Natural Alternatives to Petroleum Jelly

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Nervous About Petroleum Jelly? Try These Natural Alternatives

A tin of petroleum jelly
A tin of petroleum jelly. Photo: Still Images/Photographer's Choice (Getty Images)

If you’re concerned about the safety of petroleum-based ingredients in your skin care products, there are natural alternatives. Here are a couple of safe products to try and if you’re ambitious, I’ve also included a few recipes you can concoct on your own.

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Waxelene

Waxelene, a petroleum jelly alternative.
Waxelene, The Petroleum Jelly Alternative. Photo: Courtesy of Waxelene

Waxelene, with its familiar-sounding name, is marketed as the petroleum jelly alternative. The claim? Whatever you use petroleum jelly for, Waxelene is the natural substitute—for everything from moisturizing skin, reducing diaper rash irritation, to protecting against chapped lips. The list goes on.

Waxelene's cruelty-free Ingredients include vitamin E oil, beeswax, organic rosemary and organic soy. The beeswax is unbleached and raw, which means it retains all of its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant benefits. Rosemary oil improves blood circulation and with its anti-bacterial properties works as a natural preservative. Natural unrefined vitamin E oil also has anti-oxidant and inflammatory properties and helps protect and rejuvenate skin cells.

Waxelene definitely softens the skin without the waxy, gooey feel (and smell) of petroleum jelly. Waxeline has the suggested retail price of $17.99 for a 9 oz jar and $8.99 for a 2 oz jar. To purchase or to find stores that carry Waxelene visit Waxelene.com.

Compare Prices.

For more information read this review of Waxelene.

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Ancient Treasure

Ancient Treasure uses ancient ingredients to rejuvenate skin.
Ancient Treasure: Ancient healing for modern times. Photo: Courtesy of Ancient Treasures, LLC

Ancient Treasure, a multi-purpose facial moisturizer and skin treatment created by holistic health educator Asara Tsehai, contains safflower oil, beeswax, shea butter and frankincense and “natural antioxidants, peace and loving kindness.” 40 uses are listed for this body balm/butter. It softens and moisturizes calloused feet, chapped hands, dry cuticles and rough elbows and knees. It evens out skin tone, fading dark spots and age spots and is said to be great for acne and stretch marks. It can also be used for the hair, conditioning the scalp and nourishing dry strands and split ends. In addition, the sweet scent relieves anxiety and stress, and promotes feelings of well-being. As labeling on the jar reads: Attention: Captivating scent. Desirability can increase due to continued use of this product.

Lofty promises, to be sure, but the scent is exotic, warm and soothing. Safflower oil contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid known for its emollient properties. It is believed to produce more radiant skin giving it a smoother and improved texture and appearance. It also might help with unclogging the pores, making it great for acne-prone and sensitive skin. Shea butter is known for its moisturizing benefits, improving skin elasticity and tone.

Frankincense, well known as one of the gifts from one of the three kings to the baby Jesus, was used in ancient times as holy anointing oil. It is still used during meditation and prayer and is said to help one achieve higher consciousness and spiritual connection. It is believed to be calming, slowing and deepening breathing. Of course it also has skin care benefits. The ancient Egyptians used frankincense in facial masks. It relieves dry skin and has anti-aging benefits.

Ancient Treasure is $45 for a 2 oz jar. For more information visit MyAncientTreasure.com

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Skin Softener

Oil from olives is an age old skin moisturizer.
Try olive oil for glowing skin. Photo: Buena Vista Images/Photodisc (Getty Images)

Ingredients

4-ounces olive oil

1-ounce shaved beeswax

Or

4-ounces almond oil

1-ounce shaved beeswax

Directions

Melt beeswax in a double boiler at low heat. Heat until wax has melted and stir in oil. Remove from heat. (Grapefruit seed extract can be added as a preserver. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil). Pour into a sterile, heatproof glass jar. Let cool before covering.

About the ingredients

Beeswax. Beeswax acts as a humectant and is found in numerous body and lip balms. It helps lock moisture in the skin and provides protective coating from the environment. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is often used with other skin care ingredients to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Olive oil. Olive oil contains vitamins A, E and polyphenols that provide anti-aging benefits by protecting the skin against free radical damage and aids in skin cell repair. Olive oil contains a natural moisturizing ingredient called squalene, which also regulates sebum secretions. In addition it helps with wound healing and the healing of acne scars.

Almond oil. Almond oil is excellent for moisturizing and softening the skin. The non-greasy oil is high in oleic, linoleic and other fatty acids. It can be used to treat dry, chapped skin. It helps relieve skin irritation, rashes and burns. It also helps acne-prone skin, skin problems like eczema, and reducing the appearance of stretch marks and dark under-eye circles.

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Healing Emollient Cream

Create your own skin emollient.
Stir up a skin protective emollient with cocoa butter and beeswax. Photo: © Gerrie Summers

Ingredients

4-ounces cocoa butter

4-ounces almond oil

2-ounces shaved beeswax

Directions

Melt beeswax and cocoa butter in a double boiler until melted. Stir in almond oil. Remove from heat. Pour into a heatproof glass jar. Let cool before covering.

About the ingredients

Beeswax. Beeswax acts as a humectant and also helps lock in moisture in the skin and provides protective coating from the environment. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is often used with other skin care ingredients to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Cocoa butter. Cocoa butter has been known for years as a moisturizer for dry skin. It is considered an occlusive that provides a coating on the skin, creating a protective barrier and slowing the natural escape of moisture from the skin, making it a natural replacement for petroleum jelly. It also helps relieve irritation and inflammation of the skin and therefore is good for conditions like eczema. Cocoa butter is often used to reduce scars and stretch marks. Though it is not proven that it actually gets rid of stretch marks, it does increase skin elasticity, improving the appearance of the skin.

Almond oil. Almond oil is excellent for moisturizing and softening skin. The non-greasy oil is high in oleic, linoleic and other fatty acids and is often used in massage oils. It can be used to treat dry, chapped skin. It helps relieve skin irritation, rashesand burns. It also helps acne-prone skin, skin problems like eczema and reducing the appearance of stretch marks and dark circles.

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Skin Rejuvenator

A DIY skin rejuvenator with oils and beeswax.
Olive, coconut and vitamin E oil can help rejuvenate the skin. Photo By Nichola Evans/Stone Collection (Getty Images)

Ingredients

4-ounces olive oil

2-ounces coconut oil

1-ounce vitamin E oil

1-ounce shaved beeswax

Directions

Heat beeswax in a double boiler at medium heat. Lower heat and stir in olive, coconut and vitamin E oils. Pour into a sterile glass jar. Let the mixture cool before covering.

About the ingredients

Beeswax. Beeswax acts as a humectant and helps lock in moisture in the skin while providing a protective coating from the environment. This is one of many reasons why you'll find it in numerous skin balms and ointments. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is sometimes used with other skin care ingredients to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Olive oil. Olive oil contains vitamins A, E and polyphenols that provide anti-aging benefits by protecting the skin against free radicals, protecting against environmental damage from the sun and pollution, and aids in cell repair. Olive oil contains a natural moisturizing ingredient called squalene, which also regulates sebum secretions. It is also beneficial to wound healing and acne scars.

Coconut oil. Coconut oil has skin care qualities that are comparable to mineral oil, but without the problems now being attributed to mineral oil (clogging of pores, etc). It repairs dry, flaky skin and helps delay the onset of wrinkles and sagging skin. It is an inflammatory and is used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.

Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E oil is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage that causes premature skin aging. It helps boost collagen production to keep skin supple and supports new cell growth and regeneration.

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Cocoa Butter & Jojoba Skin Protector

Protect your skin with this DIY cocoa butter cream.
Cocoa butter and jojoba oil create a protective barrier on the skin to keep moisture in and harmful environmental elements out. Photo: © Gerrie Summers

Ingredients

4-ounces cocoa butter

4-ounces jojoba oil

2-ounces shaved beeswax

Directions

Melt beeswax and cocoa butter in a double boiler until melted and stir in jojoba oil (and essential oil if using) into mixture. Pour into a glass jar. Let cool before covering.

About the ingredients

Beeswax. Beeswax acts as a humectant and is found in numerous body and lip balms. It helps lock in moisture in the skin and provides protective coating from the environment, making it a great alternative to petroleum jelly. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is often used with other skin care ingredients to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is a centuries-old treatment for dry skin. It is considered an occlusive that provides a coating on the skin, creating a protective barrier and slowing the natural escape of moisture from the skin. It also helps relieve irritation and inflammation of the skin and therefore is good for conditions like eczema. Cocoa butter is often used to fade scars and stretch marks.

Jojoba oil. Jojoba oil, which is similar to human sebum, acts as a humectant and creates a protective coating over the skin to help keep moisture in. It is used quite often in aromatherapy because it doesn’t go rancid like vegetable oils. It also doesn’t clog pores and is not greasy. Jojoba oil contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against free radical damage, a cause of premature skin aging. It helps improve skin elasticity and has been used for skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.

Interested in exotic skin care ingredients? These are  7 ancient beauty ingredients you should use today.