This question is somewhat of a remix from a previous Q&A that was destroyed in the website crash, but here it goes:
I remember a post that was titled something like: "Why Can't I Just Use Mineral Oil?," where the author wanted to know if they could exclusively use mineral oil as a moisturizer. I believe the BBrains explained that the best moisturizers are: 1. petrolatum, 2. lanolin, 3. mineral oil, etc., and that a moisturizer should contain at least one of these for maximum efficacy. They concluded that the author could in fact "just use mineral oil," but might not like the "greasy" feel and/or be missing out on a moisturizer that has been formulated for a specific use.
Phew... Anyway, my question stems from this Q&A session, and I think I am questioning the efficacy of using a raw material (i.e., petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oil, etc.) versus a product with a specific formula that might contain these ingredients. For the sake of relevancy, lets use an example—a battle between two of the most highly regarded moisturizers in the cosmetic industry: VASELINE v. AQUAPHOR!
Because Vaseline is just a brand name for U.S.P.-grade Petrolatum, lets take a look at the label of the Aquaphor Healing Ointment: Petrolatum (41%), Mineral Oil, Ceresin, Lanolin Alcohol, Panthenol, Glycerin, Bisabolol. So, in one corner, we have the best occlusive money can buy, and in the other, we have a cosmetic chemist's concoction containing a mixture of moisturizers, including petrolatum. So, does Aquaphor work better than Vaseline simply because it has been formulated to be semi-occlusive (Claim made by Aquaphor's website)? Which is truly more effective as a moisturizer, and why? (Or maybe there is another moisturizer that takes the title?)
Thanks in advance! I appreciate both of your hard work.