Oh, diaper rash.
The bane of many parents’ existence! (Especially if you send your baby to daycare.)
Luckily, we parents have many, many weapons in the fight against diaper rash, including tons of creams and lotions like Vaseline.
But you might be wondering: Do you need to spring for the baby-formulated Vaseline, or is the regular version just fine?
What’s the difference between Vaseline Baby vs regular Vaseline? Can I use regular Vaseline on my baby?
Here’s the short version: Baby Vaseline is exactly the same as adult Vaseline except it includes a gentle fragrance and smells a bit like baby powder. There’s even a scent-free version of Baby Vaseline which is exactly the same as the regular stuff! You can use adult Vaseline on your baby, and in some cases, it may be preferable due to the lack of fragrance or lower price.
But there’s so much more to know about this stuff, so let’s dive in!
What is Vaseline Used for in Babies vs Adults?
In babies, Vaseline is used primarily in the diaper area to treat and prevent rash.
When babies sit in damp diaper (or worse, poopy diapers) for long periods of time, the skin in that area can became extremely red and enflamed.
My daughters have had some HORRENDOUS diaper rashes in our day, often from sitting in a dirty diaper at daycare.
We usually use Vaseline in the most severe cases, layering it on thick to create a protective barrier so the irritated skin doesn’t rub against the diaper.
We often apply Vaseline over top of a healing ointment like Aquaphor, Triple Paste, or other diaper cream.
But Vaseline can be useful for everyday application and helping to prevent diaper rash, as well. It doesn’t moisturize the skin on its own, but it locks in the skin’s own natural moisture and creates a protective layer.
Adults use Vaseline for similar reasons, just not usually in the diaper area!
Vaseline has many, many surprising uses (did you know it can be used as a makeup remover?!), but it’s most commonly used to treat cracked or dry skin.
Elbows and feet are the primary culprits in adults, and Vaseline works wonders in those areas by helping them naturally re-moisturize. It can even be applied after moisturizing with lotion for phenomenal results.
Now let’s get into the two different products you’ll find on shelves.
Regular Vaseline Ingredients Explained
Regular adult Vaseline (the blue tub) has only one ingredient: 100% white petrolatum.
What is white petrolatum, otherwise known as petroleum jelly?
It’s a waxy, oily substance derived from oil refineries, and its discovery dates back hundreds of years. Early Native Americans even used it on their skin, having discovered its healing properties!
Its appearance is pale white/yellow and highly translucent. It’s thick and solid enough to hold its shape indefinitely and is completely insoluble in water.
That means washing Vaseline off your hands can be quite a pain, and generally involves the use of heavy soap.
(You can get a great deal on a large quantity of regular Vaseline on Amazon.)
Baby Vaseline Ingredients Explained
Buckle up, folks.
There are a whopping TWO ingredients in the baby version of Vaseline Healing Jelly (the pink tub).
First up is white petrolatum, but only at 99.96%
The rest? Fragrance!
Vaseline Baby is exactly the same as regular/adult except it’s scented and smells like a gentle baby powder.
It looks the same, too! Expect the same pale yellow/white color in the mostly translucent waxiness.
Why is baby Vaseline scented? Beats me! Parents probably like it and the smell likely gives them a sense of comfort.
But don’t worry – Vaseline also makes a scent-free Baby Vaseline, which is, you guessed it, exactly the same as adult Vaseline.
Load up on Baby Vaseline from Amazon here.
Are there other types of Vaseline out there?
Along with regular and baby Vaseline, you can buy:
- Aloe Vaseline
- Cocoa butter Vaseline
- and Vitamin E Vaseline
For babies, however, it’s best to either stick with the traditional or baby-formulated Vaseline.
You don’t want to introduce too many extra ingredients and risk irritation or allergic reaction.
One question still remains:
Are Baby Vaseline and regular Vaseline the same price?
Usually, the same size package of these two products will be about the same price.
However, in my research, I’ve seen comparable packages of baby Vaseline listed for anywhere from a few pennies more to a dollar more than the adult stuff.
So generally, you should expect them to cost the same and there won’t be any downside to trying the baby version if you like the smell.
Otherwise? Check the prices and buy whatever’s cheaper. Outside of the fragrance, there’s no advantage to baby-formulated Vaseline.
Use generously and good luck!
For more, see:
Hope this helps!