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Vicks Vaporub vs Mentholatum: Key Differences & What’s Best For You

Mentholatum and Vicks are two different medicinal salves, yet, they are much alike in some ways. Some of us wonder if Mentholatum and Vicks are the same, while others want to know which is more potent or the best for relieving common cold symptoms. Today we will help you answer Vicks Vaporub vs Mentholatum for different use cases like nasal congestion & toenail fungus.

Although both contain potent ingredients that help treat the same ailments, you may also discover that these are two different products that vary in packaging, application, and usage. 

The doubts are endless, and this is an excellent place to start and find the ultimate answers.

Here we will compare and contrast Mentholatum and Vicks and find out their similarities and dissimilarities, how each works, and find out which is better and stronger for nasal congestion of the two.  

Difference Between Mentholatum and Vicks Vaporub

Both Vicks Vaporub and Mentholatum are used to ease chest congestion by releasing blocked mucus and aids in clearing the air passages, thereby preventing any chance of developing common colds. So what’s their difference?

They are equally potent topical analgesics and composed of 100% natural components such as menthol and camphor, providing a warm and cooling sensation and acting as a mild pain reliever. 


  • It contains all-natural active components
  • Aids in relieving chest pains related to colds
  • It can be put on the neck, chest, and back
  • Temporarily soothes muscle and joints aches 
  • Reduce inflammation caused by surgeries and injuries
  • Scented menthol vapors ease nasal passages and sore throats
  • External use only

Vicks Vaporub

  • It helps suppress cough caused as a result of a common cold. Apply and rub on the throat and chest for a faster, calming effect.
  • Acts as an instant pain reliever. Apply on joints and muscles to momentarily ease minor pains and other body aches
  • Medicated vapors for mild cough symptoms faster
  • Relaxed and calming aromatic lavender scent 
  • Only for external use. Avoid any contact with your eyes.

Mentholatum vs Vicks Vaporub: Which One Is Stronger

Both Vicks Vaporub and Mentholatum are topical analgesics that are strong and effective in soothing chest congestion. Due to the warm and numb sensation on the skin, a single application on the chest and throat can instantly reprieve as the topical balms work by loosening phlegm and mucus, clearing the nasal airways and chest congestion.

The pungent aroma of the menthol, eucalyptus oil, and camphor in Vicks Vaporub and Mentholatum helps relieve cough and cold symptoms, including sore throat and runny nose, making it easier for you to breathe. 

Vicks is also an expectorant, cough suppressant, and decongestant. Mentholatum comes in various sizes and strengths, and the higher the amount, the stronger the scent of the menthol, and the more relieved you will feel. 

Both the topical creams are equally strong in reducing the risks of viral diseases, and their effectiveness and strength depend on what purpose you use the balms for. 

Are Menthol and Mentholatum the Same

Menthol and Mentholatum are not the same. 

Menthol is a natural compound derived synthetically from the oils of mint plants like peppermint, corn mints, etc., which provides a cooling sensation when applied to the chest and neck, relieving all flu symptoms. It is a clear, crystalline, and waxy substance that remains solid at room temperature and melts. 

On the other hand, Mentholatum is the manufactured name of a topical analgesic that includes menthol and camphor as active ingredients, which helps soothe nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, and clogged mucus caused by common colds. 

Mentholatum is a transparent and thick substance with anti-inflammatory properties that lessen inflammation caused due to surgeries and other injuries. It is also used to relieve joints and muscle aches and other skin diseases like eczema. 


Vicks Vaporub vs Mentholatum For Nasal Congestion

Vicks Vaporub and Mentholatum are two of the most popular salves used for decades by every family to relieve nasal congestion. So, which one is better for nasal congestion?

Mentholatum cream is specifically formulated to alleviate the irritation of nasal congestion and ease sore and inflamed throat. Vicks Vaporub helps in soothing nasal blockage resulting from cold and cough.

Rubbing the topical salves directly on the chest, throat, and neck can instantly bring relief. Both include similar ingredients like camphor and menthol, and the aromatic scent and the soothing effects of the medicinal components work together in treating nasal congestion caused by common flu.

Mentholatum has a more intense menthol aroma that can soothe sore muscles and joints and treat cough and cold symptoms. Vicks Vaporub has a milder scent than eucalyptus oil, although it provides effective results as Mentholatum in clearing nasal congestion.

Why Is Mentholatum Not Sold in Stores

Mentholatum is available for sale in drug stores and other departmental stores. However, it is limited in supply nowadays, especially the bigger ones, which can be tough to get. 

The non-availability of Mentholatum in stores may be because of its massive popularity with the masses that trust this wonder product for its many healing benefits. Stores, therefore, sell out the products as soon as they are launched in the stores.

Nevertheless, you can buy this over-the-counter medication online without a doctor’s prescription and click here to locate retailers that sell Mentholatum. These sites cater to the high demands and ship worldwide, and prices may vary from one location to another, including delivery and handling prices.

Vicks vs Mentholatum for Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, also known as Onychomycosis, is never a welcome thing! 

Although Vicks and Mentholatum are topical analgesics typically used to relieve nasal congestion and other cold symptoms, they are also known for their use in treating toenail fungus. 

Now, which is better for treating toenail fungus? Vicks Vaporub has ingredients like Thymol which is popularly believed to eliminate fungus on the toenail from inside out.

Also, you can find critical components in both, including menthol and camphor, that act as active agents in resisting toenail fungus. For centuries, people have been using these medicinal herbs to treat fungal and other skin diseases.

Both are, therefore, helpful home remedies for toenail fungus. If the salves are applied on the affected toenail correctly for a couple of weeks, they’ll provide a numb and soothing effect and fight to prevent the fungus from spreading and causing more infection. Eventually, the infected toenails would push out, and with it, the fungus. 


The chief ingredients used in Mentholatum and Vicks are Camphor and Menthol, known for their medicinal properties. Each element has its specific purpose of providing relief from pains, suppressing coughs, and relieving nasal congestion.

Ingredients in Metholatum

Mentholatum is formulated using components including Camphor, Menthol, and added ingredients such as alcohol, mineral oil, polyethylene glycol, water, and other harmless added fragrance. 

Ingredients in Vicks Vaporub

The active ingredients in Vicks Vaporub are menthol, camphor, eucalyptus oil, and Thymol, with added components like alcohol, mineral oil, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, water, and other added fragrance.

Is Vaporub Mentholatum?

Vaporub is an over-the-counter mentholated balm of the Vicks Company, while Mentholatum is also a topical analgesic manufactured by another health care corporation of the same name. 

Both creams have camphor and menthol as the main ingredients that help provide a numbing relief for sore throat, cough, blocked nose and soothe muscles and joint aches.

Why Is Mentholatum Hard to Find?            

Mentholatum is not hard to find if you know where to look for. Depending on your health requirements, it is available for sale in drug stores and online in various sizes and strengths.

Does Mentholatum Work Like Vicks?

Yes, Mentholatum work like Vicks in many ways. Like Vicks, Mentholatum works by providing comfort to chest pains related to the common cold. The mentholated fragrant vapors in both the salves help ease nasal congestion. 

Wrapping Up

To sum up, we can say that Mentholatum and Vicks are two potent medications with the same ingredients that work effectively in similar ways to treat nasal congestions associated with flu diseases. 

We can say that Mentholatum and Vicks are perfect for treating colds, but they can only provide temporary relief for muscle/joint aches and pains. 

Nevertheless, they have no hazardous side effects but ensure keeping them away from reach of kids below two years and avoid application on any open wounds or eyes.