Most people believe Aquaphor acts as a moisturizer but it actually doesn’t.
Aquaphor is an occlusive. In other words, it acts as a skincare blanket that increases the effectiveness of the ingredients from your serums, toners, and moisturizers.
On its own, Aquaphor does not do any moisturizing. Instead, it works better when you lay it over your skincare products, supposedly, a method that keeps your skin exceptionally shinny.
Generally, Aquaphor is applied at night as the final step of a skincare routine.
I’ve mentioned Vaseline before, and both are thrown into the same category (as they’re both occlusives), but there’s a major difference between them — one is vegan, and the other isn’t.
Is Aquaphor Suitable For Vegans?
In fact, Aquaphor contains lanolin, which is a yellow greasy substance made from secretions (sebum) from the skin glands of sheep to condition their wool.
Put simply, it is an animal-based ingredient harvested from shorn wool.
Unrefined lanolin has been used for thousands of years by different cultures, and refined lanolin has been used for hundreds of years in ointments.
However, if you’re vegan, you’ll be glad to know that lanolin has been getting a bad reputation.
Lanolin is generally considered safe for intact skin. The problem is that ointments and occlusive products are typically used on recovering skin, not normal and intact skin. Despite being an ingredient in a wide number of products designed to help heal eczema, burns, scrapes, raw nipples and post-procedure skin, lanolin is associated with an allergic increase.
For instance, a study on more than 1,000 children found out that 66% of them reacted to lanolin alcohol. Furthermore, another study looking at allergic reactions in patients with chronic wounds found 11% reacted to lanolin. So, lanolin might not be adequate if you’re trying to heal your skin.
Does Aquaphor Test On Animals?
Aquaphor is made by Eucerin, which is a subsidiary of Beiersdorf.
On the Eucerin website, we can find information suggesting that Eucerin does not conduct animal testing, and instead use in-vitro alternatives for testing their products.
In fact, here’s a screenshot I took of their Research page:
However, if you search for information on Beiersdorf, the parent company of Eucerin, you can see that they are still involved in animal testing whenever it is required by law.
In other words, while Beiersdorf is not allowed to conduct animal testing within the EU due to the animal testing policy that came out in 2004, it still conducts animal testing in countries like China where animal testing is required by law.
A company that vows to be at the forefront actively advocating for alternatives to animal testing wouldn’t comply with China’s laws unless profit was (and remains) the driving factor.
Alternatives To Aquaphor
It wasn’t easy to find vegan Aquaphor alternatives, mainly because a lot of similar alternatives have lanolin in them.
However, I dug around and found a particular choice that was highly recommended.
Vanicream Vaniply Ointment
I’m not an expert in skincare, but I was thrilled to be recommended this solution from a person who once struggled with eczema and then got better after using this product.
Interestingly, you’ll find that the reviews on the Vanicream are exceptional, and a lot of them mention having tried Vaseline, Lanolin, Neosporin, Cerave Healing Ointment (or anything that contains petroleum) and it didn’t work out for them until they switched to Vanicream.
If you’re interested in trying out the Vaniply ointment, feel free to find it on Amazon. In addition, you can also try more natural alternatives, ones that are known as natural occlusive agents.
Shea butter, for instance, is known as an excellent healing (and occlusive) butter. Additionally, you can also try sunflower oil, olive oil, avocado oil — all of which are deemed decent occlusive oils.
Bottom Line: Aquaphor IS NOT Vegan!
Sadly, if you’re vegan and have been using Aquaphor for years, I’m afraid to tell you that Aquaphor is not vegan.
Unfortunately, it contains lanolin, an animal-based ingredient harvested from sheep’s wool.
This being said, there are alternatives that have been receiving high praise from people with more reactive skin, and if you’re suffering from skin problems, then it may not hurt to try it out.
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