Choose An Alternative to Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly has always been well-known for it’s ability to act as a protective barrier and moisturizer for our skin. And sure, it does seem to provide temporary relief from irritation or dryness. But, there are natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that are just as, if not more, effective and even healthier for you, too.

I remember on cold winter days, when I was a little girl growing up on the Southside of Chicago, mothers smearing petroleum jelly all over their children’s faces to protect them from the mean bite of the frigid air. My mother would sometimes rub petroleum jelly onto my ashy hands, feet, legs, knees and elbows. Petroleum jelly has always been well-known for its ability to act as a protective barrier and moisturizer for our skin. And sure, it does seem to provide temporary relief from irritation or dryness. But, there are natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that are just as, if not more, effective and even healthier for you, too.

Petroleum jelly or petrolatum, is an ingredient that is often found in personal care products. It is used as a moisturizing agent. When properly refined, petroleum has no known health concerns. But, according to data that I found on, petroleum is not always properly refined in the US, which makes it vulnerable to  contamination from toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are fat-loving chemicals that can accumulate in breast tissue. Several individual PAHs as well as other chemical mixtures containing PAHs have been classified as human carcinogens. [1] Scary, right?

Often times skincare professionals and Dermatologists will suggest using moisturizing creams that contain petroleum jelly to address extreme dryness resulting from sunburn, chafing, and prescription acne topicals such as- Retin A, Renova, Tretonoin, and Differin. And many may argue this, but petroleum jelly has the potential to clog pores. Petroleum jelly is occlusive – meaning it sits on top of the skin locking moisture in, which can be great, but ingredients like petroleum jelly, can prevent the skin from drawing moisture from the air; traps sebum and harmful bacteria; and keeps the skin from getting rid of toxins.

The good news is, there are natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that are beneficial to the skin. Alternative ingredients like mango and shea butter are also occlusive, but are far more safer and gentle on the skin. Plant oils do not rob the skin of moisture. They soothe, soften and heal.

Our Top 3 Favorite Alternatives to Vaseline and Other Petroleum-Based Brands

Waxelene Petroleum Jelly Alternative Tube, 5 Ounce

  • Non-petroleum based, all natural, eco friendly, biodegradable, no GMOs
  • Skin moisturizing, protection, and lubrication for lips, feet, face, hands, etc …
  • Protection from chafing, friction, wind burn, and cold
  • Soothes minor burns, scrapes, flare ups from Eczema, Psoriasis, and more

*If you are allergic to beeswax this product is not for you.

Kopari Organic Coconut Melt – All-over Skin Moisturizing, Under Eye Rescuing, Hair Conditioning + More With 100% Organic Coconut Oil, Non GMO, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Paraben Free and Sulfate Free 7.0 Oz

  • 100% ORGANIC COCONUT OIL – Kopari uses 100% pure, organic
    coconut oil sourced from the Philippines. Coconut is full of fatty
    acids (Lauric, Capric and Caprylic), vitamin E, antioxidants and
    restorative proteins.
    plenty of Vitamin E and protein to moisturize and protect your skin and
    hair. Works especially well for those with oily, dry and sensitive skin.
    Loaded with fatty acids to help seal moisture and lauric acid to combat
    coconut oil’s many benefits to the next level by incorporating
    innovative natural ingredients that enhance the performance of
    traditional coconut oil. They use the right blend of pure ingredients with
    cutting-edge chemistry to enhance the benefits of coconut oil. This
    secret sauce delivers better results than conventional products.
  • MADE IN THE USA – These products are manufactured
    using only the best ingredients and made in sustainable,
    solar powered labs in Southern California. Kopari products are Non
    GMO, Sulfate free, Cruelty free and Paraben free.

Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum, Multi-Purpose Jelly, 3.5 Ounce

  • Provides a rich moisture barrier to protect skin
    from chafing and irritation while offering petroleum-free hydration
  • Formulated with pure plant oils and all botanical waxes
  • 100% vegetarian ingredients
  • NO: parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances
*If you are allergic to beeswax this product is not for you.

[1] Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). (2009). Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Accessed January 24, 2018.



Show Your Neck Some Respect

The most delicate areas on our bodies, the skin of our necks, décolleté and bust, are also the most neglected areas of our bodies. “Due to lack of care and protection, they’re usually the first areas to start sagging and developing age spots,” says Louise Peck, Ph.D. and founder of HydroPeptide in a recent article entitled, “Neck Deep” featured in DaySpa Magazine (Oct. 2010). “The skin on the neck is thin, has virtually no subcutaneous fat, is prone to loss of moisture and circulates blood poorly,” said Peck.

The skin on our necks, décolleté and bust should be treated with the same amount of care that is given to our faces. Though the skin on our bodies tend to differ slightly from that of our faces; the neck, bust and décolleté skin is more fragile. They must be cleansed twice daily, moisturized and protected with SPF 30. Since aging of the skin is connected with a loss of moisture, use products that are extremely hydrating. It’s actually best to use products that are formulated for the face. Hydrating serums, because they penetrate deeper, work great. Simply expand your product application to these areas. In an effort to defy gravitation, it’s best to apply products in an upward, outward direction.

Show Your Neck Some Respect

Look for products, foods or supplements that contain these ingredients:

  • Essential oils containing vitamin F including grapeseed and evening primrose oil, which increases fatty acids providing greater moisture.
  • Nut/Seed oils such as walnut, sunflower and flaxseed.
  • Green tea provides antioxidant protection and increases circulation.
  • Lactic acid gently exfoliates and reduces melanin production.
  • Vitamin A promotes cell turnover.
  • Vitamin C provides antioxidant protection and helps even skin tone.

Originally published on Be Well Blog Oct. 28, 2010


Chicago Fitness Guru Mysti Cobb Inspires Us To Get Movin’

by Mysti Cobb

 Mysti Cobb, Personal Trainer & LMT

“I love to exercise!”

Monday is a spinning class and an hour of Pilates. Tuesday is the Insanity Workout DVD. Wednesday is an hour and a half of yoga. Thursday is weight training with my workout buddy Cheryl. Friday is an hour and a half of African dance. And Saturday is my rest day. Then on Sunday I start the rotation all over again by hitting the gym for an hour.

Exercise has always provided me with a way to relieve stress, get a good sweat and feel good about myself.

There are some weeks when my routine changes slightly and I cannot get it all in. Some days I may just take a 20 minute brisk walk outside. The important thing is I incorporate some form of exercise into my life on a daily basis. It is as regular as brushing my teeth or showering. My body needs it; and so does my mind. When I don’t get my exercise, I feel depressed and tired. Exercise gives me energy and lifts my spirits.

There are many elements in life that can wear on our minds, bodies and spirits. It is extremely important to relieve ourselves of these elements before they begin to take a toll. Find something that you enjoy physically and stick to your program. Whether it is basketball; roller skating; running … the possibilities are endless. Simply carve out a few minutes each day to exercise; then watch how your life and body changes.

Mysti Cobb, personal trainer and licensed massage therapist, is the owner of Blue Girl Wellness in Chicago. 
Photo Credit: Vignette Experience Photography

Brow Building


Could you go a day without your eyebrows?

In this video, Kim, our lovely assistant and makeup artist here at Wholistic Skincare will show you how she builds the perfect brow everyday.

Brow Pencil: Jordana USA in Brown Suede, $1.99. Sold at Walgreens
Foundation: Cinema Secrets Foundation #201-67B, $28. Sold at