In boxing, sometimes headgear is worn to soften blows to the head. It is typically made of padding surrounded by leather that covers the sides of the head and forehead while leaving the top of the head and the face exposed. This helps to protect the wearer from possibly damaging hits to the sides of the head, but still allows clean, yet devastating, hits to the face. To further help soften the blows, headgear is usually rubbed down with petroleum jelly after being put on. This helps to make the punches "slide off," and ultimately lessens the force taken directly to the head via redirection. Headgear is not worn in all levels of boxing. It is required in amateur boxing, as well as Olympic boxing, and encouraged in most sparring settings; however, in professional boxing headgear is not permitted.