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Aquaphor vs Desitin – Which Diaper Rash Cream is Best?

At some point in your baby’s life, they will suffer from diaper rash, there are a variety of reasons that this will occur but there are also a variety of products designed to help and even prevent diaper rash. We are going to review Aquaphor vs Desitin to see which of these two is the best at keeping your baby rash-free and comfortable!

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What are the main differences between Aquaphor vs Desitin

Both of these creams would be an excellent choice to either help to prevent diaper rash or to treat it. There are a few minor differences between them as listed below.

  • Aquaphor has far fewer ingredients than the Desitin does.


  • Desitin is marketed as specifically for diaper rash while Aquaphor is a more generic healing ointment for any dry or chapped skin on your baby.




Aquaphor has a long history of helping to heal and nourish the skin but it has not always been used as it is now. Back in the 1920’s pharmacists used it as a compounding formula to make other skin treatments. However, its unique formula soon came to be recognized for its protective ingredients and it soon became its own stand-alone product. This brand is highly recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians alike.

Its unique formula works by creating a protective barrier on the skin that allows the flow of excess fluid and oxygen. The idea here is that the skin’s own moisture is kept to create the ideal healing environment. This works slightly differently to a lotion that aims to put back the moisture lost from the skin by using their product.


As I said before this product is not specifically marketed for the treatment of diaper rash but more a general barrier system that works in any areas where your baby may need. If your baby is at that stage where they are teething and there is a lot of excessive drooling, this can cause their skin to become sore and irritated, but Aquaphor can be used as a barrier to protect the skin. This is especially effective during the winter months when the changing weather can cause cracked or dry skin.

It is also fragrance and preservative-free which is sometimes difficult to find in such products. This means that it is less likely to cause further irritation to an already sensitive skin area.  Aquaphor is suitable for the whole family and can soothe minor burns, scrapes, or cuts. This will definitely be one of its advantages and set it aside from other similar products.

Aquaphor is available in a variety of sizes .25 ounce mini jar, .35 ounce tube, 1.75-ounce tube, 3.5-ounce jar, 7-ounce tube, and a 14-ounce jar. Its active ingredients are Panthenol and Glycerin these are present to moisturize the skin, and 41% Petrolatum to help in the healing process.

Aquaphor Pros

  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Can be used as a reliable barrier in preventing diaper rash
  • A small amount goes a long way, so even the smallest tube should last a long time.
  • It has multiply uses. It can be used in the treatment of minor burns, scrapes, and cuts as well as skin rashes.
  • It works quite quickly and many parents have seen results within a week of use.
  • Affordable

Aquaphor Cons

  • It can feel very greasy, it almost feels like a vaseline at first.
  • Although it is said to treat diaper rash creams, it isn’t as effective as some other treatments available.
  • It may feel sticky to the touch even after you have rubbed it in.
  • May not be suitable for sensitive skin.
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Desitin daily defense can safely be called one of the most recognized brands in the fight against diaper rash. According to Desitin, it is the number one choice for the treatment of diaper rash by not only pediatricians but by parents alike.

As the product is specifically designed to prevent and treat diaper rash it is suitable for your baby’s sensitive skin. Added to this the fact that it is hypoallergenic, free from parabens, phthalates, and dyes, fragrance-free and gentle enough for everyday use.


Desitin is said to reduce the redness, irritation, and discomfort of diaper rash from the very first use. While also providing a protective barrier and moisturization. It comes in a variety of sizes, 2-ounce tube, 4-ounce tube, and 16-ounce tub. Its active ingredient is zinc oxide which helps to prevent and treat rashes. It can also be used in the treatment of windburn.

Desitin Pros

  • Due to its consistency, it can provide instant relief.
  • A little goes a long way
  • If used daily as suggested, Desitin can effectively keep diaper rashes from ever occurring as well as treating them.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Affordable
  • Can be used to soothe dry or chapped skin

Desitin Cons

  • The smell can be off-putting
  • It can be difficult to get the excess off your hands.
  • It can be a little messy to use as it splatters everywhere.
  • Some reviews of it drying out newborns skin
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FAQ Aquaphor vs Desitin

What causes a diaper rash?

The main cause of diaper rash is prolonged exposure to wetness in the diaper. It can also be caused by exposure to urine, feces, heat, friction, the introduction of new foods, medicine, or teething.

What are the signs of a diaper rash?

Signs of diaper rash can be pinkness/redness and small bumps in the diaper area. They can sometimes be warm to the touch. If the diaper rash gets particularly bad it can spread to stomach and thighs. Diaper rash can also be seen as dryness, flaking, or peeling skin or chafing.

How does zinc oxide treat diaper rash?

Zinc Oxide forms a protective barrier between your baby’s skin and the diaper to reduce friction and block wetness from their skin. It also helps by protecting skin against the enzymes found in feces and soothe irritated skin by allowing it to heal naturally.

How thick should I apply Desitin cream?

Using your fingers, apply a thick layer to the entire diaper area as though you were frosting a cake. Be generous when applying Desitin, they are safe to be used at every diaper change to help treat and prevent diaper rash.

Aquaphor vs Desitin – The Winner

Although both these products will help your baby with diaper rash, both are hypoallergenic, and both are recommended by pediatricians, I feel that there is a clear winner. Personally, my winner would be the Aquaphor, and these are the reasons why.

Aquaphor comes in a greater variety of sizes meaning that you should be able to find the perfect size for every occasion. One for your changing bag, one for the draw at home and so on. It has multiply uses as it is not specifically marketed as a diaper rash cream so you can purchase just the one product for the multiply needs of your home, no need for all those extra potions and lotions.

A small amount of Aquaphor goes a long way so it should last a while making it even more affordable. Many parents have stated that this product works quickly and that they have seen results in under a week. This is always a plus with us parents as diaper rash can be extremely painful for our little ones. So the quicker it gets sorted the better!

Aquaphor also contains fewer ingredients which in my mind means there is less to irritate my baby’s sensitive skin. Especially when their skin is already extra sensitive from diaper rash.