Listen Live
102.5 The Block App Promo graphics
92.7 The Block Featured Video
CLOSE
Vaseline Mended Murals Panel/Chat

Source: Vaseline / WHITE LIGHT EXPOSURE

Vaseline has been nourishing and healing skin for over 150 years, and now the revered brand is uniting communities and providing access to healthcare with the Mended Murals initiative.

When Vaseline asked me to join them in Austin, Texas, for SXSW, I was humbled by the invitation. Like lots of Black kids, I have my own history with the brand, which has been a staple in many households. For as long as I can remember, my morning and nighttime routines involved my mother slathering a layer of the hydrating petroleum jelly on my face. People of color share similar stories of their parents covering their bodies in Vaseline from head to toe, as one would drench chicken wings in flour before throwing them in a pot of oil. I didn’t understand my mother’s affinity to Vaseline back then, but now that I’m older, I recognize the importance of a safe and healthy moisturizing agent that nourishes the skin.

Fast-forward to SXSW weekend. Vaseline invited me to learn more about Mended Murals, an initiative led by the brand to restore community murals while equipping residents with access to healthcare and dermatological care. In conjunction with the Black Future House, Vaseline hosted a panel discussion focusing on the lack of resources in many Black communities and how it impacts the health of our skin.

Now, I’ll be honest. I eagerly accepted Vaseline’s invitation to SXSW because it was Vaseline. When it came to Mended Murals, I had no idea what that was. The brand provided me with information on the initiative, but I didn’t review it until a few days before the trip. So when I told my friends I’d be attending SXSW with Vaseline and they asked what we’d be doing there, I responded, “I don’t know, something about murals.”

That said, I had no idea what I was walking into, and I preferred it that way. It allowed me to have an authentic reaction to the work Vaseline is doing within the communities.

What is Mended Murals?

“Mended Murals is the artistic expression of how to care for your skin,” said Kevin Tolson, the North America Strategy Director and Chief of Staff for Personal Care at Unilever.

Vaseline Mended Murals Panel/Chat

Source: Vaseline / WHITE LIGHT EXPOSURE  – (L-R) Elaine Welteroth, Dr. Adewole “Ade” Adamson, Ernest Shaw Jr., Tiffany Yizar, Kevin Tolson

Tolson sat alongside Tiffany Yizar, Senior R&D Director and Director of Unilever’s North America Multicultural Beauty Technical Center, Ernest Shaw Jr., Baltimore muralist, Dr. Adewole “Ade” Adamson, board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor at Dell Medical School at UT Austin and moderator Elaine Welteroth for a candid discussion on art, skincare, and Vaseline’s mission to bridge the gap by mending murals and skin simultaneously.

The Mended Mural ecosystem

“What does Vaseline have to do with art?” I thought to myself as the panel discussion began. But as I listened to each panelist, I recognized the unique ecosystem the brand created, linking art to healthy skin in an innovative way.

Vaseline Mended Murals Panel/Chat

Source: Vaseline / WHITE LIGHT EXPOSURE

Art happens when the pictures, sounds, words, or thoughts in our minds become reality. It starts from within, and we manifest it. Artists use murals to tell personal stories while adding color and character to neighborhoods worldwide. Over time, murals get defaced with graffiti or experience erosion due to the weather. What was once a vivid painting in the eyes of an artist, becomes a faded image that needs restoration.

Mended Murals repairs neighborhood murals by tapping local muralists to enhance the art and bring it back to life. The artist includes a QR code on the mural, leading people to SeeMySkin.com, where they can find resources and gain access to affordable healthcare and dermatological care. Vaseline donates 250K to local healthcare clinics within the communities, thus empowering people to prioritize skin health.

By mending neighborhood murals, Vaseline is tapping into local neighbor muralists, funding local clinics that service the community, and educating them on the importance of skincare – ultimately mending your skin.

See my Skin

The age-old saying “Black don’t crack” likely exists because we’ve been taught to moisturize our skin with Vaseline from birth. The brand has deep roots in our skincare routine. That said, we need more than Vaseline to maintain a healthy glow.

Caucasians develop skin cancers like melanoma at a higher rate. Still, Black people have a lower 5-year survival rate, according to AAMC. Preventative care enables people of color to see dermatologists and assess their skin for various cancers, making access to adequate healthcare an important initiative for Vaseline.

See My Skin website shot

Source: Vaseline / Vaseline

In addition to funding local clinics, the brand partnered with Hued, a digital health equity company, to develop See my Skin, an online resource that prioritizes melanated skin.

Now, when you search Google for images of eczema, you no longer have to scroll to page six. Both brands collaborated with Visual DX, a platform created by dermatologists, that connects site visitors to a team of medical professionals. In this space, skin concerns are valid, diagnoses are taken seriously, and medical care is provided.

Thank you, Vaseline!

Vaseline Mended Murals Panel/Chat

Source: Courtesy of Vaseline / WHITE LIGHT EXPOSURE

Vaseline really knows how to treat a gal! From the luxury hotel to the personal touches in my room to the amazing Edelman and Unilever team – thank you for bringing me to SXSW to tell the Mended Murals story.

Overall, I had a fun-filled weekend that included lots of laughs, a new community of journalist friends, and out-of-this-world perks courtesy of Vaseline. Catch a recap of the eventful weekend below!

DON’T MISS…

Vaseline Prioritizes Melanated Skin With Their Vaseline Radiant X Collection

10 Celebrities Who Prove Black Don’t Crack

Regina King Taught Her Son The Age-Old Remedy To Maintaining Healthy Skin

Vaseline Is Healing Skin And Mending Art Through The Mended Murals Initiative  was originally published on hellobeautiful.com