Aquaphor vs Vaseline: Which is Better?

Aquaphor is a skin-protecting ointment used to help heal wounds, prevent dryness, and relieve discomfort associated with certain skin conditions. Vaseline is a popular skin ointment, also known as petroleum jelly. It is a skin protectant and offers many of the same benefits as Aquaphor.

Aquaphor vs Vaseline: Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Vaseline Original Healing Jelly

So what’s the difference between the two and which is better? There are many similarities between Aquaphor and Vaseline, but they also have a few key differences that make them unique. We’ll discuss product ingredients and product experience in this comparison of Aquaphor vs Vaseline. Read on to learn more about these two remedies and discover which one might be better for you.

This post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is designed to help heal and moisturize dry, cracked skin (especially on the hands and feet) and chapped lips.

It also soothes minor cuts and burns and protects the skin against potential irritations. It forms a semi-occlusive barrier on the skin while moisturizing and supporting skin repair.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment Key Ingredients

Aquaphor Healing Ointment sampled on spatula
  • Petrolatum: Aquaphor is formulated with 41% petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly. Petrolatum is an occlusive that forms a barrier on the skin to reduce transepidermal water loss. This concentration percentage allows for oxygen flow which aids in healing the skin.
  • Mineral Oil: Mineral oil improves skin barrier function and skin softness. It’s another occlusive that forms a protective layer on the skin to keep hydration and moisture in.
  • Lanolin Alcohol: An emollient and skin-softening ingredient derived from lanolin.
  • Panthenol: Panthenol is also known as pro-vitamin B5. This ingredient is anti-inflammatory and has healing and moisturizing benefits for the skin.
  • Glycerin: Glycerin is a humectant that moisturizes and attracts water to the skin.
  • Bisabolol: This plant-based ingredient comes from chamomile, reduces inflammation, and has a soothing effect on the skin.

You can use this water-free ointment to heal and protect the skin for many of your daily activities. If you have irritated, dry, cracked skin from cold winter weather or other elements, Aquaphor supports healing and rejuvenates the skin.

This is an ideal product choice for children when they have minor cuts, scrapes, rashes, dry patches of skin, etc. The ointment has a sting-free formula that relieves irritation. Ideal for the whole family, it’s preservative and fragrance-free.

Aquaphor ointment is such a rich ointment it has been called “Vaseline with Benefits” because of its excellent moisturizing properties. Let’s take a look at Vaseline’s formula and benefits.

Vaseline Healing Jelly Original

Vaseline Original Healing Jelly

Vaseline Healing Jelly Original is a popular skin ointment that has been clinically proven to heal dry and damaged skin. Like Aquaphor, it soothes and protects the dry and chapped skin. It has the U.S. National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance for being suitable for sensitive skin and skin dryness associated with eczema.

Vaseline has many uses: you can moisturize the skin before shaving, apply it after a shower to lock in moisture, or use it overnight on top of a night cream or under makeup. It penetrates quickly and is an excellent remedy for dry lips, elbows, and knees.

Vaseline Key Ingredients

White Petrolatum, USP (100%): The one and only ingredient in Vaseline is white petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly. A by-product of refined crude oil, petrolatum is an occlusive that forms a film on the skin to prevent transepidermal water loss.

Vaseline Original Healing Jelly Sampled on Spatula

This product is great to use during harsh winter months or if you spend an extended amount of time in extremely dry environments. It helps protect the skin so that it doesn’t crack due to weather elements.

Due to its thick formula, Vaseline works well to moisturize and penetrate dry, cracked heels. Apply Vaseline on your feet and other affected areas and let it absorb for a couple of minutes before bedtime to provide the skin with an extra dose of moisture.

Even though petrolatum is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores (which can cause acne and breakouts), Vaseline feels greasy on the skin. Those with combination, oily and acne-prone skin may want to use lighter weight non-comedogenic skincare products.

Vaseline offers a complete line of body lotions, moisturizers, and oils containing petrolatum, and many other ingredients to target skin concerns like eczema, psoriasis, and sunburn. Vaseline also offers body lotions and products designed specifically for men.

Aquaphor vs Vaseline: For Lips

If you have dry and/or chapped lips, both Vaseline and Aquaphor smooth and soften your lips and even provide a little shine, acting as substitutes for clear lip gloss. They both have a similar texture, with Aquaphor feeling slightly less greasy than Vaseline.

Both brands offer specially formulated lip products:

  • Aquaphor offers Aquaphor Lip Repair products, which come in a tube or lip balm (stick). They are formulated specifically for the lips and are enriched with vitamins, jojoba oil, and shea butter.
  • Vaseline offers product options for the lips as well. Some Vaseline Lip Therapy products combine petrolatum with moisturizing and soothing ingredients like cocoa butter and aloe vera.

The Bottom Line: Vaseline helps prevent chapped and dry lips, while Aquaphor can soothe already chapped and dry lips and has moisturizing benefits.

Aquaphor vs Vaseline: For Baby

When it comes to diaper rash and cuts and scrapes, Aquaphor has additional ingredients besides petroleum (the USP grade petrolatum in Vaseline) that can help speed up healing and soothe baby’s delicate skin. It also moisturizes dry skin and forms a protective barrier that keeps irritants out, making Aquaphor the better choice for a baby’s delicate skin.

Aquaphor has a baby care line that includes Baby Healing Ointment, which contains the same ingredients as Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Aquaphor also has other products formulated specifically for babies to protect from wetness, irritation, and chafing, like Baby Healing Ointment, Diaper Rash Cream, and Diaper Rash Paste.

Vaseline also offers a baby product: Vaseline Healing Jelly Baby, which contains petrolatum like the original Vaseline plus added fragrance.

If you are looking for a fragrance-free product for your baby’s skin, Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is the better choice compared to Vaseline Healing Jelly Baby.

Aquaphor vs Vaseline: For Tattoos

After getting a tattoo, you want an ointment with healing and anti-inflammatory benefits, so opt for Aquaphor. Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a product that helps soothe fresh tattoos.

Vaseline is not the best choice for tattoos because it will form an occlusive film that won’t allow airflow to help the skin heal.

Aquaphor vs Vaseline: Which is Better?

Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Vaseline Original Healing Jelly - opened

Aquaphor and Vaseline each have their own strengths and are the better choice for specific needs. Each product is formulated differently, so it depends on how you need it to benefit your skin.

Since it only contains petrolatum, Vaseline is less likely to cause sensitivity or irritation. Aquaphor contains more ingredients, and there is a chance that lanolin may cause irritation or an allergic reaction on sensitive skin.

When it comes to price, Vaseline is the clear winner for its highly affordable drugstore pricing. This 2017 study investigated the cost-benefit of using moisturizers from birth to six months of age to prevent the inflammatory skin condition atopic dermatitis (eczema) in high-risk newborns. It looked at seven cost-effective moisturizers and found that the least expensive (petroleum jelly) provided the best cost-benefit ratio.

Aquaphor will be the better choice for many skin concerns, including cuts and scrapes, due to its soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

You should take into consideration your skin type, skin concerns, and budget and purchase accordingly.

Aquaphor vs Vaseline: Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking for an over-the-counter product that you can purchase at the drugstore or online, both Aquaphor and Vaseline are fantastic choices for dry skin relief. Both products provide hydration to the skin, protect against potential irritations from weather elements, and assist in healing all types of minor cuts and burns.

However, Aquaphor and Vaseline are formulated differently, so it’s important to consider which issues you’re most concerned with and how each skincare product can benefit your skin.

Both products are effective, but remember that the best method of fighting dry skin is to prevent it from occurring in the first place by using a gentle cleanser and protecting your skin with sunscreen year-round.

For another Aquaphor comparison, check out my post on Aquaphor vs Eucerin.

Thanks for reading, and until next time…here’s to your good skin health!