When you get a burn or scrape that irritates your skin, and you just need a little something to ease the healing process, you can find several different ointments and lotions available at your local drugstore. Two of the most popular topical ointments for burns are Vaseline and Aquaphor, and each has its own following of dedicated users. But when we break down what actually makes up each of these two products, which one is more ideal for treating skin?
Almost everyone has used Vaseline at some point in their lives and is familiar with its unique and oily texture. It has this texture because it contains petroleum, the main component of petroleum jelly, which helps to seal off exposed burns from harmful bacteria and infections. Vaseline has multiple uses besides treating burns, such as lip balm and organic multipurpose lubricant. Since it was invented in 1872, it has become the most popular brand of skin ointment in the world, and can be found in medicine cabinets in almost every country. Vaseline is meant to be used on the surface of the skin with just enough to provide a light coating over the dry or damaged area.
Aquaphor also contains petroleum, although in a much smaller quantity. Besides this, the healing version of this product also contains panthenol, which is used in products like shampoo and conditioner for the purpose of helping the skin to absorb the ingredients, a major difference between Vaseline, which is not absorbed into the skin. Aquaphor also contains various minerals that promote the re-growth of skin tissues. These extra ingredients result in a thicker, less oily consistency.
While Vaseline is probably the more popular brand of the two, Aquaphor contains pharmaceutical ingredients that are meant to speed up dermatological healing, whereas Vaseline does not. Although Vaseline is 100 percent petrolatum, it is not typically preferred over Aquaphor by health experts for the repair of damaged skin. Of course, there are rare instances where doctors would prefer Vaseline due to the fact that a person might be allergic to the extra ingredients in Aquaphor.
With that said, both products do an excellent job of treating burns and irritation. Although there are people who prefer the texture of one over the other, the ability to prevent infection is the most important part of treating skin damage, and that comes from petrolatum, which both products have. Aquaphor probably has a slight edge in terms of overall healing ability; however, many people just stick with Vaseline as it is significantly cheaper.