Aquaphor vs Bag Balm: The Better First Aid of Skin?

Band-aids and painkillers are examples of first aid materials we always keep around the house. Similarly, for minor skin injuries, we keep petroleum jelly products as a first-aid kit.

The Bag Balm and Aquaphor are the go-to healing ointments of millions of people. They are the best for healing minor cuts, dry skin, and moisturization.

You may wonder, which ointment is better between Aquaphor VS Bag Balm?

Dermatologists swear by Aquaphor between Aquaphor vs Bag Balm. Bag Balm has 84% petrolatum, and Aquaphor has more ingredients with 41% petrolatum. Aquaphor can heal the skin barriers and moisturise the skin. The bag balm also does the same. But it can clog pores due to the thick texture.

In this article, I discuss both the ointments’ ingredients, their versatile usage, and more.

Keep on reading this article to know more!

Quick Comparison: Aquaphor VS Bag Balm

Here’s a quick rundown of the features of Aquaphor and Bag Balm head-to-head. At a glance, this table will show the main differences between the healing ointments. 

Factors Aquaphor Bag Balm
Ingredients Petrolatum(41%), Panthenol, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Ceresin, Lanolin Alcohol, Bisabolol 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulphate, Petrolatum(84%), Lanolin & Paraffin Wax
Allergent Potential  Potential
Healing Effective More effective
Skin Barrier High High
Water Content Present Absent
Shelf life 30 months 7 – 10 years
Slugging Good Bad
Price $13-$16 (Amazon) $7-$10 (Amazon)

From the table, we see that the main differences are few. They are – ingredient count, water content, shelf life, and price.

Let’s discuss both the ointments in detail. 

Detailed Difference Between Aquaphor and Bag balm

We have looked at the differences between Aquaphor and Bag Balm in the table above.

Let’s dive into the details here. 


Aquaphor has 8 ingredients whereas the Bag Balm has only 4 ingredients. Aquaphor has Petrolatum(41%), Panthenol, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Ceresin, Lanolin Alcohol, and Bisabolol.

Bag Balm on the other hand has 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulphate, Petrolatum(84%), Lanolin & Paraffin Wax. 

Cerasin and Paraffin wax have the same work, it binds the two ointments’ ingredients together. Lanolin combats cracked dry skin and moisturises the skin.

8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulphate provides antiseptic properties to Bag Balm. Which is something Aquaphor doesn’t have.

On the other hand, Aquaphor has Bisabolol and Panthenol. Which gives it soothing properties. And Bag Balm doesn’t have a soothing effect.

Comparing the ingredients, Both Aquaphor and Bag balm have unique strengths along with common ones.

In short, none is better than the other. Both Aquaphor and Bag Balm have unique strengths but no downside.


Both Aquaphor and Bag Balm have Lanolin. Which is the only ingredient that can be potentially allergic to some people.

Lanolin is derived from sheep wool. So if you’re a vegan that is something you should know.

But Lanolin being an allergen is very rare. So both Aquaphor and Bag Balm are safe. 


Aquaphor helps to repair your ruptured skin from acne, pimple, sunburn, or minor cuts. It takes as long as two to six months to heal the skin of your face.

Bag balm on the hand can help you heal –

  • Dry and cracked skin
  • Diaper Rash
  • Minor burned skin
  • Minor wounds
  • Protects skin from harsh winter cold

Aquaphor doesn’t have any ingredients that effectively heal the skin. But for injured skin, it accelerates the healing process. It will act as an additional barrier while your skin heals itself.

Bag Balm, on the other hand, has 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate. Which has antiseptic properties to protect your skin from bacteria and infection. The thick texture also seals the skin from harmful properties of the environment.

Is Bag Balm Better Than Aquaphor? If you’re looking for a go-to healing ointment, bag balm is better than Aquaphor. It helps to heal skin damage faster.

It is also cheaper and has a longer shelf-life.

It is also very effective against psoriasis and eczema. Bag Balm can be used to heal many types of skin issues. Bag Balm is also baby safe. 

Comparing the healing properties, Bag Balm wins this round.

Water Content

Aquaphor has a little water content in its formula. Which makes the texture more smooth and thinner. Also has a soothing effect.

Bag Balm on the other hand has no water content. It acts exceptionally well in a harsh cold environment to protect your skin. You will have healed your dry, cracked skin within days. Which Aquaphor takes longer to do.

Is Bag Balm A Good Moisturiser?

Bag Balm is a great moisturizer if you live in a harsh cold climate. The thick texture and high petrolatum protect skin from drying up. Aquaphor has lower petrolatum content. It is good for all types of skin. And it is especially good for acne-prone skin due to its non-comedogenic properties.


Slugging is a new trend for retaining the moisture of the skin. For slugging, Aquaphor is better than bag balm. So, which is better Bag Balm vs Aquaphor slugging?

Slugging is a recently popular skin care practice. It involves lathering your face with a petrolatum-based jelly to lock in all the moisture. It helps to maximize the benefits of the skin care products you put on your face.

Aquaphor is lighter as a texture with glycerin and water content. It sits on the skin well. It doesn’t have any kind of smell.

Bag balm is too thick for slugging and the lanolin gives off a sheepy smell. Which is off-putting for slugging purposes. It can also clog your pores.

Shelf Life and Price

14 oz. of Aquaphor healing ointment cost nearly $30. Bag Balm costs only around $13 for 9.6 Oz.

The self-life of Aquaphor after opening the container is 30 months. Bag Balm lasts for decades.

Price and shelf-life-wise, bag balm has upper hands. 

Final Verdict

Analysing all the factors, it’s time for the final verdict.

Between Aquaphor and bag balm, dermatologists recommend Aquaphor more. Bag balm for some reason isn’t really trending but it’s been around longer than Aquaphor. 

Fun fact, bag balm was actually for healing cow udder’s wounds. But the farmer’s wives found out that it made their skin very soft and moisturized.

Aquaphor was actually made for human skin. It has more ingredients to help with your skin. Bag balm, on the other hand, is made with simple ingredients.

So, it’s up to you to decide which ointment you want for yourself.


Is Aquaphor or Bag Balm Better?

Aquaphor is a favorite of dermatologists. This is your best option for wound care. People have been using Aquaphor for years with no response to irritation or allergic reaction. It is non-irritating, odorless, relaxing, and anti-inflammatory. Bisabolol and glycerin provide calming and hydrating effects.

Is Bag balm Good For Wounds?

Bag balm is good for healing wounds. Bag balm has 8-Hydroxyquinoline which is an antiseptic ingredient. To heal wounds faster, this ingredient will help your skin.

Why Does Bag Balm Work So Well?

Bag Balm is composed of lanolin, with traces of petrolatum and 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate. It is a coal tar byproduct Bag Balm works wonders for eczema and psoriasis. The high percentage of petrolatum accelerates the healing process of dry, cracked skin. The lanolin combats dry and cracked skin.

Can I Put Aquaphor On Pimples?

You can put Aquaphor on your pimples. Whether you succeeded in extracting a pimple with minimal damage or ripped your skin. Aquaphor is essential for rapid healing and preventing infection. It will also help your acne-prone skin to feel soothed. Finally, it protects your pimples from getting worse.

Which Is Better Bag Balm or Vaseline?

Vaseline is 100% petroleum. Which is a divine skin ingredient according to dermatologists. Bag Balm on the other hand has antiseptic ingredients that help with cuts and bruises. It is a lighter version of vaseline with 84% petrolatum. Vaseline is always better than any other ointment for healing.


That’s all on Aquaphor vs Bag balm. Hopefully, the info I provided here will help you decide which product you want for yourself.

A bonus tip, if you see your bag balm changing colour, don’t be alarmed. It’s a natural occurrence and doesn’t change the product in any way. 

Thank you for reading till the end.


My name is Maria and I am a beauty blogger and writer. I am passionate about all things beauty, from skincare to makeup. On my blog, I share product reviews, tips, and tricks to help others feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. I strive to create a positive and inclusive space for everyone. Join me on my journey as I discover my unique beauty brand and share it with you.