CeraVe vs Vaseline: What are the Differences & Similarities?

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Keeping our skin moisturized is necessary to strengthen our skin’s moisture barrier and reduce the chances of developing skin problems.

Colder climates and dry cool air are what cause our skin to get dry, or health conditions such as eczema and diabetes.

When skin doesn’t have enough moisture, it ends up getting itchy, flaky, and painful.

When disregarded, it may result in even further complications. To avoid this, we should prioritize keeping our skin moisturized at all times. A moisturized skin is happy and healthy skin.

There are several moisturizing products on the market.

However, it can be quite tough to decide which of these products is best for you. Two of the most popular moisturizing brands are CeraVe and Vaseline.

These two brands are known to provide people with quality products that moisturize and soothe skin problems.

However, which one of the two is the better brand? What are their differences? Which among the two is worth the purchase?

Let me provide you with a detailed comparison of both brands and their products to help you decide which you prefer is better, and to end the long debate on Cerave vs Vaseline.

CeraVe vs Vaseline: Comparison & Reviews

There is only 4.6% of petrolatum in the Vaseline Ointment, compared to the 100% petrolatum in the CeraVe ointment.

Moreover, CeraVe is fortified with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and panthenol, to provide extra moisturizing and skin-conditioning benefits.

Unlike CeraVe’s ointment, which is light and clear, the Vaseline ointment is thick, creamy, and waxy.

CeraVe is also pricier than Vaseline, so if you want something that’s cheaper and easily available, you can go for Vaseline.

Also, in terms of moisture levels and efficacy, CeraVe may have a slight edge over Vaseline. But if you don’t want your ointment to be thick or waxy, then CeraVe may be better.


Vaseline contains more petroleum. Although its products are a mixture of minerals and waxes. They offer a wide range of products like petroleum jelly, lotions, skin creams, soaps, cleansers, and lip therapy.

Vaseline Jelly contains 100% petrolatum.

Due to its higher petroleum content, it is more effective in strengthening waterproof barriers and more likely to prevent skin from getting dry.

However, it can cause a more sticky, greasy, and heavier feeling on the skin.

Dermatologists recommend using their Petroleum jelly to heal dry and damaged skin. It has a thicker but smooth consistency that can be easily applied to the skin.


Vaseline is widely available, is quite affordable, and is very effective. This is why it’s popular both in online stores as well as local drugstores.

The ointment contains 100% petroleum jelly, making it the active ingredient. It also comes in various sizes including a travel size.

It has a thick consistency and can be applied anywhere on the skin. However, it can be uncomfortable if you don’t like the tacky finish.


CeraVe offers skin care products such as moisturizing creams, moisturizing lotions, facial cleansers, healing ointments, hydrating cleanser bars, and so on.

Everything your skin needs to maintain sufficient moisture and keep skin strong and healthy.

CeraVe ingredients include petrolatum, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, tocopheryl acetate, and other beneficial ingredients that help combat dryness and promote healthier skin.

CeraVe healing ointment is used to treat dry, cracked, and chafed skin.

Its active ingredient is petrolatum (46.5%). It protects with a smoother and lighter feeling that leaves you comfortable enough to move around.

The product is recommended by dermatologists and has proven to deliver amazing results. It is a simple fragrance-free skincare brand that just does what it needs to get done, to provide moisture and strengthen skin.


Unlike the Vaseline Ointment, Cerave Healing Ointment only has about 46.5% of petroleum jelly in addition to ceramides, mineral oils, paraffin, and hyaluronic acid.

There are only about three sizes to choose from, compared to five sizes for Vaseline. Fortunately, the texture is less tacky and has a thinner consistency.

This means it’ll leave less tacky residue after application. It contains skin hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which makes it more comfortable than Vaseline.

What Is Petroleum Jelly (Petrolatum)?

We all know petroleum jelly is the major ingredient in Vaseline, Cerave, and many other ointments. Why is it present in all of these and what is the function?

Petroleum jelly is basically gotten from crude oil after it’s refined. It’s responsible for creating a skin barrier that prevents the skin epidermis from losing moisture.

By helping the skin retain moisture, this ingredient makes it possible for the skin to be soft, hydrated, and supple.

It also benefits all skin types and areas of the skin that are usually dry, especially during winter.

There are quite a few studies that have proven petrolatum helps in repairing skin barriers as well as treating minor cuts, wounds, bruises, and burns.

Because it is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic, it’s great for use on sensitive skins. It is also suitable for babies as well as adults.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cerave & Vaseline

Is CeraVe Healing Ointment just Vaseline?

No, Cerave Healing Ointment is more than Vaseline.

Aside from the active petroleum jelly, there are other hydrators like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and cholesterol, all of which are important for keeping the skin healthy, smooth, and soft.

Vaseline, on the other hand, is all petroleum jelly. There isn’t much more you can get aside from that.

What do dermatologists say about Vaseline?

Most dermatologists recommend using petroleum jelly, which is because it relieves dry lips, eyelids, and skin. If you have a crack, flake, or itch on your skin, this ingredient can help.

Fortunately, Vaseline has it in abundance, which is why some dermatologists recommended it.

Some describe it as a safe, hypoallergenic product that not just locks moisture in but also draws it towards the skin so it isn’t dry and scaly.


Both brands provide similar benefits. However, the debate on Cerave vs vaseline goes on since people have different preferences.

The difference between CeraVe and Vaseline is that CeraVe has less petrolatum, while Vaseline contains more. If you want a less greasy feel, I recommend you choose CeraVe.

But if you’re focused more on keeping skin tight and moisturized, I recommend you choose Vaseline. Overall, both are really good brands. Choose one that suits you best.

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