Cetaphil vs Aquaphor: Healing Ointment vs Moisturizing Lotion (The Difference)

Cetaphil and Aquaphor are two popular brands that make skincare lotions for both adults and children. Aquaphor’s signature product is its Healing Ointment while Cetaphil has its own Moisturizing Lotion.

If you’re wondering about which one to go for (and if there are any differences between them), then you need to read this article to the end.

Cetaphil vs Aquaphor: Comparison

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

(Credit: Aquaphor.com)

I have eczema, which means my skin is very delicate and sensitive. If I don’t keep it properly hydrated, it tends to have flare-ups.

This winter is being unbelievably cold so my skin wasn’t doing all that great. It cracked, it chipped and it got to the point where I couldn’t smile without my lips cracking.

My hands cracked too, to the point they bled constantly and it was super painful to wash the dishes or shower. The creams I use weren’t doing anything for me anymore, so when I saw Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment I was ready to give it a try… and I don’t regret it at all.

Trusted Skin Protectant

Aquaphor is arguably one of the best skin protectant and occlusive moisturizers you’ll come across. You can use it as a wound healer, make-up removal, and most importantly, a skin protectant.

It helps in locking moisture in the skin, leaving it soft and flexible. Of course, this is possible with the myriad of ingredients found in the product.

Related: LumiSpa vs Clarisonic: Which of the Two Brands Is Better?

Staple Ingredients

The Healing Ointment is formulated with glycerin, lanolin alcohol, mineral oil, ceresin, panthenol, and a host of other ingredients.

The mineral oil found in the Aquaphor Healing Ointment is said to be a great emollient and moisturizer. The oil sits on the skin and basically blocks water from evaporating from your skin.

Therefore, if you’re having a problem with drying skin, the ointment can help you combat it. Another good thing mineral oil has is that it’s non-irritating to the skin. According to research, it’s pure so someone with sensitive skin shouldn’t react to it.

Another ingredient found in Aquaphor is petrolatum, popular known as petroleum gelly. It’s one of the most effective occlusive agents used in ointments today. It does something similar to mineral oil in that it hinders water loss from the skin.

Aside from that, it is also effective for healing cracked lips or dry skin patches. A dab of it should keep the lips or skin in good form.

Recommended by Dermatologist

It is not surprising that this ointment is often recommended by dermatologists. It made my skin so soft and supple that I couldn’t believe it!

My usual ointments take a while to cure my chapped hands, but this one cured most of it in a couple of days.

Seeing that it can be used on your lips as well I gave it a try and while it didn’t heal my chapped lips right away, it made them feel much softer, comfortable and I can see that they crack less.


I am also happy that it seems to be an all-natural, chemical-free ointment since my skin is so sensitive.

The high glycerin, panthenol, and petrolatum content keep my skin properly moisturized without triggering any allergies or eczema flare-ups. And it is also fragrance-free which is even better to protect my skin!

The big size is a plus too as I know it will last me for a while.

All in all, I recommend this cream to anyone that has problems with dry, chapped skin and especially to those that, like me, have very sensitive skin!

Read: Kerastase vs Olaplex: Which is More Effective for Hair?

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

(Credit: Walmart.com)

I have got many skin allergies, and my skin is extremely sensitive. That is why I tend to stick with products I know and I am reticent to try out new ones.

However, this winter is being really cold and it is doing a number on my skin. The skin of most of my body is very dry and my hands are unbelievably chapped and cracked, to the point I bleed every time I do the dishes or I shower.

My usual lotion was proving to be not moisturizing enough, so I decided to give this Cetaphil one a try. And let me tell you: it is a Godsend.

Recommended by Dermatologist

First of all, it was recommended by my dermatologist so I already knew it was going to be good.

It is paraben and fragrance-free, which is wonderful as it didn’t trigger any allergies and I guess it might be non-comedogenic too because it didn’t give me any acne even when I use it on my face.

It Has Moisturizing Power

This lotion is really moisturizing and nourishing: my skin is not only not chapped anymore, but it feels extra smooth, soft, and supple both in my entire body and in my face.

Common ingredients in the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion are glycerin, panthenol, dimethicone, and water. It is specifically formulated to soothe drying skin and keep the skin hydration levels in a balanced state.

It doesn’t clog the skin pores (it’s non-comedogenic), doesn’t leave greasy residues, and is non-irritating. While Aquaphor is used for cracked lips, wounds, or chaffing, the Cetaphil Lotion goes suitably on the skin, keeping it smooth and soft.


The texture of this lotion is also a plus: it is very liquid, and light. It absorbs really fast which is great as I don’t like that greasy, oily feeling some other lotions have.

And it keeps me feeling moisturized and hydrated the entire day too. I apply it after my morning shower and I don’t feel the need to reapply it during the day.

All in all, an excellent lotion. I would encourage everybody with sensitive skin to try it because it is so gentle. I, for one, am never going back to the old one I was using!

Cetaphil vs Aquaphor: What’s the Difference?

The major ingredient in the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion is water, so it’s going to be lighter and more watery than the Aquaphor Healing Ointment.

However, both are very effective for dry skin. The one ingredient that’s present in both products is glycerin. This ingredient is found in most moisturizers today.

A positive talking point for it is that it’s safe and effective. A study also shows that the body’s hydration levels correlate with glycerin levels, which means a layer on the skin can keep help normalize shedding in dry skin.

Aside from glycerin and water, the Cetaphil Lotion also contains other ingredients including hydrogenated polyisobutene, a synthetic liquid oil, that acts as an emollient and viscosity controller.

This oil is used in place of mineral oil in skincare moisturizers.

The lotion also contains Stearyl alcohol, in place of lanolin alcohol found in Aquaphor, but also other ingredients not present in Aquaphor like dimethicone, which is also an emollient for nurturing silky smooth skin.


If you’re battling cracked lips or want to heal wounds, I’ll recommend you go for the Aquaphor Healing Ointment. However, if you just want to keep your skin hydrated or stop shredding from dry skin, then you can go for the Cetaphil Lotion.

It’s obvious that both products can be used alongside. Use the lotion to massage the whole body while placing the ointment in problem areas (where you have a wound, for example).

Whether you choose to buy the two or go with one, the two are generally good products to have at home.

Read: Cerave vs Aveeno: Which Brand Is BEST for Your Skin?

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