Swap It Out: 5+ Natural Alternatives for Vaseline & Aquaphor

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Let’s talk about a product that’s sure to be a staple found in most American households…Vaseline! It’s actually been around since 1872 (whoa) and was discovered by a chemist that found a waxy residue in oil rig pumps. At first, it probably seems like a harmless product. But honestly, I kinda cringe when I hear people say they use it! This post shines some light on the ingredients, why I recommend avoiding it, and the BEST cleaner alternatives to use instead!

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This Post Covers:

Why I Avoid Vaseline and Petroleum Products
Natural Occlusive Ingredients to Use Instead
Common Ways to Use Vaseline-Like Products
5+ Organic Alternatives to Vaseline & Aquaphor

Why I Avoid Vaseline and Petroleum Products

Products such as Vaseline and Aquaphor use petroleum as the main ingredient (you might also see it called petrolatum, mineral oil, or paraffin on a label). It’s meant to be occlusive and act as a barrier on your skin. According to Stacked Skincare:

“Occlusive agents are generally made up of large molecules that are unable to penetrate the skin. Rather than sinking into the skin, they sit right on the surface, acting like a protective layer. Because they repel water, occlusives actually prevent the water that’s in your skin from evaporating and escaping into the air, strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier.”

This is also why Vaseline-like products are often used on cuts and wounds because they help block irritants from passing through.

The Many Problems with Petroleum Products:

Derived from crude oil
A 2011 study concluded that they CANNOT be metabolized by the body; even the more pure and refined forms! This means they accumulate in our bodies over time and don’t get excreted.
According to the Environmental Working Group, 22 percent of all petroleum-based cosmetics contain a carcinogenic impurity called 1,4 dioxane. A 2009 study actually discovered that mineral oil-based moisturizers increase the rate of tumor formation in mice!
They are prevalent in tons of personal care products and are one of the largest contaminants in human tissues; they readily penetrate our skin.
Although they form a shielding barrier, they don’t really offer any skincare benefits and hinder the skin’s natural respiration process (i.e your skin can’t breathe!)
Petroleum-based products are classified as xenoestrogens and are known endocrine disruptors; a series of studies determined that they can lead to estrogen dominance!

Get the freebie: Top 20 Ingredients to Avoid in Cosmetics [Free Printable Pocket Guide]

Natural Occlusive Ingredients to Use Instead

The good news is there are plenty of ingredients that nature provides that function similarly! All while offering skincare benefits and breathable protection. Here are some common natural occlusives used in skin and body care products:

Candelilla wax
Carnauba wax
Castor seed oil
Cocoa butter
Jojoba oil (which is technically a liquid wax)
Lanolin (wool wax)
Mango butter
Shea butter
Squalane (usually derived from olive oil)

Common Ways to Use Vaseline-Like Products

The nice thing about these types of products is that they are versatile and can be used in a multitude of ways, such as:

Dry skin
Chapped lips
Diaper rash
Anti-chafe and blister prevention
Minor scrapes and burns
Beard and mustache care
After tattoo care
Soften pet paws or hot spots

Related post: “Six Tips to Combat Dry Skin (with All Natural Products)

Organic Alternatives to Vaseline & Aquaphor

Waxelene Multi-Purpose Ointment ( Becca’s Favorite!)

$12-$50 (multiple sizes available) • Contains beeswax

There are literally DOZENS of ways you can use Waxelene and it’s one of the closest textures to Vaseline I’ve come across! It even slightly smells like Vaseline and gives me major flashbacks. It’s four simple ingredients: organic beeswax, soy oil, rosemary oil, and Vitamin E. It uses a patented aeration process that infuses air particles into the ointment so pores don’t get clogged and skin can absorb air (which it needs in order to heal and release toxins).

I mostly find myself using this for chapped lips, cracked hands and feet, cuticles, itchy skin or cuts, and also on my dog’s paws in the winter It’s truly so awesome and I feel like the jar lasts forever!

You can use code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount.

Shop Waxelene Here

Also available here on Amazon.

Cocokind One-For-All Balm ( Budget Option)

$13 • Vegan (No beeswax)

If you want to avoid beeswax, this is for you. It uses a plant-based beeswax alternative (polyhydroxystearic acid). Bonus: it’s affordable! It has organic coconut oil (as the first ingredient), castor seed oil, shea butter, and sunflower seed wax. It comes in a squeeze tube which also makes it ideal for traveling.

This balm is free of essential oils and doesn’t have a fragrant smell, but the coconut oil gives it a slight beachy vibe! And if you’re familiar with the consistency of coconut oil, it can feel a little heavy and greasy. This is thicker than straight-up coconut oil because of the butters and waxes it contains, but it’s probably the oiliest of all the recommendations here!

Shop Cocokind Balm Here

CV Skinlabs Restorative Balm

$26 • Contains beeswax and lanolin

This salve has organic castor seed oil, carnauba wax, beeswax, lanolin, shea butter, and candelilla wax. It doesn’t have much of a smell. It’s more of a light jelly consistency instead of a thick, waxy balm; I appreciate that it doesn’t feel heavy or leave behind a greasy feeling. I do wish the tube were bigger (it’s only 0.5 oz), but I find that I don’t need much to get the job done! And it’s a cute little purse-friendly travel size.

Shop CV Restorative Balm Here

Also available here at Credo or The Detox Market.

Maya Chia Supercritical Waterless Wonder Balm

$42 • Contains beeswax

This is definitely a luxe splurge! It’s formulated with organic shea butter, supercritical chia oil, and beeswax. Supercritical is an extraction method that uses CO2 and produces an extremely pure oil, and chia seeds are already rich in fatty acids and deeply moisturizing. This balm is thicker and kind of waxy, especially in colder temperatures. But once you mix it up, it applies smoothly and seamlessly and has a frosting-like texture. I LOVE the uplifting orange blossom essential oil scent that it has; you can almost use it as a light perfume!

Shop Maya Chia Wonder Balm Here

Also available here at Credo or The Detox Market.

Photo courtesy of Pleni Naturals

Pleni Naturals Barrier Balm

$16 • Vegan (No beeswax)

This is one that I always buy as a gift for my friends with babies But adults can totally use it as well. It’s a velvety-smooth balm that has organic olive oil, raspberry seed oil, and mango butter for nourishment and protection. It’s creamy, spreadable, diaper-friendly, and MADE SAFE® certified!

Shop Pleni Barrier Balm Here

Also available here on Amazon or The Choosy Chick.

Related post: “A Look Inside My Holistic Medicine Cabinet: My Go-To Natural Remedies


From top to bottom: Waxelene, Maya Chia, Cocokind, CV Skinlabs

Other Non-Toxic Barrier Options:

Although the products above are pretty rock-solid options, here are a couple more that I know of on the market that might interest you!

Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum Jelly: I haven’t tried this one myself but it’s a cheap option with castor seed oil and beeswax; it looks promising! [$8.50]

All Good Goop Organic Ointment: Gooooooop! This contains organic olive oil, beeswax, and calendula in a glass jar [$24]

First Honey Sterile Manuka Honey Ointment: So, honey is a humectant and works differently than the occlusives in this post. But I wanted to mention it because manuka in particular can be used for wounds, cuts, burns, etc. It’s basically a swap for Neosporin but has no petroleum or neomycin (an antibiotic). It’s medical-grade and naturally antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. Make sure to put a bandage over it so the honey doesn’t leak out! [$13]

One Love Organics Skin Savior Multitasking Wonder Balm: Made with organic coconut oil, beeswax, jojoba, orange peel wax, and mango butter. It’s waxy but melts down to an oil and can also be used as a makeup-removing cleanser; it’s a citrusy vanilla treat! [$49]

Zoe Organics Skin Balm: This balm comes in a precious metal tin and is a concentrated formula; a little goes a long way! [$18]

If you’re a diehard Vaseline user, I encourage you to swap it out! There is certainly no shortage of safe, natural options out there that are equally as effective. Let me know in the comments if you have other alternatives that you love or any questions!

The post Swap It Out: 5+ Natural Alternatives for Vaseline & Aquaphor first appeared on Organically Becca.

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