CeraVe vs. Cetaphil

Categories: Skin care
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cerave vs cetaphilCetaphil is the super popular facial cleanser that has a cult following, and almost every Dermatologist seems to recommend it for dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. However CeraVe is a newer drugstore gentle cleanser that is quickly gaining in popularity. Cetaphil vs. CeraVe – which one is better?

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser was created by Dermatologists and it’s marketed as a gentle cleanser for normal to dry skin, sensitive skin, and people with acne, rosacea and eczema. According to the Cetaphil website, it’s supposed to be great at removing makeup, and addressing the dryness your skin can face from certain acne medications. It won’t strip your skin of natural protective oils, it’s fragrance free, and it’s touted as non-comedogenic so it’s not supposed to clog pores.

I have tried Cetaphil off and on throughout the years and personally I’ve never liked it. I don’t find it removes eye makeup at all, and I feel like it leaves a film on my skin before it has a chance to actually cleanse my skin thoroughly. I’m not exactly sure how to test if it properly cleanses my skin, so it’s really the coating it leaves behind I don’t like. In part because it does leave behind a moisturizing layer, it’s actually a hydrating, non-drying cleanser, which is nice for dry skin. It’s also a great value because you can get a big bottle of it at your drugstore for a decent price.

I don’t like the fact that it contains the harsh Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) as the fourth ingredient, and even if it’s in a small amount, most cleansers don’t contain SLS and work just fine without it. SLS is also a major pore clogger, which is ironic because this cleanser is specifically designed for acne-prone skin. Although to be fair, I have never broken out from Cetaphil cleanser. Finally, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser contains three types of parabens, which a lot of people try to avoid due to studies that show there might be a link between parabens and cancer. At this point in my skin care research, a product with parabens is not a dealbreaker for me, but I may change my mind in the future. While Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser has some good properties, it’s definitely not the greatest cleanser ever, and it has several major drawbacks.

Ingredients: Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
CeraVe is a newer drugstore cleanser, which is very similar to Cetaphil, but it has different ingredients. I had been reading rave reviews about CeraVe, and I finally tracked it down at Walgreens recently. It’s supposed to also be sold at CVS, but none of the CVS stores near me carry it, and I’ve never seen it anywhere else, except online. Like Cetaphil, CeraVe was developed by Dermatologists to protect and restore your skin barrier, thus making it a hydrating cleanser for people with normal to dry skin. It’s also fragrance free, and non-comedogenic. CeraVe comes in a big bottle also, so I could imagine one $11 bottle lasting at least six months.

Excitedly, I tried CeraVe, but found it to feel and perform exactly like Cetaphil. It also doesn’t remove eye makeup, it’s a hydrating, non-drying cleanser, and it also leaves a soft film on your face. The benefits of CeraVe over Cetaphil is that it doesn’t contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and it contains some great non-pore clogging moisturizing ingredients – ceramides and hyaluronic acid. For those reasons, if you are interested in trying a gentle cleanser for normal to dry skin, I would definitely recommend trying CeraVe first before Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. CeraVe contains more ingredients than Cetaphil, so while the ingredients are supposed to be good for acne-prone and sensitive skin, there are more ingredients that your skin could potentially react to, if it’s super sensitive. CeraVe also contains parabens.

Ingredients: Water (Purified), Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate/Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum

*Buy CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser*

Finally, Cetaphil has a second cleanser called Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser that is for normal to oily skin. I haven’t tried it, but it doesn’t contain SLS, and it’s something I personally would want to try when for when I go to more humid climates. It does contain fragrance, though, which could pose a problem for people with really sensitive skin.

What do you think about Cetaphil and CeraVe?

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9 Responses to “CeraVe vs. Cetaphil”

  1. SP Says:

    I used to use Cetaphil but stopped using it cause I don’t like that film it leaves on your skin either. I tried the Cerave a few months ago and think it’s almost like Cetaphil too. But if you use two pumps of Cerave, you can wash your face pretty clean, and it feels really soft afterwards, and not too filmy. But yeah it doesn’t work that great on mascara. Ugh.

  2. Deborah Chase Says:

    I started using Retin A this year and discovered I needed a really mild cleanser to avoid flaking and painful redness. Cetaphil applied with a damp cotten pad worked well, but Cerave with hyaluronic acid and ceramides really helped during the cold windy months. They are good choices if you are using strong anti-aging Retin A products. To remove eye make-up I use Almay oil free cleanser. With one wipe of the pad it removes mascara and shadow without irritating the delicate under eye area.

  3. Deborah Chase Says:

    I found that I needed to use a separate eye make-up remover when I used either Cetaphil and Cerave. I like Almay oil-free eye make-up remover. Its very gentle and doesn’t leave a blurry film on my eyes.

  4. Lori Huber Says:

    I have used the Cerave cream moisturizer, I really love how it keeps my skin supple.
    I only stopped using it because of the parabens.

  5. Duckey Says:

    I have really loved cerave it has made a huge difference in my skin and pocket book. It says to avoid contact with eyes. U should never use daily facial cleanser on your eyes because it will damage the fragile skin around your eyes. I too use almay for eye makeup remover or Mary kays.

  6. Anthony Says:

    Hi, I live in Australia. I am currently using the Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser, I have been using the whole line of cetaphil for about 6 months now and love it. The Gentle skin cleanser in Australia does not contain parabens at all! Maybe thats why I don’t feel the plastic film that everyone posted. On the packaging, it says it only removes LIGHT make up, not strong eye liner e.c.t.

  7. Cari Says:

    Hi there. I’ve tried Cetaphil cleanser and It totally clogged my pores. Didnt cause acne though!! So then I changed to Philosophy Purity.. works like a charm! I tried the Cerave lotion… NOT good.. It seemed to moisturize ok.. however.. caused PAINFUL cystic acne for me.. and some clogged pores :( Grrrr.. still on the search for a moisturizer that doesnt hurt my face or break me out or clog my pores!! :(

  8. Shalimar Says:

    I have tried Cetaphil off and on for many years and for me, it leaves a burning sensation on my face. After a while, I will get these weird blisters/acne. I stopped using it and it went away. I might give Cerave a chance since I found a coupon for the line.

  9. Jesse Says:

    CeraVe. I cannot stress that enough. I’m a teen with acne. Now, my acne isn’t all that bad actually, but CeraVe COMPLETELY cleared my acne within about two months. I haven’t had any new breakouts at all. The best product I’ve ever used. Coming from a family that’s always had bad acne, they have enjoyed the product as well. Within the first day, I noticed how everything was starting to come to the surface. Two weeks went by, and I had already gotten rid of 30% of my acne. This product is amazing and GREAT for acne prone skin. Just because my acne isn’t bad, doesn’t mean it isn’t for severe acne. I have known many people with SEVERE acne that it has helped tremendously. I hope this helps.

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