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Aquaphor vs. Vaseline: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on July 1, 2024
Aquaphor is a skin ointment containing petroleum jelly and other ingredients, while Vaseline is pure petroleum jelly. Both provide a moisture barrier, but Aquaphor also has skin-soothing ingredients.

Key Differences

Both are popular skincare products used for moisturizing and protecting the skin. Aquaphor is a brand name, while Vaseline is both a brand and a name for petroleum jelly. At the core, Vaseline is 100% petroleum jelly, which acts as a moisture barrier for the skin. In contrast, Aquaphor contains petroleum jelly along with other ingredients like lanolin, glycerin, and panthenol, which have additional skin-soothing properties.
Due to its purity, Vaseline is often used to lock in moisture, prevent chapped lips, or protect minor cuts. Aquaphor, with its added ingredients, can provide additional healing benefits and is often used for conditions like dry skin, cracked heels, or minor burns.
In terms of consistency, Vaseline tends to be thicker and can feel greasier. Aquaphor, while also greasy, might feel slightly less so due to its additional components.
While both products are safe for many skin types, those with sensitive skin might prefer Aquaphor for its additional skin-calming ingredients. However, Vaseline's simplicity makes it a go-to for many looking for pure moisture protection.

Comparison Chart


Contains petroleum, mineral oil, ceresin, lanolin alcohol, panthenol, glycerin
Pure petroleum jelly

Primary Use

Healing ointment for dry, cracked skin, minor wounds, and eczema
Skin protectant and moisturizer


Lighter, more spreadable
Thicker, greasier

Additional Benefits

Anti-inflammatory, soothing properties
Strong occlusive properties

Skin Sensitivity

Suitable for sensitive and eczema-prone skin
Minimal allergic reaction potential

Aquaphor and Vaseline Definitions


A dermatologist-recommended ointment for various skin conditions.
For her baby's diaper rash, the doctor suggested Aquaphor.


A classic skincare product used for over a century for protection.
Vaseline was her grandmother's trusted remedy for dry skin.


A skin ointment with petroleum jelly and additional soothing ingredients.
She applied Aquaphor to her dry elbows for relief.


A brand of pure petroleum jelly used as a skin protectant.
He applied Vaseline to prevent his lips from chapping.


A blend of ingredients designed to soothe, moisturize, and shield skin.
His tattoo artist recommended Aquaphor for the healing process.


A translucent, jelly-like substance for locking in skin moisture.
She used Vaseline on her hands during cold nights.


A multi-purpose skin salve that hydrates and protects.
Winters always made her stock up on Aquaphor for chapped lips.


A versatile product used in various home remedies and beauty hacks.
For shinier eyelashes, she applied a bit of Vaseline.


A brand-name product for skin healing and protection.
After his minor burn, he reached for Aquaphor for comfort.


A non-comedogenic barrier preventing skin moisture loss.
Before going swimming, she put Vaseline on her face.


Petroleum jelly.


Any particular kind of petroleum jelly or of any similar lubricant.


(informal) Vaseline glass or the colouring used in making it.


To lubricate with vaseline.
Even at this late date, vaselining will preserve the best of these leathers.


A yellowish translucent substance, almost odorless and tasteless, obtained as a residue in the purification of crude petroleum, and consisting essentially of a mixture of several of the higher members of the paraffin series. It is used as an unguent, and for various purposes in the arts. See the Note under Petrolatum.


A trademarked brand of petroleum jelly


Is Vaseline 100% petroleum jelly?

Yes, Vaseline is pure petroleum jelly.

Can Aquaphor and Vaseline be used on the lips?

Yes, both products can be used to moisturize and protect lips.

What are Aquaphor and Vaseline primarily used for?

Both Aquaphor and Vaseline are used for skin moisturizing and protection.

Are Aquaphor and Vaseline safe for sensitive skin?

Generally, yes. However, always patch-test any product if you have concerns.

Which is greasier, Aquaphor or Vaseline?

Vaseline is typically thicker and feels greasier than Aquaphor.

Does Aquaphor contain only petroleum jelly?

No, Aquaphor contains petroleum jelly and other skin-soothing ingredients.

Can I use Vaseline as a makeup remover?

Yes, Vaseline can remove makeup, especially eye makeup.

Can Aquaphor or Vaseline clog pores?

While Vaseline is non-comedogenic, it's essential to ensure skin is clean before application. Aquaphor, with its added ingredients, might be more suitable for sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Can I use Aquaphor for minor burns?

Yes, Aquaphor is often recommended for minor burns due to its soothing ingredients.

Is Aquaphor effective for cracked heels?

Yes, Aquaphor can help moisturize and heal cracked heels.

Are Aquaphor and Vaseline vegan products?

Vaseline is considered vegan as it's petroleum-based. Aquaphor contains lanolin, which comes from sheep's wool, so it's not vegan.

Is Vaseline suitable for babies?

Yes, Vaseline can be used for diaper rash and dry skin in babies.

Are there generic versions of Vaseline available?

Yes, many stores offer generic petroleum jelly products similar to Vaseline.

Can Vaseline protect skin in cold weather?

Absolutely, Vaseline acts as a barrier to protect skin from cold and wind.

Is Aquaphor recommended for tattoos?

Yes, many tattoo artists recommend Aquaphor for tattoo aftercare.

Which lasts longer on the skin, Aquaphor or Vaseline?

Both provide long-lasting protection, but Vaseline's thicker consistency might feel longer-lasting.

Which is more expensive, Aquaphor or Vaseline?

Typically, Aquaphor may be priced higher due to its additional ingredients.

Is Aquaphor a newer product compared to Vaseline?

Vaseline has been around longer, with its origins in the 19th century, while Aquaphor was introduced in the 20th century.

Can Vaseline be used in hair treatments?

Some people use Vaseline for hair treatments, but it can be hard to wash out.

What other ingredients does Aquaphor contain besides petroleum jelly?

Aquaphor contains ingredients like lanolin, glycerin, and panthenol.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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