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CeraVe Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor: What’s the Difference?

The CeraVe Healing Ointment, Aquaphor Healing Ointment, and Vaseline are all products containing petroleum jelly. All three can be used to create a barrier on the skin, protect against infection and help wound healing. They are also excellent for hydrating and moisturising extremely dry skin. This post looks at the differences between Cerave Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor to help you decide which one might be best for you.

Cerave Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.  I try to make my reviews as helpful as possible for my readers. You can view my product selection and review process here.

CeraVe Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor

The table below shows a quick summary of the differences between CeraVe Healing Ointment, Aquaphor and Vaseline.

Cerave Healing
Ointment
Aquaphor Vaseline
Percentage of Petroleum 46.5% 41% 100%
Key Ingredients Petroleum jelly
Mineral oil
Ceramides
Hyaluronic Acid
Petroleum jelly
Mineral oil
Glycerin
Lanolin
Ceresin
Bisabolol
Panthenol
Petroleum jelly
Noncomedogenic
National Eczema
Association Seal
of Acceptance

Fragrance Free

Texture and Consistency

The photograph below shows what CeraVe Healing Ointment and Aquaphor Healing Ointment look like when they come out of the tube. Both have a thick balm-like consistency and feel very greasy on the skin. I found that the CeraVe Healing Ointment was a bit easier to spread compared to Aquaphor, but they were both very similar.

CeraVe Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor

The photograph below shows the two ointments side by side once I’d started to spread them on the skin.

CeraVe Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor

Key Ingredients

When it comes to ingredients, the CeraVe Healing Ointment and Aquaphor Healing Ointment have very different formulations.

The active ingredient in both products is petroleum jelly (also called petrolatum) but they have slightly different concentrations: CeraVe Healing Ointment contains 46.5% petroleum jelly and Aquaphor contains 41%.

Both products also contain:

  • Mineral oil – Mineral oil comes from petroleum, and helps to moisturise the skin.
  • Vitamin B5 – (Panthenol) – Panthenol reduces redness, itching and dry skin.

The rest of the ingredients in each product are different, and are listed below.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

The below ingredients are found in the Aquaphor Healing Ointment, but not in the CeraVe Healing Ointment.

  • Ceresin – a wax that is used to moisturise very dry skin
  • Lanolin – provides additional occlusive properties (comes from sheep)
  • Glycerin – a humectant which keeps moisture in the skin
  • Bisabolol – a soothing antioxidant from the chamomile plant

CeraVe Healing Ointment

The below ingredients are found in the CeraVe Healing Ointment, but not in the Aquaphor Healing Ointment.

  • Paraffin – a wax that makes the skin soft and supple
  • Dimethicone – provides skin-smoothing benefits
  • Ceramides – help to protect and strengthen the skin barrier
  • Proline – retains moisture in the skin and makes it look supple
  • Cholesterol – strengthens the skin’s outer layers
  • Vitamin E – an antioxidant which protects and nourishes the skin
  • Hyaluronic Acid – helps to seal moisture into the skin
Cerave Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor

Which One is Better CeraVe or Aquaphor?

Before I tell you which product I think is better for different skin types and problems, it’s important to note that Aquaphor has been around for much longer than CeraVe.

The brand CeraVe was first launched in 2006, and their Healing Ointment was not one of their first products. Aquaphor on the other hand was developed in 1925 and had been around for more than 80 years before CeraVe was even founded.

For this reason there have been more clinical trials using Aquaphor compared to CeraVe.

Which is Better for Wound Healing?

A clinical study from 2013 found that Vaseline was better at treating wounds after surgery compared to Aquaphor.

The wounds that were treated with Vaseline healed quicker and had less redness and swelling compared to the wounds treated with Aquaphor.

I was unable to find any clinical trials using CeraVe Healing Ointment for wound healing.

Which is Better for Tattoos?

Aquaphor is commonly recommended for fresh tattoos that need to be kept moisturised and bandaged. This is because it has hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties and can speed up the healing process.

You should not use Vaseline on a tattoo since it can block air from getting to the tattoo.

I contacted CeraVe and asked them if their Healing Ointment could be used on tattoos, and they told me they don’t make any products designed for tattoo aftercare.

Which is a Better Lip Balm or Cuticle Cream?

If you are looking for an ointment to use on your lips, or to protect the sensitive skin around your cuticles, either product would work well as a lip balm or cuticle cream.

Both the CeraVe Healing Ointment and Aquaphor were designed for dry skin types, and both work well as a skin protectant during the winter months.

Which One is Better for Eczema?

Although both products have soothing properties to calm irritated skin, the CeraVe Healing Ointment is probably the better choice if you have eczema-prone skin.

Unlike Aquaphor, the CeraVe Healing Ointment has been given the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association. It also has ceramide NP, ceramide AP, and ceramide EOP in its ingredient list. These ceramides work to create a healthy skin barrier, and reduce dryness, flaky skin or cracked skin.

CeraVe Healing Ointment has been given the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association
Photograph showing the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association

Which is Better to Use on Your Face?

If you are looking for a product to use on your face or as an under eye cream, I would recommend the CeraVe Healing Ointment over Aquaphor. This is because it contains hyaluronic acid and essential ceramides, and works well at reducing fine lines under the eyes.

Also, although both products leave the skin very greasy, I found that the CeraVe Healing Ointment absorbed a bit quicker than Aquaphor. If you are planning on leaving the product on over night, I advise you to apply a thin layer several hours before going to bed to give it time to absorb.

Buying Guide

When it comes to price, the CeraVe Healing Ointment is slightly more expensive than Aquaphor.

Title
Aquaphor
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
CeraVe
CeraVe Healing Ointment
Preview
Aquaphor Healing Ointment - 1.75 oz tube by Aquaphor
CeraVe Healing Ointment 3 oz with Petrolatum Ceramides for Protecting and Soothing Cracked, Chafed...
Price
£9.80
£14.99
Order From Ulta
Order From Amazon
Order From Walgreens
Aquaphor
Title
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
Preview
Aquaphor Healing Ointment - 1.75 oz tube by Aquaphor
Price
£9.80
Order From Ulta
Order From Amazon
Order From Walgreens
CeraVe
Title
CeraVe Healing Ointment
Preview
CeraVe Healing Ointment 3 oz with Petrolatum Ceramides for Protecting and Soothing Cracked, Chafed...
Price
£14.99
Order From Ulta
Order From Amazon
Order From Walgreens

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs About CeraVe & Aquaphor

Is CeraVe Healing Ointment just Vaseline?

No. Vaseline is 100% petroleum jelly, but CeraVe is only 46.5% petroleum jelly, and contains lots of other ingredients than contain humectant properties.

What is CeraVe Healing Ointment used for?

CeraVe Healing Ointment helps skin to recover from cracking, chafing and extreme dryness. It can be used on minor cuts, scrapes and burns.

Is it okay to put CeraVe Healing Ointment on face?

Yes. CeraVe Healing Ointment can be applied to the face, and sensitive areas like around the eyes. It helps to reduce redness, inflammation, dryness and skin irritations.

Will CeraVe Healing Ointment clog pores?

No. CeraVe Healing Ointment is noncomedogenic so it won’t clog pores or make acne worse. The product is oil free despite its greasy texture.

Can you put CeraVe Healing Ointment under eyes?

Yes. CeraVe Healing Ointment makes a great under eye cream, and can help to rehydrate the skin, and reduce fine lines.

How long does healing ointment take to absorb?

Both the CeraVe Healing Ointment and Aquaphor Healing Ointment take several hours to absorb. For this reason I recommend applying it early in the evening so it will have time to absorb before you go to bed.

Can I use CeraVe Healing Ointment on lips?

Yes. The CeraVe Healing Ointment makes a great lip balm! It will protect your lips in cold weather and keep them soft, supple and moisturised.

Is Healing Ointment good for scars?

Any petrolatum-based ointment can help to smooth scars over time. This includes: Vaseline, Aquaphor Ointment, or the CeraVe Healing Ointment.

Is CeraVe Healing Ointment the same as Aquaphor?

No. The CeraVe Healing Ointment has a different formulation to Aquaphor. It contains more petroleum jelly, and other ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides.

Other CeraVe Comparisons

This Post was a Comparison Between Cerave Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor

Thank you for reading my comparison between Cerave Healing Ointment vs Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy. Both are great products that work on any skin type to reduce dryness and help minor burns, cuts or scrapes to heal. Either one is a good option to protect your skin from the winter weather.