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Is CeraVe the same as Vaseline?

CeraVe and Vaseline are both popular skin care brands, but they are not the same. While both CeraVe and Vaseline can be used to moisturize and protect skin, there are some key differences between the two.

What is CeraVe?

CeraVe is a skin care brand that makes moisturizers and cleansers for the face and body. CeraVe products are formulated with three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. Ceramides are lipids (fats) that are found naturally in the skin and help the skin retain moisture.

Some key facts about CeraVe:

  • Developed with dermatologists
  • Fragrance-free and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • Contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin
  • Provides 24-hour hydration
  • Products for all skin types including normal, dry, oily, and sensitive

What is Vaseline?

Vaseline is a brand of petroleum jelly that can be used for moisturizing skin. Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of the oil refining process and is mainly comprised of a mixture of hydrocarbons.

Some key facts about Vaseline:

  • Helps protect skin from moisture loss by providing a protective barrier
  • Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic
  • Does not contain any active ingredients; provides an occlusive moisturizing effect
  • Can be used on all skin types
  • Available in original and advanced healing formulations

Key Differences Between CeraVe and Vaseline

While both CeraVe and Vaseline can moisturize and protect skin, there are some notable differences:


CeraVe contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and other ingredients to attract and retain moisture in the skin. Vaseline petroleum jelly moisturizes solely by providing an occlusive barrier to seal moisture in the skin.

Skin barrier repair

CeraVe contains ceramides that help to repair and strengthen the skin barrier. Vaseline does not help repair the skin barrier.


CeraVe products are formulated to be non-comedogenic, meaning they should not clog pores. Vaseline can be comedogenic for some people and clog pores.

Active ingredients

Some CeraVe products contain active ingredients like salicylic acid or hyaluronic acid. Vaseline does not contain any active ingredients.


CeraVe products have a lightweight, fast-absorbing texture. Vaseline has a thicker, greasy texture that sits on top of the skin.

Intended use

CeraVe makes moisturizers for the face and body. Vaseline is mainly intended to be used on the body and high moisture areas like hands, elbows, and feet.

Comparing Key CeraVe and Vaseline Products

Here is a comparison of some of the most popular moisturizing products from CeraVe and Vaseline:

Product CeraVe Vaseline
Body lotion CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion
Face moisturizer CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM Vaseline does not make facial moisturizers
Hand cream CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Hand Cream
Baby moisturizer CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Lotion Vaseline Baby Pure Petroleum Jelly
Ointment CeraVe Healing Ointment Vaseline Original Pure Petroleum Jelly

Which is Better – CeraVe or Vaseline?

Whether CeraVe or Vaseline is better for your skin depends on your skin type and needs:

For normal, dry, and sensitive skin:

CeraVe products may be better since they contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid to repair the skin barrier and attract moisture. CeraVe moisturizers absorb well without leaving a greasy residue.

As an occlusive layer:

Vaseline may be better for severely dry skin and creating an occlusive layer to lock in moisture. However, CeraVe Healing Ointment provides similar occlusive benefits with the added advantage of ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Facial moisturizer:

CeraVe, as Vaseline does not make products for the face. CeraVe is non-comedogenic.

Body moisturizer:

Either CeraVe or Vaseline body lotions can be used on the body. CeraVe may be better for normal to dry skin. Vaseline may suit extremely dry skin.

Hand cream:

Either CeraVe or Vaseline intensive hand creams can be used. CeraVe offers added ceramides.

Clog-prone skin/acne:

CeraVe, as it is non-comedogenic. Vaseline can clog pores for some people.


Vaseline is typically cheaper than CeraVe.

Can You Use CeraVe and Vaseline Together?

Yes, you can use CeraVe and Vaseline products together safely. Here are some effective ways to combine them:

  • Apply CeraVe moisturizer, then layer Vaseline on top to seal in moisture.
  • Use CeraVe cleanser and moisturizer, then dab Vaseline on extra dry spots like hands, heels, elbows.
  • Mix a small amount of Vaseline with CeraVe moisturizer in your palm before applying to boost the hydrating effects.
  • Use CeraVe moisturizer during the day and apply Vaseline at night for intense moisturization while you sleep.
  • Spot treat with Vaseline on any flaky or peeling areas after using CeraVe lotion.

The occlusive Vaseline can help seal in the hydrating and restorative ingredients in CeraVe. Using them together provides both moisture-attracting and moisture-sealing benefits.

The Bottom Line

In summary, CeraVe and Vaseline are both good moisturizers but they work in different ways. CeraVe products are formulated with ceramides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and repair the skin barrier, while Vaseline petroleum jelly seals in moisture. CeraVe is better for the face and normal to dry skin while Vaseline has a thicker texture suitable for severely dry skin and the body. You can use them together to boost moisturization based on your specific skin care needs.