The 6 best natural alternatives to petroleum jelly (and DIY options)

Petroleum jelly is a by-product of the oil refining process. It’s used in a variety of products, from lip balms to moisturizers, because it’s dirt cheap and has a long shelf life.

There are a number of natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that can be just as effective. Each of these substitutes can provide the same protective barrier as petroleum jelly without the health and environmental risks.

Let’s take a deep dive:

Why is petroleum jelly bad?

Petroleum jelly is often used as a moisturizer, but did you know that it can actually be quite harmful to your skin? Petroleum jelly can block pores, which can lead to acne. It can also irritate the skin and cause rashes. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid using petroleum jelly altogether.

The compound can be harmful to your health if you’re exposed to too much of it. The purity of petroleum jelly depends on how it’s manufactured. Less refined petrolatum can contain harmful ingredients and toxic chemicals.

Petroleum jelly is also harmful to the environment. It’s a byproduct of the oil refining process, which pollutes the air and water with toxic chemicals. It’s not biodegradable, so it stays in the environment forever once it’s been used.

How does petroleum jelly work on the skin?

Petroleum jelly helps your skin retain moisture by sealing it with a water-proof barrier. If you have damaged skin, this allows your skin to heal without further water loss. Think of it like the rainforest canopy. That large protective umbrella allows all the beautiful flora and fauna underneath to flourish.

Except petroleum jelly actually kills the rainforest.

There must be better ways to protect our skin without causing damage to our health and the environment. And thankfully there are.

Best natural alternatives to petroleum jelly

Cleanalyn Natural Jelly

Check it out at the Ayurvedic Experience

This is an ayurvedic moisturizer that was found to be better than petroleum jelly in comparison studies. Cleanalyn provided more moisture to the skin and improved firmness, luminosity and radiance.

It uses a sesame oil base and contains bees wax that gives you the balm-like sensation. It’s also chockful of natural ayurvedic herbs like beautyberry, indian gooseberry, blue gum leaf oil and Vitamin E.

Waxelene Organic Ointment

Waxelene Multi-Purpose Ointment, Organic, Large JarCheck it out on Amazon

Waxelene only uses USDA certified organic ingredients for their botanical ointments. All their products are made using a special aeration process to create a soft silky texture, a bit like whipped cream. Impressively, this jar only contains 4 ingredients – organic soy oil, bees wax, Vitamin E oil and rosemary oil.

Pipette Baby Balm

Pipette Baby Balm - Protects, Hydrates & Nourishes Sensitive Skin - Baby Essentials for Newborn with Renewable Plant-Derived Squalane, 2 ozCheck it out on Amazon

This extra-rich baby balm is so gentle and safe that you can even use it on a newborn. It makes use of squalane oil, polyglycerides rich in fatty acids, jojoba esters and Vitamin E oil to provide instant hydration and protection. Squalene is part of our natural sebum composition and squalane oil is almost identical to it.

Burt’s Bees Baby Healing Ointment

Burt's Bees Baby Healing Ointment, Face & Body Skin Care, Moisturizing with Shea Butter, 100% Natural, 7.5 OunceCheck it out on Amazon

this multi-purpose ointment makes use of shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax to form a barrier against dryness and lock in moisture. It’s also enriched with soothing aloe vera and Vitamin E.

ProSeed Pure Lanolin

GLASS JAR | 100% Pure All Natural Anhydrous Lanolin USP US Pharmacopeia Grade | Nipple Care and All Purpose Skin Balm, Dry Itchy Skin Relief | SUSTAINABLE Glass Jar | Single Ingredient | 2ozCheck it out on Amazon

This jar only contains 100% pure fresh lanolin from Merino sheep. If you’re look for the most natural alternative to petroleum jelly, this is it. The products are made in small batches for freshness and contains nothing else but lanolin.

Jao Goe Oil

Jao Brand All Over Body Oil Revitalizes Skin (19373)Check it out on Amazon

For Korean skincare fans, Jao Goe oil is a body oil that is made in the USA with rosehip, hemp, meadowfoam, rice bran and jojoba oil. It’s enriched with chamomile, calendula and kukuinut oils and loads of anti-oxidant vitamins and butters to give you a super-rich natural body oil.

With all these amazing Vaseline and Aquaphor alternatives, no one needs to use petroleum jelly again!

Oils that work the same way as petroleum jelly

I’ve talked about the commercial products that you can buy to replace your Vaseline jar. However, if you’re thinking of doing it yourself at home, you can find loads of oils and other products in your pantry or at your local pharmacy. Granted, it’s not going to feel as luxurious as a store-bought product, but it will do the trick and you know for sure there is nothing bad in it.


24 oz Yellow Beeswax Bars, Organic Beeswax 24 pcs, Bees Wax Candle Making, Beeswax for Candle Making, Beeswax Block Making for Skincare, Lip Balms, Lotions, Cosmetic Grade GiftCheck it out on Amazon

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by bees that has many uses, including as a moisturizer! It’s also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, making it great for treating skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Plus, beeswax is completely biodegradable so you don’t have to worry about harming the environment when you use it up!

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a natural, plant-based oil that has been used in certain cultures as a moisturizer for centuries. If you’re worried about the long-chain fatty acid content, MCT oil is a good alternative. It’s basically refined coconut oil.

XCT MCT Oil Made with C10 and C8 MCT Oil, Flavorless, 14g MCTs, 16 Fl Oz Bulletproof Keto Supplement for Sustained Energy, Appetite Control, Mental & Physical Energy, Non-GMO, Vegan & Cruelty FreeCheck it out on Amazon

Buy directly from Bulletproof with my code MADAMEWELL20 for an extra 20% off

Shea butter

Shea butter is a natural fat extracted from the nuts of shea trees. It’s often used as a moisturizer or in cosmetics because it’s rich in vitamins and minerals that are good for your skin. This nutty oil is used as a base for many rich lotions.

Okay Smooth All Natural,100% Pure Unrefined Daily Skin Moisturizer For Skin & Hair Yellow, Shea Butter, 13 ozCheck it out on Amazon

Further reading: Is shea butter good for seborrheic dermatitis?

Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter is a type of fat that is derived from cocoa beans. It is used in a variety of cosmetics and skincare products. Cocoa butter has a number of benefits, including its ability to hydrate and nourish the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

Organic Cocoa Butter 1 lb — USDA Certified by Mary Tylor Naturals — Raw Unrefined, Non-Deodorized, Rich In Antioxidants — for DIY Recipes, Lip Balms, Lotions, Creams, Stretch MarksCheck it out on Amazon

Further reading: Is Cocoa Butter good for Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Almond oil

If you’re looking for a natural way to moisturize your skin, almond oil is a good option. Almond oil is rich in vitamins and minerals, and it’s gentle enough to use on all skin types. Plus, it’s affordable and easy to find. To use almond oil as a moisturizer, simply apply it to your skin after cleansing. You can also add a few drops to your bathtub or massage it into your skin before applying lotion.

NOW Solutions, Sweet Almond Oil, 100% Pure Moisturizing Oil, Promotes Healthy-Looking Skin, Unscented Oil, 16-OunceCheck it out on Amazon

Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is a natural, plant-based oil that has been used for centuries to moisturize and protect skin. This oil is derived from the jojoba plant, which is native to North America. Jojoba oil is rich in vitamins and minerals, and it is an excellent source of antioxidants.

Jojoba oil is anti0inflammatory and non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog pores. This makes it an ideal choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Jojoba oil is also hypoallergenic and non-irritating, making it a good choice for those with sensitive skin.

Handcraft Jojoba Oil 16 fl. oz – 100% Pure & Natural Jojoba Oil for Skin, Face, and Hair – Deeply Moisturizing Anti-Aging Jojoba Oil for Men and WomenCheck it out on Amazon

Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is not just for salads anymore. This natural oil has many benefits for your skin. It can be used to cleanse, moisturize, and protect your skin.

Olive oil is a natural antioxidant and can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce redness and swelling. Olive oil can be used to moisturize the skin, and it can also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil, First Cold Pressed, Mild and Delicate Flavor, Perfect for Sauteing and Stir-Frying, Naturally Gluten Free, Non-Allergenic, Non-GMO, 68 Fl Oz., Single BottleCheck it out on Amazon

Grape seed oil

Grape seed oil is a natural oil that is extracted from the seeds of grapes. It has a wide range of benefits, including skin care, hair care, and nails. Grape seed oil is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against free radicals.

NOW Solutions, Grapeseed Oil, Skin Care for Sensitive Skin, Light Silky Moisturizer for All Skin Types, 16-OunceCheck it out on Amazon

Avocado oil

If you’re looking for a little something extra to add to your skincare routine, avocado oil may be the answer. Packed with nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E, as well as fatty acids, avocado oil can help to moisturize and protect your skin. Plus, it’s gentle enough for use on all skin types.

BetterBody Foods Refined Non-GMO Cooking Oil, Kosher, Keto and Paleo Diet Friendly, for High-Heat Cooking, 100% Pure Avocado Oil, 1 Liter, 33.8 Fl OzCheck it out on Amazon

Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil is most commonly used in cooking, but did you know that it also has benefits for your skin? Sunflower oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores. It’s also light and easily absorbed into the skin. The linoleic acid in sunflower oil can help to heal acne and other skin conditions. Vitamin E present in sunflower oil can help to protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals.

La Tourangelle, Organic Regenerative Sunflower Oil, 16.9 fl ozCheck it out on Amazon

Rice bran oil

Rice bran oil is an increasingly popular ingredient in skincare products. It is said to be effective in treating various skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. Rice bran oil is also said to be helpful in preventing wrinkles and keeping the skin moist. Some people even claim that rice bran oil has helped to clear their acne.

Rice Bran OIL Organic 100% Pure Cold Pressed 12 OzCheck it out on Amazon

To wrap up

There are many natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that provide the same or better results. You can find these products at your local health food store or online. Choose the one that best suits your needs and enjoy the benefits of a natural product.

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