5 Natural Alternatives for Aquaphor

October 23, 2020 (updated May 9, 2023) — Written by

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).

Swap this for that: try a natural aquaphor alternative with these 5 recs.

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.


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

RELATED: My Favorite Natural Face Moisturizers

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!

xo, lisa in cursive

TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.


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

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply


    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?

  2. Reply

    Andrea Knudsen

    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!

    1. Reply


      Andrea! I need to add in Remedy Lip Balm here – I agree, it’s SO SO GOOD! Great recommendation.

  3. Reply


    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 😍

    1. Reply


      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!

  4. Reply


    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.

  5. Reply

    Meredith Mendelsohn

    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?

    1. Reply


      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

  6. Reply


    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 ?

    1. Reply


      Hi Susannah! I haven’t tried the OLO Wonder Balm but the ingredients look great! xo, Lisa

  7. Reply

    Karina Arias

    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?

    1. Reply


      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

  8. Reply


    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.

    1. Reply


      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

  9. Reply


    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.

  10. Reply


    What can I use in place of “Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream – Steroid & Fragrance Free” for my little one?!

    1. Reply


      Hi Rhea! Have you looked into CV Skin Labs? Also some people say goats milk lotion is great for eczema too.

  11. Reply


    Did you forget about All Good?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Jannine! That’s another great alternative! Thanks for the add! xo, Lisa

  12. Reply


    Hi Lisa,

    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 B

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Lisa! Just looked at these ingredients and I would 100% recommend this product. xo, L

  13. Reply


    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.

  14. Reply


    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!


    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Sara! Both look good to me! xo, L

  15. Reply


    how are these vegan, they contain beeswax



    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Nanci! The New Knew is not a vegan blog so we are not actively looking for vegan swaps. Hope this helps clarify, thanks! Lisa

  16. Reply


    Hello, what do you recommend for tattoo healing? Thank you:)

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      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

  17. Reply


    My 7 month old has horrible drool rash…been using waxelene before she eats and weleda sensitive skin baby face cream at other times but it’s not getting better. Do you think I should just use waxalene all day or would something else on your list work bette

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Jessica! So sorry this is happening. I would go as simple as possible. She could be having a reaction to the soy oil or the essential oil in the Waxelene. Maybe try the Alba’s Un Petroleum which has a simpler ingredient list and no essential oils. Also, she may be having a reaction to something she is eating. You could try pursuing IgG or IgE tests which can help identify food allergies and intolerances. Hope this helps. xo, L

  18. Reply


    Have you considered Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Organic Magic Balm?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Kayla! I haven’t tried that one but the ingredients look great. Do you like it?

  19. Reply


    Hi Lisa!! Thanks for the reply! Yes, it’s one of my favorite products. Works great on healing tattoos! And chapped lips or cracked knuckles and elbows.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Love it, thanks for sharing!

  20. Reply


    Waxelene is absolutely not that price.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Thanks G! I think we were linking to a sale when it was that price, will update.

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