Accidentally Green Beauty Routine

January 14, 2014


Images and text by Gabrielle.

I’ve mentioned having my cleaning routine greened up. But it turns out I’ve greened up my beauty products over the last six or seven months kind of by accident. Years ago, when I lived in New York, my friend Sara Stratford told me about an article she’d read on the dangers of using petroleum products on your skin, and how she was having a hard time quitting her favorite lip balm. But I confess, I mentally plugged my ears at the news. Because Vaseline — straight up petroleum jelly — is the pharmacy product I probably use most. I use it to take off my makeup, and I use it on my lips right after I brush my teeth and before I put on lipstick. I also use it for extra-dry patches of skin, on sore noses, and to soften up heels and elbows. It seriously gets multi-times-a-day use at my house.

So right then and there, during the conversation with Sara, I pretty much abandoned any thoughts of greening my grooming routines because I couldn’t imagine giving up Vaseline.

Then, years later, and a few months before we moved home from France, I happened upon an ad for Waxalene, which was billed as a petroleum jelly alternative. I was skeptical, but made a mental note of it. And once we had moved back, during a visit to Whole Foods I noticed a basket of Waxalene tubes and decided to give it try.

Turns out it looks, feels, and functions almost exactly like Vaseline! So all of a sudden I was no longer dependent on my trusty petroleum jelly. Kind of game changer for me. I still have have used bottles of Vaseline that I imagine I’ll probably use up (the waste kills me!), but I’m fully on board with Waxalene now.


Then, during Alt Summit NYC last June, Mara (who is very conscientious about seeking out the most safe and pure beauty products), brought me a jar of Egyptian Magic body cream. Though I was delighted to have a new beauty product to try, once again I was skeptical. The ingredient list is lovely, but the jar describes the cream as magical. I mean, come on!

In my childhood home, there was a high shelf around our dining nook, where my mother put together a display of antiques — nothing valuable, the collection was made up of inexpensive, but very old household items. And among them was a bottle of Dr. Sloane’s Liniment that promised to cure almost anything.

When I saw the description on Egyptian Magic bottle, I couldn’t help but think of Dr. Sloane. Hah!


Anyway, I did try the cream, and it turns out I love it. Like love it! In fact, the jar pictured here is a replacement that I just ordered the other day, because my original bottle is almost used up. I like this cream as a general body lotion, and I use it as my facial moisturizer each morning. I rub a bit between my hands and then apply it. It feels almost greasy as it goes on, but then absorbs beautifully and leaves my skin super soft. Plus, you hardly need any at all! So the first jar has lasted me since June 2013 (that helps take the sting out of the price, at around $30 per jar it’s not cheap).

I bought my replacement bottle on Amazon (some of the reviews made me think I would receive a fake, but the one I was sent is identical to the first jar, so I think it’s a legit listing). The only negative thing I have to say about this product is that the printing on the jar starts to come off after awhile. Not a big deal, just odd. I’m so, so glad Mara introduced me to this product. It’s become a big time favorite.


Lastly, I’m still going strong on my love affair with Mom’s Stuff, which I bought on a curious whim in July 2012. I’ve written about Mom’s Stuff earlier here. It’s handmade of the best ingredients, in small batches by an artist named Lee Bennion. I use it on my hands when they’re sore from too much cleaning. I use it on cracked heels and dry elbows. When I need something really strong and protective for my skin, Mom’s Stuff is my go to.

Again, one jar lasts a long time! I’m almost finished with my first one and I’ve had it for about a year and a half.

So there they are, some of my favorite safe and natural beauty products. I didn’t set out to improve the products I was using, but I’m so glad it has happened anyway! I’d love to hear if you’ve tried any of these yourself, or if you have other body-safe products you love. And I’d also love to hear if you are like Mara, and have sought out healthier products, or if you’re more like me and haven’t really given it as much thought as it probably deserves.

P.S. — I haven’t completely greened my routine. Not at all! I’m still using lipsticks that may or may not have lead. And there are still some French products I can’t seem to quit (and I have no idea what their green factor is, if any). The Nuxe Huile Prodigiuese and the Bioderma Makeup Remover are still staples in my routine!

P.P.S. — Speaking of grooming routines, I’m still working on my post about oil-pulling. Watch for it soon!

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Accidentally Green Beauty Routine | Jerbelle Lau
January 14, 2014 at 11:08 am

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah January 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

i’ve been very curious about the egyptian magic, so it’s good to read your assessment! the stuff i use now has spf though, which i’m loathe to give up…


2 Design Mom January 14, 2014 at 11:15 am

I know what you mean. For ages, my standard daily moisturizer was Oil of Olay Complete with spf. I still keep a bottle in my medicine cabinet and use it when I know I’ll be in the sun.

If Egyptian Magic had an spf option, that would be my dream cream!


3 Kimber January 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm

You can add titanium dioxide or zinc oxide powder to any cream or lotion to make it spf!


4 Sally from Little Hiccups January 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Dermalogica make an SPF booster that can be added to moisturiser. Not sure how well it would mix with something like Egyptian Magic but I used to mix it with my Clarins moisturiser and it worked well. You can also apply it directly to your skin under moisturiser instead but seeing as it’s a little pricey I prefer to mix it to make it last longer.


5 mom in mendon January 14, 2014 at 11:21 am

I want to try all of these. I’m still using Bag Balm as my industrial strength ointment, but I’m ready for something else.

Bag Balm:


6 Design Mom January 14, 2014 at 11:50 am

Mom, I need to buy you a jar of Mom’s Stuff! I think it would do what Bag Balm does, but the smell is amazing.


7 caroline January 14, 2014 at 11:11 pm

“Mom, i need to buy you…” This is SO cute Gabrielle ;)
Hello Donna ! Best wishes for you and your nice husband for 2014 !


8 Cecilia January 14, 2014 at 11:35 am

I’d like to green up my routine, so thank you for this encouraging post. I liked reading Mara’s suggestions, too. And I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about oil pulling—my husband and I started Jan. 1!


9 Design Mom January 14, 2014 at 11:51 am

I’m excited for that post!


10 Nicole January 14, 2014 at 11:46 am

Would love recommendations for preservative-free moisturizers! The Puristics line was working great for me, but now I can’t find it locally.


11 Design Mom January 14, 2014 at 11:50 am

I’m guessing the Egyptian Magic would count? But I’m not sure what counts as a preservative.


12 Debbie Smith January 14, 2014 at 11:49 am

I’m super excited to find out about Waxalene! For years, the question of vaseline’s safety has been in the back of my mind, but it’s so great for removing eye makeup and moisturizing chapped lips that I’ve just ignored those little warning thoughts. Can’t wait to try it -


13 Design Mom January 14, 2014 at 11:52 am

Exactly! Vaseline works so well I couldn’t imagine replacing it. But I really do like Waxalene. If you try it, let me know what you think!


14 Zoe - SlowMama January 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm

I am all over that Egyptian Magic since I’ve been greening up my own beauty and personal products over the past couple of years and I’ve never heard of it — sounds great. The Mom’s Stuff also sounds terrific. So glad you shared these products!


15 Christine January 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I was introduced dermatologist Laura Koniver’s site and have pretty much abandoned 75% of my “beauty” products since reading what she has to say.

I now use coconut oil for my hand, face, lip and body moisturizer. For oil pulling. As a deodorant mixed with arrowroot, baking soda and lavender essence. And, for cooking! Nutiva has a very pure, organic line. For body and face wash, I use diluted Dr Bronner’s organic castile soap. I add baking soda when I feel my face needs exfoliating. I also use baking soda to brush my teeth. I rinse with hydrogen peroxide first and then brush. Both are natural teeth whiteners.

And, I’ve replaced my antibiotic ointments with wound honey (Dr Nordyke’s manuka honey). Improves healing and lessens scarring. it’s sticky, though, so it needs to be covered.

And, lastly … check out what Dr Koniver writes about “grounding” … spending some time each day with your feet in the dirt or other direct contact (skin) with the earth.

I meant to give you my 2¢ but it end up more like 56¢. Sorry!


16 Design Mom January 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Coconut oil really does seem to get rave reviews from so many people! I originally bought a jar of it at my daughter Maude’s request. She kept seeing it come up in Pinterest beauty and skin care tutorials. Maude uses it as a makeup remover.


17 rachael January 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Does anybody know of a good diaper rash product for use with cloth diapers? My little guys diaper gets so red sometimes with blisters and I hate going to disposables just so I can use some cream.


18 Erin January 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Rachael – I swear by Honest Co.’s Healing Balm. It worked wonder’s on my baby’s diaper rash, as well as his cradle cap and dry skin.


19 100200 January 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Rachael, it could be a yeast rash and not just a regular diaper rash. If so, you’ll want to “strip” your diapers otherwise it will keep coming back. Also, I’ve known babies who are sensitive to poly and mirco fabrics and that’s why they get rashy in cloth–for them it’s wool or cotton or disposables. Hope this helps.


20 Lindi January 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm

I have used waxelene as a diaper cream for about a year now and it works really well. I’ve tried several kinds and waxelene is definitely our favorite.


21 Design Mom January 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm

I keep a tube of Honest’s Healing balm in my purse. I love it! When I’m in the car (and not driving), I like to rub it into my cuticles.


22 Alicia W. January 14, 2014 at 1:38 pm

I’m not sure how well it will work with cloth diapers (whether it will stain them or not), but I always reach for my Bag Balm when my little ones get diaper rash. There’s a link for it a ways up in the comments. It’s not the best smelling stuff, but it works better than anything else I’ve tried.


23 Kate January 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Northern Essence’s Better Butt(er) Cream!

I loved that stuff. Also, California Babies diaper rash cream when used sparingly never messed up my cloth diapers. However, for BAD rashes I found there was no substitute for Triple Paste, which meant using a liner or temporarily switching to disposables. If you don’t want to buy disposables, you can buy little paper liners that they sell at cloth diaper stores or make a cheapie one yourself by cutting up some fleece from the fabric store or even an old fleece blanket if you’ve got an extra around. (The fleece rectangles you cut up can be washed and re-used or thrown out depending on how much you care about these things/how coated in cream they are.) Good luck!


24 Amy January 14, 2014 at 8:30 pm

I second Triple Paste. My daughter practically jumped off the changing table when I put other diaper creams on her bottom when she had bad diaper rash.


25 Zina January 14, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Rachael, my mom is actually the mom of “Mom’s Stuff” and I have given it to lots of friends when they have babies. They all swear it is the best diaper rash preventer and healer. You can take your Mom’s stuff and melt it and then cut it with a little more oil (apricot kernal, olive oil, etc.) to make it softer and easier to put on a babies bum!


26 Sally from Little Hiccups January 14, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Not sure if you can get it in the US, but Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment works well for diaper rash. I used it on my youngest when she had diaper rash every now and then. She wore Bum Genius diapers and it never seemed to damage them.
It’s also a great lip balm :)


27 Michelle January 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

This question is so timely for me! I’m in my third month of cloth diapering, and how to deal with diaper rash without having to turn to creams that will stain my beautiful cloth diapers (aka poop packages) is something I think about almost constantly. Both the Angel Baby balm and the GroVia stick have worked for me as preventative measures. The trick is to apply them at every diaper change, or at least most of them. (I know this can get annoying when you’re out and about.)

Also, “naked time” has made a huge difference for my little guy’s rash. My routine for this is: clean the bottom, pat dry, blow dry on a low air setting, apply balm, let him lie there for as long as he/I can take it (sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes an hour), cover up.

I know it can be frustrating, but you’ll get there!


28 Carla January 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm

For diaper rashes by mother-in-law (an R.N.) suggested potato flour – sounds odd I know but it worked better than any cream or ointment I had tried. It’s like corn starch, you can usually get it in the baking aisle at the grocery store. Old fashioned maybe but sometimes tried and true works. Good luck.


29 Shannon { A Mom's Year } January 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I know that Dr. Sloane bottle!! My grandma has him on a shelf in her bathroom. Too funny!

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve never really thought of greening up my beauty routine. And, in these cold and dry Wisconsin winters, I go through vaseline like crazy. But I like the idea of something more natural. Off to check out Waxalene…


30 Robin January 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm

This has become a passion for me. I was a serious skincare and makeup junkie for a long time, but have been simplifying and trying to green things up for a while now. There are some great tips over at and has good assessment of products. One thing that I came to realize was that a lot of brands that sound clean, really aren’t (some stuff from Avalon Organics, Beauty Without Cruelty, etc). Weleda, Dr. Hauschka, and Evan Healy are pretty clean. By Nieves is also a great line. I like everything I have tried from it. Etsy can be good if you have the time to trawl through things, and Beauty Habit and Spirit Beauty Lounge are great sources for some of the really luxe green stuff. Both do samples.
I’m excited to try Waxelene. Thanks for the rec!


31 Design Mom January 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Your comment about brands not being as clean as one might think stuck with me, Robin. And I realized I’ve been thinking about the products in this post as “clean” in that I recognize the ingredients and understand the ingredients and know they are sans additives and harsh chemicals. But then again, I have no idea how the ingredients in these products are harvested, and don’t know if they qualify as “clean” as far as eco-friendly goes. Interesting.


32 January 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Mom’s stuff!! Love it. Story: Last summer I was in Jackson, WY visiting my sister. A friend popped over, we introduced ourselves and couldn’t stop talking about essential oils, which I’m enamored with. I told her my son has a skin problem on his hands that oils haven’t been able to cure. 2 days later she brought over mom’s stuff. It’s her sister Mrs. Bennion that makes it. Interesting tidbit: the Bennions’ biggest costumer is the Dalai Lama, yes that is correct THE Dalai Lama.
And the Mom’s stuff has taken care of my son’s skin issues. I just gave a jar to my mother in law who had surgery and the incision scars are not healing well. The Mom’s stuff has taken care of it!! Boom!


33 Shani January 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Fun! These are all new to me. I swear by Soapwalla’s natural deodorant. It really, really works and is all natural!!!! I’ve tried every natural deodorant under the sign and this is the only one that works. It’s totally magic. You should check it out!


34 anne January 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm

these sound wonderful. I like using things I can feel a little bit better about. unfortunately, i’m allergic to lanolin. i’m sad the Egyptian magic contains it. booo for me. oh well, i’m sure there are lots of other things that I can use that are great. any other suggestions?


35 Cecilia January 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Hi Anne,

I use something that reminds me of Egyptian Magic in its consistency but doesn’t contain lanolin. It’s called Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic All in One Healing Skin Cream. The ingredients are: Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Organic Beeswax; Organic Honey; Propolis Extract; Bee Pollen; Royal Jelly. I use it for deep moisturizing (hands, heels, knees, elbows etc) as well as on my lips after brushing my teeth. I bought it at Whole Foods; Amazon carries it as well. It lasts a long time. It also comes in a stick form that I keep in my handbag to treat my hands, lips, hair, whatever! Hope that might work for you.


36 anne January 15, 2014 at 11:42 am

thank you so much Cecilia!


37 Bec September 8, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Egyptian magic does Not contain lanolin, here is ingredient list
Olive Oil
Royal Jelly
Bee Pollen
Bee Propolis

How come you thought it contained lanolin? Maybe different formula in different countries?


38 Tasha January 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

I love all of these hints, thank you! I, too, have recently started slowly adding in things that are healthier for me and my environment. The biggest “fix’ I have is Vicks!!! I have read so much about its harm to humans though, especially if breathed in – and I wear it around my nose nightly! (Sounds weird but I swore this summer it was my cure for all allergies and asthma problems and saw so many others agree online, until I read the harm it can do if it gets into lungs!) A little research led me to recipes for making my own, but I really am not there yet so ordered from a and LOVE the product. I use it nightly and although it’s not the same scent, it seems to do well. I feel good rubbing this on my or husband’s chest/back when sick too, not worried. I even used it on our feet for cough like they say to do with Vicks in socks! Lol, it works♥


39 Design Mom January 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm

So glad you found a fix that you feel good about, Tasha!


40 Tasha January 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm

PS – From the site:
“All you need to make it is olive oil, beeswax, & a few essential oils.”


41 linda January 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm

thanks for tips. i am very much a small person so was wondering if any of those products smelled good. i love california baby’s calendula cream in the winter cause it is so thick and smells wonderful. i also like living libations seabuck thorn oil for my face but the $12 shipping fee has stopped me from going back for more!


42 Allison January 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm

I actually saw Egyptian Magic in costco the other day and wondered if it was as awesome as it sounded! My Grandmother In Law is 103 and used vaseline on her face every day of her life. She looks amazing! Even though I’ve used it, I’ve always hated the smell…but now I will certainly try Waxelene.


43 Jenny January 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I recently read the book No More Dirty Looks, which addresses the issue of “unclean” beauty products. The well researched, journalist authors mention that Europe has over a 1000 problematic ingredients banned from beauty products that are not banned in the USA. If you are using beauty products from Fance, they are likely quite clean and certainly much cleaner then similar products offered stateside. Next time I’m lucky enough to visit Europe, I plan to stock up on some beauty basics!


44 Kate January 14, 2014 at 5:08 pm

I simplified, green-ed up, and probably saved some $, too, by just using coconut oil for a lot of things.


45 Jen January 14, 2014 at 5:54 pm

When my daughter was born, Vaseline was repeatedly recommended, but I couldn’t imagine putting petroleum anything on her tender skin. I found Unpetroleum Jelly at a local natural foods store and have been using ever since. It has a bit a greasy feel, but absorbs quickly. We love it!


46 Design Mom January 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Thanks for the link to Unpetroleum, Jen! I had never heard of it. Fun to know there are lots of options.


47 Kalani January 16, 2014 at 9:25 am

After what I’ve read about the potential risks of putting fossil fuels on the body I will do anything to avoid petroleum jelly. I used to use it on my legs in the dry winter months right after the shower. I like Unpetroluem Jelly too & mix with with lotion when my skin is especially dry.


48 Sarah January 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm

I LOVE Waxalene. It cleared up my son’s chapped lips without any fear of him licking too much product. It fixes a lot of chapped, irritated skin.


49 Jennifer January 14, 2014 at 7:01 pm

What about using the Vaseline up quickly on your feet under socks for a few nights? It’d be a fast easy way to soften dry winter feet quickly and use up Vaseline fast so you can get onto other green products.


50 Design Mom January 15, 2014 at 6:36 pm

That’s a good idea, Jennifer! Smart.


51 Willa January 14, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Pure jojoba oil is my secret natural moisturizer. Since the oil is not emulsified at all like lotion or creams, it takes a little getting used to and doesn’t spread or absorb as easily as lotion but it can feel really luxurious. One method I like is getting my hands and/or face a little damp, put some drops of oil in my palms and rub together, then pat on my face. I also sometimes spritz rosewater on my face or onto my palms to mix with the oil and help it absorb. It’s great for spot treating dry areas on your face or if you have combination skin. Also great for removing eye makeup!


52 Kimberly January 15, 2014 at 7:56 am

What Willa said. Jojoba oil is amazing.


53 Design Mom January 15, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Just realizing I’ve never actually seen jojoba oil as a standalone product. I have no idea what it even looks like! I’ve only ever seen it mentioned as part of a shampoo or conditioner. Now I’m curious! Off to look it up…


54 Mary January 20, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Pure jojoba oil is available at Trader Joes’s for approximately $6 or $7 for a 4 fl. Oz. bottle. It removes makeup and waterproof mascaras beautifully and is useful in so many ways.


55 March 7, 2014 at 6:53 am

It’s a joy to find someone who can think like that


56 Danielle lindberg January 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Hello! I just saw the Egyptian magic for sale at costco. I believe it was two jars for either 39.00 or 49.00…either way a bit of a savings.


57 Design Mom January 14, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Good to know! Thanks, Danielle.


58 Susan Magnolia January 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I think that I just saw it at Trader Joe’s in Oakland. ^_^


59 Jodi January 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm

It is hard to go all green! I’ve fallen in love with a homemade moisturizer that consists of coconut oil, beeswax, and purified water. Melt the oil and wax, throw it all in a blender and emulsify. Super simple and so inexpensive. It feels fabulous, and lasts a long time. One bonus is that I’ve heard coconut oil acts as a natural sunscreen, about spf 5 I think.


60 Design Mom January 14, 2014 at 11:13 pm

This sounds like a really wonderful combination! I don’t know why I’m so hesitant to mix my own products. I suppose it’s partly because I’m so used to the convenience or ready made creams and lotions.

My daughter, Olive, made an oatmeal mask the other night from a recipe she heard about on a youtube video. Perhaps she would enjoy taking on lotion-making duties for the family. : )


61 Melissa January 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm

I am addicted to carmex! Will give Waxeline a try. I have been curious about Facial oils. The one I keep reading about is Rodin Olio Lusso. Has anyone used this or something like it?


62 Bridgette January 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm

They sell Egyptian Magic at the Costco by us! I always wondered about it, glad to hear it’s a safe bet.


63 Lauren January 14, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Thanks for this post. I have replaced many of my beauty products (eye makeup remover, lip balm, even hair cream) with coconut oil, but I do use the same SPF moisturizer that my dermatologist recommended when I was 15. I should probably look into a new facial moisturizer and add some SPF when the sun comes out. I live in Seattle so I probably don’t need the daily stuff anymore.


64 Kristy January 15, 2014 at 10:04 am

I started breaking out a lot more last year and I knew my bar soap routine needed an upgrade, but everything good was so expensive! I’ve been using the oil cleansing method on my face for a few weeks now–still working with the ratios of castor oil to olive oil, but it feels excellent, not too oily at all, and I rarely need moisturizer.

Next I’d really like to try the no shampoo thing and mineral sunscreen, like Butterbean. Oil pulling also sounds intriguing–can’t wait to hear your take on it.


65 RuthWW January 15, 2014 at 10:34 am

I use Mom’s Salve. I love the smell but when I put it on my heels and elbows at night before bed, my husband says I smell like a pine tree! It does have piñon pitch in it. I grew up picking pinenuts in Nevada, so I love it! The salve has healing and softening qualities. I use it on my son’s scars from foot surgery from 10 years ago because they get dry and scaly. It works better than an avocado/Shea oil mixture I used before.


66 Design Mom January 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Hah! It does have a strong outdoorsy scent. A stroke of luck: Ben Blair loves it. He always notices when I’ve used some and tells me I smell so good. : )


67 Michelle January 15, 2014 at 10:51 am

I’m a sucker for these product posts! I really like the idea of using one product for multiple uses. But when push comes to shove, I usually just purchase the product appropriate for one intended purpose. Recently, I switched my moisturizer to Paula’s Choice, but I’m inspired to give Egyptian Magic a whirl, if only to cut down on all the products in my medicine cabinet.


68 Miss Grit January 19, 2014 at 1:38 am

Just have to say that my mother, sisters, and I have been using PC for years and can’t say enough good things about it. Our skin looks amazing and we owe it all to Paula. Also, I consider myself to be a “green” mama but I can’t give up my PC.


69 Joy January 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I’ve been wanting to try Egyptian Magic for some time now but am wary of spending the money and possibly being unhappy with the scent. Gabrielle, could you tell me what kind of scent it has? Is it overwhelming? I’m very sensitive to scents (I get terrible migraines) and try and get everything fragrance free.


70 Design Mom January 15, 2014 at 6:31 pm

I’m sure it’s all relative, but I feel like the scent is really mild. In fact, when I think of Egyptian Magic, no scent comes to mind. (Compared to when I think of Mom’s Stuff, which has a really strong, herbal smell.)

Now that I hear it’s being sold at Costco, I’m guessing it’s not too hard to find. I’ll bet if you ask around, one of your friends may have a jar you can sample!


71 Brittany January 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Thanks for the recommendation, I am a vaseline addict too, I will have to check out waxelene!

One beauty product I wish I could find a green version of is hairspray. I remember my mom spraying my hair in our small bathroom and coughing from breathing it in. If anyone has any good recommendations I would appreciate it!


72 Gillian January 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

We all would do well to keep dangerous chemicals off of ourselves and our children… But let’s focus on actually dangerous compounds (parabens, phthalates, and others) not petroleum jelly, which is a great part of a natural beauty routine. Its supposed danger comes from a misunderstanding of the word “petroleum”. From yahoo shine:
“Myth: Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) used in hair and skin products is a dangerous chemical byproduct of petroleum or gasoline.
Fact: Refined USP Petroleum jelly is not the same as the “Petrolatum” defined by the Chemical Abstract System (CAS) definition found in the EPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory. This CAS number (8009-03-8) applies to an unrefined, heavy, waxy petrolatum material. In fact, United States Pharmacopeias (USP) white petroleum jelly is not a byproduct but is a refined and purified product of heavy waxes and paraffin oils. USP White Petroleum Jelly surpasses the safety standards set by the FDA for use in food and cosmetics products as well as for both the European Union (EU) and Japanese Pharmacopeia Chemical Codes.”

“The notion that petroleum jelly is carcinogenic seems to come from confusion online and elsewhere related to a European Union classification of petrolatum. Because petrolatum is derived from oil, it needs to be refined, and some refining methods use toxic compounds. One class of these refining agents, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH’S, have been linked to cancer. Any traces of these are removed at the end of the refining process. The EU doesn’t ban many products containing petrolatum, but it does require that the full refining history of a product be known and that the manufacturer be able to show that the “substance from which it is produced is not a carcinogen.”

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration monitors the purification of petrolatum to ensure against carcinogenic contamination. Furthermore, petroleum jelly has not been identified as a carcinogen by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration or the National Toxicology Program.

I wouldn’t worry about petroleum jelly causing cancer. My only concern with using it is that it should not be applied inside the nostrils, where small amounts of it might be inhaled. Over time this could result in pneumonitis, inflammation of lung tissue caused by the presence of irritating foreign matter.”


73 Susan Magnolia January 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm

My new favorite product is Argan Oil. I use in on my face mostly and I love it. I bought from amazon but saw it locally sold at whole foods. Argan oil is the main ingredient in Josie Maran’s skin care products so I bought a bottle of just the oil itself from Acure Organics.

Always trying more natural alternatives and usually refill bottles and get whatever they have in the bulk/refill sections of Berkeley Bowl or Whole Foods. My daughter was gifted a bunch of Honest products and I am liking the lotion and my family loves the baby/body wash. I am sure that I would not keep ordering bottles though. Refill for me! ^_^


74 hollee thornton January 20, 2014 at 5:15 am

Dear Design Mom,
I had to laugh when you were talking about the magic cream “The ingredient list is lovely, but the jar describes the cream as magical. I mean, come on!” I immediately thought of the oil pulling experiment. I laughed even harder when I saw the p.s. at the bottom promising the oil pulling post! I am dying to hear about this experience! I am now in Switzerland and the dental insurance is ridiculously expensive. The dental work is also ridiculously expensive. I hope to get back to the states and get my husbands mouth and overhaul while we are there for summer vacation. (or perhaps I should be heading to Ecuador as Mara from A Blog About Love says dental care is cheap there). My husband is the one in the family who is going to really cost us. After reading about your mention of oil pulling I was curious, and the very next week my husband was at the dentist with a gum infection- I can’t wait to get the bill (rolling eyes). I would love it if the oil pulling works- it seems impossible but I would love to hear what you have to say. Please give us your honest experience and hold nothing back- personally I would have a hard time trading my minty fresh feeling for coconut oil mouth????


75 Stefanie January 23, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Lanolin is a good substitute for vaseline – it works the same way on chapped skin and in comparison to Waxelene, doesn’t contain soy products and only has one ingredient. My favorite go-to beauty product is rose hip oil. Great for the face and healing scars.


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