Aquaphor & Acne

Aquaphor is a topical skin cream meant for daily use. It is sold under the Eucerin skin care product line, which is recommended by many dermatologists. Aquaphor is considered safe for babies, children and adults. It is intended for sensitive skin and people with skin conditions such as acne, chafing and cracking.


Aquaphor ointment helps regulate moisture in the skin by reducing dryness. It shortens healing time and forms a protective shield over the skin, helping to lock in moisture. Aquaphor can help repair skin that has been damaged by cosmetic procedures, the weather, sunburn and acne.


In addition to acne, dry skin and chafing, Aquaphor ointment can be used to treat dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. It also helps relieve and soothe minor burns, abrasions, diaper rash, chapped skin and peeling skin. The ointment is most effective when it is applied frequently on skin that has been properly cleaned. Large amounts are safe because it doesn't contain any ingredients that would irritate tender skin; however, if you are taking antibiotics for any condition, consult your health practitioner before using Aquaphor in large quantities.


Aquaphor is an emollient that works by trapping water in the skin. It is also noncomedogenic, meaning it has no ingredients that will clog pores. This is helpful for those with acne. The ointment allows the pores to breathe. Dr. Amy McMichael of Wake Forest Baptist Health recommends using large amounts of Aquaphor, especially in the winter when acne can flare. She mentions that summer sun and heat help dry skin oils that cause acne and these oils are responsible for flare-ups in cold weather.


Aquaphor is recommended, in part, because it is hypoallergenic. It is free of preservatives, perfumes, fragrances and harsh chemicals. The active ingredient is petrolatum, which is another name for petroleum jelly. Inactive ingredients include ceresin, alcohol, glycerin, mineral oil, lanolin and panthenol.

Other Acne Treatments

Both Olay and Neutrogena make products for moisturizing the skin and treating acne that are similar to Aquaphor. Both products reduce the incidence of pimples, soften and moisturize the skin and remove dry, flaking skin. Other acne treatments are available by prescription only and are meant to be taken orally. Benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics are often used in topical treatments in combination with emollients for moisturizing.


There are no studies to substantiate the efficacy of Aquaphor and most over-the-counter drugs are not reviewed by the FDA. However, petrolatum, the active ingredient in Aquaphor, has been used for more than 100 years, and has shown efficacy as a moisturizer in the treatment of dry, cracked, irritated skin.


Aquaphor is not meant to be used to treat hormonal causes of acne or for bacterial infections that are concomitant with acne. It will not remove acne scars; however, with repeated use it may reduce redness associated with scarring.

Warning and Side Effects

Do not use Aquaphor on deep wounds or open sores. Check with your health practitioner if you have any type of swelling, oozing, bleeding or warmth in the areas where you want to use Aquaphor. Avoid using this skin treatment if you are allergic to it or develop hives, swelling or tightness in your throat, tongue or lips. Seek immediate medical treatment if you experience difficulty breathing, severe pain, stinging, burning or redness while using Aquaphor. Pregnant and nursing mothers should not use Aquaphor unless under the supervision of their health practitioners.

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