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

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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.

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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)

We all know that the key to healthy, younger looking skin is keeping it well hydrated, naturally or otherwise.

There are plenty of moisturizing body lotions and facial moisturizers that can help you achieve healthy soft skin. One of these products is the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, which is one of the most popular out there.

The lotion is easy to apply and absorb easily. It can also be used as a facial moisturizer but mainly designed for the body such as the legs, backs, and arms.

A single bottle can last you a good six months if used economically. The lotion is non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, which is good for those with sensitive skin.

It can be used by both men and women and of adult age. The formula is lightweight and can also help men soothe razor burn while hydrating their skin.


Since the bottle packaging is unisex and since it doesn’t have any scent to it, it’s suitable for use by men.

Unfortunately, the bottle is quite big, which means it’s not that suitable for traveling. The Cetaphil Cream shouldn’t cost more than a few dollars and you can obtain it ad different drugstores across the US.

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.

What to Look for In Moisturizing Lotions

You’re walking up and down the skincare aisle, aimlessly picking up products with no real knowledge on what a good facial moisturizer should contain.

Do not make your choice based on price and packaging alone.

When it comes to a facial moisturizer, it’s important to really know your skin. Reach for a cream, gel, or lotion according to your skin type, whether dry, oil, acne-prone, sensitive, or normal.

The right moisturizer will provide your skin with just the right amount of moisturizer for a glowing complexion. Here are several things to look for in a quality facial moisturizer.

Moisturizing Agents

Every facial moisturizer will have some sort of moisturizing agent but which one will make a dramatic difference in the look and feel of your skin.

Agents like mineral oil, plant oil, cocoa butter, silicone, petrolatum, animal oil, and cholesterol can all help to smooth and soften skin will retaining moisture.

Squalene, jojoba, and lanolin are recommended by skincare experts, as they are the most similar to sebum (a natural moisturizing agent produced by the skin).

AHAs and BHAs

Alpha hydroxyl acids, also known as AHAs, and beta hydroxyl acids, or BHAs, are known to shed the skin of dead cells and clear pores.

Look for a facial moisturizer with AHAs like lactic acid or glycolic acid. Salicylic acid is a form of BHA.

If the product you’re using contains tartaric acids, citric acids, or malic acids, you may be applying more chemicals to your skin than needed. Experts agree that these acids are not beneficial to the skin.

Soothing Agents

A good facial moisturizer should contain some anti-irritates to calm irritated skin.

Some common soothing agents include allantoin, bisabolol, licorice root, aloe, green tea, glycyrrhetinic acid, and chamomile extract, among other popular additives. These are often added to facial moisturizers to help the skin better handle the harsh chemicals.


To help the skin rid itself of free radicals, many manufacturers put antioxidants into their facial moisturizers. To be effective, this form of facial moisturizer must be carefully packaged and cared for.

When exposed to the air or sunlight, antioxidants can quickly deteriorate, making them useless to the skin. Only select facial moisturizers packaged in opaque bottles or tubes or dispensers with small openings to ensure that they are efficient.

There are several things one should look for in a facial moisturizer, including moisturizing agents, AHAs, and BHAs, soothing agents, and antioxidants. Together, these features form a well-rounded and effective facial moisturizer that can do wonders for your 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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