Aquaphor Healing Ointment Review

SKIN CARE REVIEWS

07.16.21DISCLAIMER

At first glance, you may think that Aquaphor Healing Ointment is just another product for dry skin. But it turns out that this $6 drugstore product can do way more than just alleviate dry skin.

In fact, one of Beyoncé’s beauty secrets is to apply Aquaphor to her face every night. “I go to bed looking totally greasy,” Beyoncé said in a publication by Elle. “It’s not all glamour all the time.”

So what else can Aquaphor Healing Ointment do for your skin? That’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this review. We’ll cover the key ingredients in the formula and the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skin care. We’ll also share some Aquaphor reviews so that you can get an idea of what customers really think of this product.

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2022?

Is Aquaphor Healing Ointment Right For You?

Before we get into the details, here’s the TL;DR if you just want to know whether or not Aquaphor Healing Ointment is right for you.

  • Key ingredients? 41% Petrolatum (aka vaseline)
  • Skin type? Recommended for all skin types
  • Texture? Thick, greasy ointment
  • Fragrance? No
  • Cruelty free? No
  • Vegan? No
  • Cost? Depends on where you purchase; $7.99 USD for 3.5 oz on Ulta.com
  • Rating? 4.7 out of 5 stars

        What Are The Key Ingredients in Aquaphor Healing Ointment?

        In order to determine how well Aquaphor Healing Ointment performs, we’ll have to evaluate the key ingredients in this formula. Let’s get started.

        Petrolatum: A Thick, Occlusive Skin Protectant

        Petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly or Vaseline, is the highest concentration ingredient in Aquaphor Healing Ointment at a concentration of 41 percent. It functions as an occlusive agent and skin protectant.

        As an occlusive agent, petrolatum reduces the rate of water loss through skin. Since petrolatum has a melting point that is close to body temperature, it softens upon application and forms a water-repellant film around the applied area.

        According to a publication in the journal Clinical Medicine & Research,this film prevents evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture and increases skin hydration by causing buildup of water in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin).

        Petrolatum also functions as a skin protectant. It protects the skin after an injury by replicating the occlusive properties of the stratum corneum.

        When a wound is healing, the new, underdeveloped stratum corneum allows abnormally high levels of water loss. If too much water is lost, the area can become dehydrated. The state of dehydration signals to various cells in the epidermis to synthesize and release collagen. When the body produces too much collagen, scarring can result.

        Applying petrolatum to a skin injury provides the newly formed stratum corneum with improved occlusion and aids in retaining optimum water levels. When the skin is properly hydrated, the risk of scar formation decreases.

        This is why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends keeping skin injuries moist with petrolatum — or products with petrolatum as the active ingredient, like Aquaphor Healing Ointment — to reduce scarring.

        Humectants Draw Much-Needed Moisture Into The Skin

        The Aquaphor Healing Ointment formula also contains three humectants: panthenol (provitamin B5), glycerin, and bisabolol.

        A humectant has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water loving) groups, such as hydroxyl groups (OH) and/or amine groups (NH2). These groups hydrogen bond with water, essentially “grabbing” it and holding it on the skin.

        Humectants pull water from the dermis to the epidermis and stratum corneum in order to hydrate the upper layers of skin. In addition, humectants can draw water vapor from the air to help moisturize the skin if the humidity is over 50 percent.

        Occlusives: Create a Physical Barrier to Lock in Moisture

        The rest of the Aquaphor Healing Ointment formula consists of mineral oil, ceresin, and lanolin alcohol.

        These ingredients can be categorized as occlusive agents because they create a physical barrier on top of the skin that helps prevent trans-epidermal water, similar to petrolatum. These ingredients feel thick and heavy after application since they are not absorbed into the skin.

        Aquaphor vs. Vaseline: What’s The Difference?

        We already mentioned that the active ingredient in Aquaphor Healing Ointment is petrolatum, which many people refer to as “Vaseline”.

        Vaseline is actually a brand name, and one of their products — Vaseline Healing Jelly Original — consists of 100% petrolatum.

        Remember, Aquaphor Healing Ointment is formulated with just 41% petrolatum, as well as supporting key ingredients like occlusives and humectants.

        So Aquaphor may be a better moisturizer since it contains humectants to draw in moisture.

        However, those with a lanolin allergy should avoid Aquaphor (because it contains lanolin alcohol) and stick with Vaseline.

        What Are The Best Ways to Use Aquaphor Healing Ointment?

        Unlike most skin care products, Aquaphor Healing Ointment can be used for dozens of purposes, from treating diaper rash to moisturizing dry skin. Below we’ll briefly describe some of the best ways to use Aquaphor Healing Ointment:

        • Moisturizer for dry, rough, chapped skin on elbows, hands, feet, or anywhere on the body
        • Nighttime facial moisturizer (plus, it’s safe to use around the eyes)
        • Reduce sting or burning sensation after minor burns including sunburn
        • After shave
        • Makeup remover
        • Treating cuts or scrapes
        • Treating diaper rash in babies
        • Keeping the nails and cuticles healthy
        • Softening and moisturizing lips
        • Preventing stretch marks during pregnancy
        • Treating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and sore skin
        • Healing relatively recent scars and skin discolorations
        • Massage balm
        • Tattoo aftercare

        Can You Use Aquaphor On Your Face?

        We already mentioned that Beyoncé slathers Aquaphor Healing Ointment on her face before going to bed, so should you do it, too?

        In our opinion, using Aquaphor Healing Ointment as the final step of your skin care routine is actually a really good idea. That’s because petrolatum and the other occlusive agents in this formula create a barrier that locks in moisture. The result? Hydrated, soft, dewy skin.

        Can You Use Aquaphor For Burns?

        Yes, Aquaphor Healing Ointment can be used for minor burns caused by ironing, cooking, or styling.

        As we explained above, the active ingredient in Aquaphor — petrolatum — protects the skin after an injury by replicating the occlusive properties of the stratum corneum. This not only speeds healing, but also prevents scar formation.

        Is Aquaphor Good For Tattoos?

        Yes, Aquaphor is good for new tattoos.

        Once again, this is because of the protective barrier it forms to prevent moisture loss, thereby creating an ideal environment for a new tattoo to heal.

        Where to Buy Aquaphor Healing Ointment?

        Aquaphor Healing Ointment and other Aquaphor products are not sold on the brand’s website. You must buy Aquaphor products on third party online retailers, such as Ulta, Walmart, Target, Amazon, and more.

        Aquaphor skin care products are also sold in physical retail locations throughout the United States, such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, etc. The brand has a store locator on their website so you can find a location near you.

        How Much is Aquaphor Healing Ointment?

        The price of Aquaphor Healing Ointment will depend on the retailer where you purchase the product. For example, Aquaphor Healing Ointment ranges from $2.99 to $12.99 on Ulta.com (depending on the size).

        What is The Aquaphor Return Policy?

        Aquaphor does not have a return policy on their website since they do not sell products on their website and, therefore, don’t accept returns.

        Is Aquaphor Cruelty Free?

        Aquaphor is not cruelty free. Aquaphor is owned by Beiersdorf, a company that tests on animals.

        Is Aquaphor Healing Ointment Vegan?

        No, Aquaphor Healing Ointment is not suitable for vegans because the formula contains lanolin alcohol (derived from sheep’s wool).

        Aquaphor Healing Ointment Reviews

        Aquaphor Healing Ointment reviews on the brand’s website are mostly positive, with the product receiving an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars after more than 600 customer reviews.

        There are many 5-star reviews for Aquaphor Healing Ointment from customers who have used this product for a variety of concerns, from acne to dry skin to burns and more.

        For example, one review says, “Aquaphor helped me when I got 2nd degree burns when my arm hit an oven 390°. The injury was not healing with the medical products from my doctor. Then I tried Aquaphor. It started healing immediately! I didn’t have a gooey mess to clean off anymore! Thank you for your product. I am hoping it will minimize scarring”

        And another 5-star review says, “I thought this was ‘just Vaseline’ when my dermatologist recommended it. Wrong!!! I use it wherever I have dry areas. It works! Bonus: no perfume!”

        However, there are a handful of negative reviews for Aquaphor Healing Ointment from customers who found the ointment to be too thick or too oily.

        For example, one review says, “I absolutely did NOT like this product. It made my hands so oily and it didn’t seem to ever fully soak in.”

        And another 1-star review says, “It is way too thick. Based on the fact that it is essentially petroleum based, the price is laughable. I used it over cuts but I can’t use it on large areas, way too greasy and doesn’t seem to moisturize.”

        Our Verdict

        Overall, we think that Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a good option if you have very dry skin or you’d like to use it for a minor skin injury or burn.

        Pros

        • Active ingredient (41% petrolatum) has research supporting its benefits
        • Formula includes beneficial inactive ingredients (mineral oil, glycerin, bisabolol, etc.)
        • Aquaphor Healing Ointment can be used for dozens of purposes
        • Fragrance free
        • Many positive Aquaphor Healing Ointment reviews

        Cons

        • Aquaphor is not cruelty free
        • Not suitable for those with lanolin allergy
        • Some people find it to be too thick and/or greasy

        What Are Some Alternatives to Aquaphor Healing Ointment?

        If you’re considering using Aquaphor on your face, we suggest applying an anti-aging serum before applying the Aquaphor. That way the key ingredients can absorb into your skin, while the Aquaphor creates a protective seal to lock in moisture overnight.

        One brand we recommend for anti-aging skin care products is Formulyst. Formulyst maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in clinically advanced skin care solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin.

        For example, Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate can help to address multiple signs of aging at once. This serum contains natural ingredients like squalane, green tea, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which provide powerful antioxidant activity to protect the skin against environmental free radicals that are known to degrade collagen. In addition, this serum contains Matrixyl 3000, a peptide complex that works to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance by signaling to cells to produce more collagen.

        You may also want to consider Carrot & Stick, a brand that takes a tough love approach to skin care, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skincare products.

        References:
        Clin Med Res. 2017 Dec; 15(3-4): 75–87.

        American Academy of Dermatology

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