Aquaphor vs Vaseline – The Vaseline vs Aquaphor Showdown

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Aquaphor vs Vaseline: are they the same? Many individuals wonder whether Aquaphor and Vaseline are really that different and whether one is better than the other. While there are some similarities between Aquaphor and Vaseline, they are not the same.

Continue reading, and I’ll share some of the key Vaseline vs Aquaphor differences to help you learn more about each and choose the best product for each specific need.

Table of Contents

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First, What is an Occlusive?

Both Vaseline and Aquaphor are occlusives.  Occlusives work to form a barrier over the kin, trapping in moisture to help skin stay hydrated.  If you’ve ever used either Aquaphor or Vaseline, you probably already know that occlusives are very thick; they need to be to help trap in moisture.

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Individuals with dry skin can benefit most from the use of occlusives.  This makes sense when you consider that occlusives trap the moisture in the skin, preventing it from getting too dried out.

What is Vaseline?

Vaseline was founded by Robert Chesebrough in 1870, meaning people have been using it for over 150 years.  Vaseline is made from 100% pure petrolatum.  The petroleum jelly is triple purified to remove any contaminants.

As we mentioned above, Vaseline is an occlusive.  When applied over the skin, it can create a protective barrier, allowing the skin to hold on to moisture.

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What is Aquaphor?

Aquaphor, which was created in 1925 by Herman A Metz, includes a mix of different ingredients.  Like Vaseline, it also contains petrolatum.  Other key ingredients, such as glycerine and panthenol, however, allow oxygen to flow through the ointment.  This can help wounds heal properly.  Generally, Aquaphor is seen as a more versatile product because of these additional ingredients.

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Aquaphor vs Vaseline Ingredients

While Aquaphor and Vaseline may seem like they’re the same thing, they actually have different ingredients.

As we mentioned again, Vaseline is made from 100% pure petrolatum. Aquaphor also has some petrolatum in its formula, but it is not the only ingredient.  Here are the ingredients found in Aquaphor:

  • Active ingredient:  Petrolatum (41%)
  • Inactive ingredients: Mineral oil, ceresin, lanolin alcohol, panthenol, glycerin, bisabolol

Because of the added ingredients found in Aquaphor, it is often seen as the better option for many conditions.  However, individuals with very sensitive skin are more likely to be allergic to one of the ingredients found in Aquaphor than they are to Vaseline.

Aquaphor vs Vaseline Texture

There isn’t too much of a noticeable difference in the texture of Aquaphor and Vaseline. Both are very thick ointments that are likely to make your skin feel greasy. You just need to remember that the greasier feeling comes with the benefits of locking in moisture and helping heal and soothe your skin.

Is Aquaphor less greasy than Vaseline? Yes, Aquaphor is a bit less greasy than Vaseline. The added ingredients found in Aquaphor make it just a bit thinner and less greasy than Vaseline. However, it will still be much greasier than other creams that you may have tried.

Aquaphor vs Vaseline Price

As far as cost goes, Vaseline is the more economical option.  If you were to purchase similar-sized tubs of Aquaphor and Vaseline, you’ll likely spend a lot more on the tub of Aquaphor.

What Is Better Aquaphor or Vaseline?

So, what’s better Aquaphor or Vaseline? The answer to this question can vary depending on what you need an ointment for.  If we had to pick one as the “best” it would probably be Aquaphor.  This is because of the additional moisturizing and beneficial ingredients found in Aquaphor, particularly lanolin, that works to help heal cuts and protect the skin.

However, again, there is no one right answer.  The decision to choose Aquaphor or Vaseline may be different based on your specific needs.  In the next few sections, you can learn more about whether Vaseline or Aquaphor is best for specific situations.

Is Aquaphor or Vaseline Better for the Face?

In most cases, Aquaphor will be the better pick for your face.  The additional ingredients found in its formula allows Aquaphor to work better as a moisturizer. Glycerin can act as a humectant to deliver moisture, while the bisabolol is an anti-irritant and works to soothe skin.  Additionally, lanolin is also very effective at hydrating skin and reducing how much water is lost by the skin.

However, some individuals have a lanolin allergy.  If this applies to you, you’ll want to avoid using Aquaphor as it can cause an allergic reaction.  Choose Vaseline over Aquaphor in the event you are allergic to lanolin.

Is Aquaphor or Vaseline Better for Lips?

You may be wondering whether it is even OK to put Vaseline or Aquaphor on your lips.  The answer is that yes, both Aquaphor and Vaseline can go on your lips and help protect them.  The right one to pick can vary based on your needs.

For example, if your lips have already gotten overly dry and chapped, Aquaphor may be the best choice.  On the other hand, Vaseline might be the best pick to prevent your lips from getting dry and chapped.

Aquaphor and Vaseline both also offer products specifically designed for healing the lips.  Check out Aquaphor Lip Repair Ointment and Vaseline Lip Therapy Advanced Healing to learn more about these products.

Is Aquaphor or Vaseline Better for Eczema?

What about the difference between Aquaphor vs Vaseline eczema effectiveness?  The answer to this can vary.  Aquaphor also includes more moisturizing ingredients, such as lanolin, that may help clear up the eczema.

However, some individuals with more sensitive skin may be allergic to lanolin.  If that turns out to be the case, then Vaseline may also help with eczema.

Is Aquaphor or Vaseline Better for Scars?

If you want to care for a wound and minimize scars, Vaseline and Aquaphor can both be a good pick.  Both work as an occlusive to create a barrier over the wound to help it heal and keep it from becoming irritated or infected.  One study did suggest that Vaseline may have an edge over Aquaphor due to some patients having redness at the wound site when Aquaphor was used  However, Aquaphor can be more effective at minimizing scarring.

Is Aquaphor or Vaseline Better for Tattoos?

Searching for Aquaphor vs Vaseline tattoo?  If so, Aquaphor is the better choice.  Aquaphor can help keep the tattoo moisturized.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help it heal better.  Vaseline is not recommended for use with a new tattoo.  It can stop it from being able to heal by preventing air from getting to the tattoo.

Is Aquaphor or Vaseline Better for Babies?

Generally speaking, Aquaphor is the better product to choose for babies.  The lanolin and other nourishing ingredients found in Aquaphor allow it to work gently on a baby’s delicate skin to help heal diaper rash or soothe dry skin.

You can also find a range of Aquaphor products designed specifically for babies, including healing ointment, body wash and shampoo, diaper rash cream, and diaper rash paste.

Is Vaseline or Aquaphor Better for Slugging?

When choosing between Aquaphor and Vaseline for slugging, either can be a good option.  Some individuals prefer Aquaphor, while others swear by Vaseline.  You may just need to experiment a bit with both ointments to see which one works best for slugging for you.

Pros and Cons of Vaseline

Below is a quick summary of the pros and cons of Vaseline.


  • Thicker than Aquaphor when forming a protective barrier over the skin
  • Seals in moisture
  • Less expensive than Aquaphor
  • Can be used for slugging to lock in a moisturizer
  • Only one ingredient, so less likely to cause an allergic reaction


  • Not formulated with any moisturizing ingredients; only locks in moisture that is only there
  • Can feel greasy
  • May cause excessive moisture on individuals with oily skin
  • Can last for a long time before expiring

Pros and Cons of Aquaphor

Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Aquaphor


  • Formulated with additional ingredients, such as lanolin, that make it very moisturizing
  • Helps wounds heal
  • Minimizes scarring
  • Can help heal diaper rash
  • Can help tattoos heal
  • Softens rough feet and calluses
  • Can be used for slugging to lock in a moisturizer


  • May cause excessive moisture on individuals with oily skin
  • Can feel greasy
  • More ingredients than Vaseline, so some individuals could be allergic
  • More expensive than Vaseline

Can I Use Aquaphor in Place of Vaseline?

Yes, in most cases you should be able to substitute Aquaphor for Vaseline without any issues.  Both ointments work as an occlusive to lock in moisture and deliver many of the same benefits.  However, Aquaphor does have additional ingredients, such as lanolin, that could lead to a reaction in those with sensitive skin.  Vaseline, on the other hand, is made using only pure white petrolatum.

Will Vaseline and Aquaphor Clog My Pores?

According to their manufacturers, both Vaseline and Aquaphor are non-comedogenic.  This means that they should not clog your pores or lead to acne breakouts.  However, if your skin is very oily, applying Vaseline or Aquaphor to your face may create too much moisture.  Additionally, since these products are both occlusives and designed to create a barrier over the skin, they can also trap dirt and debris on your face.  If you choose to use Aquaphor or Vaseline on your face, be sure to use a face wash first to remove any debris.

Top Ways to Use Vaseline and Aquaphor

Vaseline and Aquaphor both offer a wide range of uses.  Below are just a few of the possible ways to use them.

Slugging and Moisturizing

You can use Vaseline or Aquaphor for slugging.  Apply the ointment over your normal moisturizer to lock in the benefits of the cream or lotion.  The Vaseline or Aquaphor will help make sure your skin is able to fully benefit from what the moisturizer has to offer.

Cuticle Cream

If your cuticles are dry or you have annoying hangnails, try applying some Vaseline or Aquaphor to your cuticles before heading to bed.  The next morning, your nails should feel and look much better.

As Chapstick or Lip Balm

Aquaphor and Vaseline both can work well to keep lips moisturized and soft.  They can also be applied to chap lips to help smooth them out and allow the lips to heal.  Use them on your lips every day, or reach for them when needed; it is up to you!

Help Cuts Heal

As we shared above, Vaseline and Aquaphor can create a protective barrier over the skin.  Applying them over wounds (after cleaning the wound) can keep debris from entering or contaminating the cut, allowing it to heal more quickly.  Aquaphor’s ingredients can also work to minimize scarring.

Conditioning Your Lashes

Some people also swear by using Vaseline or Aquaphor as a lash conditioner.  Applying a small amount to the lashes can help protect them against breaking and help you achieve longer and fuller lashes over time.

Softening Calluses and Healing Cracked Heels

If you have rough feet, calluses, or even cracked heels, try applying Aquaphor or Vaseline.  These ointments will help soften the rough patches and calluses while also helping to heal any cracks.

Removing Makeup

You can also use Vaseline and Aquaphor to remove makeup.  Simply massage a small amount onto your dry skin to loosen makeup.  Then, use a face cleanser to wash off the ointment and makeup residue.

RELATED: Best Vegan Makeup Remover

Aquaphor vs Vaseline: Closing Thoughts

Aquaphor and Vaseline can both be effective for treating various skin conditions.  If you’re looking for the one that delivers the most versatile uses, Aquaphor is probably the right choice for you.

However, Vaseline can also be useful, and it has a lower price point than Aquaphor, making it more affordable.  There is also no reason you can purchase both Aquaphor and Vaseline and use them each for different applications.

Read more about using Vaseline and Aquaphor on these related posts on our blog:

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