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Aquaphor vs Vaseline for Babies – What Is The Difference?

New babies are messy little creatures and they come complete with an awful lot of pee and poo. Unfortunately, these bodily fluids often cause diaper rash.

It’s really important to change your baby regularly and ensure that their diaper area is clean and not getting sore. This is where diaper rash creams come into play.

There are many different ones on the market but we’re going to look at two of the big names Aquaphor vs Vaseline and what the differences are between them.

The Main Differences Between Aquaphor vs Vaseline

There are a few key differences between Aquaphor vs Vaseline and they should help you decide which is best for your own personal needs and requirements.

  • Aquaphor and Vaseline have different key ingredients. Vaseline is 100% petroleum jelly, while Aquaphor is 41% petroleum jelly. Plus, it’s a combination of other ingredients such as lanolin, mineral oil, and glycerin, and a few others.
  • Aquaphor is more versatile and better suited for those raw diaper rashes, cuts, and scrapes. While Vaseline is more effective at creating a protective barrier on your baby’s skin.
  • Vaseline is used as a lubricating ingredient in lotions whereas Aquaphor isn’t used in lotions.
  • Aquaphor is used as a base for pharmaceutical ointments, unlike Vaseline.
  • Aquaphor is more miscible with aqueous solutions than Vaseline.


Aquaphor Healing Ointment - Moisturizing Skin Protectant for Dry Cracked Hands, Heels and Elbows, Use After Hand Washing - 14 Oz. Jar


Aquaphor is a paste of clear-ish consistency. It’s sold as a healing ointment that’s focused on moisturizing and protecting baby’s skin. It’s a combination of several ingredients that are focused on this task. These include:

  • petroleum jelly
  • lanolin
  • mineral oil
  • glycerin

Aquaphor has several uses including treating raw skin that’s chapped from things like dryness, eczema, and exposure to the elements.

It can also help to soften skin and act as a barrier cream. This makes it almost ideal as a diaper rash cream for babies. It’s great for not only treating diaper rash but also for protecting their delicate skin.

As it has some healing properties, it can be used for the treatment of minor cuts and scrapes. It also absorbs into the skin quite easily.

Aquaphor has some healing properties as it contains lanolin. So if you’re looking for something that both protects and heals, this will be the product for you.

Aquaphor comes in several different forms including lotions and ointments. The names are slightly different. It can be found under the name Aquaphor Advanced Therapy, Aquaphor Advanced Healing, Aquaphor for Baby, and a few others.

It comes in a tube and a jar for easy application. Aquaphor is more expensive than other similar products but many parents swear by it.

There are some cheaper alternatives that claim to be similar to Aquaphor, but results may vary and the original is always going to be better!


  • Aquaphor has an amazing moisturizing ability, thanks to its extra few ingredients.
  • Due to the lanolin in Aquaphor, the ointment can also double up as a therapy for cuts and grazes.
  • Aquaphor has been around for over 90 years, making it a recognized, trusted, and reliable brand.
  • Aquaphor is very easily absorbed into the skin.


  • It is expensive and if you are on a budget, choosing the Aquaphor brand name can get very pricey, depending of course on how much you are going to use it.
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Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly, Original 16.23 Oz


Vaseline has been a household name for over 150 years and has served generation after generation.

It’s made from 100% petroleum jelly and has been used for a vast array of things such as a beauty tool and as a base for making soaps and moisturizers.

Its use for babies is also a tried and tested tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. Vaseline provides a barrier for the skin and can also lock in moisture in your baby’s skin.

But do not think that because it locks in moisture it is in fact a moisturizer. It is not. Vaseline works by locking in the moisture that is already present.

If you applied Vaseline to your baby as soon as they are finished in the bath, there would still be moisture present and so the Vaseline would then lock this into your baby’s skin.

Applying Vaseline to already dry or chapped skin won’t help with the moisture level or in fact help it to heal in any way.

Vaseline has two main uses for babies and they’re to provide a protective barrier on your baby’s skin and to lock in moisture so that your baby’s skin stays soft and smooth.

As Vaseline is made from 100% petroleum jelly, it contains no healing properties but it can protect your baby’s skin from infection by creating that barrier.

You could use Vaseline on a wound but it wouldn’t help it to heal. What it would do is prevent any germs or dirt from getting into the would by creating a barrier against it.

With this in mind, it’s probably not really the best product for diaper rash as it would not help the diaper rash clear up.

Although, it would prevent the rash from getting any worse or any new rashes appearing, so it may be something worth having around.


  • Vaseline offers incredible protection for your baby’s skin by creating a barrier between their skin and anything else such as pee or poop.
  • Vaseline is relatively inexpensive compared to other similar products on the market.
  • Vaseline has been around as a brand for almost 150 years. It is very safe and trusted.
  • Although Vaseline does not create moisture it is fantastic at locking in moisture that is already there, helping to keep skin smooth and soft.


  • Vaseline can lock in moisture but it is not a moisturizer itself.
  • Vaseline is completely made up of petroleum jelly and its main use is as a barrier cream. It does not have any healing properties
  • Vaseline does not absorb into the skin, so if you use loads on your baby’s bum you will need to wipe it all away at the next diaper change.
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Benefits of Aquaphor vs Vaseline

Both Aquaphor and Vaseline work well at locking moisture into the skin, assist in wound therapy, and can work well as a gentle makeup remover. Both Aquaphor and Vaseline are skin protectants and occlusive moisturizers.

baby having their diaper changed

Both Aquaphor and Vaseline help moisturizers to work better

As they are both occlusive moisturizers, these work at blocking water loss from the skin by creating a barrier.

They both help to trap existing moisture into the skin but Vaseline is best when used over a lotion, which pulls moisture in from the environment and keeps that moisture locked into the skin.

Aquaphor contains ingredients like glycerin which acts as a lotion to keep the skin moisturized from the outside in.

Both Aquaphor and Vaseline work on lips

Both can be safely used on lips, but they work in different ways. Aquaphor can help to restore the moisture in your lips if they are already dry.

Vaseline is best used to prevent chapping and dry lips by creating a barrier. However, as the Vaseline brand has developed over the years, they have added to their traditional Vaseline recipe moisturizing ingredients such as aloe and cocoa butter.

Vaseline is better for wound therapy

While both Aquaphor and Vaseline create a thick barrier on the skin, preventing injured skin from becoming irritated. A 2013 study found that Aquaphor caused a higher number of cases of redness at the wound site than those treated with Vaseline.

Aquaphor is recommended for tattoos

Aquaphor is recommended for tattoos due to its anti-inflammatory properties while Vaseline doesn’t have any. Vaseline can also block the air from getting to the tattoo which it needs to heal.

Side Effects of Aquaphor vs Vaseline

It’s not common for either Aquaphor or Vaseline to cause any side effects but if they do, they’re generally mild. The most common side effect is clogged pores.

However, if you do experience any of the following, you should seek medical advice:

  • Allergic reaction to petroleum jelly. This is rare. But it may include redness, itching, or burning on the site where it has been applied.
  • An infection. This can happen if either product has been applied over a wound that has not been properly cleaned. Due to the barrier that both products create, it can trap the dirt and germs.
  • Aspiration pneumonia. This is a rare occurrence. This occurs if Aquaphor or Vaseline is applied to the nose area and inhaled into the lungs.


Is Aquaphor oil or water-based?

This product is entirely oil-based and contains no water-based ingredients.


If Vaseline is made from petroleum, is it safe for me or my child?

Vaseline is safe for the whole family. While it’s derived from Petroleum, Vaseline ensures the safety of its jelly by putting it through a triple purification process.

This process removes impurities, resulting in a jelly that is non-irritating and hypo-allergenic.

Can Aquaphor be used as a diaper rash cream?

Aquaphor is uniquely formulated to provide the gentle care your baby’s tender and delicate skin needs.

This multi-purpose ointment can be used for many of your baby’s skin needs, from chapped cheeks to minor scrapes and scratches, to diaper rash, to the dry skin, and many more, so your baby stays happy, healthy, and protected.

Will Vaseline clog my pores?

No, it won’t clog your pores. Third-party industry experts from the Journal of Cosmetic Science have proven that Vaseline is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores, irritate the skin, or cause acne.

Does Aquaphor contain any shellfish derivatives?

None of the ingredients in Aquaphor Healing Ointment are from shellfish. 

What is the best method for applying Aquaphor?

Aquaphor Healing Ointment may be applied in the same manner you would a moisturizing crème or ointment. It may be used on dry skin or skin which is slightly damp. It’s versatile and may be used on the body, dry feet, hands, cuticles, and lips.

Is there a difference between the Aquaphor healing ointment with the baby picture on it vs Aquaphor healing ointment without the baby on it?

The Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment and the Aquaphor Healing Ointment are the same formulae. Many parents and caregivers shop in the baby care aisle when looking for skincare products for children. 

Does Aquaphor contain carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons?

The petrolatum used in Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a highly refined grade and meets all of the standards set by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).

Petrolatum has been used in skincare products for over 100 years and is an FDA-approved active ingredient, identified as a skin protectant.

Is Aquaphor alcohol-free?

Yes, Aquaphor contains no drying alcohol. Lanolin alcohol is a purified derivative of lanolin which comes from sheep wool.

How good is the quality of an Aquaphor?

Aquaphor healing ointment is the number one dermatologist-recommended brand for dry, and cracked skin. 

What kind of glycerin is used in Aquaphor?

The glycerin used in Aquaphor is plant-derived.

The Final Thought

It’ll very much depend on whether you’re looking for a product that can be used as a moisturizer, barrier cream, and diaper cream or if you are looking for something simple as a barrier cream to help lock in moisture that is already present. 

If you’re looking for the more multi-functional cream, Aquaphor is going to be the right product for you as it pretty much does it all.

  • Protective skin barrier
  • Diaper cream
  • Cut, scrape, and rash care
  • Moisturizer.

Vaseline is more effective as a barrier cream and does not contain any moisturizing ingredients, or for treating diaper rashes. But it is a great deal more affordable making it more cost-effective.