For those of you who don’t know, Vaseline is made from Petroleum. And if you’ve ever put gasoline into a car, then you’ll know that gas is made from Petroleum as well. So, Vaseline is made from the same substance as the stuff you put in your car. Vroom.

How on earth- and quite frankly, why on earth- did we start using petroleum on top of our bodies? And how did it become the go to for eczema and tender baby bottoms? Turn out, in the 1800s workers on oil rigging platforms discovered that if they smeared the residue found in the bottom of the wells onto their skin, it helped to lubricate it. That’s all it took. After that, Vaseline quickly became a household name. However, petroleum jelly is in far more than just Vaseline.

Sadly, it’s in everything: lipstick, lotion, soap, body wash, sunscreen, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, concealer, eye shadow, hair gel, shaving cream and countless products marketed for babies. It’s even in products used to treat rashes, wounds, eczema and acne. If you take the time to go through your personal items, and you throw them all away like my editor did last summer, you’ll soon find you have an entire garbage can FULL.

Petroleum is:

Bad for the earth– It’s made from a non-renewable resource, crude oil.

Bad for skin– Vaseline and products like it block your pores. By blocking the skin’s ability to breathe and draw moisture out of the air, it actually drys the pores and THAT can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and acne. Blocking the pores simply means we are sealing in dirt, bacteria and yeast.

Bad for health– So, if it’s so bad, how does gunk from an oil rig become a safe product? Using carcinogenic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, manufacturers refine the petroleum product. Yum.

There are wonderful and clean products for your skin that don’t contain chemicals but don’t forget it’s also good to nourish skin from the inside- drink lots of water,  so we’re less prone to skin conditions.

So, if you still love the feel of Vaseline but you aren’t willing to put it on your skin anymore, check out an easy DIY salve from Healthy Cures:

Vaseline Replacement Salve

  • 45 ml organic beeswax, melted
  • 15 ml shea butter (look for fair trade)
  • 250 ml sunflower oil* (you can use any liquid oil you like here, but sunflower has been found to be especially therapeutic for healing rashes and eczema)


  1. Melt your beeswax in a double boiler, measure out 45 ml to use for your salve. (Tip: Using a heat-proof glass measuring container with measurements indicated on the side make this super easy!)
  2. Then add shea butter and melt.
  3. Add oil and once everything has melted together, remove from heat.
  4. Pour into glass containers and allow to cool.
  5. Store salve in a cool place where it will happily keep for several months.

Source: Healthy Cures