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Difference Between Aquaphor and Vaseline

vaseline_amAquaphor vs Vaseline

Aquaphor is an ointment that has a similar texture to Vaseline and also shares uses with Vaseline. Aquaphor ointment if medicated can be used to treat or prevent rash in babies, protect from minor cuts, scrapes and burns, protect the skin from the effects of weather and wind, relieve chapped skin and lips as well as acting as a barrier to seal in the skin’s moisture. Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly is a similar topical ointment to aquaphor. It is a semi solid mixture of hydrocarbons believed to have skin healing properties.

Although it was first promoted for use primarily as an ointment for burns, cuts and scrapes, it has been shown that Vaseline actually doesn’t have any medical effect on the blistering process and neither is it absorbed by the skin. Having said that, it is worth noting that Vaseline is effective in speeding up the healing process for wounds because of its sealing effect on cuts and burns that inhibits germs from entering the wound and keeps the area around the wound supple by sealing moisture in. Vaseline is also used in cosmetics and skin lotions (as petrolatum) but unlike glycerol, Vaseline is not the most common active lubricating ingredient in lotions, despite being cheaper. This is because it is not absorbed into the skin and thus giving a greasy feel.

Like Vaseline, aquaphor is more often recommended by health care personnel for soothing damaged skin due to radiation treatments and dermatological procedures. Pharmacists too use it often as a base for making other skin ointments. Just like Vaseline, aquaphor can also work as a protective barrier to the skin’s natural moisture and to prevent irritants. Although it contains some petrolatum (about 41%) like Vaseline, it is different from Vaseline because it contains other ingredients like mineral oil, ceresin, lanolin, panthenol, glycerin and bisabolol. Vaseline on the other hand is 100% petrolatum. For compounding smooth stable emulsions, aquaphor is the more ideal to use. Aquaphor is also highly miscible with oil based solutions and other aqueous solutions.

1. Vaseline is 100% petrolatum while aquaphor is not entirely petrolatum (about 41%).
2. Aquaphor is more miscible with aqueous solutions than Vaseline.
3. Aquaphor contains ingredients like lanolin and glycerin while Vaseline does not.
4. Vaseline (petrolatum) may be used as a lubricating ingredient in lotions whereas aquaphor is not used in lotions.
5. Aquaphor is used as a base for pharmaceutical ointments unlike Vaseline.

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  1. What is the difference between Polysporin and Vaseline?

  2. Thank you so much for your very helpful website!

  3. First time I’ve used this website. Very helpful on aquaphor vs vaseline!

  4. Thank you for clearing this up! I just had a basil cell cancer removed and was wondering if this ointment would be any better for restoring my skin after having it scraped and burned away about the size of a quarter and 1/4” deep then burned to stop the bleeding by the dermatologist. He used this to cover the wound and gave me a small sample .14oz tube. I will go see if WalMart carries it!

  5. I see that there are chemical differences between Aquaphor and Vaseline, but the article doesn’t get to the point of the efficacy of each. The fact that Aquaphor contains additional ingredients does not mean that those additional ingredents give additional benefits. Even ingredients that we might expect to matter, don’t necessarily. Are there any studies comparing the two ointments or are these additional ingredients a way to justify adding to the cost of petroleum jelly?

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