As a skincare editor who's tried countless moisturizers over the years, I'm often asked how Aquaphor and Eucerin compare for face care. While both offer hydrating formulas, there are some key differences to consider when choosing between these popular over-the-counter options.
Aquaphor's main active ingredient is petroleum jelly, which acts as an occlusive to seal in moisture. It also contains additional humectants like glycerin and panthenol (vitamin B5) to attract hydration to the skin.
Eucerin relies more on chemical emollients like isopropyl palmitate, rather than old-fashioned petroleum jelly. It also incorporates ceramides, natural lipids found in skin that help strengthen the moisture barrier. Eucerin lotions tend to have a lighter, more elegant feel compared to the thicker Aquaphor.
For extremely dry, cracked skin, Aquaphor is hard to beat. The petroleum base forms a protective barrier that prevents water loss for hours. It also lubricates skin to help heal cracks and fissures. I've used it to remedy peeling lips, raw noses during colds, and parched winter skin with great success.
For mild to moderate dryness, Eucerin often suffices. The ceramides repair the skin barrier while humectants like glycerin provide a hydration boost. While not as heavy duty as Aquaphor, Eucerin does a decent job providing daily moisture. It may not be enough for severely flaky skin, though.
Aquaphor has an ultra-thick, waxy feel that some dislike. For nighttime use, I don't mind it. But those who prefer lighter lotions may find it too heavy for day. It can also leave behind an oily residue and shiny finish on the skin.
Eucerin is not greasy and better suited for wearing under makeup. The lotions absorb cleanly without leaving much residue. However, people with intense dryness may require Aquaphor's richer barrier protection.
Aquaphor is ideal for sensitive skin that needs extra TLC. The minimal ingredients reduce the risk of reactions. It helps soothe irritation, inflammation, and dryness caused by conditions like eczema. The thick formula also protects fragile cracked skin.
Eucerin works best for normal to dry skin without sensitivities. With more botanical extracts on the ingredients list, those with allergies should check it doesn't contain any problematic compounds for them. The lighter texture also suits oilier skin types better than heavy Aquaphor.
On Amazon, Aquaphor has over 50,000 reviews and 4.8 stars out of 5. Users praise its healing powers for severely dry, irritated skin. They also note the little goes a long way due to its ultra-concentrated formula.
Eucerin also has mainly positive reviews, with 4.6 stars from 7,000+ raters. Fans mention both the affordability and gentleness of the formula. Some do complain it's not moisturizing enough for very dry skin.
Aquaphor is generally a dollar or two more expensive than Eucerin. A 1.75oz jar of Aquaphor Healing Ointment costs around $6. For the same amount of Eucerin Daily Hydration Body Cream, expect to pay around $5. But you can often find sales and deals on both.
The best bet? Have both on hand so you can alternate between the ultra-hydrating Aquaphor and the lighter Eucerin as your skin needs dictate. Used together, they offer complete moisturizing power to combat dry, lackluster winter skin.
Tom is the founder and editor of TheDermDetective.com where he applies his decades of personal experience with skincare problems like acne and acne scarring to provide readers with practical advice and product recommendations.