Natural Alternatives to Vaseline for Babies

14 August 2012

I started looking for natural alternatives to Vaseline (petroleum jelly) because over the last couple of months, Spice developed this horrid rash of dry skin. It started on her belly and quickly spread to her back and hands. I couldn't determine if it was just extreme dry skin, heat rash or something more that needed the attention of a dermatologist.

I decided to treat at home for a week and if no improvement was seen then a visit to the dermatologist may be required. A few online moms recommended using a dual layer of lotion and petroleum jelly. Sounded like a good idea so I've been buttering her up with Aveeno Eczema Lotion and non-petroleum jelly twice a day. It's been a month now and we finally have considerable visible improvement in the condition of her skin. 

Vaseline was a cure-all when I was growing up and there's no documentation of it being hazardous. However, it is still based on petro-hydrocarbons and I really would prefer something more natural for my babies. So I looked into natural alternatives to Vaseline and came up with a short list that looked like this:
  1. Live Clean non-petroleum jelly: Made in Canada and available in Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart Canada. US folks can buy this online at Walgreens. This is first on the list because it's the one I bought and it worked well. I especially love the consistency because it isn't as sticky as vaseline. Main ingredient is castor oil. Retails for $7
  2. Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum jelly: Available in the "green" section of the cosmetic aisles. I used to have a tube of this it was okay but in the Texas heat, it stayed liquid and I would have preferred a solid jelly. Main ingredients are castor oil, coconut oil and beeswax. Retails for $4-6
  3. Waxelene Petroleum Jelly Alternative: Available in Whole Foods and Amazon online, the main ingredient in this is beeswax and soy bean oil. Sells for $7. Never tried this
Other notes:
Practically all the natural petroleum jelly alternatives have made up of castor oil and/or beeswax as the main ingredient. This means that it's easy to make at home and customize with other oils for the scent and texture desired. A quick google search on "home made natural petroleum jelly" turns up some good links for tutorials 

The Environmental Working Group's cosmetic database is a good resource for checking the safety rating of personal care products being used at home.

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