CeraVe and Cetaphil are two popular drugstore skincare brands. Each brand offers several dermatologist-approved skincare products that are both affordable and effective.
But how do they compare? We’ll look at similar products between CeraVe vs Cetaphil to determine which is better for your skin concerns and skin type.
Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, or are one of the lucky ones that have normal skin, finding the right product for your skin concerns can be tricky when there are so many options.
Dermatologists often recommend CeraVe and Cetaphil products, so how can you tell which one is better?
It all depends on what your skin needs and your preferences in regard to formula, texture, and fragrance. Let’s take a look at each brand and compare several of each of their skincare products.
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CeraVe was founded in 2005 after experts noticed that skin conditions like dry skin, acne, eczema, and psoriasis all share the same quality: a compromised skin barrier.
So CeraVe set out to develop products with dermatologists that contain three essential ceramides and a patented delivery system to replenish the skin’s natural protective moisture barrier.
Many of their products also contain sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) for hydration.
Three Essential Ceramides
Ceramides are lipids found naturally in the skin that make up about 50% of the skin’s composition and help prevent transepidermal water loss.
Think of ceramides like the glue that hold skin cells together and lock in moisture, keeping impurities out.
CeraVe uses a unique combination of three skin-identical ceramides in their skin care products: Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, and Ceramide EOP.
These ceramides support the skin barrier and help the skin retain moisture, making their products perfect for dry skin.
Emulsion (MVE) Delivery Technology
An MVE sphere holds active ingredients such as ceramides, fatty acids, and water-binding agents.
These time-released spheres create multiple phases of moisture release by slowly dissolving and releasing the actives onto the skin’s surface.
Related Post: The Best CeraVe Drugstore Skincare Products
Cetaphil was founded in 1947 by a pharmacist in Texas. The brand has grown over the years, focusing on formulating skincare products that treat multiple skin conditions and skin types.
It all started with their Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion, which is currently known as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. The Formula today is the same as it was back then!
Cetaphil is available in over 70 countries and offers a variety of skincare products, sun care products, and even baby care products.
Many of their products are suitable for sensitive skin and skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and rosacea.
CeraVe vs Cetaphil Comparison: Which is Better?
For each CeraVe vs Cetaphil comparison, you’ll see a table with similarities and differences between each product so that you can decide what would work best for your skin.
What might be the better choice for one person might not be the best choice for someone else.
Please note that you’ll see a WHICH IS BETTER section under each of the product comparisons. Keep in mind that there won’t be a definitive answer as these picks are very subjective.
Product ingredients and benefits will be explained so that you can make the best choice for your skin and skin concerns. Prices are not considered as pricing varies and may change over time.
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser vs Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
|✅ Ideal for Normal to Dry Skin||✅ You can use Cetaphil without water|
|✅ Non-Foaming||✅ CeraVe contains more actives|
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is all about moisture balance and is formulated for normal to dry skin.
While it removes makeup, dirt, oil, and other debris, it doesn’t strip the skin and protects the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
This gentle face wash won’t leave skin feeling dry or tight, thanks to enriching ingredients such as three essential ceramides (Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP), and moisture-binding sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) for hydration.
This CeraVe cleanser also contains glycerin, a humectant that draws water to the skin, and pure vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that protects the skin against environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution.
The cleanser also contains CeraVe’s MVE patented technology that releases the product over an extended period to relieve dry skin and improve moisture retention.
Accepted by the National Eczema Association, this gentle cleanser is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and non-irritating, making it ideal for those with a sensitive skin type.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is Cetaphil’s original and best-selling product. This cleanser uses Micellar Technology to attract and remove dirt, makeup, and oil without irritating the skin.
The new formula combines moisturizing glycerin and panthenol with brightening niacinamide.
A very useful property of this cleanser is that you can use it with or without water. This makes it ideal for travel or when you are on the go and don’t have access to water.
This Cetaphil face wash is ideal for dry to normal, sensitive skin and provides continuous hydration after cleansing.
It’s oil-free, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic.
This face wash defends against the five signs of skin sensitivity: irritation, roughness, tightness, skin dryness, and a weakened skin barrier.
Gentle Skin Cleanser is fragrance-free, non-irritating, and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH CLEANSER FOR DRY SKIN IS BETTER?
If you have dry skin and are looking for a cleanser with hydrating and moisturizing properties, go with CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser since it contains ceramides and sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid).
If you prefer a gentle cleanser that you can use without water, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser may be a better choice for you.
In the evening, you may consider using a cleansing balm first to remove stubborn makeup and sunscreen and then following with one of these gentle cleansers.
Related Post: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser vs Gentle Skin Cleanser
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser vs Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser
|✅ Non-Comedogenic||✅ CeraVe is a Gel, Cetaphil is an Instant Foam|
|✅ Fragrance-Free||✅ Different Active Ingredients|
|✅ Non-Irritating||✅ CeraVe is for Normal to Oily Skin, Cetaphil is for All Skin Types|
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is an oil control cleanser formulated for normal to oily skin.
It cleanses the skin with a gentle foam to get rid of makeup, dirt, oil, and other impurities without altering your skin’s natural moisture barrier.
This gel cleanser removes excess oil without stripping the skin or leaving it feeling dried out.
The cleanser is formulated with three essential ceramides, glycerin, low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide to protect, soothe and hydrate the skin.
It’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and non-irritating to the skin.
If you have oily and acne-prone skin, this cleanser is ideal for your skin as it is gentle but targets excessive oil that can clog pores and eventually lead to acne and breakouts.
Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser
Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser is an instant foaming cleanser that removes dirt, oil, and makeup to reveal clean, soft, and healthy skin.
It is formulated with skin conditioners and a vitamin complex, including vitamin B5 and vitamin E, to clean and purify skin without stripping it of its natural moisture.
This Cetaphil cleanser has a self-foaming pump which creates an airy lather. This lather dissipates rather quickly after being applied to the skin, yet it rinses away easily without leaving any film or residue on the skin.
This cleanser is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores or irritate the skin. It is formulated for all skin types and proven to be gentle enough for sensitive skin.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH FOAMING CLEANSER IS BETTER?
The texture of these products is vastly different, and the ingredients are too.
CeraVe creates a more traditional foaming action with its gel formula, while Cetaphil’s foam dissipates rather quickly after application.
CeraVe has more potent actives, including ceramides, niacinamide, and sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), which help offset the drying effects of a foaming cleanser, so CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser wins this one.
NOTE: If you have oily or acne prone skin, while not compared in this post, each brand offers products to target acne.
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion vs Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
|✅ Lightweight||✅ Different Active Ingredients|
|✅ Non-Comedogenic||✅ CeraVe is Oil-Free|
|✅ Fragrance-Free||✅ CeraVe is for Normal to Dry Skin, Cetaphil is for All Skin Types|
|✅ Can be used on Face and Body|
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion for normal to dry skin is an oil-free moisturizer formulated with three essential ceramides (Ceramide NP, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide EOP) and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and protect the skin barrier.
This lightweight moisturizer uses CeraVe’s MVE Technology for long-lasting hydration that lasts up to 24 hours.
The moisturizer is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores and cause acne and breakouts. The lightweight texture works well under makeup.
Related Post: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream vs Lotion
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion is formulated with six moisturizers plus vitamin E and vitamin B5, also known as panthenol, to soothe and nourish the skin.
The lightweight lotion is fast-absorbing and formulated to hydrate the skin for up to 24 hours.
The formula also contains avocado oil, an oil rich in fatty acids and vitamins A, E, and D, making it perfect for dry skin.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and soothes the skin. Vitamin B5, also known as panthenol, is a humectant and supports the skin barrier by helping to reduce transepidermal water loss in the skin.
This Cetaphil lotion is non-comedogenic and fragrance-free and works well under makeup. It also can be used on the body. It’s ideal for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
CeraVe uses three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and moisturize the skin, while Cetaphil uses a variety of moisturizers and Vitamins E and B5 to keep skin soft and moisturized.
Related Post: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream vs Lotion
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH MOISTURIZING LOTION IS BETTER?
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion wins this comparison if you have dry skin.
While both are lightweight lotions and CeraVe contains ceramides and sodium hyaluronate, Cetaphil packs in moisturizing and soothing ingredients like avocado oil, panthenol, and vitamin B5, making it an excellent choice for dry skin.
Cerave Eye Repair Cream vs Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream
|✅ Formulated to Brighten and Hydrate the Under-Eye Area||✅ Cetaphil’s Gel-Cream Texture is Thicker|
|✅ Contain Niacinamide, Glycerin, and Sodium Hyaluronate/Hyaluronic Acid||✅ Cetaphil Contains Fragrance|
Cerave Eye Repair Cream
Cerave Eye Repair Cream is formulated for dark circles and puffiness. It contains a Marine & Botanical Complex for brightening the under-eye area.
It also contains anti-ager niacinamide, hydrating sodium hyaluronate, and three essential ceramides.
The eye cream also contains pure vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, and soothing aloe.
Asparagopsis Armata extract, also known as red algae extract, moisturizes and nourishes the skin, and horsetail extract has anti-inflammatory and toning benefits.
This eye cream uses CeraVe’s patented MVE Delivery Technology to continually release moisture for long-lasting hydration. It sinks into delicate under-eye skin quickly and works well under makeup.
Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream
Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream contains hydrating hyaluronic acid, a Pro-Vitamin complex, and licorice extract to brighten and smooth the under-eye area.
It is formulated to moisturize and hydrate skin for up to 24 hours.
Niacinamide offers multiple benefits for the skin, such as brightening, skin barrier protection, and smoothing. Portulaca Oleracea extract and Camellia Sinensis Leaf (green tea) extract offer protective antioxidant benefits.
The gel-cream has a rich texture but sinks in quickly like a gel. It keeps your under-eye area hydrated and moisturized like a cream.
Unfortunately, it is fragranced, which is not ideal for the sensitive and delicate skin under your eyes.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH EYE CREAM IS BETTER?
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream has long been one of my favorite drugstore eye creams and continues to be after trying Cetaphil for one reason: Cetaphil is fragranced. If fragrance doesn’t bother you, Cetaphil could be a great choice for you.
I really love the ingredient list of Cetaphil Eye Gel-Cream, and it moisturizes and hydrates under the eyes and works well under makeup. I just wish it wasn’t fragranced.
While I don’t expect miracles from any eye cream, CeraVe Eye Repair Cream hydrates, brightens, and works well under makeup and concealer. Plus, it’s fragrance-free, so CeraVe wins this comparison.
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion vs Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion
|✅ Ideal for Normal to Oily Skin||✅ CeraVe contains more actives|
|✅ Contain Hydrating Sodium Hyaluronate/Hyaluronic Acid|
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is a super lightweight night cream formulated with niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, and three essential ceramides, which help to strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier while you sleep.
Think of ceramides as the glue that holds skin cells together. Ceramides strengthen and protect the skin’s natural barrier.
This facial moisturizer uses CeraVe’s Multivesicular
Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, calms, brightens, and increases cellular turnover. Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
This non-comedogenic moisturizer won’t clog pores or cause acne or breakouts. Plus, it’s fragrance-free. This oil-free moisturizer is ideal for normal to oily skin.
Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion
Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion is a lightweight oil-free moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump dry skin and seals in moisture for 24 hours.
The lightweight texture sinks in quickly and doesn’t interfere with makeup.
Cetaphil recommends this lotion for combination skin, but I think normal and oily skin types would also benefit from this lightweight lotion.
It’s non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free.
While both are lightweight moisturizers (even the bottles are shaped the same!) and work well for oily and acne prone skin, CeraVe contains the following additional actives to restore the skin barrier and provide anti-aging benefits while you sleep:
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH OIL-FREE LOTION IS BETTER?
While both moisturizers are lightweight and hydrating, CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion wins out for the additional actives in its formula, including niacinamide and ceramides that moisturize and protect skin while offering anti-aging benefits.
NOTE: CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is one of my favorite CeraVe products. It immediately leaves my combination skin soft, plump, and moisturized.
It’s light enough to be used during the day, too, even though it is formulated to be a PM moisturizer.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream vs Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
|✅ Non-Comedogenic||✅ Cetaphil is Formulated for the Body|
|✅ Fragrance-Free||✅ CeraVe is Formulated for the Face and Body|
|✅ Paraben-free||✅ CeraVe Contains More Actives|
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is CeraVe’s best-selling product. This rich cream moisturizes and protects your skin’s barrier with actives that nourish normal, dry, and even very dry skin.
This CeraVe cream is formulated with three essential ceramides, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP. Ceramides are lipids that are naturally found in the skin. They support a healthy skin barrier and help protect and hydrate the skin.
This CeraVe moisturizer also contains sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid, for hydration and help the skin retain moisture.
Glycerin is a humectant that moisturizes, and pure vitamin E provides antioxidant protection and soothes the skin.
This moisturizing cream is formulated with CeraVe’s patented MVE Delivery Technology to release moisturizing ingredients throughout the day.
It’s rich but non-greasy and works just as well on your body as it does on your face.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is a rich cream formulated for 24 hours of hydration.
Ideal for very dry and sensitive skin, this cream binds water to the skin within 24 hours to prevent moisture loss and support the skin barrier.
This Cetaphil moisturizer is formulated with glycerin, sunflower oil, and vitamin E to soothe and moisturize dry skin.
It is formulated specifically for the body: your hands, feet, knees, elbows, and other dry areas without leaving your skin greasy or oily.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH MOISTURIZING CREAM IS BETTER?
I really like both of these creams. I think CeraVe Moisturizing Cream wins this comparison since it includes more potent actives such as ceramides and sodium hyaluronate to restore the skin barrier and lock in moisture.
Plus, CeraVe’s formula is more versatile, as you can use it on both the face and body.
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream vs Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Cream
|✅ Formulated to Hydrate Dry Skin||✅ Different Active Ingredients|
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream is a thick and rich night cream formulated with multiple actives: biomimetic peptides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides.
The biomimetic peptide Kollaren (Tripeptide-1) is supposed to stimulate collagen. Per the manufacturer, it might be an option for acne-prone skin as it can help to reduce the look of acne scars. Chronoline (Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3) may help to reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines.
This rich night cream is intensely moisturizing, and the ceramides create a noticeable smooth protective film on the skin to restore the skin barrier while you sleep.
The cream contains CeraVe’s MVE technology to release moisturizing ingredients throughout the night.
Ideal for all skin types, this moisturizer would be an excellent choice for dry and dehydrated skin.
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Cream
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Cream is all about hydration. This rich cream improves moisture while helping to protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier. It builds moisture in the skin for up to 24 hours.
It is formulated with olive fruit oil, rich in oleic acid, a fatty acid that nourishes the skin. This plant oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. The cream also contains glycerin and additional vitamin E to soothe and moisturize the skin.
This Cetaphil cream is extremely hydrating, so much so that it would probably not be the best choice for combination and oily skin.
Instead, this cream is ideal for those with normal to dry skin and even sensitive skin.
Those with dry skin would really appreciate the intense hydration, moisture, and skin barrier protection this cream provides.
CeraVe contains sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) to hydrate, while Cetaphil contains olive fruit extract for hydration.
The textures are different, as CeraVe is thicker and forms a film on the skin. Cetaphil isn’t as thick but leaves skin very hydrated. (Cetaphil left my skin very shiny but not greasy.)
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH HYDRATING CREAM IS BETTER?
Once again, CeraVe formulates its products with multiple actives to address multiple skin concerns, so due to the inclusion of niacinamide and anti-aging peptides, CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream is my pick due to its anti-aging benefits.
For very dry skin in need of hydration, Cetaphil might be a good option, as it is intensely rich and hydrating.
CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 vs Cetaphil Ultra Sheer Mineral Sunscreen
|✅ 100% Mineral Formulas||✅ CeraVe is SPF 30, Cetaphil is SPF 50|
|✅ Fragrance-Free||✅ CeraVe is Ideal for Normal to Dry Skin|
|✅ Paraben-free||✅ Cetaphil is Ideal for Normal to Oily Skin|
|✅ Cetaphil is a Liquid Formula with a Matte Finish|
|✅ CearVe Contains 6% Titanium Dioxide and 5% Zinc Oxide, Cetaphil Contains 12% Zinc Oxide|
CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen Sheer Tint SPF 30
CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen Sheer Tint SPF 30 is a 100% mineral broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 sun protection in the form of 6% titanium dioxide and 5% zinc oxide.
CeraVe formulated this sunscreen with skin-loving ingredients like three essential ceramides to lock in moisture and protect the skin barrier.
Niacinamide offers anti-inflammatory properties, brightens the skin, boosts collagen production, and strengthens the skin barrier. Sodium hyaluronate is moisture-binding and helps the skin hold onto water.
This mineral sunscreen is tinted a medium shade to help offset any potential white cast that typically comes along with mineral sunscreens.
It’s fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, non-comedogenic, and suitable for those with sensitive skin.
Related Post: The Best Drugstore Mineral Sunscreens
Cetaphil Ultra Sheer Mineral Sunscreen
Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 is an ultra-lightweight 100% mineral broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 sun protection in the form of 12% zinc oxide to protect against UVA and AVB rays.
The sheer formula hydrates skin without leaving a white cast or greasy or oily residue.
Like CeraVe, this sunscreen is formulated with skincare actives like niacinamide, a brightening, calming and anti-inflammatory ingredient.
It also contains pure Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that soothes the skin. Allantoin from the comfrey plant and bisabolol from chamomile provide additional soothing, softening, and skin protection.
This Cetaphil product dries to a matte finish, making it ideal for those with combination or oily skin types. It also works well under makeup due to its elegant texture and sheer formula.
All products in Cetaphil’s Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Line defend against the five signs of skin sensitivity:
- Weakened Skin Barrier
These qualities make this mineral sunscreen perfect for sensitive skin. In addition, it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, paraben-free, and fragrance-free.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH MINERAL SUNSCREEN IS BETTER?
If you want a sunscreen with the highest sun protection, then you should consider Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50, as it has SPF 50 compared to CeraVe’s SPF 30.
Since CeraVe’s formula is tinted a medium shade, it may not work for all skin tones.
Otherwise, choose based on your skin type. If you have dry skin you may prefer CeraVe’s formula. If you have combination or oily skin you might prefer Cetaphil for its lightweight texture and matte finish.
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar vs Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
|✅ Soap-Free||✅ CeraVe is for Normal to Dry Skin, Cetaphil is for All Skin Types|
|✅ Non-Comedogenic||✅ CeraVe Contains More Actives|
|✅ Good for Sensitive Skin||✅ Cetaphil Contains Fragrance|
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar is a soap-free cleansing bar formulated with 5% moisturizing cream.
Ideal for normal to dry skin this bar cleanser removes dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping your skin’s natural moisture barrier.
It contains CeraVe’s patented MVE Delivery Technology, which releases moisture for up to 24 hours.
This bar cleanser contains glycerin, three essential ceramides, and sodium hyaluronate to hydrate, nourish and protect your skin.
Plus, it’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and accepted by the National Eczema Association, which means that it meets its criteria for use by those with sensitive skin or eczema.
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar is a soap-free cleansing bar that contains five nourishing ingredients to cleanse the skin and remove makeup, dirt, and oil without over-drying the skin.
You can use this gentle cleansing bar on both the face and body. While suitable for all skin types, it is specially formulated for dry and sensitive skin. Non-comedogenic and free of soap and detergents.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH CLEANSING BAR SOAP IS BETTER?
While I stick to liquid cleansers and cleansing balms for my face, these cleansing bars are perfect for dry skin on your body.
Although Cetaphil has a creamier foam, I prefer CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar for its fragrance-free formula and actives: ceramides and sodium hyaluronate.
NOTE: Both cleansing bars are formulated without soap to be non-drying and gentle on the skin and can be used by those with sensitive skin.
CeraVe has an extra endorsement for those with eczema by the National Eczema Association.
CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser vs Cetaphil Gentle Clear Clarifying Acne Cream Cleanser
|✅ Contain 2% salicylic acid||✅ CeraVe is a gel cleanser, Cetaphil is a cream cleanser|
|✅ Suitable for Acne-Prone Skin||✅ CeraVe is formulated for Normal Skin, Cetaphil is formulated for Sensitive Acne-Prone Skin|
|✅ Fragrance-free||✅ Cetaphil contains more soothing actives|
CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser
CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser is formulated with salicylic acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells while removing makeup dirt and oil.
The salicylic acid face wash is formulated to improve skin roughness without stripping or drying the skin.
Other ingredients include multi-tasking niacinamide, which offers anti-inflammatory, skin barrier repair and brightening benefits, and ceramides to help restore the skin’s protective barrier.
The cleanser also contains hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, a chopped-up form of hyaluronic acid with a low molecular weight and can penetrate the skin to help retain moisture.
This CeraVe product has a gel texture that is slightly runny and lathers into a rich foam, and does not contain any harsh beads or fragrances.
It’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores.
It won’t cause skin irritation, and while it is formulated for normal skin, it is suitable for acne-prone skin. You can use it on your face and body, too.
For more on this cleanser, please see this post on the best CeraVe cleansers for acne-prone skin.
Cetaphil Gentle Clear Clarifying Acne Cream Cleanser
Cetaphil Gentle Clear Clarifying Acne Cream Cleanser is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that deep cleans and clears breakouts and blemishes in acne-prone sensitive skin without drying or stripping the skin.
It contains 2% salicylic acid helps to unclog pores, clear breakouts, whiteheads, and blackheads, and reduce inflammation and swelling.
The salicylic acid cleanser also contains aloe barbadensis leaf juice, also known as aloe vera. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory, skin-soothing, and wound-healing properties and moisturizes the skin.
Camellia sinensis leaf (green tea) extract is included for its potent antioxidant benefits. Green tea extract has also been shown to have antimicrobial benefits, which can help with mild to moderate acne.
While described as a cream to lather formula, the lather is minimal, so if you like a lot of foaming bubbles, this is not the cleanser for you. It feels very soothing on the skin and is non-irritating.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH SALICYLIC ACID CLEANSER IS BETTER?
The most noticeable difference between the two cleansers is that CeraVe is a gel cleanser while Cetaphil is a cream cleanser.
- If you have normal to oily skin and prefer a gel-based foaming cleanser, CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser will be the best choice.
- If you have dry acne-prone skin or sensitive acne-prone skin, Cetaphil Gentle Clear Clarifying Acne Cream Cleanser will most likely be the better choice.
Cerave Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum vs Cetaphil Deep Hydration 48 Hour Activation Serum
|✅ Fragrance-free||✅ CeraVe is for Normal to Dry Skin, Cetaphil is for Sensitive, Dry and Dehydrated Skin|
|✅ Non-irritating||✅ CeraVe claims to hydrate for up to 24 hrs, Cetaphil’s claims to hydrate for 48 hours|
|✅ Thick, creamy texture||✅ Serums contain different forms of hyaluronic acid – CeraVe contains sodium hyaluronate, Cetaphil contains hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid|
|✅ Excellent for dry skin|
Cerave Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Cerave Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is formulated to provide up to 24 hours of hydration with three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid in the form of sodium hyaluronate and pro-vitamin B5.
Sodium hyaluronate is a natural moisturizing factor (NMF) that is an excellent humectant that can attract and bind moisture to the skin.
CeraVe’s three essential ceramides (Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP) work synergistically to moisturize the skin and support a healthy skin barrier.
Pro-vitamin B5 is also known as panthenol and has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.
Phytosphingosine is a lipid that helps keep the skin’s natural barrier intact. It also possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
The serum uses CeraVe’s patented MVE technology that encapsulates ceramides in a slow-release system for extended hydration and a strong skin barrier.
The hyaluronic acid serum comes in a thick cream-like formula that easily melts into the skin to provide weightless hydration and leaves skin soft and plump.
Cetaphil Deep Hydration 48 Hour Activation Serum
Cetaphil Deep Hydration 48 Hour Activation Serum hydrates the skin for 48 hours and is geared toward acne prone sensitive skin.
The serum contains Cetaphil’s HydroSensitiv Complex, which contains blue daisy to soothe the skin and improve hydration when used consistently.
Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid is a low molecular weight form of hyaluronic acid that can penetrate the skin to deliver long-lasting hydration.
The serum also contains sunflower oil, a plant oil that helps improve a damaged skin barrier and is rich in moisturizing fatty acids, yet is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.
Like CeraVe, this hydration serum contains panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), which moisturizes and soothes the skin. Vitamin E is also an added antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from free radicals damage.
The fragrance-free serum is formulated to defend against five signs of skin sensitivity: dryness, irritation, tightness, roughness, and a weakened skin barrier, which makes it perfect for sensitive, dehydrated, and dry skin.
Like CeraVe, this Cetaphil serum has a thick cream-like texture and also sinks in quickly without any stickiness or tackiness.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH HYALURONIC ACID SERUM IS BETTER?
Both serums hydrate the skin nicely, and neither contain fragrance. Cetaphil Deep Hydration 48 Hour Activation Serum is the better choice for sensitive skin due to its additional soothing ingredients.
CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum vs Cetaphil Healthy Radiance Antioxidant-C Serum
|✅ Non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin||✅ CeraVe contains pure vitamin C, Cetaphil contains a vitamin C derivative|
|✅ Thick, creamy texture||✅ Different Active Ingredients|
|✅ Cetaphil contains citrus extracts|
CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum contains 10% pure vitamin C to address the visible signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and uneven skin tone.
Pure vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and has three main benefits for the skin:
1) It is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from environmental damage.
2) It can stimulate collagen production, which can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
3) It can help to brighten your skin and lighten dark spots and uneven skin tone, as it inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin (pigment) production in our skin.
The vitamin C serum also contains CeraVe’s three essential ceramides (Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, and Ceramide EOP) to help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier.
Ceramides are like the mortar that holds the bricks (skin cells) together to form a strong barrier.
Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) offers additional moisture and is also an anti-inflammatory agent that can help to soothe the skin.
Sodium hyaluronate is a low molecular weight form of hyaluronic acid that can penetrate the skin to deliver long-lasting hydration.
CeraVe’s MVE Technology continuously releases moisturizing ingredients for extended hydration.
The serum has a gel-like texture that is quickly absorbed by the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and hydrated.
It is formulated for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
However, pure vitamin C can be irritating at higher concentrations (usually greater than 10%), so it’s always a good idea to patch test before using a new skincare product for the first time.
Cetaphil Healthy Radiance Antioxidant-C Serum
Cetaphil Healthy Radiance Antioxidant-C Serum contains a total of 12% vitamins and antioxidants, including a vitamin C derivative, to protect the skin from environmental stress.
The serum also contains Cetaphil’s Gentle Bright Complex, which includes 2% niacinamide to brighten the skin and reduce the look of hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
The vitamin C derivative in this oil-free serum is sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP).
This derivative provides better stability than pure vitamin C and does not irritate the skin like pure vitamin C, making this serum ideal for sensitive skin types.
Although less potent than pure vitamin C, SAP is believed to offer similar antioxidant, collagen-boosting, and brightening benefits.
One other benefit of SAP is that it has been shown to have antimicrobial benefits against P. acnes, the bacteria that causes acne.
Niacinamide is an all-star active ingredient and offers multiple benefits for the skin. It is an anti-inflammatory agent that can help soothe the skin and smooth wrinkles and fine lines.
It has skin barrier repair properties, improves skin cell turnover to remove dead skin cells, and reduces melanin (pigment) production for a brighter complexion. It even can be an effective acne treatment.
If you have sensitive skin, please note that the serum contains multiple citrus extracts, which have the potential to be irritating.
The serum also contains multiple flower and plant extracts, so be sure to patch test before using it for the first time.
The serum has a lightweight gel texture that is non-sticky and comfortable on the skin.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH VITAMIN C SERUM IS BETTER?
While sodium ascorbyl phosphate, found in Cetaphil Antioxidant-C Serum, is a promising vitamin C derivative, pure vitamin C is more potent, so the 10% concentration of ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) in CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum is my pick since it will be more effective.
If you have sensitive skin and cannot tolerate pure vitamin C, consider Cetaphil Healthy Radiance Antioxidant-C Serum.
CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser vs Cetaphil Hydrating Foaming Cream Cleanser
|✅ Cream-to-foam cleansers||✅ CeraVe contains hyaluronic acid, three essential ceramides, and salicylic acid|
|✅ Formulated for normal to dry, sensitive skin|
✅ Cetaphil contains niacinamide, aloe, and panthenol
CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser, formulated for normal to dry skin, provides the benefits of both a cream cleanser and a foaming cleanser as it transforms from a cream to a foam when water is added.
It gives you that clean skin feel of a foaming cleanser while also providing the hydration and moisture of a cream cleanser.
The gentle lather removes makeup, dirt, oil, sunscreen, and impurities with an amino-based surfactant that doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils, so your skin feels clean and refreshed.
This cleanser is formulated with hyaluronic acid, which hydrates and helps your skin retain moisture and three essential ceramides for a healthy skin barrier.
Salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), helps unclog pores, exfoliate, and remove excess oils from your skin.
Glycerin, PCA, sodium lactate, amino acids, and cholesterol moisturize your skin.
The cleanser contains CeraVe’s MVE Technology, a patented delivery system that helps your skin absorb and hold onto moisture throughout the day.
It’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and suitable for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers.
Cetaphil Hydrating Foaming Cream Cleanser
Cetaphil Hydrating Foaming Cream Cleanser is a cream-to-foam-cleanser that removes pore-clogging makeup, dirt, and oil without stripping your skin or compromising your delicate skin barrier or skin pH.
Glycerin and arginine are natural moisturizing factors that moisturize your skin. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) soothes, calms, and nourishes your skin while brightening and balancing sebum (oil) production.
Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) and prebiotic Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder soothe your skin.
This Cetaphil cleanser is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH CREAM TO FOAM CLEANSER IS BETTER?
These cream-to-foam-cleansers perform very similarly on my skin. Choose based on the actives you prefer.
CeraVe contains a much longer ingredient list, so if you have sensitive skin, Cetaphil’s simpler formula may be less likely to irritate your skin. The only way to know is to patch test prior to using.
If you struggle with acne or breakouts, CeraVe may be more appealing to you since it contains salicylic acid. I tend to reach for Cetaphil more often since I love niacinamide, so the winner for me is Cetaphil.
Just remember that both cleansers get washed off your face, so neither will give you intense benefits of the actives in the formulas.
CeraVe Hydrating Makeup-Removing Plant-Based Wipes vs Cetaphil Gentle Makeup Removing Wipes
|✅ Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin||✅ CeraVe is biodegradable in a home compost|
|✅ Non-Comedogenic||✅ CeraVe contains moisturizing ceramides and lipids|
|✅ Fragrance-Free||✅ Cetaphil contains soothing aloe, chamomile, cucumber, and antioxidant green tea|
|✅ Remove waterproof makeup||✅ CeraVe is accepted by the National Eczema Association|
CeraVe Hydrating Makeup-Removing Plant-Based Wipes
CeraVe Hydrating Makeup-Removing Plant-Based Wipes are formulated to remove makeup (even waterproof mascara!) and cleanse your skin of dirt and oil without disrupting your delicate skin barrier.
The cloths hydrate, moisturize, and refresh your skin without leaving a sticky or greasy feeling on your skin.
Plus, they’re biodegradable in your home compost!
It’s formulated with moisturizing glycerin, and three essential ceramides to strengthen your skin barrier.
The lipids phytosphingosine and cholesterol further support your skin barrier. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from environmental aggressors.
Accepted by the National Eczema Association these facial wipes are non-comedogenic, so they won’t clog your pores, and they’re fragrance-free.
The cloths are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Cetaphil Gentle Makeup Removing Wipes
Cetaphil Gentle Makeup Removing Wipes remove long-wear makeup (including waterproof makeup) from your face, including your eye area.
The cloths are formulated with soothing aloe vera, chamomile extract, and cucumber fruit extract to soothe and calm sensitive skin.
Camellia sinensis leaf extract, also known as green tea extract, is a potent antioxidant that helps protect your skin from environmental damage.
Like other Cetaphil products, the cloths defend against 5 signs of skin sensitivity: dryness, irritation, roughness, tightness, and a weakened skin barrier.
The soft container has a flexible plastic closure that ensures cloths remain moist. This makes them ideal for travel and the gym.
The soft cloths are fragrance-free, and won’t clog your pores.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH MAKEUP REMOVING WIPES ARE BETTER?
CeraVe has the slight edge here because even though both wipes aren’t flushable, CeraVe wipes are biodegradable in a home compost.
I prefer CeraVe’s moisturizing formula, but if you prefer natural plant extracts in your skincare, Cetaphil will be the better choice.
I think CeraVe wipes are a little softer on my skin, too.
CeraVe Eczema Relief Creamy Oil vs Cetaphil Eczema Restoraderm Soothing Moisturizer
|✅ Contain 1% colloidal oatmeal, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, allantoin, sunflower seed oil, and glycerin||✅ CreaVe has a thicker texture; Cetaphil has a lighter, more easily spreadable texture|
|✅ Non-Comedogenic||✅ Contain Different Actives|
|✅ Fragrance-Free||✅ Cetaphil contains Ad-Resyl, a patented active technology|
|✅ Accepted by the National Eczema Association|
CeraVe Eczema Relief Creamy Oil
CeraVe Eczema Relief Creamy Oil is a colloidal oatmeal skin protectant formulated for dry, eczema-prone skin.
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that can cause dry, itchy, inflamed, and irritated skin.
The creamy oil has a thick body butter-like texture that relieves minor skin irritations and itching due to eczema.
CeraVe’s creamy oil formula is designed to restore your skin barrier and help it retain moisture with three essential ceramides.
A 1% concentration of colloidal oatmeal, plus hyaluronic acid, olive oil, and safflower oil soothe and moisturize your eczema rash.
Glycerin and sodium PCA moisturize. Allantoin and rosemary leaf extract soothe your skin.
Hyaluronic acid helps retain moisture, while niacinamide strengthens the skin barrier and calms redness and skin irritation.
Accepted by the National Eczema Association, the creamy oil is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and dye-free.
Cetaphil Eczema Restoraderm Soothing Moisturizer
Cetaphil Eczema Restoraderm Soothing Moisturizer is a lightweight lotion that protects your skin against eczema symptoms and is formulated to lead to fewer symptom flare-ups when used over time.
This eczema moisturizer contains 1% colloidal oatmeal to soothe itching and irritation from eczema.
It also contains Ad-Resyl, a patented active used for eczema, which is formulated to strengthen a damaged skin barrier and support a healthy microbiome.
Restoraderm contains glycerin, sunflower seed oil, sodium PCA, and shea butter to moisturize your skin.
Allantoin and panthenol soothe your skin, while ceramide NP is a lipid that supports a healthy skin barrier.
Niacinamide soothes, brightens, and balances your complexion while hyaluronic acid hydrates.
Cetaphil’s filaggrin technology sustains hydration levels while contributing to a healthy skin barrier.
It’s clinically proven to improve the skin’s moisture levels in as little as 2 hours and continues to hydrate for 48 hours. Plus, 84% of users noticed fewer eczema flare-ups with continued use.
The moisturizer is fragrance-free, paraben-free, steroid-free, and accepted by National Eczema Association as suitable for sensitive, eczema-prone skin.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH ECZEMA MOISTURIZER IS BETTER?
Cerave has a thicker texture and feels heavier on my skin, while Cetaphil feels more like a lightweight cream. While Cetaphil spreads easier, CeraVe dries down quicker.
The moisturizers contain many of the same active ingredients, but Cetaphil contains a patented active, Ad-Resyl, to address eczema symptoms.
I prefer Cetaphil’s texture and ingredients, so Cetaphil Eczema Restoraderm is my pick for this comparison.
CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Gel vs Cetaphil Deep Hydration Skin Restoring Water Gel
|✅ Contain glycerin and niacinamide||✅ CeraVe is best for combination and oily skin; Cetaphil is best for dry, dehydrated sensitive skin|
|✅ Have very similar lightweight textures||✅ Cetaphil ingredients geared more toward sensitive skin|
|✅ Non-Comedogenic||✅ CeraVe comes in a pump tube; Cetaphil comes in a jar|
|✅ Fragrance-Free and suitable for sensitive skin|
CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Gel
CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Gel is a super lightweight gel moisturizer formulated with skin-loving ingredients list that nourish your skin while feeling barely there.
The ingredient list contains one of my favorite actives: niacinamide. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that helps to soothe, brighten, and balance your skin.
The moisturizer also contains three types of ceramides: Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, and Ceramide EOP. These ceramides work with niacinamide to restore and maintain your skin barrier barrier.
Other ingredients include sodium hyaluronate for hydration, cholesterol for moisture retention, and vitamin E for its skin-protective antioxidant benefits.
MVE Technology is also used in this moisturizer, which stands for MultiVesicular Emulsion Technology. This technology ensures that the active ingredients are released slowly over time, providing long-lasting hydration and nourishment for your skin.
I think the stand-out quality of this moisturizer is that it is suitable for most skin types. It can work just as well for drier skin types as it can for oily skin types.
The lightweight gel texture makes it perfect for oily or combination skin types who want a moisturizer that won’t feel heavy or greasy on their skin.
It’s even suitable for sensitive skin and is fragrance-free, oil-free, and non-comedogenic.
The ultra-lightweight texture glides easily onto my skin without any tugging or pulling and spreads evenly. In fact, I think this is the most lightweight CeraVe moisturizer of all their products.
Cetaphil Deep Hydration Skin Restoring Water Gel
Ideal for dry, dehydrated sensitive skin, Cetaphil Deep Hydration Skin Restoring Water Gel is an oil-free gel cream.
The moisturizer uses slow-release technology that pairs hyaluronic acid with polyglutamic acid for immediate and longer-lasting hydration.
Polygluatic acid is a powerful humectant that can hold four times more moisture than hyaluronic acid alone, making it perfect for those with dry skin or living in drier climates.
Cetaphil’s HydroSensitiv Complex soothes and calms your skin and increases water content while sealing in moisture.
The cooling water gel feels lightweight and refreshing on the skin, providing instant relief for tight, dry skin.
If you have a compromised skin barrier, this water gel is an excellent choice because it’s been clinically proven to strengthen and improve the quality of the skin moisture barrier over time.
The fragrance-free is especially ideal for dry, sensitive skin.
CERAVE vs CETAPHIL: WHICH WATER GEL MOISTURIZER IS BETTER?
Both moisturizers have a lightweight water cream texture and are soothing and hydrating.
My pick is CeraVe Ultra-Lightweight Moisturizer for its weightless feel on my skin. It feels the slightest bit lighter and less sticky than Cetaphil. I also prefer CeraVe’s pump applicator.
CeraVe vs Cetaphil for Dry Skin: Best Moisturizers
|CeraVe Moisturizing Cream: Skin barrier support with hyaluronic acid and ceramides.||Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream: Niacinamide, panthenol, and glycerin work together to restore your skin barrier.|
|CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream: Enriched with shea butter, niacinamide, and peptides.||Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Cream: Protects against dryness with hyaluronic acid.|
|CeraVe Healing Ointment: For cracked, chafed, and very dry skin.||Cetaphil Healing Ointment: Protects and heals dry, irritated skin.|
CeraVe vs Cetaphil for Acne-Prone Skin: Best Moisturizers
|CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Gel: Provides oil-free and ultra-light hydration with niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. Natural finish. Non-comedogenic.||Cetaphil Gentle Clear Acne Mattifying Moisturizer: Contains salicylic acid to help clear and prevent breakouts, plus kojic acid and licorice root extract to reduce the look of post-acne scars/marks. Matte finish. Non-comedogenic.|
Final Thoughts on CeraVe vs Cetaphil
Dermatologists and skincare enthusiasts love CeraVe and Cetaphil for their no-frills skin care formulas that work for various skin types and skin conditions.
The products are affordably priced, too, making them both accessible and effective.
Whenever I need to take a break from strong actives like retinol and acids, I look to these brands to soothe and replenish my skin barrier.
Which is better? It depends on your skin and your skin issues. I tend to reach for CeraVe more often as I love the ceramides and other actives in their formulas, although Cetaphil has excellent products, too.
Thanks for reading!