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Aquaphor vs Cetaphil 2023 (The Definitive Guide)

Is your skin dry and irritated? A proper moisturizer should set things right. Aquaphor and Cetaphil are two of the most popular options when it comes to treating skin in need of some TLC.

But which one should you choose? This comparison will help you see the benefits of each to make the best decision for you.

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Aquaphor Healing Ointment vs Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Ointments tend to be thicker than creams, but each of these products have benefits of their own which could impact your decision to choose between Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.


Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a #1 dermatologist-recommended choice to repair dry and cracked skin. It can also be used for chapped lips, cracked cuticles, plus dry feet and heels. As a clinically proven formula, it is effective for bringing skin back to a smooth and healthy condition.

The formula features 41% petrolatum, an ingredient that allows oxygen flow to come in and heal skin. Glycerin and panthenol are also included which lend intensive nourishment and moisturization to skin. There’s also bisabolol, an anti-irritant, ceresin, lanolin alcohol, and mineral oil.

Lanolin alcohol is not the drying type of alcohol, but rather, a fatty one that can help dry skin. It’s important that you know it could potentially irritate some uses. Mineral oil may be of greater concern though as it is on the EWG’s list of ingredients you should avoid in skincare.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is free of preservatives and fragrances, and is intended for use on skin that is extremely dry. While it relieves and refreshes dryness, cracking, and chapping, it can also be used as a preventative measure on cold and windy days to protect skin.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is made for dry and very dry skin types. It’s also ideal for those that deal with sensitive skin. While it’s not an ointment, this rich cream has been clinically proven to give skin intense and lasting hydration for up to 48 hours. The brand’s formulation is made with dermatologist-backed ingredients. These include niacinamide, panthenol, and glycerin.

It has a longer ingredient list than Aquaphor though it also contains petrolatum. With this ingredient list, the EWG gives it a score of 4 which ranks as fair, though Aquaphor’s product is rated with a 2, making it a more low hazard choice.

Cetaphil can help with skin barrier improvement in just days, restoring skin completely in a week. It is dermatologist-tested against the 5 signs of skin sensitivity too and provides a rich and non-greasy format that is further enhanced by sweet almond oil. Free of fragrances and parabens, this hypoallergenic formula won’t clog your pores either.


After comparing Aquaphor and Cetaphil’s options, both are created to help soothe your chapped, dry, and irritated skin. Each one is a great option, though for the driest of skin, Aquaphor may be a better option. For those with sensitive skin, Cetaphil may be the right place to start.

Healing Ointment by Aquaphor, skin protectant ointment with Panthenol and Glycerin.

Healing Ointment by Aquaphor

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Skin protectant ointment with Panthenol and Glycerin.

What makes it special? One essential solution for many skincare needs: Aquaphor Healing Ointment is uniquely formulated to restore smooth, healthy skin. Different from a lotion or cream, this multi-purpose ointment protects and soothes extremely dry skin, chapped lips, cracked hands and feet, minor cuts and burns, and many other skin irritations, so you can get on with your day comfortably.

Which skin types? For dry, cracked skin, chapped lips, cracked cuticles and dry feet and heels.

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Moisturizing Cream by Cetaphil, intensively moisturises & rehydrates dry skin.

Moisturizing Cream by Cetaphil

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Intensively moisturises & rehydrates dry skin.

What makes it special? A nourishing blend of moisturisers including Glycerin, Sunflower seed oil, Sweet almond oil and Vitamin E help to replenish & support the skin's natural protective barrier. Leaves skin feeling soft & smooth. Proven, long-lasting moisturisation (up to 24 hours with each application).

Which skin types? All skin types.

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Aquaphor vs Cetaphil Conclusion

Ultimately, your skin needs will dictate which of these products to reach for at the store. If you want a product that has fewer ingredients and a thicker texture, choose Aquaphor.

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For those that need more moisturization for sensitive skin that is also dry, Cetaphil may suit you better. You can also try both and see which one works best for you!

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