I Rarely Say This, But This $9 Ointment Is One Product I Think Everyone Could Use

Vanicream Moisturizing Ointment Review: a tube of moisturizing ointment
Dasha Burobina for PureWow
  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • Effectiveness: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 98/100

As a beauty editor, I’m often asked for product recommendations, and truthfully, it’s a hard question to answer because it’s going to depend on several different factors like your skin type, where you live, the current state of your skin and what you’re looking for in a product.

Rarely am I able to recommend a product that will work for most people without hesitation, but this moisturizing ointment from Vanicream is one of those exceptions.

I first heard about Vanicream’s ointment through my dermatologist two summer ago, when I was experiencing a major eczema flareup. I’m still not entirely sure what brought it on, but seemingly overnight, my skin became unbearably itchy and so reactive to everything that I had to completely overhaul my products—from my shampoo to my cleanser and even my toothpaste.

During this time, one of the only things I could use on my skin was this ointment. The formula is as bland as they come with no active ingredients to speak of, which is a good thing in this case. It’s fragrance-, dye-, lanolin- and preservative-free and was even awarded the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association.

It has a thicker consistency, as is expected from an ointment, but I find that it’s relatively easy to spread and less greasy than similar products that begin with the letter A or V. Thankfully, my eczema is mostly under control these days, but I still use this ointment daily for all sorts of reasons.

I slather some on my lips before bed as a mask and over patchy lipstick to revive the color. I apply it liberally to my heels and elbows when things get scratchy, and I’ve used it over fresh tattoos to help them heal faster. Most recently, it helped me recover from a pretty bad retinol burn. On that note: I’ve put this ointment all over my face (a la slugging or the skincare layering technique where you apply an ointment as the final step of your routine to seal in moisture) and it’s never caused me to breakout. This is damn near miraculous for someone whose skin breaks out at the mere mention of oil.

It's easily the most used product in my routine and it's quite affordable, too, at $16 for a large tub of the stuff or $9 for a tube. I’ve recommended it to friends and strangers, and now I’m recommending it to you. If you need an all-purpose balm to treat every type of dry skin woe, this is it.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...