Affordable and effective natural Aquaphor alternatives exist! Here are 5 safe alternative for Aquaphor, with clean ingredient lists included. Each product is perfect for treating cuts and scrapes, dry skin (and baby’s diaper rash too).
By: Lisa Fennessy
You asked and we’re answering! This series (“Swap This for That”) is where we take reader questions from the blog and social media on tough-to-find clean swaps—and answer them right here!
This week is all about finding a clean swap for Aquaphor. We’ve got a pick for every budget, purpose and style. Check it out. And if you like this, be sure to check out our healthier alternatives for CeraVe Cleansers, our clean swap for children’s Tylenol and our natural swaps for Purell.
IN THIS POST:
- Aquaphor ingredients to consider
- Alba’s Un Petroleum
- Maya Chia’s Waterless Wonder Balm
- Pleni Naturals’ Barrier Balm
- True Organic’s All You Need Is Me
Identifying Natural Occlusives
The active ingredient in Aquaphor is petrolatum. Petrolatum helps prevent evaporation of moisture from the skin and also protects skin from irritation. This type of skincare ingredient is categorized as an “occlusive” because of the way it functions.
The problem is that fatty acids from petroleum are absorbed through the skin, stored in our adipose tissue, not metabolized and not excreted. Mineral oil snuck into food and cosmetics has led to mineral oil being the largest contaminant in human tissue.
Better swaps for petrolatum are natural ingredients that act like occlusives like vegetable waxes (candelilla and jojoba) and animal-derived waxes (like beeswax and lanolin)(1). Look for these on labels instead, when searching for Vaseline alternatives.
Keep reading to check out our top swaps for Aquaphor!
RELATED: Natural skincare products to try now.
5 Natural Swaps for Aquaphor
Alba’s Un Petroleum | $7.80
Check out their full ingredient list below…um, SOLD. Use this all over to soothe skin and protect against irritation, chaffing and windburn, as a non petroleum jelly alternative.
Alba’s Un Petroluem’s full ingredient list: castor seed oil, organic sunflower seed oil, beeswax and tocopheryl acetate (vitamin e).
Waxelene | $14.99
This USDA-certified organic ointment can be used for a myriad of purposes (dry skin, chapped lips, face, cuticles, elbows, hair, scars, cracks, calluses, feet, babies, makeup remover, after-shave, after-sun)—it even promises not to clog pores. Love that it comes in glass too, making it an even more sustainable Vaseline alternative.
Waxelene’s full ingredient list: organic soy oil, organic beeswax, mixed tocopherols (vitamin e) and organic rosemary oil.
Maya Chia’s Waterless Wonder Balm | $42
This luxe pick can be used as a spot treatment that leaves the skin on your hands, feet, elbows —you name it—nourished, hydrated and rejuvenated. The consistency here is divine and I especially love this for lips—a perfect petroleum jelly substitute!
Read more here about why I love Maya Chia’s products.
Maya Chia’s Waterless Wonder Balm’s full ingredient list: shea butter, supercritical chia seed oil, organic apricot kernel Oil, organic sunflower oil, beeswax, tocopherol (non-GMO vitamin e), 2% essential oils and botanical extracts.
Pleni Barrier Balm | $15.99
The only vegan-friendly pick on our list, this balm is a fantastic Aquaphor alternative / Vaseline substitute for babies, cheeks, hands, lips and dry patches. This formula is THACK and gets the job done.
Pleni Barrier Balm full ingredient list: organic olive oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, mango seed butter, cocoa seed butter, carnauba wax, organic raspberry seed oil, cranberry seed oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, vanilla fruit extract, tocopherol (Non-GMO).
SAVE: Code ORGANIC20 will save you 20% here!
True Organic’s All You Need Is Me | $29.95
This Swedish-made ointment soothes chafing, sunburn, heals cuts and scrapes, hydrates dry patches and more. This thick-waxy textured balm will become a quick fave!
True Organic’s All You Need Is Me full ingredient list: castor oil, beeswax, olive oil, shea butter, vitamin e, blueberry seed oil.
RELATED: The Best Organic Lip Balms
What are you trying to find a better swap for? Tell me about your favorite Aquaphor alternative in the comments below!
1. Janeš, D. and Kočevar Glavač, N. (Ed). (2018) Modern Cosmetics Ingredients of Natural Origin, A Scientific View. Velenje: Širimo dobro besedo, d.o.o. p.174
NaomiOctober 23, 2020
I am LOVING the Find A Better Swap!!! I am definitely going to try Waxelene and True Organics. Here is a Find a Better Swap….My son is 3 and both he and I have eczema (his worse than mine). Every doctor recommends CeraVe moisturizer for over the counter or a prescription steroid cream. Now that winter is coming, our skin is going to get worse. Do you have any recommendations for a better, more clean, alternative?
Andrea KnudsenOctober 23, 2020
MJ’s Herbals are a staple in our house, particularly the First Aid Salve. We use it on cuts, irritations, dry spots, chapped lips and noses, angry hangnails…
Also, if you’re looking for something thick for your lips overnight, the Remedy Lip Balm from Beneath Your Mask is amazing and luxurious. It’s the only thing that healed my daughter’s chronically dry lips. Of course we figured this out when I loaned her mine… now I need another for myself!
LisaOctober 25, 2020
Andrea! I need to add in Remedy Lip Balm here – I agree, it’s SO SO GOOD! Great recommendation.
PamelaOctober 23, 2020
Yes, every doctor does say to use ceraVe , and I’ve been trying to figure out what safer options are out there . Only thing I could find was Ceramedx. what’s your thoughts on this product ? So thankful you are doing the swap that for this 😋. I’m needing some relief look forward to your recommendation. Thank you Lisa 😍
LisaOctober 25, 2020
Hi Pamela! Although Ceramedx has some questionable ingredients like Grapefruit Seed Extract and non-biodegradables like dimethicone, I would recommend Ceramedx over CeraVe all day long!
AdrianaOctober 25, 2020
First aid beauty’s ultra repair cream fixed my eczema. I haven’t had a breakout in over a year. The ingredients are suppose to be safe enough for babies as well. And my understanding is they use mainly clean ingredients.
Meredith MendelsohnOctober 25, 2020
Aquafor has been the only thing that has kept my blepharitis on eyelids at bay. Do you have a suggestion as to which of the above may be the best swap?
LisaOctober 25, 2020
Hi Meredith! I am not a doctor so please consult your doc for best recs however, from this list I would go with True Organic’s All You Need Is Me because it’s essential oil free (which can be irritating around the eyes) and it also has blueberry seed oil which has been cited to help with barrier function and conditions like eczema. Hope this helps! Lisa
SusannahOctober 25, 2020
Such great recommendations !! I need to check out the pleninaturals for my toddler, thanks for the list ! Curious what you think about one love organic wonder balm for a swap ?
LisaOctober 25, 2020
Hi Susannah! I haven’t tried the OLO Wonder Balm but the ingredients look great! xo, Lisa
Karina AriasOctober 25, 2020
I agree with Naomi! I’m super grateful for swap this for that! My husband also has eczema and what would you recommend for a swap?
LisaOctober 25, 2020
Hi Karina! Thanks for this! I am currently looking into it – I have a few ideas but I want to flesh them out first before sharing ; ) xo! Lisa
KiNovember 14, 2020
It is so frustrating how many things have patroleum hidden in them. I usually just use coconut oil, but I definitely appreciate this list. Have you made or considered making a list for neosporin swaps? I’m allergic to patroleum, I’ve grown out of the allergy a little as I’ve gotten older, but I still do my best to avoid it, I like to only put good ingredients on my sensitive skin, and you’re site has been a huge help for that. Aquaphor is highly recommended by tattoo artists for tattoos, but I used coconut oil when I got mine. I’ve never used aquaphor given my patroleum allergy so I can’t really compare them, but coconut oil worked like a charm for me. Really helped through the dry, flaky (and very itchy) phase.
LisaNovember 16, 2020
Hi Ki! I put Neosporin Swaps on our list. Honestly, Manuka honey is an awesome swap for Neosporin if you can manage it! xo, Lisa
KiDecember 18, 2020
Do you know if any of these can be used on surgical incisions/stitches immediately after surgery? Thank you, love your site by the way.
RheaFebruary 4, 2021
What can I use in place of “Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream – Steroid & Fragrance Free” for my little one?!
LisaFebruary 4, 2021
Hi Rhea! Have you looked into CV Skin Labs? Also some people say goats milk lotion is great for eczema too.
JannineDecember 31, 2021
Did you forget about All Good?
Lisa FennessyJanuary 2, 2022
Hi Jannine! That’s another great alternative! Thanks for the add! xo, Lisa
LisaMarch 18, 2022
Are you familiar with “Restore,” by Doctor Roger’s? It’s a healing balm I received from a subscription box. The ingredients looks okay to me. It does contain hydrogenated castor oil. I’m a newbie in the subject of “clean” ingredients. What is your opinion?
Lisa FennessyApril 10, 2022
Hi Lisa! Just looked at these ingredients and I would 100% recommend this product. xo, L
HannahMay 5, 2022
Hi, I came to your site after I received an email from Josh Rosebrook Skincare about the benefits of using petroleum jelly for the face. I thought.. wait a minute, I’ve felt that that wasn’t for me for years now (the popular term of slugging).. so I wanted to find out the discrepancy here Just thought I’d let you know I appreciated this article/post. It confirmed that it is not for me yet again. Have a great day.
SaraJuly 4, 2022
Hey Lisa! Awesome post!! What are your thoughts on brand Pipette’s Baby Balm? Or the Eczema lotion? I know the baby balm has been called a better substitute for tubby Todd’s. Thanks so much!
Lisa FennessyJuly 5, 2022
Hi Sara! Both look good to me! xo, L
NanciJuly 8, 2022
how are these vegan, they contain beeswax
Lisa FennessyAugust 6, 2022
Hi Nanci! This Organic Girl is not a vegan blog so we are not actively looking for vegan swaps. Hope this helps clarify, thanks! Lisa
AndriaOctober 3, 2022
Hello, what do you recommend for tattoo healing? Thank you:)
Lisa FennessyOctober 20, 2022
Hi Andria! I don’t have much experience with this but checkout BioFirst. Seems like it would be a good option for that. xo, Lisa