A basic recipe for a petroleum jelly substitute combines melted beeswax with some sort of oil. Olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and avocado oil are all wonderful for the skin. Like Vaseline, they consist of lipids, providing moisture, lubrication, and protection. Unlike petroleum jelly they are plant based and add nutrients and essential fatty acids to the mix.
Beeswax is a great cosmetic/skin-care product. It contains wax esthers, which are present in human skin. Both natural and compatible for the human body, beeswax is frequently used in lotions, lip gloss, and other beauty products as a moisturizing agent, but also as a carrier for other compounds.
To make homemade non-petroleum jelly you will need:
- 1 ounce of grated beeswax
- 1/2 cup oil
Melt the beeswax in a double boiler over a low heat. Remove from heat and add the oil. Whip the two ingredients together until cool. This will help the beeswax and oil integrate and emulsify. You can use a blender, a hand beater, a whisk, or a spoon and a strong arm. Once whipped together and cooled pour into a glass jar and seal shut. This natural jelly will keep for about a year. You can use it for chapped lips, dry skin, and anything else you would normally use petroleum jelly for.
If desired you can add essential oils to the recipe. All essential oils have antibacterial properties. Many have great skin care properties, such as lavender which also is anti-inflammatory and frankincense which promotes cellular regeneration. Add four drops to the above recipe when you add the oil to the melted wax. To make a large batch, perhaps to make eco-friendly gifts for others, double or triple the recipe. Be sure to use recycled glass jars for storage!
Most of use have used petroleum jelly at some point, or at least our mothers or grandmothers have recommended it. Understanding what exactly it is and where it falls short as a skin care and beauty product does lead one to appreciate the simple, natural alternative.