Largely discovered by accident, Vaseline has been a part of many skincare routines, largely because it is used not to moisturise by itself but because it can help lock in the moisturising effects of other skincare products.
This was the basis behind the somewhat infamous slugging trend, but whilst it certainly has its uses, Vaseline doesn't actually treat dry skin conditions. It wraps the skin instead like cling film, which may be useful if you are trying to prevent moisture loss but this actually interferes with the ability of your skin to breathe, creating the very same conditions you are aiming to alleviate, a vicious circle of sorts.
More generically known as petroleum jelly or soft-paraffin, Vaseline is a crude oil byproduct that whilst rating fairly low on toxicity scales, is one of the first products people want to replace when they opt for a natural skincare routine, and thankfully there are a lot of fantastic alternatives.
A pair of excellent alternatives are shea butter, cocoa butter or muru muru butter, which are often blended together with other oils to create various types of body butter.
Shea butter does more than seal in moisture, however, providing vitamins A and E, essential fatty acids and helps to boost collagen production. This helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and scarring in the process.
Meanwhile, cocoa butter is ideal for treating cracked, dry skin due to the plant-derived saturated fats inherent to the butter mix. As well as this, it is an emollient, a thick protective hydrating layer that makes it highly suitable to replace petroleum jelly as a lip balm.
Muru Muru butter isn't as familiar or as popular but it's a truly amazing little gem from the Brazilian forests. It is packed with nutrients and is excellent for inflamed skin. It isn't as greasy as shea or cocoa butter and sinks in beautifully if applied after your shower or bath.
Finally, there is jojoba oil, a waxy substance that helps to produce a moisture barrier and helps reduce the production of excess oil, which can help prevent the types of acne breakouts that are common for people with particularly oily skin, as well as soothing the symptoms of eczema.
There are many different natural alternatives to skincare products that were seen previously as essential, and often these products provide additional benefits.