Pros: no fragrances, dyes, or preservatives
thick formula to coat skin
Cons: more expensive than Vaseline competetor, but works the same for me
With all of the lip and skin ointments available, it can be hard to know which one to choose. I always wonder how much money people spend each winter to combat dry skin and cracked lips. That's why I try to always take advantage of free samples. One such sample I've been using off and on in Aquaphor Healing Ointment.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment is made by Eucerin, which is a product line that specializes in healing and protecting very dry, cracked skin. This ointment is designed for "cracked, dry skin and minor burns" as said on the tube. It can be purchased as a 1.75 oz tube, 3.5 oz jar, 14 oz jar, or even .35 oz tube travel size (usually a 2-pack). It is fragrance, dye and preservative free.
Active Ingredient: Petrolatum
Inactive Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Ceresin, Lanolin Alcohol, Panthenol, Glycerin, Bisabolol.
Look and Feel
The ointment is a cloudy yet colorless product. It is very thick, much like Vaseline (petroleum jelly). That thickness makes it work well for lips as it smooths on evenly, yet covers and protects effectively. There is no scent or flavoring to the product. It is moderately greasy, and is hard to get off of fingers after application.
I've used Aquaphor mostly on my lips. It glides on as a thick coating, which can be a bit gross, but it really covers the entire lips and protects them well. It works great if you're going to be out in the wind. There is no SPF in this ointment, so it won't protect you from UV rays. I've also used this on my lips at night to help protect them. The bad part about that is it gets on my pillow and makes kind of a mess. For that reason, I usually stick with some variety of Chapstick instead. Aquaphor wipes off of my lips pretty easily. I've not tried it on a burn, so I can't say how well that works. I have used it on very dry patches of skin. When my elbows or heels get extremely dry, I put a little ointment on and rub it in. It makes the area greasy for awhile, but at least on feet I can put on socks to keep it from getting everywhere. Elbows are a bit more difficult, but wearing long sleves can be effective. It does soothe the dry area and keep it from getting worse, but I haven't noticed it actually healing the area any better than a lotion. I've not noticed this product leaving any sort of stains or long-lasting grease spots on clothing.
I had a couple of sample tubes, so I gave one to my dad who gets badly cracked hands during the winter. He used some on the cracked areas then applied a bandage overnight. He said it didn't really heal the area, but it kept it from cracking further and it wasn't as sore either.
Perhaps this warning is given on the actual package (but not on my sample), but it is a concern that arose while I was researching the ingredients. Petrolatum should not be used on fresh burns. It actually traps heat inside and causes the burn to worsen. This product states it can be used on minor burns, but caution should be used. Don't use this while the burn is still fresh, wait awhile. The best thing to do upon getting a burn is to run it under cold water to stop the burning process. Keep it under the cold water for awhile, too.
I think the ingredients aren't too bad. I like that it is free from dyes and fragrances and preservatives, too. Aquaphor doesn't seem to be any more effective than Vaseline, but yet it costs more. The ointment does well at protecting skin, even cracked skin from dryness, but I haven't noticed any accelerated healing from it. I think it might be a little less greasy than Vaseline. I use it as a protectant more than a healing aid for my lips and skin. Personally though, if purchasing an ointment for skin protection purposes, I'd just choose Vaseline instead. For actually healing dry skin, I will use lotion.
Where to Buy
Aquaphor is sold places where lotions are like Walmart, Target, grocery stores, and drug stores. Cost will vary by store, but for the 1.75 oz tube it will be around $6.00.
I've rated this product as Average. It does work well as a skin protectant, but is much more expensive than other products that do the same thing. I don't see the additional healing properties that it claims to have.