CeraVe vs Cetaphil: Which Brand Is Best?

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When it comes to products to clean and moisturize your skin, few brands are better than CeraVe and Cetaphil, but if you’re trying to determine which is best between these two brands, it might be a little more challenging.

Both CeraVe and Cetaphil are known to create high-quality, affordable products that work, so you certainly can’t go wrong choosing either one of them.

That being said, your own skin type and skin conditions may affect which product you choose in the end, but you first have to learn which products do what. For that, you’ll need a little help.

As a general rule, CeraVe is geared towards people with dry to extra-dry skin, whereas Cetaphil is made mostly for sensitive skin. These aren’t the only differences between the two products, however, as the information below will explain.

In this article, we will compare some of the best-selling cleansers, moisturizers, creams, and sunscreens of these two popular brands to determine which is better in each category.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Complete with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, CeraVe hydrating facial cleanser is made for normal to dry skin and deep cleans without stripping the skin of its natural protective barrier. Your skin will never feel tight or dry after using this product.
Cetaphil’s gentle skin cleanser is made without soap and made for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It can be used anywhere on the body. It is also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, so it doesn’t clog pores or irritate the skin.

If you have sensitive or problem skin, you’ll likely be better off choosing the Cetaphil cleanser because it is designed to suit sensitive skin types. Plus, you can use it on your hands and body as well as your face. Both cleansers work great and will be kind to your skin barrier, but Cetaphil does better on problem skin or sensitive skin.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser vs. Cetaphil Pro Acne-Prone Oil Control Foam Wash

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
Cetaphil Pro Acne-Prone Oil Control Foam Wash
Made for normal to oily skin, CeraVe foaming facial cleanser is gentle yet does a great job of deep cleaning pores to remove dirt, oil, and even makeup. It also contains hyaluronic acid, three types of ceramides, and niacinamide, all of which clean, hydrate, and even calm the skin.
Cetaphil Pro acne-prone foam wash is great for oily skin and is clinically proven to remove excess oil without irritating or drying out the skin. Formulated with zinc, it is made specifically for acne-prone skin, which gives it an extra edge. If you have acne-prone skin, you need a special cleanser and this one is made just for this challenge.

While both cleansers are clinically proven to work and do a great job, the foam wash made by Cetaphil is a little more specialized because it targets acne-prone skin, so this is the one to choose if your skin is both oily and prone to breakouts.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 vs. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15
CeraVe AM moisturizing lotion does more than just moisturize the skin. It also doesn’t clog pores and won’t cause breakouts. It is formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help retain moisture, while maintaining your skin’s natural barrier. With an SPF of 30, you can count on it to protect your skin from the sun’s rays even on the hottest days.
Cetaphil’s daily moisturizer has an SPF of 15, which is still a good number. It also offers a fragrance-free, non-greasy, hypoallergenic way to protect the skin from the sun without drying it out or making it look dull, and is suitable for all skin types.

For those who want the absolute best protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, the CeraVe moisturizing lotion is recommended because while both of these products do a great job of moisturizing the skin, its SPF number is twice as big.

While super-high numbers, e.g., SPF numbers of 75 or higher, don’t always offer more protection than products with lower SPF numbers, it’s still good to have a high number such as 50 on your moisturizing products.

CeraVe Repair Eye Cream vs. Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel

CeraVe Repair Eye Cream
Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel
Made with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and a “marine and botanical complex”, the CeraVe eye repair cream corrects puffiness, dark circles, and dull-looking skin. It is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and ophthalmologist-tested and therefore proven to work. It actually does much more than just soothe the eye area and reduce the look of wrinkles and lines.
Enriched with hyaluronic acid, licorice extracts, and a vitamin complex, Cetaphil’s hydrating eye gel is specifically formulated to brighten and smooth the area under the eyes, it moisturizes like a cream for a full 24 hours. It is even good on sensitive skin and won’t clog your pores. While it goes on like a gel, it soothes and moisturizes like a cream once it’s applied to the eye area.

While both are excellent products, the CeraVe eye cream is recommended over the Cetaphil product because it corrects more than just lines, wrinkles, and dryness. It seems to be a more complete product overall.

CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash vs. Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash

CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash
Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash
Made for normal to dry skin, the CeraVe hydrating body wash cleanses the skin while moisturizing it at the same time. It is a foaming wash that is also very comfortable on the skin. In practical terms, this means that it cleanses and moisturizes to keep the skin both looking good and feeling good.
Formulated with Aloe Vera, vitamin B5 and a combination of moisturizing agents, Cetaphil’s ultra-gentle body wash is so gentle it can be used even on super-sensitive skin, and it comes in both a regular and a fragrance-free option. Because of this, the Cetaphil body wash is recommended over the one made by CeraVe. There are millions of people out there with sensitive or dry skin that needs to be cleaned and moisturized properly, and this is the product that will suit their needs.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion vs. Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotio
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
The CeraVe daily moisturizing lotion is oil-free, fragrance-free, and very lightweight. Made for normal to dry skin, it contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help provide the ultimate moisture for your skin. It never weighs down the skin but provides it with everything it needs to stay hydrated.
Cetaphil’s moisturizing lotion is lightweight and made for all skin types. It absorbs quickly and enhances the skin’s natural moisture level thanks to the 6 moisturizers, and vitamins E & B5 it contains. In addition, it never interferes with the skin’s natural protective barrier.

Both of these are excellent moisturizers, but if you have oily or combination skin, you might want to stick with Cetaphil since it is made for all skin types. CeraVe’s lotion is an excellent product but is made specifically for skin that is dry or normal.

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50 vs. Cetaphil Sun SPF 50+ Light Gel

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50
Cetaphil Sun SPF 50+ Light Gel
CeraVe’s hydrating sunscreen lotion SPF 50 is mineral and oil-free yet does a great job of protecting your face from the harmful rays of the sun. It provides long-lasting hydration and feels good on the skin. It is also allergy-tested, suitable for sensitive skin, and non-comedogenic. The only drawback to CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen and to non-tinted mineral sunscreens in general, is that they tend to leave a white cast on the skin, especially for darker skin tones.
Cetaphil’s light gel with an SPF of 50+ is great for both face and body and is even suitable for sensitive skin. It is fragrance-free and very water-resistant, making it perfect for SPF protection. The water-resistant feature means that it will stay on for a long time even if you sweat or go into the water for a while.

These two products are truly similar in almost every way, so you’ll likely have to try each of them out to decide which one is right for you. Note, however, that CeraVe hydrating sunscreen is a mineral sunscreen, while the Cetaphil light gel is a chemical one.

CeraVe vs Cetaphil Summary

Both CeraVe and Cetaphil products are clinically proven to work and deliver what they say they will. Both are recommended by dermatologists and both have very specialized products for different skin types, for various skin problems, and for cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting the skin.

They also offer products for the face, hands, and body so they provide customers with a very comprehensive line of skincare products that are second to none. Each product is made for certain skin types and skin conditions. They truly offer something for everyone.

One thing you’ll want to do is make sure that you find the product that specifically addresses the issue you’re having with your skin. This is the best way to determine which product and which brand to choose.

Which Brand Is Recommended by Dermatologists?

Both brands are highly recommended by dermatologists. If you sweat a lot, which many of us are doing due to wearing masks, you might have to “… switch your cleanser to a foaming or salicylic acid-based product to help fully remove the oil and sweat” according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner from Mount Sinai Hospital. Both CeraVe and Cetaphil have products that fall under this category. She also recommends using a CeraVe or Cetaphil moisturizer “for your post-shower skincare routine”.
In fact, you can even use both brands if you like, according to dermatologist Roberta Del Campo from Miami. She recommends using “…a gentle cleanser such as Cerave or Cetaphil … and a ceramides-based moisturizer such as CeraVe PM which is more hydrating…”

While it is often recommended that customers use the same brand for cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting their skin, switching between two highly recommended skincare brands such as CeraVe and Cetaphil rarely causes any problems. These are indeed two excellent brands that can help people with all types of skin.

Final Verdict - CeraVe vs Cetaphil

Once you determine what your main skin challenge is, it becomes much easier to decide between these two high-quality brands. The bottom line is this: both CeraVe and Cetaphil make products that are safe and that work. All you have to do is decide exactly what you need from them so you can decide which product is right for you in the end.

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.