CeraVe Healing Ointment Vs Aquaphor: Which Is Best?

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cerave healing ointment or aquaphor what to use

What’s The Difference Between CeraVe Healing Ointment and Aquaphor?

CeraVe and Aquaphor Healing Ointments are two of the most popular occlusives because of their incredible ingredients that can help heal the skin, prevent dehydration and soften dry skin. Although they may seem the same at first glance, they are actually very different formula-wise. In this post we’ll look at CeraVe Healing Ointment Vs Aquaphor and discuss all the similarities and differences so you can pick which one is better for your needs.

What Are Occlusives?

Occlusives are a type of moisturizer that forms a barrier on the skin to prevent moisture loss. The barrier it creates can help protect the skin from irritants and prevent transepidermal water loss, which can leave skin dehydrated and dry.

Some occlusives can also have hydrating, moisturizing and soothing properties, depending on the specific ingredients in the product.

Occlusives are ideal for those with dry and dehydrated skin types, but all skin types can use occlusives, including acne-prone and oily skin. They can also be beneficial for cracked, peeling skin that’s irritated or extremely dry. Occlusives like healing ointments can also help to heal minor skin injuries like cuts or scrapes.

Some common types of occlusives include Vaseline (petroleum jelly), Aquaphor, CeraVe Healing Ointment, Shea Butter and Beeswax.

What Is CeraVe Healing Ointment

is cerave healing ointment or aquaphor better

Why We Love It

A repairing and healing ointment that works to keep the skin barrier strong and healthy while smoothing dry, flaking skin. Designed to use as an occlusive to prevent water loss or to help heal cracked, chapped and extremely dry skin.

Ingredients We Love

  • Ceramides
  • Phytosphingosine
  • Cholesterol
  • Hyaluronic acid

Certified: Fragrance-free, Dermatologist-tested

CeraVe Healing Ointment is a soothing and healing ointment that provides relief for dry and cracked skin. It has a unique formula of three essential ceramides, which repair and maintain healthy skin while helping to restore the protective function of the outermost layer of skin known as the natural barrier.

CeraVe Healing Ointment also features other hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and panthenol to help hydrate the skin.

CeraVe Healing Ointment is fragrance free and has a non-greasy feel, which is a huge plus when it comes to occlusives. It can be used on the face or body.

Related post: Does CeraVe Healing Ointment Help With Acne?

CeraVe Healing Ointment Ingredients

  • Petroleum – Petroleum jelly (also known as Vaseline) is a skin protectant that forms an occlusive barrier to prevent moisture loss. It’s one of the most popular occlusives and is non-comedogenic, so it’s safe for acne-prone skin types. Occlusives can also help to heal wounds and stimulate skin repair
  • Mineral Oil Mineral oil is a by-product of refining crude oil. It’s popular in skincare and even other industries. Mineral oil has occlusive properties to help prevent water loss from the skin. It also helps to thin the Healing Ointment formula so it feels thinner and nicer on the skin
  • Ceramides – The Healing Ointment features 3 different ceramides: Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP and Ceramide EOP. Ceramides are a type of lipid, or fat, that is naturally found in our skin and make up the majority of fats in the upper layer of our skin. Ceramides play a huge role in our skin barrier and keep it strong and healthy! Without ceramides, our skin would lose water and become dehydrated and dry
  • Hyaluronic Acid – Hyaluronic acid is one of the best humectants that helps attract moisture into the skin. It instantly plumps the skin and fills in lines and wrinkles while supporting a healthy skin barrier. It can also help to stimulate collagen and is involved in wound repair
  • Panthenol – Panthenol is a type of vitamin B that has humectant properties to help attract moisture into the skin. It acts like hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated but it also has anti-inflammatory, soothing and healing properties which makes it a little more powerful than hyaluronic acid
  • Tocopheryl Acetate – A form of Vitamin E, which is a popular antioxidant that helps protect skin from free radicals and damage caused by environmental factors like UV rays. It also has moisturizing and soothing properties
  • Phytosphingosine – is a type of lipid that’s naturally found in the skin and also in ceramides. It’s been shown that Phytosphingosine helps to strengthen the skin barrier and protect the skin. It’s also been shown to kill acne causing bacteria
  • Cholesterol – Cholesterol is another lipid that is naturally found in our skin that is involved in keeping the skin barrier strong and healthy
  • L-Proline – An Amino Acid that is an essential part of collagen formation and plays a big role in healing wounds and regenerating damaged skin
  • Dimethicone – One of the most popular types of silicones that forms a protective barrier on the skin to protect it from irritants and reduces water loss. Dimethicone is also used as a scar treatment to help fill in atrophic scarring and heal bigger scars from surgeries or accidents

What Is Aquaphor Healing Ointment?

Is Aquaphor the same as CeraVe healing ointment?

Why We Love It

A nourishing and soothing occlusive designed to prevent water loss through the skin, nourish and moisturize dry skin and sooth irritation and inflammatory skin conditions like eczema.

Ingredients We Love

  • Panthenol
  • Lanolin Alcohol
  • Bisabolol
  • Glycerin

Certified: Fragrance-free, Dermatologist-tested

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a skin protectant that forms a protective barrier over the skin to prevent moisture loss. It’s similar to Vaseline Petroleum Jelly but has other ingredients like lanolin and glycerin to enhance its barrier forming properties and skin conditioning properties.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is one of the most popular skin protectants out there and is non-comedogenic, so it’s safe for acne-prone skin types. It can also be used on diaper rash or minor cuts and scrapes to help speed up the healing process.

Like the CeraVe Healing Ointment, Aquaphor can be used on the face, lips or body to nourish and protect the skin. It’s also commonly used to heal cuts, scrapes and other injuries.

Aquaphor is fragrance-free and preservative-free. It’s highly recommended by dermatologists for a number of skin issues and irritations.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment Ingredients

  • Petroleum – Petroleum jelly (also known as Vaseline) is an occlusive ingredient that prevents moisture loss by forming an occlusive barrier. It’s one of the most popular oclusives because it’s non-comedogenic and acne-friendly. Occlusives can also aid in wound healing and promotion of skin regeneration
  • Mineral Oil – Mineral oil has an occlusive effect, preventing water loss from the skin. It can help treat very dry skin and prevent irritations and cracked skin
  • Lanolin Alcohol Lanolin is a fatty alcohol that has incredible moisturizing and occlusive properties. Lanolin can also help to soothe and heal the skin, which is why it’s commonly found in nipple creams. However, lanolin has been shown to cause dermatitis and allergic reactions in some people.
  • Panthenol – Panthenol is a vitamin B derivative that has hydrating qualities and helps to draw moisture into the skin. It works similarly to hyaluronic acid, but it also has anti-inflammatory, soothing, and healing benefits, making it somewhat more powerful than hyaluronic acid.
  • Glycerin – Glycerin helps hydrate the skin and protect it from irritants. It’s a humectant that draws moisture to itself, so it works like hyaluronic acid and panthenol. It helps to restore the skin barrier and prevent dehydration
  • Bisabolol – Bisabolol comes from Chamomile, which is an incredibly soothing ingredient. Bisabolol has anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe skin irritations or sensitivities

Benefits Of CeraVe Healing Ointment And Aquaphor

So, you might be wondering what both CeraVe Healing Ointment or Aquaphor Healing Oinment actually do and why/if you should use one of them.

Since both are types of occlusives and have other skin-loving ingredients, they have lots of benefits and can help with a variety of skin issues.

  • Smooths Skin Texture
  • Can Help Acne
  • Reduces Dryness
  • Reduces Dehydration
  • Strengthens Skin Barrier
  • Speeds Healing
  • Heals Cracked Or Chapped Skin

CeraVe Healing Ointment Vs Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Now we’ll take a look at some of the differences between CeraVe and Aquaphor Healing Ointments.


Aquaphor on top and CeraVe Healing Ointment on bottom

The texture of Aquaphor and CeraVe Healing Ointments are pretty similar, although Aquaphor is slightly thicker than the CeraVe. The CeraVe has a little more slip and feels lighter and silkier than the Aquaphor, which is a plus in my book, especially if you are using it on the face.

I use both on the lips and to me they feel pretty much the same when on the lips. I do find that the CeraVe Healing Ointment works better for me, especially in the winter.

healing ointment for face
best healing ointment cerave or aquaphor

Aquaphor on top and CeraVe Healing Ointment on bottom

aquaphor healing ointment vs cerave healing ointment which is better

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

cerave healing ointment vs aquaphor advanced therapy healing ointment

Left Aquaphor Right CeraVe Healing Ointment


Aquaphor Healing Ointment wins hands down in the price category – it’s much less expensive than CeraVe.

A 14oz tub of Aquaphor retails for about $13.00, depending on the retailer. A 12oz tub of CeraVe retails for about $19.99. So not only is it about $7 more expensive, but you also get 2oz less.

However, it is important to note that CeraVe does have many more ingredients than Aquaphor. And no matter which one you get, they will last you a very long time.


The CeraVe Healing Ointment does have a handful more ingredients that are incredibly beneficial to the skin and make CeraVe’s formula much more powerful. Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol and Phytosphingosine are just a few that provide incredible benefit to the skin.

However, Aquaphor still has some incredible ingredients and the formula is more soothing than CeraVe, making Aquaphor a good option for those with sensitive skin.


Although both healing ointments contain many great ingredients that can help soothe, hydrate, nourish and strengthen the skin barrier, is one better than the other? Personally, I prefer the texture of the CeraVe Healing Ointment. It’s not as goopy or thick as Aquaphor and it just feels nicer on the skin.

I also find that it helps to keep my skin plump, moisturized and nourished more-so than Aquaphor, probably because of the additions of ceramides and cholesterol.

Cerave Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor For Lips

Both CeraVe and Aquaphor Healing Ointments are great products for the lips. In fact, Aquaphor even has special lip products in tube packaging. However, CeraVe Healing Ointment has more repairing ingredients that are ideal for the delicate skin on the lips.

Related post: Can You Use Moisturizer On Your Lips?

The Ceramides, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol and Hyaluronic Acid are just a few notable ingredients that can help to relieve dry, crack and chapped lips.

However, both formulas feel very nice on lips and Aquaphor can still help to heal irritated lips and keep skin soft and supple. But, if you’re wanting something heavy duty, definitely go with the CeraVe Healing Ointment for lips.

Related post: Is Carmex Bad For Lips?

Cerave Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor Vs Vaseline

Vaseline has some pretty simple ingredient list: petroleum jelly, which doesn’t have any skin benefits besides being an occlusive, so it doesn’t have any of the very helpful repairing ingredients that CeraVe Healing Ointment or Aquaphor do.

Therefore, you don’t get many benefits beyond temporary moisture or protection from irritants like wind or elements. Vaseline is very different than CeraVe and Aquaphor Healing Ointments, but is a great product to start out with to see if you even like occlusives.

Vaseline can also be a great option for those wanting the benefits of occlusives but are acne-prone. Petroleum jelly itself is non-comedogenic and won’t come with any risks of irritation or breakouts.

Cerave Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor For Eczema

Both CeraVe Healing Ointment and Aquaphor are great products for eczema and can reduce the irritation, redness, dryness and flaking skin associated with the skin condition.

However, those with eczema may find that Aquaphor is more soothing to irritated skin as it has more calming ingredients in it like Bisabolol and Panthenol.

Cerave Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor For Tattoos

Both CeraVe and Aquaphor are great products to use after getting a tattoo. Both will help to reduce flaking, redness, dryness and irritation post-tattoo.

However, if you’re looking for more hydration, go with the CeraVe Healing Ointment as it includes Hyaluronic Acid, plus a handful of other ingredients that can help speed up healing.

CeraVe Healing Ointment Vs Aquaphor For Slugging

While the decision of which healing ointment is better for slugging ultimately comes down to personal preference, both Aquaphor and CeraVe have great ingredients to help nourish the skin and form a protective barrier when slugging. Aquaphor is primarily composed of petroleum jelly and glycerin, ingredients that can provide an occlusive barrier to hydrate the skin. CeraVe on the other hand contains extra ingredients like ceramides, cholesterol and phytosphingosineceramides, which all help to strengthen the skin barrier.

CeraVe healing ointment also has a thinner texture, which many people prefer when slugging.

So, if you’re mainly wanting an ointment to lock in hydration and form a protective barrier on the skin, Aquaphor is a great option. But if you’re wanting something more powerful to help strengthen the skin barrier, CeraVe healing ointment is the way to go.

Can I Use CeraVe Healing Ointment Or Aquaphor On My Face?

Absolutely! Healing ointments like CeraVe or Aquaphor can safely be used on the face. Using an occlusive on the face is usually referred to as “slugging” which became popular among Reddit users and has since been raved about.

CeraVe or Aquaphor Healing Ointments should be used as the last step in your skincare routine. Just apply a thin layer and go to bed! You’ll wake up with smoother, softer skin. They can also be used during the daytime to protect the skin from irritants or wind or cold weather.

Realted post: CeraVe Burns My Skin

Is CeraVe Healing Ointment Same As Aquaphor?

They are both similar in formulation as they both contain a few of the same ingredients like petroleum, mineral oil and panthenol. They are both designed to help keep the skin hydrated and help heal the skin.

However, CeraVe Healing Ointment has a few extra ingredients that give it more benefits than Aquaphor: Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol and Ceramides area few notable ingredients that have added benefit in CeraVe’s formula.

Is CeraVe Healing Ointment The Same As Vaseline?

Vaseline and CeraVe Healing Ointment are completely different. Since Vaseline has only one ingredient (Petroleum), it’s benefits are pretty limited.

While the Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is an occlusive, meaning it will prevent water loss from the skin, you won’t get any notable skin benefits besides temporary relief of dryness or protection from irritants.

Vaseline is a good starting point if you’re new to using occlusives and want something simple. But for those wanting some serious hydration, CeraVe Healing Ointment’s formulation includes hyaluronic acid, cholesterol and ceramides, which will deliver lasting hydration and can be much more beneficial. Plus the formula feel much better on the skin as it’s less goopy.

CeraVe Healing Ointment Vs Aquaphor Similarities & Differences


CeraVe Healing Ointment

  • Wound healing
  • Tattoos
  • Lips
  • Slugging
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

  • Wound healing
  • Tattoos
  • Lips
  • Slugging
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic


CeraVe Healing Ointment

  • Better ingredients for the skin barrier
  • Thinner, more spreadable texture
  • More expensive

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

  • Less ingredients (better for sensitive skin)
  • Slightly thicker and goopy texture
  • More affordable

CeraVe Healing Ointment Vs Aquaphor: Wrap Up

So which is better Aquaphor or CeraVe Healing Ointment? Both are designed to help prevent transepidermal water loss, nourish dry skin and heal cuts, scrapes or other injuries and come with a variety of similar benefits for skin. However, if you want something a little more soothing for irritated or eczema-prone skin, go with Aquaphor. For those wanting more powerful skin barrier repairing benefits, give the CeraVe Healing Ointment a try.

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