Is Aquaphor the Same as Vaseline?

Vaseline and Aquaphor are two of the most popular petroleum-based ointments on the market. At first glance, they seem nearly identical – so is Aquaphor the same as Vaseline?

While Vaseline and Aquaphor share some key similarities, they have some important differences in their ingredients, texture, and suitability for different uses. Keep reading as I compare and contrast these two versatile skin protectants in detail.

What’s the Difference Between Aquaphor and Vaseline?

While Aquaphor and Vaseline are both petroleum-based ointments, they have some notable differences. Here’s a detailed look at each product:

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is marketed as a protective ointment that supports skin’s natural healing process. Here are its key features:


  • Can be used as a facial moisturizer and hydrating mask
  • Allows oxygen flow to boost healing
  • Helps address dryness from wind and cold weather
  • Relieves diaper rash discomfort
  • Protective barrier supports healing process
  • Helps address eczema dryness
  • Protects chafed skin


  • 41% petroleum jelly
  • Panthenol, glycerin, lanolin alcohol, ceresin, bisabolol, and mineral oil

Texture and Consistency

  • Slightly thinner than Vaseline


  • Free of preservatives and fragrance

Skin Type

  • Lanolin content may not suit sensitive skin

Vaseline Healing Jelly Original

Vaseline Healing Jelly promises to help heal dry, damaged skin with its pure petroleum jelly formula. Here’s an overview:


  • Protective barrier supports healing
  • Helps address eczema dryness
  • Protects chafed skin


  • 100% pure, triple purified petroleum jelly
  • Mineral oil, microcrystalline wax, and paraffin

Texture and Consistency

  • Thicker than Aquaphor


  • National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance

Skin Type

  • May be too thick for oily and acne-prone skin

Already we can see some key differences between Aquaphor and Vaseline. Next I’ll explore how these ointments are similar.

Aquaphor vs vaseline

How Are Aquaphor and Vaseline Similar?

Despite their unique features, Aquaphor and Vaseline share quite a few core similarities:

Key Features

  • Both are multipurpose ointments that protect and restore skin
  • Target dry, damaged, cracked, irritated skin
  • Uses include moisturizing dry skin, soothing chapped lips, softening cuticles, healing chafing and friction burns, and more

Texture and Consistency

  • Both have a petroleum base with minimal water content
  • Thick, viscous texture feels sticky or greasy


  • Skin does not absorb quickly, forming a protective moisture barrier


  • Gentle, non-comedogenic, suitable for most skin types
  • Even appropriate for sensitive skin

It’s clear that Aquaphor and Vaseline share a very similar effect of protecting, sealing in moisture, and restoring damaged skin. Now let’s take a closer look at each product.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment Review

How does Aquaphor compare to Vaseline for healing and hydrating skin? Here are the key points:

Comparison to Vaseline

  • Contains additional moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and panthenol
  • Slightly thinner texture may be more cosmetically elegant
  • Lanolin may cause irritation for some

Ingredients and Benefits

  • Petrolatum forms a protective barrier on skin
  • Glycerin attracts moisture from the air
  • Panthenol soothes and hydrates skin
  • Lanolin provides additional moisture

Suitability and Uses

  • Very versatile for lips, hands, cuts, eczema, etc
  • Lanolin makes it especially good for extra dry skin
  • Okay for acne-prone skin as it is non-comedogenic

Pros and Cons


  • Extra moisturizing ingredients
  • Free of fragrance
  • May promote tattoo healing


  • Lanolin may cause allergic reaction
  • Not ideal for wound healing

Overall, Aquaphor is an excellent multi-use ointment with added skin-nourishing benefits compared to regular petroleum jelly. However, lanolin poses a slight risk of irritation for sensitive skin.

Vaseline Healing Jelly Review

Now let’s see how pure petroleum jelly in the form of Vaseline stacks up:

Comparison to Aquaphor

  • 100% pure petroleum jelly formula
  • Thicker, more occlusive texture
  • May be better for wound healing
  • Limited moisturizing effects

Ingredients and Benefits

  • Petrolatum seals in moisture and protects skin

Suitability and Uses

  • Great for lips, cuticles, eczema
  • Protects minor scrapes and wounds
  • Use alone or before moisturizer

Pros and Cons


  • Helps lock in moisture
  • No lanolin or fragrance
  • Good for sensitive, eczema-prone skin
  • Preferred for wound healing


  • Does not add moisture
  • Thick texture may be too greasy
  • Not ideal for tattoo healing

Vaseline is an affordable skin protector that excels at creating a protective barrier on skin. It moisturizes by preventing moisture loss rather than providing hydration though.

How Do Aquaphor and Vaseline Compare?

Now that we’ve reviewed Aquaphor and Vaseline individually, how do they stack up against each other? Here are some key comparisons:

  • Effectiveness as occlusives: Both are excellent at sealing in moisture, with Vaseline possibly having a slight edge. Aquaphor may be more cosmetically elegant.
  • Dry, sensitive skin: Aquaphor offers more hydration, but lanolin poses a slight irritation risk. Vaseline may be safer for sensitive skin.
  • Oily, acne-prone skin: Vaseline is likely the better choice since Aquaphor contains more oils and butters.
  • Wound healing: Vaseline is typically preferred over Aquaphor for protecting wounds.
  • Tattoo healing: Aquaphor seems optimal for keeping new tattoos moisturized and protected.

Overall, Aquaphor offers additional hydrating and healing benefits thanks to ingredients like panthenol and glycerin. However, Vaseline provides more pure occlusion for extremely dry skin. Pick Aquaphor for extra nourishment or Vaseline for sensitive skin and wound protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about how Aquaphor and Vaseline compare? Here are answers to some common questions:

Is Aquaphor or Vaseline better for lips?

Aquaphor may be better for chronically dry, flaky lips since it provides more hydration. Vaseline is still an excellent lip balm though thanks to its protective qualities.

Is Aquaphor the same as petroleum jelly?

No, Aquaphor contains petroleum jelly plus other moisturizing ingredients. Vaseline is 100% pure petroleum jelly.

Where should you not use Aquaphor or Vaseline?

Avoid using either on fresh tattoos or open wounds without doctor approval. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.

Is Aquaphor as greasy as Vaseline?

Aquaphor feels slightly less greasy upon application but both can feel sticky or tacky on the skin. Vaseline may leave a more obvious greasy residue.

Will Aquaphor clog pores?

Aquaphor is non-comedogenic so it should not clog pores for most people. Those with very congestion-prone skin may want to spot test first.

Do dermatologists recommend Aquaphor?

Yes, dermatologists often recommend Aquaphor for dry skin conditions like eczema. Though always check with your dermatologist first if you have allergies.

Should I put Aquaphor on my face before bed?

Applying a thin layer of Aquaphor at bedtime can help seal in moisture and protect dry facial skin overnight. Use a light hand to avoid looking too greasy.

How do you wash Aquaphor off your face?

Rinse with lukewarm water then follow with a gentle facial cleanser. You may need to cleanse twice to fully remove any residue. Avoid hot water or scrubbing.

What does Vaseline do for eyelashes?

Applying Vaseline to eyelashes before bed can condition them and promote growth by preventing brittleness and breakage. Use a clean applicator and avoid getting Vaseline in your eyes.

Final Verdict

In summary, while Aquaphor and Vaseline share a similar ability to protect, seal in moisture, and soothe dry, damaged skin, they have some key differences:

  • Aquaphor contains hydrating ingredients like glycerin, panthenol, and lanolin alcohol
  • Vaseline offers pure petroleum jelly occlusion with fewer possible irritants
  • Vaseline may be better for wound healing while Aquaphor promotes better tattoo healing
  • Aquaphor is more versatile for the face while Vaseline suits the body and lips

The bottom line is that both Aquaphor and Vaseline are affordable, accessible, dermatologist-recommended products. Which one is right for you depends on your specific skin type and needs. Oily, acne-prone skin may benefit more from Vaseline’s light texture, while chronically dry skin often appreciates Aquaphor’s extra moisture.

No matter which you choose, you can rest assured that applying a thin film of either Aquaphor or Vaseline as needed will protect your skin barrier, lock in moisture, and help heal dryness and damage. Listen to your skin’s needs and pick the option that feels most nourishing or protective to get smooth, soothed skin.

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