Ointment vs. Cream: Is There a Difference?

Ointment vs. Cream

Do you ever get confused between ointment vs cream? It’s easy to get lost when both of them come in multiple forms and often contain similar ingredients.

Maintaining good, healthy skin is key to having a healthy and functional body. We use products like these to help us do that. One of the most basic forms, a cream or ointment, is thought of as a simple product to use.

So what is the difference between cream and ointment, and which one should you choose? Find out more below.


There are many differences between ointments and creams when it comes to appearance. For instance, ointments are typically thicker and more oily than creams.

They also tend to have a stronger scent since they contain more fragrance. Also, ointments usually come in tubs or jars, while creams are typically sold in tubes or bottles.


When it comes to topical medications, cream and ointment are both applied to the skin to treat a variety of conditions. While they are both effective, they differ when it comes to absorption.

Ointments are made with oil, which version, while creams are made with water. This makes ointments thicker and more difficult to spread than creams. However, this also makes them more effective at trapping moisture and keeping the area lubricated.

Creams, on the other hand, are easier to spread and are less likely to irritate the skin. They are also more readily absorbed into the skin than ointments.


Both treatment types are semi-solid emulsions that are applied to the skin, but they differ in their consistency. Creams are typically lighter and have a higher water content than ointments.

While ointments are usually greasy and have a higher oil content. Ointments are also more effective at treating skin conditions that require a barrier, like psoriasis, because they create a seal that prevents moisture from escaping. However, there are people who have sensitive skin, if you’re one of those, be sure to view this aloe vesta ointment that is suitable for sensitive skin!


Creams are generally water-based, while ointments are oil-based. This means that creams will spread more easily over the skin than ointments. Ointments can be more difficult to spread, but they are often more effective at treating skin conditions.


Ointments are typically better at treating skin conditions and providing relief from things like itchiness and inflammation. They are also often better at sealing in moisture, which can be helpful for things like eczema.

Creams, on the other hand, are often better at being absorbed into the skin and are therefore often used as a base for other products, like makeup.

Learn More Differences Between Ointment vs Cream

In the battle between ointment vs cream, ointments are more effective at treating skin conditions because they are more occlusive. This means that they create a barrier between the skin and the environment, which helps to prevent further irritation.

Creams are less occlusive and, therefore, not as effective at treating skin conditions. However, creams are generally more cosmetically acceptable and less greasy than ointments.

If you’re unsure about which product to use on your skin, ointments, or creams, ask your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

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