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Aquaphor vs. Cetaphil

Aquaphor vs. Cetaphil

Aquaphor vs. Cetaphil are one of the most commonly confused products in the skincare industry. This confusion emanates from the fact that both share a common active ingredient (Petrolatum), have similar packaging, and are both available in renowned drugstores.  

Aquaphor and Cetaphil are skincare products that are gentle and moisturizing. These two products are recommended for sensitive skin because they do not contain common irritants. What’s more, they have no added fragrance, dye, or color that may irritate your sensitive skin parts. 

Aquaphor vs. Cetaphil skincare brands have a variety of products, but the two most popular are Aquaphor healing ointment and Cetaphil moisturizing cream. 

Though these two moisturizers can be used for dry skin parts, there are some major differences in their ingredients and use. So what’s really the difference between Aquaphor healing ointment vs. Cetaphil moisturizing cream? Continue reading to find out. 

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor vs. Cetaphil

Aquaphor healing ointment is a non-greasy ointment that helps maintain the moisture of the skin and protect it from outside conditions such as wind and cold weather, which may dry it out. Aquaphor is a multipurpose medicated topical cream that works wonders for dry, chapped, rough, and itchy patches of the skin. 

Aquaphor healing ointment is also marketed as a cure for diaper rash and other skin irritations such as eczema. The best part about Aquaphor is that it can be used for anything and everything. 

Aquaphor’s healing ointment’s main ingredient is petrolatum (40%), which helps keep moisture in the skin. Other ingredients in Aquaphor include water, mineral oil, glycerin, citric acid, lanolin alcohol, ceresin, panthenol, and bisabolol. 

This healing ointment is occlusive, which means it creates a protective barrier over your skin. You can use Aquaphor on cuts and scrapes to prevent infection and speed healing time. You can also use this product as an overnight moisturizer if your skin is very dry or dehydrated. 

Aquaphor works by trapping the oils and holding them in place on the dry skin. 

This water-based emollient contains a waxy barrier that works to provide relief from the pain and discomfort of dry skin without drying it out further. Used by thousands of people around the world, Aquaphor has been shown to heal wounds and soothe skin conditions. 

This moisturizing ointment penetrates deep into the skin to hydrate it from within. 

Aquaphor is formulated with three healing components, including petrolatum to lock in moisture, lanolin to soften the skin, and mineral oil which helps prevent moisture loss. Aquaphor also contains seal strength properties that provide protection from the outside environment for chafed and cracked skin.

Aquaphor healing ointment retails at $23.80 on Amazon.


Cetaphil is a brand name for cleansers, moisturizers, and lotions made by Galderma, Inc., a global company that specializes in dermatology products. 

Cetaphil products are available over the counter and are considered safe for most people with sensitive skin. 

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Aquaphor vs. Cetaphil

Cetaphil moisturizing cream is one of the best-selling skincare products from this brand. This cream features a complete range of skin benefits in one product. Cetaphil moisturizing cream is a dermatologist-recommended formula that’s lightweight, non-greasy, fragrance-free, and oil-free. Another plus with this formula is that you can use it under makeup.

Cetaphil moisturizing cream is marketed as a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin types that won’t clog pores or irritate the skin further. Cetaphil moisturizing cream contains cetyl alcohol (an emollient), propylene glycol (a humectant), sodium lauryl sulfate (a cleansing agent), stearyl alcohol (an emollient), methylparaben (a preservative), and propylparaben. 

This moisturizer helps wash away oil, dirt, and other impurities from the skin. Cetaphil moisturizing cream is more of a moisturizer for those looking for light hydration.  

Dermatologists recommend Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream precisely because it doesn’t cause water retention and other side effects often associated with other skin creams and lotions. The ingredients that make Cetaphil so effective are found in all five layers of the skin. These special ingredients work gently, reducing the feeling of dryness, making it perfect for daily use.

This cream currently retails at $15.78 on Amazon.

Aquaphor Vs. Cetaphil: Understand the Differences

Aquaphor healing ointment is a skin conditioner-like product that has healing ingredients added to the mix. Aquaphor works well as a barrier and moisturizer and has long been used to help heal wounds and treat dry skin conditions like eczema. 

Cetaphil moisturizing cream, on the other hand, is a gentle cleanser that washes away dirt and germs while keeping skin soft and supple. This product is formulated with mild surfactants (cleansing agents) that are less likely to cause irritation than traditional soap, so it’s safe to use on even the most sensitive areas of the body. 

Though Aquaphor and Cetaphil are both considered moisturizers, Aquaphor is more of an ointment while Cetaphil is a lotion. An ointment is mostly greasier than a lotion. This is because it has more oil in the formula than water and other ingredients. Ointments tend to stay on the skin longer than lotions which makes them better at locking in moisture. 

Aquaphor is made from just seven ingredients: mineral oil, lanolin alcohol, ceresin, panthenol, glycerin, petroleum jelly, and bisabolol. This ingredient list makes Aquaphor an occlusive moisturizer. Occlusive moisturizers form a seal on top of the skin to prevent moisture from escaping. 

Cetaphil moisturizing cream includes water, cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, and sodium lauryl sulfate-along with petrolatum as the occlusive part of the product. In this case, petrolatum is combined with other ingredients to make it easier to spread across the skin. The rest of the ingredients in Cetaphil moisturizing cream include Dimethicone, stearic acid, methylparaben, and propylparaben. These give it a thicker consistency than Aquaphor healing ointment. 

Aquaphor also contains petroleum jelly, which is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes. It forms a protective layer over the skin that holds moisture. Cetaphil, on the other hand, doesn’t contain petroleum jelly or mineral oils. 

Another difference between these two products is in their price range. Going by the prices at Amazon, Aquaphor is slightly more expensive than Cetaphil. 

Which One Is Better?

The truth is these two products will fulfill their promise of healing and rejuvenating your skin. When choosing between these two, take into consideration your skin type and needs. 

Also, be careful of any allergen you may have that may cause unnecessary breakouts. If you are after a product that’s more affordable and effective, consider opting for Cetaphil. If you have eczema or dry skin, Aquaphor is an ointment that is often recommended by dermatologists.