Natural Alternatives to Petroleum Jelly

An open tin of vaseline on grey background
Still Images/Getty Images

It's common to see models touting how Aquaphor or Vaseline is their life, their miracle beauty savior. But it's not totally unreasonable to be concerned about the safety of petroleum-based ingredients in your skincare products. After all, in its most natural state, petroleum (also known as petrolatum,) can be refined into gasoline. Thankfully, there are natural alternatives. We've found a couple of safe products to try, and, if you’re ambitious, a few recipes you can concoct on your own. Keep in mind, though, you'll need a double boiler for all of the recipes.

01 of 05

Waxelene, $17

Waxelene Vaseline Alternative

Waxelene, with its familiar-sounding name, is marketed as the number-one petroleum jelly alternative. The claim? Whatever you use petroleum jelly for, Waxelene is the natural substitute—for everything from moisturizing skin and 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. According to the brand, the beeswax is unbleached and raw, and it contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant benefits. Rosemary oil improves blood circulation, and with its anti-bacterial properties, works as a natural preservative. Natural unrefined vitamin E oil also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helps protect skin.

Key Ingredients

Rosemary leaf extract is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin and prevents signs of premature aging. Rosmarinic acid (its main component) helps calm skin conditions like eczema and acne.

Waxelene softens the skin, and thankfully, it does so without the waxy, greasy feel (and smell) of petroleum jelly. 

02 of 05

Jao, Goe Oil, $52

Jao's Goe Oil
 Courtesy of Jao

Jao really hit it out of the park with their Goe Oil. Made of Jojoba oil but with 28 natural ingredients, it's managed to make a name for itself online as one of the best alternatives to petroleum jelly.

Jao's Goe Oil is semi-solid, but is light and absorbs into the skin quickly. Like petroleum jelly, it's multi-purpose, so it's great to have around in case you need something moisturizing that glides on with ease. Plus, it smells like monoi, a warm Tahitian gardenia and coconut scent—much better than petroleum.

03 of 05

Simple Skin Softener

Three body creams

PLAINVIEW/Getty Images



4-ounces olive oil

1-ounce shaved beeswax


4-ounces almond oil

1-ounce shaved beeswax


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

About the ingredients:

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

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 squalene, which may regulate sebum secretions. It is also proven to help with healing wounds and acne scars.

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 and helps relieve skin irritation, rashes, and burns. It also helps acne-prone skin, eczema, and reduces the appearance of stretch marks and dark under-eye circles.

04 of 05

Healing Emollient Cream

A chunk of beeswax
Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images


4-ounces cocoa butter

4-ounces almond oil

2-ounces shaved beeswax


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:

Cocoa butter is well-known 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.

05 of 05

Cocoa Butter & Jojoba Skin Protector

Cocoa butter in a bowl
undefined undefined/Getty Images


4-ounces cocoa butter

4-ounces jojoba oil

2-ounces shaved beeswax


Melt beeswax and cocoa butter in a double boiler until melted and stir in jojoba oil (and essential oil if using) into the mixture. Then pour into a glass jar and let it cool down before covering.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Rašković A, Milanović I, Pavlović N, Ćebović T, Vukmirović S, Mikov M. Antioxidant activity of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essential oil and its hepatoprotective potentialBMC Complement Altern Med. 2014;14:225. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-225

  2. Keen MA, Hassan I. Vitamin E in dermatologyIndian Dermatol Online J. 2016;7(4):311-315. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.185494

  3. Kim JH, Kwon KH, Oh SW. Effects of malic acid or/and grapefruit seed extract for the inactivation of common food pathogens on fresh-cut lettuceFood Sci Biotechnol. 2016;25(6):1801-1804. doi:10.1007/s10068-016-0274-5

  4. Kurek-Górecka A, Górecki M, Rzepecka-Stojko A, Balwierz R, Stojko J. Bee products in dermatology and skin careMolecules. 2020;25(3):556. doi:10.3390/molecules25030556

  5. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oilsInt J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. doi:10.3390/ijms19010070

  6. Scapagnini G, Davinelli S, Di Renzo L, et al. Cocoa bioactive compounds: significance and potential for the maintenance of skin healthNutrients. 2014;6(8):3202-3213. doi:10.3390/nu6083202

Related Stories