned in 30% of all slugging videos on TikTok in 2023 in the US. It’s now a must-have for Generation Z consumers who are discovering creative – and effective – ways to use the product.

And it’s not just Generation Z and online trends driving growth. Vaseline is leading in new product innovations too.

Sophisticated skincare science

Some of Vaseline’s most successful new launches apply advanced skincare science and active ingredients more typically found in facial skincare such as vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. The result is a range of body care products designed to help boost radiance and hydration – and they’re proving a hit in markets both established and new.

While the US remains the brand’s biggest market, China has seen extraordinary expansion since Vaseline relaunched there in 2015, becoming its second largest.

This rapid growth has been driven by premium new lines such as Vaseline Pro Derma, designed to nourish the skin’s microbiome, and Vaseline Instant Radiance, a glow-giving range formulated with natural-origin micro reflectors.

Vaseline’s Gluta-Hya range includes a blockbuster technology, Gluta-Glow, which is clinically proven to be 10 times more powerful than vitamin C for boosting skin’s brightness.

Specifically designed to address different skincare needs in hot and humid climates, Gluta-Hya has driven rapid growth in South East Asia too – and since its launch in 2022, the line has expanded to include serums and Pro-Age products and recently landed in China.

Acting on consumer insights about South East Asia’s often humid climate, its unique serum-burst technology ensures the product is lightweight, non-sticky and upon application, bursts into water droplets for a refreshing experience.

And that’s not the only new formula designed with clear consumer demands in mind.

Innovation for inclusion

Addressing the specific needs of a diverse range of skin types and underserved consumers, Vaseline launched a range comprising a cooling serum and SPF serum in Indonesia in Q4 2021, specifically for hijab-wearers.

Meanwhile, last September, Vaseline introduced the Radiant X body care range in the US. Formulated with premium skincare ingredients, these products specifically address the needs and concerns of melanin-rich skin, such as moisture imbalance, dark spots and uneven skin tone. The range was co-created with dermatologists who specialise in caring for and treating skin of colour.

Vaseline’s vibrant future

After a century and a half, and with sales in more than 70 countries, Vaseline’s science-backed evolution will ensure this legendary brand will keep shining for years to come.

“Vaseline’s continued growth shows that this beautiful heritage brand has an even brighter future,” says Purnima Lamba, Global Vice President, Vaseline.

“Our focus is on scalable, multi-year innovation programmes which drive market development and premiumisation – and will contemporise Vaseline and keep it timeless.”

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