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Difference Between CeraVe and Cetaphil

Dry skin can be terribly annoying. Some things seem to make it worse, such as frequent hand washing or overuse of soap and detergents, or health conditions like eczema. In fact, there is a huge overlap between eczema and dry skin. Dermatologists also suggest avoiding soap or detergent; instead, use a gentle, non-soap cleanser such as CeraVe or Cetaphil. Both are noncomedogenic and gentle for those with sensitive skin. But which one is better – CeraVe or Cetaphil?

What is CeraVe?

CeraVe is one of the most popular dermatologist-approved skincare brands that offer a complete line of cleansers and moisturizers to help hydrate your skin all day. CeraVe cleansers and moisturizers contain no fragrances, soap, or detergent to irritate the skin. These skincare products contain a blend of three essential ceramides, fatty acids, and hyaluronic acid to help reduce moisture loss and increase hydration. These are natural fatty compounds found in cell membranes. Eczema affected skin is depleted of ceramides, and CeraVe cleansers and moisturizers help restore these natural skin fats and keep skin from drying out. These products are gentle enough to be tolerated well by all skin types.

What is Cetaphil?

Cetaphil is a gentle skincare brand that has been recommended by dermatologists for over 70 years. It offers a complete line of skincare products, including lotions, moisturizers, cleansers, bar soaps, and creams. These products are specially made for people with sensitive, dry, acne-prone skin; they are gentle, so they do not irritate the skin. They are free of fragrance and also not alkaline based. Cetaphil moisturizers and lotions clean the surface of the skin and preserve the lipid layer without drying, making it an ideal solution for normal as well as dry, sensitive and compromised skin. The lotion can be applied one or more times every day and either left on or gently wiped off.

Difference between CeraVe and Cetaphil


– Both are very good products and are noncomedogenic meaning they do not cause acne. CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is very gentle and very hydrating as it works to cleanse the skin and remove oil. It contains glycerin and ceramides – natural fatty compounds found in cell membranes. It also has non-stripping surfactants. Cetaphil cleanser is a mild soap-free formulation that cleanses your skin without causing any irritation, leaving it soft and smooth. It has no alcohol, fragrance or any essential oils. Unlike CeraVe, it doesn’t have any active ingredients or skin restorers or humectants.


– CeraVe Moisturizing creams do contain humectants such as glycerin and skin restoring agents such as ceramides. It also has stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, and petrolatum. These are good alcohols that have the ability to soften and soothe the skin. Cetyl alcohol is a naturally derived ingredient that helps prevent dry, scaly, itchy skin. Cetaphil moisturizer contains glycerin and petrolatum. It also contains BHT and Vitamin E, which are both antioxidants, but the concentration level is very low.

Creams and Lotions

 – CeraVe moisturizing lotions are primarily formulated with glycerin and caprylic triglyceride – an excellent antioxidant which has been widely used for over five decades. They are lightweight ad oil-free, and they help smoothen the skin and restore its natural barrier. Cetaphil lotions, on the other hand, have got water, glycerin, and hydrogenated polyisobutene, which is an emollient. It also contains stearyl alcohol, which is an emulsifier.

CeraVe vs. Cetaphil: Comparison Chart


CeraVe skincare products contain ceramides that help create a skin barrier to prevent permeability and shield the skin from environmental aggressors. This is why most people recommend CeraVe products for anti-aging because they are very hydrating. CeraVe is also very effective for treating serious to severe eczema. Cetaphil, on the other hand, works best for mild eczema symptoms. Both CeraVe and Cetaphil are recommended by dermatologists; they are noncomedogenic and gentle for those with sensitive skin. Both are also easily available in almost every drugstore out there. CeraVe has a pretty impressive ingredient list for basically the same price point as Cetaphil.

Which one is better Cetaphil or CeraVe?

CeraVe is very effective for treating serious to severe eczema. Cetaphil, on the other hand, works best for mild eczema symptoms. Cetaphil delivers the most basic skincare while CeraVe is formulated with so many impressive ingredients that are good for your skin and almost at the same price as Cetaphil.

Is CeraVe or Cetaphil better for acne?

Both are great for acne-prone skins. While CeraVe focuses on dry to really dry skin, Cetaphil is better for sensitive skin. CeraVe has a much wider range of products for all skin types.

Why Cetaphil is bad?

Cetaphil is considered bad because some of the ingredients it contains are bad for the skin, like sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a surfactant that disrupts the healthy lipid barrier of the skin.

Why do dermatologists recommend CeraVe?

CeraVe is gentle and it does not irritate the skin. It is free of fragrance and also not alkaline based. It does not strip away the skin’s natural oils and it is gentle enough to be tolerated well by all kin types. This is the reason why dermatologists recommend CeraVe.

Why is CeraVe bad?

CeraVe contains parabens and other toxins are banned in the EU because of their reported links to hormone disruption and tumor growth.

Why is CeraVe so popular?

CeraVe formulates with so many amazing ingredients that are so good for your skin all while minimizing any type of sensitivity you could experience. They also have so many products; they have retinols, exfoliates, Vitamin C products, and so on.

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References :

[0]Graedon, Joe and Teresa Graedon. Best Choices from the People's Pharmacy: What You Need to Know Before Your Next Visit to the Doctor or Drugstore. Pennsylvania, United States: Rodale Institute, 2006. Print

[1]Jahn, Anthony F. The Singer's Guide to Complete Health. New York, United States: OUP USA, 2013. Print

[2]Draelos, Zoe Diana. Cosmetics and Dermatologic Problems and Solutions. Florida, United States: CRC Press, 2011. Print

[3]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/1847/43511762654_4fd4cab091_z.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/7245/26883357381_02b13f63d3_b.jpg

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