Cerave vs. Cetaphil: What To Choose?

CeraVe vs Cetaphil: Which one is better? I know it can be confusing because they appear to be similar products, right?

Long story short, there are no significant differences in results on the skin. They are both hydrating and good quality products.

There are differences however on texture, smell, and how these products feel while applying them.

Here’s how I got to this conclusion:

I bought and tested these products myself, and will share all about my experiments. 

Cerave Vs Cetaphil Summary

Cerave vs cetaphil

Theoretically, here is what many blogs out there are saying even though they have never taken the time to use these products themselves:

Both Cetaphil and Cerave cleansers are gentle, but here’s the suggestion. 

  • Use Cetaphil if you have very sensitive skin
  • Opt for Cerave’ if you have dry skin. 
More hydrating ingredients; Has ceramides, acid hyaluronicGreat for Dry skin; Fragrance-FreeMore basic ingredients; Has GlycerinGreater for sensitive skin; Highly indicated for redness; May contain fragrance

Even though this is true because Cerave has more hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and 3 types of ceramides.

In the past, it was even acceptable to establish such binary compassion.

But nowadays, both lines expanded and created a series of products for oily skin, sensitive skin, dry skin, etc. 

In real life, both Cerave and Cetaphil will do almost the same job in the long term.

And the difference between them won’t really be very significant in the final result; both will hydrate your skin at the end of the day.

The main difference will be in texture, smell, how well they spread on your body, if they feel sticky or comfortable on your skin, things like that.

You should be able to judge these products based on your first impressions, on how you feel and prefer each brand.


Cerave’s website shares that ceramides are lipids that comprehend 50% of the skin lipids that form the natural skin barrier.

Additionally, they state that ceramides work like glue that holds your skin cell together. As a result, the skin gets rebounded and healthier and consequently moisturized and protected.

A low level of ceramides can break the skin, causing various problems such as redness, acne, dryness, etc.

Ceramides are known to help to structure and maintaining a water barrier onto skin, resulting in hydration.

Three Essential Ceramides

Cerave’s team developed formulas that contain a blend of three essential ceramides that are identical to the ones that are in our skin.

Cerave combines 3 types of essential ceramides (ceramides 1, 3, e 6-II), which are extremely hydrating. 

Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE) Delivery Technology

Cerave has patented its own technology, Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE) on each of its cosmetics.

This MVE technology retains and releases ceramides gradually onto the skin, providing hydrated skin for longer. 

They also count with hyaluronic acid, which maintains the skin’s natural moisture barrier.


Cetaphil on the other hand started out as a gentle skincare solution for sensitive skin types.

(On their website, Cetaphil states they are specialized in sensitive skin).

They have a pH level that regulates skin’s acid-alkaline balance, meaning that if it is too oily or too dry, you will be able to have more balanced skin.

On their website, I didn’t find clear information on their key ingredient as we can find on Cerave’s website.

But by checking some of their product lists, it is possible to see that glycerine is highly used as a key ingredient.

Glycerin is a great humectant that hydrates and provides protection from skin irritants.

It is also great to accelerate skin healing and cicatrization.

From now on, let’s compare main cleansers and moisturizers.

Cerave Vs Cetaphil Cleansers 

Cerave and Cetaphil have both facial cleansers and cleansers that you can use on your face and body.

In this section Let’s talk about:

  1. Facial Cleansers: Designed Only for the face
  2. Face and body cleansers: Body washers that are for the entire body including the face

I tried the Cetaphil facial cleanser and the cerave cleansing gel, which are very similar.

They are similar in texture, how it feels on the skin, and they both feel almost the same after washing.

However, I felt Cerave’s cleanser was more hydrating than Cetaphil’s cleanser.

Keep on reading for more details!

Cetaphil Cleanser

Cetaphil facial cleanser review

Cetaphil’s cleanser key ingredient is glycerin which acts as a humectant, so you should expect your face to be hydrated afterward.

And this is not only for dry skin, but it is supposed to clean and deliver hydration. 

However, I didn’t feel my skin was hydrated. In fact, I felt it left my skin tight after washing.

It says it controls oleosity without drying skin out, which was not the case for my skin.

It not only didn’t control oleosity but even my skin felt tight, but this feeling goes away after applying moisturizer. 

However, it doesn’t irritate, nor cause acne on my skin, which I have seen happening with other brands.

It doesn’t lather that much, and it is not so easy to wash off as it is stated on the package.

This is a mix of feelings because my skin is oily and while trying to rinse this cleanser out I felt that I had to wash it many times, but after pat drying my face, it feels dry and tight.

Ironically, I ended up using it to wash my hands (with good results), as I was having allergic reactions with another soap and my hand skin responded well to it.

Read Full Review Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser Review | Is It Good?

Cerave Gel Cleanser

Cerave facial cleanser review

As I mentioned before, Cerave Gel Cleanser is almost identical to CetaphilÄ’s cleanser.

But we know Cerave contains 3 types of ceramides plus hyaluronic acid which makes us expect it to be the most hydrating above all.

Plus, it will maintain skin’s natural moisture barrier.

And one thing I noticed. Cerave cleanser gel doesn’t leave my face as tight as Certaphils cleanser.

It doesn’t lather as much which I don’t like because I have this feeling I need to apply more product.

But despite that, my face feels alright, not so tight, and not so dry after cleansing.

Keep On Reading: Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser Review | Is It Good?

What’s the winner?

Cerave or Cetaphil facial cleansers

After testing these products (for more than 6 months), the winner is the Cerave Cleansing Gel.

This is solely because it doesn’t leave my skin feeling so tight after washing. I can feel it is clean and still hydrated and purified.

The Cons 

I am stating here the cons of both products, as the complaints are quite similar.

I know there is a value to cleansing cosmetics that don’t lather as they tend to be less abrasive / harsh on skin.

But I have seen products out there that lather and are still gentle.

One great example is the cetaphil face and body cleanser which we will talk about later.

I have also experienced great results with vichy soap which lathers and doesn’t dry my face out.

Both Cetaphil and Cerave’s facial cleansers I tested don’t lather that much, which makes me use more product.

 Because if I don’t do that, I simply feel the skin is not cleansed enough.

I know it may be only my impression, but I know there are people out there, who are not used to cosmetics that don’t lather.

A second point that I didn’t like was how it was not so easy to rinse out the soap while washing.

The Final Verdict: Is it worth it?

In the end Cerave delivered a better result, but if you ask if I will purchase them again, I’d say no.

I am not saying these are bad products, in fact I have to state that cerave was pretty decent.

The reason for that is that I have been using the Vichy Facial Soap Bar and I am truly in love with it for the moment.

Face & Body Cleansers

Face and body cleansers

If you have only had shower with normal soaps, switching to cerave and cetaphil are a bomb.

They will offer a whole new experience in terms of body washers. 

Here are the links for the full reviews:

I can tell you hurry up and get one of those body cleansers because you won’t leave your shower feeling less than great.

Both products cerave and cetaphil are phenomenal and I will explain in detail why. 

Both face and body washers are different and have pros and cons, naturally.

But in the end, results are quite similar in terms of hydration on a long term so the differences are more likely to present themselves on the first impressions. 

But before we dive deeper, here’s why I loved these products.

Let’s talk about Similarities that I love

I can use just one product to wash my face and body without worrying about my face being dry afterwards. It saves me time and is more practical. 

Apart from that, here’s what I noticed:

  • My skin felt extremely hydrated since the minute I applied it 
  • It feels great while spreading the products on the skin
  • While I dried my skin it felt soft and hydrated, it was incredible
  • After shower I felt fresh for a very long time. I have never felt like that before with other products
Cerave face and body cleanser review

Read Full review: Cerave Hydrating Cleanser Review (Face & Body) Is It Good?

I confess that I was one of these people who preferred using a separate facial cleanser just for the face and another one for the body.

Button line is that since I tried out cerave and cetaphil face and body cleansers, I changed my mind.

I have tried many facial cleansers, like Chanel, lancome, MAC and none of these high end products made my skin feel like cerave or cetaphil did.

Also tried many body washers including bioderma and lancome but I confess that cerave and cetaphil are way better.

From now on, I am not going to spend that much money anymore on high end brands, because these two are just great.

The best I have tried so far.

Now, you must be asking, which one is better, cerave or cetaphil?

Or at least you may be expecting me to pick up a winner, right? Let’s talk about that now.

What’s the Difference?

This is indeed a tough question, because in the end both products are very hydrating.

That being said, let’s talk about their main differences.

Firstly, in terms of texture, Cetaphil’s cleanser is more consistent than Cerave’s cleanser, while cerave is lighter.

For example, cetaphil has a thicker texture and foams a lot, and cerave a miky less consistent that doesn’t lather. 

This means that cetaphil is easier and more enjoyable to spread onto skin than cerave.

In terms of smell, Cerave has a strange smell, I compared it with a light crocoroat smell. 

But the smell will disappear after washing is over.

Cerave on its turn has no smell whatsoever, at least I didn’t feel anything.

What’s the winner?

Cetaphil face and body cleanser review

This is the toughest question, but there will be a winner with no significant difference.

If you like and feel better using a soap that lathers then you will feel more comfortable with Cetaphil. 

Now, if you prefer a soap that doesn’t lather and with no smell at all, go for Cerave.

I am one of those people who love to feel the foaming so I’d prefer Cetaphil’s cleanser.

I think, in my opinion, that cerave body and face cleanser would be a great product for morning showers, while cetaphil for an evening shower.

This is for a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, I have a slight impression and feeling that Cetaphil’s cleanser is gentle yet powerful enough to wash off the day.

Take a look: Cetaphil Body Wash Review: Is It Good? #Skincarejournal

While I had this feeling that cerave brings a freshness and lightness to have my body fresh and clean after sleep.

In other words, I had the feeling that Cerave’s face and body washer is much lighter (or not so strong) than Cetaphil.

Plus, Cerave won’t remove my makeup as I wish. Cetaphil would be better.

But for both products, it is advisable to apply makeup remover before washing your face.  

Now, let’s take an example of what happened to me a few weeks ago. 

Here is what happened.

We are in the middle of the pandemic and even though my skin tends to be oily on the face, it was getting really dry on my body and hands.

I mean extremely dry, because I was having showers every time I went out and got back home.

If I went out 4 times, I would wash my entire body 4 times on the return home. 

Not to mention how many times I washed my hand every time I touched something I was getting nuts.

To make things worse I cleaned the house without wearing gloves, which made my hand really irritated due to the detergent.  

My skin is sensitive by nature but my hands were so dry that it was getting really painful.

I started washing my hands with the cetaphil face/body and I could feel an instant relief.

Right after washing I applied the cetaphil body and face moisturizing lotion and it was balm.

My skin was painful and I noticed results and got better within 24 hours.

My skin was still dry for a few days but the pain was gone.

For the sake of this article, I also used the same correspondent products from Cerave, the results were amazing as well.

The difference in results? There was none.

However, I noticed differences in product texture and smell. Like I explained above.

 The Verdict On Cerave Vs Cetaphil Cleansers 


If you ask me to choose just one product, I have an answer. It was not easy but here we go.

I picked Cetaphil cleanser for the face and body, even though I didn’t love the smell. 

Here’s what I love about face and body:

  • The texture which is creamy and firm
  • How it laters and spreads on my body
  • The fresh feeling during and after shower
  • Skin gets so soft
  • I can use it on my face, I prepare this one over any facial cleanser I’ve tried so far

Does this mean I didn’t like Cerave?

I did, but you asked to pick one and this is the one I had a luxury feeling afterwards.

Also I love a little bit of lather and the idea of having an amazing product for the face and body saves me time and money.

But Both will make your skin feel great, I have no doubts about that.

Cerave Eye Repair Cream vs Cetaphil Eye Gel-Cream

Cerave Vs Cetaphil Eye Cream

Cerave Eye Repair Cream

The Cerave Eye Repair cream has a very thick texture and it looks like a normal facial cream. In fact, I found it to be thicker than many facial creams out there.

In my opinion, it should be a bit lighter to facilitate the application under the sensitive eye area, and I can tell you why I think this.

Cerave Eye Repair Cream Review: Does It Work?

For example, my skin is very sensitive, and sometimes, it can be a bit dry under the eyes so. On top of that, the minimal friction can make it even more sensitive.

Also, every time I apply too much product under my eyes, the condition gets even worse, so I need to apply a very thin layer.

Long story short, I find it to be too thick for my under-eye area, and despite all the vitamins and cool ingredients, it dried out my skin and I had to stop using it.

So, if you have very sensitive skin, you can make your conclusions.

Cetaphil Eye Gel-Cream

The Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel is another great product you will be amazed how it can restore under eyes skin.

Especially if your skin is extremely sensitive in the area, it reduces redness and improves skin texture as well.

If you are experiencing flakness in the area, it will make your skin get better again and you will see results pretty quickly.

I have heard some people saying skin improved only 24 hours after the first application.


The texture is serum like and it is very light weight, smooth and has no scent. 

It doesn’t burn and the skin feels really hydrated. If you have sensitive skin, you could try this out.

But in case you feel any allergic reaction, you should suspend the use immediately.

The composition (Key Ingredients)

Cerave hydrating Eye gel contains great key ingredients such as Licorice extract, hyaluronic acid and bisabolol.

We have talked already that hyaluronic acid improves skin moisture and prevents water loss.

Licorice extract has anti-inflammatory benefits. Is also great for skin lightening and anti-aging.

Bisabolol soothes irritated skin and protects the skin from free radicals as well.

It is anti-irritant and anti-aging, so your skin is too sensitive, maybe this one is a good one to test out.

The Cetaphil Eye Gel-Cream was more gentle on my skin. I loved the gel-cream texture which was easy to apply.

I have to be honest here and say that the Cetaphil Eye Gel-Cream is not my favorite option for under eye area, but it was ok, at least it did not irritate my skin.

However, I have not noticed significant improvements.

Which Eye Cream Is Better?

In my opinion, after testing these products for three weeks, I think that Cetaphil Eye Cream worked better for me, for the following reasons:

  • More hydrating
  • didn’t sensitize my skin
  • easier to apply

Cerave Vs Cetaphil Creams and Lotions

Creams and lotions

Once again we have a pool of options and with time, I will update these sections with more products.

For now, let’s start talking about facial products.

Pretty much as I said for the cleansers, both cerave and cetaphil have three types of creams and lotions:

  • Face & Body creams and lotions
  • Just for the face
  • Just for the body 

And we are going to talk about them in detail but in sum, I found the face and body products very interesting.

And to my surprise, I liked them better than facial moisturizers.

Let’s take a look at some popular options

Cetaphil Acne Control Facial Moisturizer With SPF 30

Cetaphil facial cream

I bought the Cetaphil Acne Control Facial Moisturizer With SPF 30, because it is dedicated to oily skin and acne control.

Straight away I can tell you that I didn’t love this one.

The reason was that it feels too heavy and thick and my skin looks extra shiny.

However I use it as a sunscreen when I go out for my walks on the beach and this is working pretty well.

When I go on my walks without sunscreen I can immediately feel it.

The day after my skin looks rough and the texture gets strange I can’t explain.

The reason I say that the Cetaphil AC control with SPF 30 works is that when I use it, my skin looks fine when I get sun exposure.

I believe that the acne control may work as well because I had two pinpoints which softened and got better.

I just apply a lot of it to go out for my walk on the beach and it really looks and smells like sunscreen. 

However, to be very honest with you, I would not use it under makeup or to stay indoors all day, because this is just too thick.

Final Verdict

I didn’t waste my money by purchasing these products, and I found different utilities for each one of them. 

Read Full Review: Cetaphil Acne Prone Moisturizer SPF 30 Review

Here is my routine look like at the moment, based on what I have picked:

  1. Cetaphil Face & Body Cleansing Lotion for my face and body
  2. Cetaphil Face & Body Moisturizer for for my face and body, which I use when I am not under too much sun exposure
  3. For go out for my daily beach walks I use cetaphil AC control SPF 30
  4. At night I use Cerave PM lotion

And this routine feels just perfect and for me, one of the best combinations for the moment.

Cerave Facial Moisturizer PM

Cerave PM cream review

I am talking about the Cerave Moisturizer PM but I will still try the Cerave AM facial moisturizing. 

But it’s ok because for the day I am using the Cetaphils Body and Face and for going out I am using Cetaphil Acne control.

More about the Cetaphil Acne Control later. But if you have normal and dry skin bare with me because what I have to say serves for you too. 

I am planning to test Cerave AM facial moisturizing too just because I love the Cetaphil Lotion PM. 

Before I go bad, I have a shower, wash my face, apply serum and then I use the PM lotion.

The reason I love it is because of the texture and how it feels on the skin.

This is not sticky, lightweight, my skin absorbs it and feels super, super soft.

Normally when going to sleep I don’t care about shine control but this cream doesn’t even make my skin really shiny.

I highly recommend it if you are looking for a night cream that is great and not too heavy.

You can use it even if you have oily, dry or sensitive skin you will find great results.

Here’s what it did to my skin:

  • Improved my skin texture
  • Skin got softer and look healthier 
  • Even noticed skin looks more relaxed

Cerave Vs Cetaphil’s Face & Body Lotion / Moisturizer

Face and body creams

I tried both Cerave and Cetaphil Moisturizers for face & body. I have also asked my mom to try them out and tell me what she thought.

To be super on point, we liked the Cetaphil’s face and body cream better than Cerave’s correspondent. 

We both agreed that skin gets way more softer, with Cetaphils formula, which is more lightweight.

Cerave’s texture is really thick, and it is pretty similar to Cetaphil’s body (only) moisturizing cream.

Maybe if your skin is extremely dry and if you like and are used to very thick textured creams, you might like it.

Oftentimes, extremely thick creams feel sticky so I don’t really like the sensation.

Another important note is that strangely enough carave’s face and body cream gave me acne.

Which didn’t happen with cetaphils face and body cream, which I loved.

So if you have acne prone skin, do not use cerave moisturizer for face and body.

Another thing I’d like to highlight is that my hand skin was really dry and It got extremely nourished after 2 weeks of using this Cetaphil’s moisturizer.

Cetaphil Face & Body Lotion

Cetaphil face and body lotion review

I loved the Cetaphil’s  face and body lotion, but I use it with caution.

This is because if I apply too much, my skin will feel sticky for a long time.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like when my skin feels sticky. 

That’s why in the first moment I applied it, because I exaggerated, I thought I would not like it.

But soon enough I noticed how easy this cream is to spread on the body, and you don’t even need too much.

Once I got the hang of it, I could only say a word. FABULOUS.

The best part and which surprised me a lot, I loved using this cream as a facial moisturizer.

In fact I prefer it on my face over other facial creams, including the cetaphils cream, which we’ll talk about later.

Here’s why I loved the Cetaphils face and body Lotion:

  • Extremely gentle
  • Spreads really well on the body 
  • My skin feels super soft. I even can’t stop hubbing my legging onto one another ahaha yes it feels that amazing!
  • Just need a little bit and it is enough to entire body including face
  • My hands were so dry and looked restored after 3 days of use
  • I noticed a visible improvement on my facial skin texture in less than a week of use
  • It reduced two acne spots that were bothering me

Cerave Face & Body Moisturizer

Cerave face and body lotion review

My skin can be dry on my body and oily on my face and this product worked fine for my body but gave me acne on the face.

I have to give it a discount, because this product is not designed for oily skin, though.

But this serves for you, if you have acne prone skin (be oily or dry) it is better to pay attention.

The Cerave’s face and body moisturizer is very thick and it feels sticky. 

Sometimes the trick to apply only a little bit of product may help not feeling sticky afterwards but it didn’t work in this case.

On the other hand, the good thing about this product is that with a tiny bit you can cover a lot of your body, which is very economical.

In terms of hydration, I felt my skin was hydrated indeed, despite the feeling of stickiness. 

Some people are not so bothered by that, so if this is your case, you can go ahead and buy it because it does its job.

Cetaphil Body Moisturizer

Cetaphil body cream

I also tested the Cetaphil Body moisturizer, which in this case is only for the body (not for the face).

This one is very similar to Cerave’s face & body and I will repeat myself here while describing this product.

It has a super thick consistency which I personally don’t like because it feels sticky.

I am not saying all thick creams will make your skin feel sticky, but in this particular case, it does.

Pretty much as cerave’s face and body, a little bit of the product is enough for the entire body, so this product is also very economical.

In terms of hydration, the final result is exactly the same as the Cerave’s face and body.

It does its job by hydrating my body, skin and feet. You can feel they are hydrated.

But there is the stickiness problem which is not really a problem but if I could choose I prefer other options that don’t do that.

Which One is better & Final Verdict

Cetaphil face and body lotion

Definitely, the winner in the category of moisturizers and lotions is the Cetaphil Face and Body.

It is very efficient, hydrating and leaves the skin super soft. My skin got so soft I was amazed.

But it’s not only about softness and smoothness which are great, but I had real hydrating and repairing results.

In addition, It is very handy to have one unique product to be used on the face and the body. 

Cerave Vs Cetaphil Skincare Routine For Different Skin Types

Now let’s take a look at the skincare routine for different skin types. 

We are intending to keep this article updated so make sure to come back to see updates on these skincare routines.


Most people recommend Cerave for anti-aging skincare because ceramides are an essential ingredient for improving your skin barrier, which protects, and avoids dryness.


One reason that people tend to prefer CeraVe for anti-aging is that it is very hydrating.

The more you hydrate your skin, the better it is for preventing aging signs. Fact.

CeraVe combines highly hydrating ingredients to develop its own anti-aging line with retinol.

Retinol, in turn, is one of the most powerful ingredients to prevent fine lines.

Cerave’s Renewing line contains 6 skin care products, to assure you are taking care of your skin from washing to applying night cream.

The results are improved skin since the first week, but the anti-aging results, you need to stick with a routine for at least 3 weeks.

At the peace that skin ages, it starts to gradually produce fewer ceramides, it is indeed a good idea to have a product that can help you retard this.

Now, to become even more efficient in anti-aging skin care, Cerave has launched a special line that contains retinol and vitamin C.

These are super ingredients widely used in the anti-aging industry all over the world.


In terms of Eczema, Cerave is the most effective for treating severe more serious eczema. 

Cetaphil works best for mild eczema cases, and dermatitis prevention.

Cerave Vs Vetaphil For Oily Skin and ACNE ? 

Is part of CeraVe’s acne skincare routine the acne foaming cream cleanser, Cerave AM and PM moisturizing lotion, and the retinol serum.



You have been asking yourself, if Cerave is better indicated for dry skin, then it should not be a good option for oily skin right?

The answer is that Cerave is also good for oily skin, as they launched a line that is specific for oily skin.

Cerave For acne

CeraVe’s acne-prone skin line cleans and hydrates your skin without drying out. Down below we have a quick skincare guide:

  • CeraVe Foaming Cream Cleanser
  • CeraVe AM & PM Moisturizing Lotion
  • CeraVe Retinol Serum

The Cerave Acne line has been having excellent reviews all over the internet. It has to be used daily AM and PM and results start to show up after the first 3 weeks.

The results are cleared and improved skincare texture, softness, and brightness after sticking with your Cerave’s acne skincare routine.

CareVe has launched a new line with benzoyl peroxide that dissolves dirt and excess oil while clearing acne, allowing your skin to heal.

But it is good to remember that both products, be Cetaphil, be Cerave, have non-comedogenic, non-irritating products that are ideal for acne-prone skin.


Cetaphil has an oily and acne prone skin line too, but I saw over the internet, most people tend to prefer cerave or cetaphil.

However the cetaphil line is also very good, and if you want to try and test it out yourself, here’s our step by step guide:


Both CeraVe and Cetaphil are recommended by dermatologists.

In fact, dermatologists warn that the real good creams for your skin are the creamy rich creams, with no fragrances and cerave and cetaphil are part of these products.


The Downside of Cerave and Cetaphil is that they are not 100% cruelty free, as they may test on animals in some countries.


Does CeraVe or Cetaphil test on animals? 

Both Cerave and Cetaphil are not cruelty-free, as they perform animal testing.

UPDATE: We had the information that CeraVe has become cruelty-free in the UK. But in other countries, they are still performing animal testing. They to become cruelty-free whenever possible.

Related To Cerave vs Cetaphil

Here we get to the end and I would like to invite you to continue with me! Don’t go just yet! If you want, take a look at these articles as well: